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17 Surprising Reasons Why Your Rabbit Acts Like A Dog

Why Does My Rabbit Act Like A Dog

Many rabbit owners would tell you that bunnies are a lot like dogs.

You might start wondering if your bunny is actually part dog and part rabbit.

The funny thing is that… sometimes, they act more like dogs than other dogs.

Jokes aside… read on to find out:

  • Do rabbits get along with dogs.
  • Should you tolerate their behavior. 
  • 17 reasons why rabbits act like dogs.
  • When should you get alarmed by this behavior.
  • And much much more…

Why does my rabbit act like a dog?

Your rabbit acts like a dog because they share common personality traits. Sometimes rabbits can get influenced by a dog’s behavior if they live together. Both dogs and rabbits have strong senses. They share the same love for fun and adventure. 

17 reasons why your rabbit acts like a dog

#1: They are both curious animals 

Your rabbit might act like a dog because they can be just as curious.

A rabbit is an active animal. They’re always up to something.

They’ll be hopping around investigating things left and right like dogs…

This is because rabbits like to be aware of their own surroundings like a dog.

Being curious of their surroundings is all thanks to their natural survival instincts…

It’s part of a dog’s instinct to always be on alert because they were often trained as guard dogs in the past.

And though rabbits are prey animals…

They are also always alert to avoid predators in the wild.

Their strong senses make them more cautious and curious of their surroundings too.

#2: Both tend to get into food accidents 

Both rabbits and dogs might eat something they’re not supposed to.

Your rabbit will behave like a dog that swallows anything because of their curiosity….

They’re always checking what they can eat and whatnot.

These animals love to eat… and their strong senses are what make them eat whatever they find.

For example…

A rabbit might eat their own waste as some dog breeds do.

Rabbits might also lick walls because of the paint’s scent.

It’s like when dogs lick floors because they can smell something on the floor.

When a rabbit eats something they’re not supposed to…

You might think they’re like a dog that can get clumsy with their food.

#3: They both have strong senses

Your rabbit acts like a dog because they both have strong senses. 

Their most powerful senses are… their sense of smell and hearing. 

Rabbits have long velvet ears so they can hear predators from a mile away.

According to a study, rabbits can hear 360 hertz up to 42,000 hertz. Dogs can hear 47 to 45,000 hertz. 

Both are almost as good as each other when it comes to hearing things.

This is why both rabbits and dogs might look at a distance… 

Freezing on the spot as if they heard something alarming. 

It’s all thanks to their impressive ears.

Rabbits also have a strong sense of smell like dogs.

This was previously mentioned but for more details…

Rabbits have 100 million scent cells. Meanwhile, dogs have 300 million scent cells. 

This makes both animal species good with their noses.

According to a study, rabbits rely on their nose 99% of the time.

#4: They can pick up habits from each other

In some cases…

Rabbits can grow up with dogs or vice versa. If your rabbit grew up with other dogs, they can influence their behavior.

Dogs can pick up habits from your rabbit… and your rabbit can pick up habits from the dogs.

Both are capable of copying some mannerisms from each other…

It’s like growing up with siblings and you end up being like each other in many ways.

For example, they can learn to enjoy playing fetch together.

You can watch this video to see how rabbits and dogs get along: 

#5: Both can bite and be aggressive 

Rabbits can bite you, but not as hard as dogs do.

Both rabbits and dogs can have behavioral problems such as biting…

When a rabbit is aggressive towards you…

It can remind you of aggressive dogs.

But what you should know is that abnormal aggressive behavior in rabbits can be alarming…

Warning: An aggressive rabbit might be suffering from an illness or depression.

Most of the time.. rabbits will give you soft nibbles as kisses.

This should not be misunderstood as biting and aggression.

Continue reading: 17 Reasons Why Your Rabbit (Suddenly) Bites You + 11 Tips

#6: They can be territorial

Rabbits can also develop territorial behavior like dogs.


Some rabbits might care about it more than dogs do.

Despite being prey animals… 

Their territorial behavior can be intense. 

Rabbits love their own space.

Like dogs, they enjoy being able to hide and sleep in peace.

So make sure that you give your rabbit enough space and respect it.

You might also like: Why does my rabbit pee on me? & Why does my rabbit poop on me?

#7: They sleep at the same time 

Like dogs… rabbits are also awake at day and sleep at night

Though they have similar schedules…

Rabbits are more of a crepuscular animal. 

This means they are more active at dusk or dawn. 


Dogs will be awake or asleep both in the daytime and nighttime. 

#8: Both need spaying and neutering 

Rabbits also need to get spayed or neutered for their health.

Rabbits breed fast so this is why it’s important to spay or neuter them.

Both animals have similar needs for healthcare as pets.

When they aren’t spayed or neutered… they can develop issues.

For example… they can be more aggressive or bite their owners.

Note: Spaying and neutering can increase your rabbit’s lifespan. It removes the risk of reproductive related cancers. No more mammary, uterine, and ovarian cancer for female rabbits and testicular cancer for male rabbits. It also helps relieve their stress.

#9: They’re both very loyal animals 

Your Rabbit Acts Like A Dog Because They're Both Very Loyal Animals

Rabbits are also very loyal like dogs.

You may not notice it…

But your rabbit too might play favorites.

For example, they might favor you more than the other people in your family.

So they’ll be more loyal to you…

This is because rabbits bond with one special person like dogs.

Once they choose you… they will always love you no matter what.

Rabbits and dogs will love you for the rest of their lives.

And the lifespan of both species is similar.

They both can live up to 12 years or more if they’re very healthy…

That is another similarity between rabbits and dogs.

