Miles the Doberman Pinscher is fascinated by every little critter that passes his rural yardsite. He chases them up and down the fence line, barking and lunging , whenever he sees a critter pass by. There has recently been an explosion in the rabbit population in the area, as irresponsible pet owners let a few dozen rabbits loose, and they... bred like rabbits! Now local farmers and acreage owners are having problems with rabbits raiding their gardens. Miles’ owners wonder if they could train their Doberman to hunt rabbits, to help resolve the problem, and give Miles an outlet for his prey drive.
Although Dobermans are not traditionally hunting dogs, any dog can be trained to hunt. The Doberman breed is based off several other breeds including the Weimaraner, which is a hunting and retriever breed. Dobermans that exhibit the talents of these hunting ancestors may be good candidates for hunting rabbits with some training, patience, and direction. Just keep in mind that it may take some time and practice for your Doberman to develop hunting skills and not all Dobermans will adapt to this pursuit.
Rabbits are fast, can turn on a dime, and can fit in small places, a dog cannot. This makes them challenging quarry for hunting dogs. You will want your Doberman to be very fit and able to negotiate various terrain at high speeds. You will also want your dog to be used to guns and the sound of shots fired so he doesn't get scared and develop a negative association with hunting.
Most dogs have a hard time catching quick, agile rabbit. However, a strong, athletic, clever Doberman may accomplish this and if your dog has a strong prey drive you may not have rabbit stew in the near future if your dog gets over excited with the rabbit carcass. Training your dog to chase the rabbit in a loop, stay back while the rabbit is shot, and not to catch and mangle the rabbit will make your dog a useful rabbit hunting companion.