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  1. #21
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    if you raise puppies with cats they usually learn to think of them as "part of the family".
    But if you didn't socialize the dog with cats from day 1 it's kind of unfair to kill the poor dog when he does what he is programmed to do- chase and kill small furry animals. He doesn't realize the difference between a pet cat, a wild squirrel, and a wild rat. All the same to him unless you teach him otherwise.
    Even some people who have dogs who are fine with "their" cats are astounded to find out the dog will eagerly go after "strange" cats.
    Depends a bit on the dog's prey drive too and what breed the dog is. Some dogs have very inhibited bites due to their breed and won't ever kill anything.

    I owned a cat-killer dog. Since I didn't own cats I just kept him under control around other people's cats. He was friendly with all dogs and all people and didn't have any other bad habits, so yes, I would say he was a "perfect" dog other than his tendency to kill small furry critters. If you needed pesky garbage-dumping racoons or hole-digging marmots or feral cats removed he was a wonderful asset.



  2. #22
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    Our dogs will not touch our inside cat. He can tear around and run right under their noses and they know better than to even think about chasing him. However, we encourage them to chase the neighbor's cats on our property. The neighbor has TONS of inbred cats that she does not take care of (including not spaying or neutering them). The cats kill birds on our property. If we see them outside, we let the dogs out and tell them to get the cats. On our property, birds have way more of a right to live than neglected cats do. Despite the lack of care, the neighbor still gets plenty upset when the dogs get one. If she took care of them, I might feel bad. But, our dogs do respond to leave it and will always, always come when we tell them to. Therefore I do feel comfortable taking them out to places where there might be cats. Besides the fact that our property is fenced and the dogs can't get to the cats on the neighbor's property.

    Before they were solid on coming when called, we taught them how to sit, no matter what, no matter where. This, for some reason, was easier to teach than teaching them to immediately turn around and come when called. Once they were sitting we could walk over and retrieve them or have them come to us. Perhaps this might work for your dog?



  3. #23
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    I have a retired racing greyhound - they are ALL small animal tested by adoption groups before they are adopted out. Even then, they tell you to exercise extreme caution during the first months and to supervise all cat/dog interactions just to be sure. Many (most) greyhounds learn to live in complete harmony with cats (like mine), but some always have that increased prey drive. There is NO reason to put down a dog that wants to chase small furry things but is otherwise very well behaved. If the dog or cat needs to be rehomed, that's what you do and that's completely acceptable. Then you always monitor your surroundings and your pup carefully when you are out and about.

    There are NUMEROUS greyhound owners who never ever take their dog to the vet without a muzzle on and always keep them leashed. Others that will not let their dog play with little fluffy dogs. Greys are used to wearing muzzles, and it adds a little extra protection since they are so quick and can get away from you even on leash. These dogs otherwise live happy full lives with devoted owners, and it would be silly to put them down because they want to hunt small furry things they've been bred to hunt for literally thousands of years (greyhounds are an OLD breed).

    Should these people continue to work on managing the prey drive? Yes. But it doesn't mean the dog should be PTS. Many of these dogs can eventually be completely trustworthy around indoor cats and some even small furries running outside. My dog is perfect with my indoor kitties, though I would not trust her not to chase one if it were outside running. I've never let her get to the point of chasing and CATCHING any small furries or birds, so I'm not sure if she would just sniff at it curiously once caught or what. I'm not going to take that risk.

    @ the OP: It's terrible and I'm sure you feel guilty. Now you know. What you need to do is continue training to overcome the prey drive and always keep him on a short leash and maybe even muzzled if there's a possibility you may run into small furries (vet's office, etc). Otherwise, you can likely avoid the small furries and have an otherwise happy dog = )

    I know one greyhound lady that does obedience and agility with her dogs and exclusively picks the high prey drive, non small animal safe hounds because she doesn't have cats and likes the high prey drive for training purposes (and she knows these dogs can be harder to find homes for). They are all happy, beautiful and extremely well-trained dogs that are just best not living with cats = )

    Also, dogs and cats that live together definitely become a sort of "pack." (My fat cat is alpha in mine for sure, haha.) It's highly possible the dog that killed the new barn cat felt it was an intruder and not allowed.



  4. #24
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    We're going to have to agree to disagree then. I don't think dogs or cats or horses think in terms of fairness or contemplate their lives or futures. I euthanized my DOG-killing dog and cradled her in my arms as she passed -- was that cruel or unfair? We know how things go south in horse adoptions/right of first refusal, etc. so there was no way I'd trust that my dog wouldn't end up in another dangerous situation because she looks so sweet or nothing will happen just this once.