Reading recommendation: 17 Ways To Tell Your Rabbit Likes You (Check Out #7)

#10: Both are social animals 

Rabbits are social animals.

Like dogs, they enjoy the company of people or other animals.

Rabbits can get lonely without social interactions.

At worst, it can lead to depression.

Your rabbit will want interaction as much as a dog would.

This is why sometimes… your rabbit will ask for your attention like dogs do.

Here are some silent ways a dog would ask for your attention like rabbits: 

Since rabbits can’t bark or meow like other animals…

Rabbits will run around you or nibble on you for attention, like dogs rolling on their back to ask for belly rubs.

#11: They both love to dig

Rabbits also love digging like dogs.

Domesticated or not…

Rabbits are natural burrowers and they will dig whenever they get the chance.

The reason behind this is that rabbits like to build their nest underground.

Rabbit burrows keep them safe from predators.

It also keeps bunnies dry and safe from cold winter seasons.

Bunnies also enjoy digging when they’re bored.

Meanwhile, dogs dig for various reasons too…

For example…

Dogs dig the earth for mud to cool off their bodies.

Digging also makes the floor comfortable for them to sleep on.

They also do it to hide their favorite bones or to look for food.

Hiding their food is a natural instinct… to prevent scavengers from stealing what’s stored for later.

Regardless of the reasons…

Both rabbits and dogs enjoy digging a lot.

Check out this article: Why do rabbits dig in their cage?

#12: They can get bored easily 

Both rabbits and dogs are active animals.

They need to always move around to stay in shape…

This means they’re used to always doing something.

Bunnies don’t like staying in one place for too long.

In the wild, they are prey animals that must always keep moving…

They will always be in search of things to keep them occupied.

For example, as mentioned earlier, they would dig for fun.

Bunnies will also investigate their surroundings with the help of their nose…

Both dogs and rabbits will do whatever they can to avoid boredom.

After all, boredom can affect their mental being which leads to other serious problems.

#13: They’re both smart 

Rabbits are actually as smart as an average dog.

Like dogs…

Rabbits can get trained to do many tricks and learn rules.

For example…

Bunnies can also roll over, play dead, or run agility courses.

Some people even taught their bunnies how to count!

Rabbits can learn what most dogs can do.

Your rabbit can also learn potty training.

Dogs have the same average IQ as a 2 or 3-year-old toddler… 

This means that your rabbit is about as smart as a baby too. 

The similarity in IQ levels of rabbits and dogs is what makes you think your rabbit is acting like a dog.

#14: They can be destructive indoors 

Rabbits are clean animals… but they can also be destructive like dogs.

You’d think your bunny is behaving like a dog when they wreck the house the same way a dog would.

Bunnies like to explore their surroundings because they get bored fast.

If you leave your bunny without a companion… chances are you might come home to a mess.

Warning: Rabbits might chew on wires and toxic, chemical products too. They might swallow solid textures and cause issues in their stomach. This may lead to gastrointestinal tract problems. Make sure to bunny-proof your home to avoid endangering your rabbit. 

Both dogs and rabbits can be very destructive.

This is because they will chew on everything including wires or wood.

This type of behavior isn’t alarming…

But don’t tolerate it.

You can stop a bunny from behaving like a destructive bored dog in many ways.

Give your bunny a lot of toys or treats to keep them busy.

If possible, finding a friend for your bunny will also stop this behavior.

If you want to know more, read this article: 23 Tips To Stop A Rabbit From Chewing Everything (How-To)

#15: They both need to chew on something 

Rabbits have teeth that never stop growing… 

This is why they always need to chew on something.

They keep their teeth at a healthy length by doing so.

Dogs always want to chew something because it’s fun for them.

Warning: Overgrown teeth are dangerous for rabbits. It can make it difficult for them to eat. It can also hurt their gums and lead to bleeding or infections.

#16: They’re both food driven 

Your rabbit can get excited about food…

As much as a dog would be.

Unlike other pets, rabbits can be a bit of a glutton like dogs.

While it’s not exactly a bad thing…

It’s another similarity between rabbits and dogs.

They both think with their stomachs…

You can thank their sense of smell for their strong desire for food.

But remember, a dog and a rabbit have a very different diets.

Rabbits are herbivores and dogs are carnivores.

Though… dogs can also be omnivores.

#17: They love fun and adventure 

Your rabbit will look for fun and adventures like dogs.

In the wild…

Rabbits have always been into adventures.

Like dogs, they’re always on the move…

Rabbits will explore things and try daring stunts like dogs.

You might catch your rabbit getting under the bed or the sofa like a curious dog…

Sometimes, rabbits would jump from dangerous heights too.

Though they are smart… rabbits can also be clumsy like dogs.

But this doesn’t mean that they will stop exploring…

They would still keep playing around as dogs would.

People also ask:

Do rabbits act like dogs?

Rabbits act like dogs because they share many common personality traits. They both also have strong senses of smell and hearing. 

Both rabbits and dogs are curious and social animals. They are also both food driven and enjoy similar hobbies such as digging.

What does it mean when a rabbit shakes like a dog?

When a rabbit shakes like a dog, it can be a sign of fear. Rabbits are faint-hearted animals and get scared easily. 

But if a rabbit is shaking too strong, it can be a sign of a life-threatening disease. If the shaking doesn’t stop within a few minutes, take the rabbit to a vet.

Further reading: Why does my rabbit shake?

What rabbit breed acts most like a dog?

The most popular rabbit breed that acts most like a dog is the French Lop. The French Lop has the same temper as an average dog. 

Both the French Lop and dogs are very friendly, sweet, and social animals. They can be lazy and prefer sleeping around like many house dogs.