It’s amazing how natural instincts can take over

We had a little bit of an interesting experience with our Mr Cooper when we were down the coast in Phillip Island in February and I just wanted to share it with you all. It was a very good reminder that no matter how much we domesticate, love and trust our dogs, it’s amazing how a dogs natural instincts can still take over.

Me and my gorgeous boy

The house we stay at in Phillip Island has a massive garden and Cooperabsolutely loves it. He looks like a lion roaming around his jungle when we are there. He collects sticks and can entertain himself for hours at a time. One slight issue we have up there though is an abundance of wild rabbits.  Cooper has developed a little obsession over them and as much as we’ve tried to to teach him not to, he LOVES chasing them! It’s his natural instinct. You see Golden Retrievers were originally bread as hunting dogs who would collect ducks after they had been shot.

One night we were taking Cooper out to go to the toilet before bed and as we opened the door, there were about 4 bunnies sitting in the back yard – Coop went charging. His natural instinct completely took over and to our shock he actually caught one of the bunnies!!! All we heard was the little bunny squeal and jase ran over and grabbed Cooper and the bunny got away. Jase literally had to pick him up and carry him inside (he weighs 32kg).

When we got Coop inside his adrenaline was pumping so hard and he was revved up like we’d never seen before. It took him over an hour of pacing up down wanting to go back outside until finally he calmed down. His natural instinct to hunt was in full flight!!

It was definitely a strange feeling seeing your beloved pet in a state like that. Coop honestly does not have a mean bone in his body and to this day we’ve never seen the slightest hint of aggression EVER! However it does provide us with a strong reminder that no matter how much we try and domesticate and humanise our dogs, they do have strong natural instincts that can take over.

Coop loving life in Phillip Island

We have been back to Phillip Island since and Cooper still continues to chase the bunnies – although thankfully, he hasn’t caught another one! Maybe the bunnies have learnt how to out smart our pooch!



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  1. Tony Knight
    Tony Knight says:

    I remember seeing my two English Springers chase their first deer and split up to herd it along just like their wild cousins. Next time I saw a deer, I put their leads on 🙂