    If you feel that you are able to 100% contain or train the dog, or rehome the dog with no fears whatsoever that proper vigilance might lapse -- that's wonderful. But please don't cast aspersions on people who feel euthanasia is the only way.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Fish View Post
    Jesus...I'd be beside myself if any dog of mine killed not one, but two cats. Sorry, but that dog would be on its way to doggie heaven.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    Maybe it's the schism between cat person and dog person. Some things that have been said in this thread, such as an "otherwise perfect" dog being a cat killer, or a dog having "killed a couple of cats", are causing me anguish. My dog would be gone, whether from the farm or from this mortal coil I'm not sure, but gone he would be.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    I ASSUME that someone is not going to bring THEIR known cat-killer onto MY PROPERTY to harass MY animals. You could transfer that to anything: "that's the risk you take putting horses in the pasture"/"letting your kids play around dogs"/etc. No. When a dog comes onto MY property, it better be well behaved and leave MY animals alone. The situation with your neighbor's cat is different because your dogs are guarding your property.

    OP, I sure as heck hope that the owner of the barn cat (can't tell where the clinic was happening, your regular barn or not) gave you a good talking to. I would be LIVID.

    What I'm not understanding is why this known cat-killer (I will let the first time go, because it wasn't actually known...plenty of dogs watch cats) was off-leash on SOMEONE ELSE'S property, and killed someone else's cat. For all the whiners not allowed to bring their dogs to horse shows and barns....that's why, right there. I know not everyone gets attached to their barn cats, but were I the owner of said cat I would be sobbing my heart out, and the OP would be encouraged to make quite a large donation to the local animal rescue in barn kitty's name.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bicoastal View Post
    A dog with such a track record would not be accompanying me anywhere other people's pets could be harmed.
    Just wanted to ditto all of the above posts. The bold is mine, it's a horse show, not a dog show.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDE Driver View Post
    I didn't even know there were cats at the barn where the clinic was being held. We were there for two days and I didn't see even one. Had I known he would have been on a leash clipped to me or out at the trailer the entire time. Another person at the clinic actually told me I should have just disposed of cat and not said anything, that blew my mind. I went and found the barn owner and told her what happened. I apologized with all my heart and did not let the dog out of the trailer except for potty breaks for the remainder of our stay.

    Be assured he will never be off leash again around cats or where I even suspect there may be cats and if I know I am going somewhere that has a large cat population I will figure out a way to leave him home. When I take him to events with us he is always on a leash as per event rules.

    Once again, I am not blowing this off and I feel terrible about it.
    OP- I am glad you are being responsible about this. Unfortunately, too many people would've just disposed of said cat without a word.
    Every one of them had that look of a girl infatuated with horses, the happy, fated look of a passenger setting sail on the Titanic.



  6. #26
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    I don't get it... so many that appear to be excepting that their dog has killed a cat or two.

    Justifying and making a difference between inside & outside cat on whether it is ok.

    I don't believe it is any great challenge to keep one's dog from killing cats. If there is, not sure whether the owner or dog should be put down.
    "Have a Coke and a Smile"



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7HL View Post
    I don't believe it is any great challenge to keep one's dog from killing cats. If there is, not sure whether the owner or dog should be put down.
    Every one of them had that look of a girl infatuated with horses, the happy, fated look of a passenger setting sail on the Titanic.



  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsella View Post

    And GoForAGallop - unless your cats are fenced in on your property with a fence they can't get over/under/through, there is no guarantee they will stay there. I agree that they should be safe on your property, but once they cross that line, well, that is a risk you take if you let them outdoors.
    Oh, I absolutely get that if a cat wanders onto a dog's property and gets killed, it's all on the owner. However, a barn owner, with their barn cat, should not have to just assume that one day the cat will be killed by a visiting dog. That is not a risk that someone should even think about, when their cat is on their isolated farm minding their own business.

    A cat roaming around a neighborhood? Yes, you assume some risks. Your cat in your private barn trotting around catching mice? Nope, there is no "risk" that you need to be aware of, in terms of visiting dogs. Or you shouldn't have to be aware of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by 7HL View Post
    I don't get it... so many that appear to be excepting that their dog has killed a cat or two.

    Justifying and making a difference between inside & outside cat on whether it is ok.

    I don't believe it is any great challenge to keep one's dog from killing cats. If there is, not sure whether the owner or dog should be put down.
    Yup. Besides, dogs can tell the difference between a cat and a rat, for those going with that excuse.



