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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Puppies and Small Animals

My husband and I have been considering getting a puppy for a while now and I'm just concerned about how it will interact with our chinchilas and degus. My chinnies and degus are in cages in the living room so they would always be around the puppy. (and of course I would never let them out of their cages to play in the same room as the puppy!)

I'm thinking if I get a puppy that is young enough I can teach it to be nice to the chinchillas and degus. Maybe I can teach it not to pester them too much. Do you think the puppy would try to get them (instinct maybe) even though they're in cages? I know that puppies are very playful and I definately don't want to see anything happen to my chinchillas and degus, so any advice will be helpful.

We havn't decided for sure if we're getting one yet so if it's a bad idea we won't. Do any of you have advice or success stories with puppies and small animals?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 05:00 PM
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When I got my Odie, he was just 1 week old... I alread had rodents, so he kinda grew up with them. He pretty much ignores them... sometimes looks at them when they run around, and he's kinda scared of them when they are out of their cages. LOL, once I had one of the gerbils out and he came to smell him and the gerbil put his paw on Odie's nose and Odie ran away and only returned when I had closed the cage... lol...
Maybe if you avoid breeds that are prone to go after small animals, like terriers and hounds... and get a young one, you could get it used to leave the small pets alone.
Here are a couple of pics of Odie with the smaller pets:

(that last picture was actually me trying to show clingy mice... but Odie likes to stick his head everywere... lol)
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 05:05 PM
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I had to keep my dog out of my animal room. Mostly just because I didn't even want him to know that the animals were in there. My old dog used to go crazy around my mice so I wanted to keep my new dog away from the chins. He was older though when I adopted him.

I think if you buy a puppy and teach it to stay away it will. I had a cairn terrior and he would just sit there and stare at my mouse. He never tried to attack it.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 05:11 PM
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Poppy, my Jack Russell Terrier has been around rats and hamsters since she was 6 weeks old and just ignores them. The hamster's cage used to be on the floor and she'd sniff at it but that's all. She's also been in the room when the hammy was out in her ball and right now we have Belle my rat out and Poppy's ignoring her, she's rolling around on the floor!

I'm still very careful though, I never take any risks.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 05:31 PM
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I would be inclined to agree with Padfoot. Try to steer clear of the breeds who are known for their natural prey drive.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Padfoot - lol awww those are cute pictures!

Thank you all for your advice, it really makes me feel less worried about getting a puppy. I will definately try to avoid getting a breed that is prone to going after little animals. I have a few different breeds in mind

I'm still open for suggestions and I'd love to read more stories, everyone loves stories!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 06:31 PM
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I have 3 dogs and they sort of adopted a ton of little critters lol...the cats in the neighborhood come have kittens in the dog house and my dogs take care of them, they have 3 squirel friends that sleep with them, a crow that sits on Lady's back...oh and they have brought home a possum and a skunk so I think its just how you raise them, I always made sure to introduce them to all forms of animals so they would never have bad reactions and now they love all the critters big and small and stinky

Proud mommy to Ashley

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 10:06 AM
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i have just got a 2 month old puppy and iv got, a hamster and 2 rats. she is learning to keep away from the cage but to be honest she doesnt really bother them much. just a case of training them to stay away
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 10:32 AM
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Well I never had a dog and small rodent critter together but went I was growing up my parents had cats and I had rodents and a couple of small birds. The cats in general never bothered them or ran away from them if they were out of their cages. One cat though thought my rats were his buddies and would sleep with them even if they were in their cage.

I had my last dog (a rottweiler) with a couple of little kittens and he was always very careful with them (and if the kitten started to hiss poor Odin ran away and hid behind me! )

I think it's just a matter of keeping a watchful eye while you are teaching your puppy.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 02:55 PM
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My beagle has never been close to chinchilas or degus although at petsmart she plops herself down in front of the chinchilas or the birds in cages cuz she likes watching. But she absolutely loves ferrets. There was one in petsmart on a leash and she just sniffed it and rolled over and let it crawl on her and everything. Also she when she was a pup we put my bfs bunny on the floor with her and they were fine. And the kittens can attack her etc. and she just lays there and takes it.

I wouldnt be afraid of her being around other small animals as long as I was always there to supervise.
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