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Dog chasing cat

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by AnotherAmanda, Jul 12, 2017.


  1. AnotherAmanda

    AnotherAmanda PetForums Newbie

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    Hello!

    I'm new to this community and have decided to look outside of Google search for help on this issue. We have a one year old Sheepdog who is relentless in chasing the cat. We have installed baby gates in our house to lessen the issue, but it still seems to happen. As you can imagine he is a high-energy dog. We tend to his needs as best as possible, but at the end of the day he can continue to go, no matter what we do. We train him daily, run outside, swim, play fetch, socialize, go to the dog park, you name it, we probably do it.

    So, he chases the cat, this has been happening since we've had him. We only train with positive reinforcement. But I feel like I'm at the end of the rope. I realize it was something that should have been diminished in the beginning, but alas, it didn't happen.

    My question for you all, what can we do? We hold training sessions with the dog and cat, and he's okay while he's supervised. I've turned to leashing him to the couch leg when I'm around the house. I realistically can't watch him 24/7. And these outbursts seem to happen when the back is turned. They only take seconds. The cat jumps over the gates (which are end to end in an "L" shape) to enter a room the dog is not in, and he is at the gate and knocks her down into the living room where he is. Then, well you know, he goes insane, chasing her in circles. He's faster. Now, this happens regardless of this energy levels, he can be asleep, and in an instant he is ready to go.

    I really feel at a loss of what to do. It feels like my family is being divided, me and my cat, and my SO and our dog.

    Anything helps,
    Thank you!
     
  2. Pet Pro

    Pet Pro PetForums Junior

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    This happened with my dog and my rabbit. All that the relation ship really needs between the cat and dog, is time. Be sure that they are spending a lot of time together. It would help if they were both supervised so that if the cat, or dog tries to do anything to each other that can cause harm, you show them that that is not ok. A firm "no" with a pointed finger is going to get the point across for a dog, as for a cat if they do not respond to you, you may need to push them away from the dog while also forcing a firm "no". They will eventually get used to each other if you just show them that fighting is not ok. Hope this helped :)
     
  3. weim_lover

    weim_lover PetForums Newbie

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    Our 8 month old dog is the same... always chasing our cat. She is the softest cat ever, she has never scratched us, will let us stroke her belly etc.... so she has never swiped the dog to put him in his place or anything. So as hes got older he thinks he can chase and pounce on her. He doesn't look like he's trying to hurt her, there's no barking or teeth or anything, he's just catching her.
    We tell him "no" very firmly, put her in her spots where the dog cant get to her....but I am sure she's winding him up.... I caught him staring at her drinking from his bowl....he didn't look impressed but didn't do anything to stop her. Hopefully he will grow out of it.....
     
  4. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Hi there. Your poor cat, she is probably very frightened by this and I imagine is on edge a lot. IMO this is not a behaviour that will just go with time. Your dog has been practising this for a year now and it has become ingrained. You need to understand that this behaviour is very enjoyable for your dog and is self-rewarding (rather like dogs who learn to steal food from the counter). It doesn't matter to your dog that you don't reward him for chasing the cat as he gets his own reward in the thrill of the chase.

    From now on and for the foreseeable future you need to prevent this situation from being able to happen. This means that any time that you cannot fully supervise your pets they must be split up (or dog must be crated so that he cannot chase the cat). When you are able to supervise then you must keep your dog on a lead and train the behaviour that you want when your cat is around.

    They may never be best of friends, but it is possible to teach your dog to behave in such a way that your cat does not need to be stressed. With our GSD we taught her to go to her bed, lie down and stay there when one of the cats wanted to come past. The dog being in the down position was a lot less threatening to our cats and I also knew that she was more likely to stay there. Now I don't actually need to ask her to go to her bed anymore as I can trust her to let the cats go past without feeling the need to chase them.

    I will be honest, I did have to give her a firm "no" on a few occasions back in the days when she was on the lead around them if she went to chase them. My dog is not particularly sensitive so this didn't frighten her, but it was enough to snap her out of the state of mind that she was in. At this point you then tell the dog what you DO want them to do - "sit" is usually a safe option, or "watch me". Lots of praise and a tasty treat when your dog's attention is on you despite the distraction of the cat.
     
    Burrowzig likes this.
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