  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kryswyn View Post
    No there's nothing you're going to do to prevent him from killing more cats unless you separate him, keep him muzzled, and leashed around cats.

    That being said, if people insist on having indoor/outdoor or just outdoor cats, it's their risk.

    It is YOUR responsibility however to keep your dog away from cats. He either doesn't go to the barn, or stays crated in comfortable surroundings while there. Same thing at your mother's.
    Agree completely.

    I work with a high prey drive breed. One of the big questions when placing rescue border collies is "How is s/he with cats?" Some really great dogs are cat-killers. It's just how it is. Small animal that makes mewing sounds and quick motions just trips a switch with some dogs. Heck, they're predators.

    I also loooove my cats. To distraction. So they live indoors all the time. And when I leave the house, all collies go into their crates -except my one elderly girl who couldn't catch a kitteh if she tried, bless her. When I'm home, my cats rub on my collies and the collies smile and tolerate it - but would I trust 'em when my back is turned? Oh, no. Faith is so predatory she snaps the heads off the carpenter bees when they fly past her.



  10. #30
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    some dogs are dog aggressive, some are territorial, some are prey driven. they are dogs, you can't say they are bad dogs, bad implies they have morals. You can do everything right and still end up with a dog that will kill cats or attacks dogs. It is horrible, but it happens. Your job as an owner is to Deal with it, not toss the animal out like yesterday's trash. I wouldn't put down a cat killer or a horse that kills dogs I would deal with it.

    For those saying just raise it with cats, that doesn't always work. Nurture doesn't always beat nature My bc/hound mix is a terrible squirrel killer. We are lucky that he loves cats, but others aren't so lucky. Why should a prey driven dog think differently of a rat or a cat? Both are small living things that run. For many dogs, that is enough. We like to think a cat is different because it's a pet, but dogs don't always see it that way. To them, prey is prey.
    Quote Originally Posted by pinecone View Post
    I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.



  11. #31
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    dogs can tell the difference between a cat and a rat, for those going with that excuse.
    of course they can- but they don't understand that killing the rat is GOOD and killing the cat is BAD unless some human carefully teaches them this distinction. If you never bothered to teach your dog that cats should be left alone and you then proceed to have your dog murdered because he killed a cat you are being abusive.
    I've never taught my current batch of dogs that cats are, for whatever reason, valued by some people, so if they kill cats it's entirely my fault.
    If you kill your dog because you failed to teach the dog something- well that is just disgusting and says a lot about YOU not the dog. Many people have bizzarre unrealistic expections of dogs and therefore set the dog up to fail. Dogs are predators with knives in their mouths. They will eat infants, bite irritating children, and kill cats UNLESS you are are pro-active and train them. Your fault if they do these things, not their fault. Yet they get punished and killed due to your failure.



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7HL View Post
    I don't get it... so many that appear to be excepting that their dog has killed a cat or two.

    Justifying and making a difference between inside & outside cat on whether it is ok.

    I don't believe it is any great challenge to keep one's dog from killing cats. If there is, not sure whether the owner or dog should be put down.
    I have two cats who I love dearly and will likely always have cats (and all sorts of other animals - I love them all.)

    Personally, I am not accepting any dog being allowed to kill anything. But it happens, and I don't always think it's a great reason to put down an otherwise great dog. Similarly, I would not put down a cat that got out and killed a bird, mouse, etc. I would instead keep it from having access to those things.

    I think we are in agreement that it's the owner's responsibility, though they can get away from you, so accidents do happen, as in the OP's case.

    I also think there is a huge difference between an indoor and outdoor cat to a dog (one is something they see every day that probably does not get up to high speeds in the house all that often, the other is a random, fun darting fluffball that seems like a great thing to hunt.) You may have just meant that some are saying it's okay if it's a stray that wanders onto your yard - I don't necessarily think it's "wrong" but as an animal lover of all kinds, I would have a very hard time with my dog killing "just" a stray as well. Though I would be more understanding of my dog if it happened than if she killed one of her indoor kitty buds.

    I did not mean to offend anyone who would choose to put down a dog that killed a cat or any animal for another behavioral reason. I have no problem with people putting down horses that have behavioral, soundness issues that could be managed in another home.

    JoZ, I'm not trying to cast aspersions on anyone, just saying I think there are a lot of good reasons to keep an otherwise great dog alive rather than putting it to sleep if it has managed to kill a cat. I also do not feel that animals have the same types of feelings we do tied up with life and death, so we're in agreement there.

