Could a Rat Terrier catch a rabbit?

My wife and I disagree on whether our 7 mos. old Rat Terrier could catch the rabbit living under our deck. Could it?

Let’s say the dog and the rabbit see each other at the same time, about five feet away from one another, and they’re in a open field. What happens? I say the rabbit gets away.

(I don’t know what kind of rabbit it is; I live in Glenview, IL, if it makes a difference)

Ratties, gotta love 'em! Once he’s full-grown, maybe. They’re a pretty smart breed and probably wouldn’t be flummoxed by the zigzag of the bunny. WAG, but I agree with your bride.

As you have phrased the question the rabbit is dead every time. Rabbits aren’t hares, they can’t run for any distance. So in an open field pretty much any dog will kill a rabbit. I saw a fat old corgi chasing a rabbit around an open paddock for about 10 minutes once. Eventually the rabbit grew tired and the corgi killed it. A fit young dog will probably run a rabbit into the ground within 5 minutes.

In a more normal scenario it depends entirely on how good your dog is and where the closest shelter is. The only way a rabbit will survive a determined dog (ie any terrier) is if it can make it to shelter before it’s caught. An experienced dog will know enough to turn a rabbit away from shelter such as hollow logs or netting fences. Unless there is a lot of different cover available an experienced dog will kill any rabbit it can find in the open three quarter sof the time. Less experienced dogs, or dogs too slow to turn a rabbit, will always lose their prey if there is any cover at all within 20 metres or so.

My fat beagle has caught 2 of them.

Hmmm. I have obviously overestimated the speed and agility of rabbits. I guess I’m confusing the rabbit’s abilities with those of a hare?