He's right, they are predators whom we choose to share our lives with. Sure we'd love them all to be guardians of prey animals and, never hurt them but, that's not what the dog thinks. He doesn't see the bunny as cute, he sees bunny chops that just happen to be hopping around for some unknown reason.
The dog doesn't know the bunny is a pet, it's food and, if he can get at it, he will eat it -"Oh mom got fresh food for me." is all he thinks of that new pet rabbit.
Yes we can train them to leave specific animals alone and, some breeds are bred to herd or work with animals that would naturally be prey but, in the end, the dog is a predator and, just like we ask them not to be upset when we put them in crates and fences, they would ask us not to be upset when they catch and eat a squirrel or rabbit, or any other prey item if they could communicate on our level.
Mine know there are certain cats they can't eat and, they know they can't eat the bird in the house but, beyond those few animals, if it looks or smells like prey, it probably is going to be prey. We live where squirrels, rabbits, possums and armadillos occasionally trespass into their outdoor enclosure despite the double fence and hot wire. Those few critters become prey if the dogs are out when they come in to that pen. So would a stray cat, chicken, or possible a small dog - mine are dog social but, my in laws have one that ate their Chihuahua before they knew that was a potential problem with wolfdogs. It ran and bounced like prey, it was just bathed so, didn't much smell like a dog or any known animal to the wolfdog. Sight told the wolfdog it was prey and, the wolfdog did what instinct told her to do.
Sure they were upset but, once they understood the mistakes they made, they didn't blame the wolfdog for killing the tiny dog and, they took steps to insure that wouldn't happen again.
That's one reason I don't recommend wolfdogs as pets for just anyone. "Oh but it's more Husky than wolf." I hear often. Yes and, that does nothing for the prey drive, Huskies have a strong prey drive too and, there is where you'll have problems and heartbreak if you don't know how to manage the dog properly more than in any other aspect.
As my own experience has taught me, I can socialize my woldfdogs to my cats, birds, rabbits and, my friends small dogs and cats just fine, no problem but, that doesn't mean that my wolfdogs are socialized to all small dogs, cats, rabbits and birds. They make the distinction between those they know and those they don't that are not introduced properly to be seen as something to leave alone. Critters they don't know properly when they aren't with me (out in the pen, off leash in the woods, etc... are fair prey even though they are the same species as familiar, non prey animals to them.
Kaila, Halo, Silver and, Knight play gently and happily with Miss Kitty, Inch High, Scrappy and, Yellow Cat, even let the cats curl up and sleep with them. Other cats, are prey to them and they react accordingly. I raise rabbits for meat, rabbits in that rabbit shed are not prey, they are to be protected and, the dogs sound a warning if anything other than a human or the known cats go in there. Other rabbits are prey. My Conure in the house and, the chickens in my coop are also protected as family members but, any other bird is prey.
Yes, I can introduce new, normally prey animals to them and, they easily accept that I want that animal to be a family member or friend but, it's that one animal only, not every animal of that species.
Owners simply need to know their dogs and, do what they must to keep predatory accidents from happening. We also need to grow a thick skin over our dogs taking prey on those rare occasions when it happens. The dog doesn't know that's wrong, it's right, it's food and, that is survival to them.