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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon all,

My husband and I had a bit of a fright with Oscar on our walk with him last night :shock:

We went for his favourite walk through some fields near our house. Oscar was having a wonderful time running up and down the edge of the fields, his tail wagging merrily and Tim & I were just commenting on how relaxing it is to walk him there when he popped his head up from a bit of land he had been sniffing and had a dead rabbit in his mouth :shock:

He thought he was very clever to have found such an exciting thing and proceeded to run up and down excitedly in front of us.

Although I found the whole episode rather disturbing, as being an animal lover the site of any dead animal makes me feel very sad, I didn't worry too much, as we still had a while left on our walk back home and so I thought after a little while he'd get bored and drop it.

We didn't make any move at first to try and get it off him as past experience has shown that he is more likely to get bored if we ignore things he has. We have learnt the hard way in the past, that the more we try and get something from him, or tell him to drop, when it's not one of his toys, the more insistent he becomes on trying to swallow it!

So we carried on on our walk, hoping he would shortly get bored, but he followed on behind us carrying the rabbit until we were almost on the path that leads to our house.

As we didn't want him to carry it home and disect it in our house, we decided that we really needed to do something to get it off him.

So we tried the usual tricks of trying to show him that we were far more exciting that what he had, and got various treats out telling him to come and see what we have. But nothing worked! The more we said 'drop' the further it went into his mouth and at this stage, we began to worry that he would try to swallow it :shock: Although it wasn't a fully grown rabbit, it wasn't tiny either and i'm sure would cause all sorts of problems if swallowed whole!

So we tried one last thing by walking down a very narrow bit of track and calling him so that he would run past us and we could grab his collar on the way past.

But as we turned to walk down the track, he began to make some very strange noises and when we looked back only one foot was hanging out of his mouth. Tim ran back to him and grabbed his collar and we soon realised that most of the rabbit was in his throat.

After a bit of a struggle we managed to get his mouth open and pull out the majority of the rabbit (the head and legs all came out) but we think he probably swallowed some of the middle of the rabbit.

We told him off and put him straight back on his lead so that he would know we were not pleased with him not dropping it when we asked him too and he didn't get any fuss or treats on the rest of the way home.

Is there any reason that I should worry about what he may have eaten? It did look pretty fresh - normally dead things we see on our walks that have clearly been dead for a while he leaves well alone.

Also, does anyone have any tips on how we can train Oscar to drop something when he really shouldn't have it? At just over 1 year, we have finally managed to get him to drop his own toys when he brings them back to us, but if he ever has something that he shouldn't he won't release it for anyone. We never shout at Oscar (and there are never raised voices in our house) so we always hoped that if we had to shout at him in an emergency, he would know that we meant it, but last night neither asking calming or shouting at him had any affect at all.

Many thanks - I look forward to your responses

Sarah
 

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Hi Sarah,

I can just picture the scene! We have also had similar experiences to you, but never in the bunny department. Once Bradley caught a rather large bird when he was alot younger, and at the time we had great difficulty retreiving it from his chops.

Anyway, it sounds like Oscar was well and truly chuffed with his catch of the day, albeit a bit grose. It sounds like you tried all the correct methods of trying to retrieve the rabbit, and did your best. It's not easy is it.

Personally, i would say that i don't think the ingested part of the rabbit eaten will do him too much harm, will probably upset his stomach but i wouldn't think any worse than that. You might want to make sure he is up to date on his worming programme.

As far as not dropping on command, maybe he needs a little more training in this area. I'm no expect though, i have to be honest and say that our lab Bradley won't drop things he is not supposed to have 100% of the time - despite our attempts of training him in all the methods you have mentioned.

Has anyone got any more ideas for Sarah?

How is Oscar today btw?

Julie
 

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Hi,

Sorry to hear about oscar! I'm sure he will be fine, after all wild dogs kill things like rabbits to survive. May just have a bit of a tummy upset but hopefully that will be all. As Julie said might be worth worming him if he has not been done recently just incase! :D I have to admit also that Ben will never do as he is told when he has something he is not ment to have, I think he sees it as a challenge! :oops: :lol: Looks like its back to training our dogs for all of us! :lol:

Hope he is ok today, let us know how he is. :D

Cristina x
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good morning Julie, Christina & Karen,

Thanks for your replies :)

Oscar is doing fine today thank you. Yesterday he was very clingy all day, as I think he wanted to make sure that we still loved him.. aww, but today he is back to his normal self and is currently running round and round the garden squeaking a plastic green hedgehog thing :lol:

Last night - just as I was serving up dinner - he bought up what I think were the remains of the rabbit that he had eaten, right next to my feet on the kitchen floor :shock: don't you just love 'em!?

Luckily we have tiles so it wasn't too much of a problem and to be honest I would rather it was out than in. :lol:

I think we are definately going to have to work on his 'dropping of things he isn't allowed to have' training. He's now really good at dropping his own toys when he retrieves them, but like Ben, if it's something he knows he shouldn't have he really sees it as a challenge, and won't be beaten!

Normally if we're out and he gets something, a treat will often tempt him into dropping it eventually.. but obviously the rabbit was far more tasty and exciting than a bit of schmacko! :lol:

Maybe I'll have to start carrying some nice juicy steak in my pocket too.. just in case :lol: :lol:

Sarah x
 

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Hi Sarah,


Glad to hear that Oscar is ok, what a lovely present to give you while you were serving dinner! :lol: Better out than in I suppose! :shock: :lol:

Cristina
 

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Hi Sarah

I think you hit the nail on the head there .. its only when we are offering them something more tempting then whatever it is they have picked up that a Lab will "trade" .. carrying around fillet steak may be a bit over the top! :lol: but I do try to carry something extra appealing when out on a walk with the mobile dustbin

Horse poo is a great favourite of Harvey's!, not nice at the best of times but I worry that the horse that dropped it has just been wormed as the chemicals in horse wormer can seriously upset, and in some cases kill, a dog .. its proving very difficult to stop him going for it though

Cheers
Nigel
 

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goodness me sarah - you should have seen the look on my face throughout reading this post - ewwwwwwwwwww.

Im glad the ickle monster is doing better today. I've never had a problem with Sasha picking up things like that thank goodness. However, we did once have an episode when she was a pup when she demolished the kitchen table one day when I was at work. I came home to find my table cloth and candlestick holder on the floor - but no candles....... needless to say I was finding piles of wax in the garden throughout the following week lol. And that is a true story!

Although I say Sasha doesnt do the rabbit/bird thing, she does SOMETIMES eat certain things that she definitely shouldnt i.e. cat you know what, but only when left in the garden unsupervised, which happens very rarely. It's a habit I havent been able to stop yet... despite the tellings off :(
 

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Pleased to hear Oscar is ok now. He obviously realised that perhaps swallowing a whole rabbit wasn't the best thing he's ever done :wink:

Corbie still goes around like a womble and picks up rubbish, and then a few strides later just throws it away - hope no one sees him as they'll think he's throwing rubbish around and littering the countryside!
 

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hi sarah

oh dear what a surprise luckily my dogs havent brought me nothing live or dead..lol.infact by the sound of what you had to do i would of probably been sick myself..lol..

as for dropping im still working on that with rosze she is quite good but when its the kids toys she is a devil to catch and drop what she has think ill try the ignore her bit but id be afraid shed rip the toy apart before she got bored..lol..

maybe he fancied a change for dinner..LOL..

glad hes ok though and never managed to swallow it good job on your quick reactions :):)
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He really is a little monkey and like you say Karen, a complete womble.

As with Corbie, most things now we ignore when he picks them up as two mins later he drops them again.

Really not sure why he went for this particular dead rabbit though. We have often seen them on our walks before and even though he goes to have a little sniff, he walks on when we ask him to. But then usually they have obviously been dead a while. :(

I think probably by the look of this poor little bunny it hadn't been dead long and so probably still smelt really fresh and tasty to Mr Chops! :lol:

I'm just glad I had Tim with me on the walk, because I only had to hold Oscar's jaws open and he was the one who put his hand in his mouth to pull it out.. yuck!! :-&

Goodness knows what I would have done if I was out on my own with him.. hehe.. probably telephone Tim to come and help me! :lol: :lol:
 
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