    If, as an owner, you (in general here, not anyone specifically) feel you cannot find a home where your dog can be safely kept away from small animals or you feel you cannot manage a dog that has these prey drive issuse, then perhaps being PTS is the best option rather than the dog going to steadily worse and worse homes. But I think an owner should really exhaust all reasonable options before putting any animal to sleep.

    The main point of my posts was to reiterate that because of what some dogs have been bred to do for SO long, it is reasonable for them to have a high prey drive towards cats. Many of these dogs are still very very manageable around small fluffy animals, and others are not. I guess I feel there are just so many examples out there of great dogs that also have the potential to kill a cat, rat, bunny, little tiny fluffy dog, etc. It's up to the owner to keep the risk at a reasonable level.



  13. #33
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    dogs don't understand good and bad.

    Teaching your dogs what is acceptable is a matter of training, sometimes used in conjunction with management.

    Sometimes it's not a matter of thought for the dog, but reaction. Some dogs, especially herding and working breeds are very reactive to movement. Though you can modify the genetics for this somewhat, you can not always overcome it completely.

    In addtion, there are a lot of owners that are poor dog TRAINERS, they love their dogs but don't train them. The owners are reactive to situations rather than proactive. By that I mean they discipline the dog after the event rather than train prior to the event. That is what this situation sounds like. The OP thought that if the dog was right with her, it was under control, but it had not been taught to leave cats alone.



  14. #34
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    it is reasonable for them to have a high prey drive
    reasonable? dogs have existed for millenium in association with humans for two reasons: they bark at intruders; and they have prey drive. Most of our dogs sports REQUIRE a high prey drive- herding, fetching, frisbee, agility, earthdog, tracking, racing, hunt trials, all rely on prey drive. Expecting your dog to not have high prey drive and not want to chase and eat a cat is well, maybe you should own a hamster instead. Dogs are also highly controllable, either by physical means (leash) or by training, so once you come to your senses and realize that dogs are predators you can then quite easily prevent your dog from eating the cat. Unless your neighbors can't control their cats and let them run amok in other people's properties.



  15. #35
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    Boy reading this thread makes me thankful that my dog is a genius.

    I got her when she was already two, and never been around cats. I told her then if she touched a hair on my cats head, she would be killed (my cat was 14 at the time). They co-habited peacefully for 5 years, during which we moved to the farm. Since then she has killed, 2 muskrats, porcupines, racoons... etc... she is extreemly good at it too, it takes mere seconds. To date she hasn't touched my (now 19 year old) cat.

    Once one of the barn cats thought to show her "who is boss" and scratched a big slice in her nose. I saw it happen, the cat just walked up to the dog and let fly with her claws at the dogs face. The dog flipped the cat over and pinned her to the ground so fast, the cat peed herself she was so scared. But when I got there (a couple of steps away) the dog let the cat go, and the only one bleeding was the dog... it never happened again between these two, it didn't need to.

    Sometimes there are two sides to every story (ie/ cat instigator), and everyday (especially after she dispatches a muskrat in seconds) I thank her for being so wonderfully smart.

    PS she also kills more mice etc.. then the 3 barn cats added up.

    The only thing she HAS killed that made me very sad was a hawk - we used to have a mating pair on the property, but now we only have one...
    Last edited by White Lie; Apr. 29, 2011 at 04:06 PM. Reason: clarification.



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
    I wouldn't put down a cat killer or a horse that kills dogs I would deal with it.
    .
    Just as an aside: this is not a fair comparison to make. Horses are contained. They are in their pastures, in a ring, in a stall, in a barn, etc. Horses, if not contained, should be under the control of a human. (Walking somewhere, watched while tied up, etc.)

    Dogs are a completely different story. Dogs are loose, dogs are unobserved/unmonitored, etc.

    A horse who chases a dog out of their paddock, or kicks if it gets too close in the aisle, is completely different than a dog who will chase down a cat and kill it, in the house, in the yard, at a barn, at a family's home, etc.



  17. #37
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    I have a what looks like a patterdale terrier that will fearlessly go after anything that moves, but will back down from all of my cats as soon as they give him 'the look'. And one of our cats is his best buddy and playmate. They're both black and white, so its a really cute picture. But I don't think I'd trust him at all around strange cats. The prey drive is too strong.

    OP, some dogs just naturally have that instict to catch and kill small animals. Now that you know, just be sure he's always on leash when outside.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
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    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  18. #38
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    Dogs are a completely different story. Dogs are loose, dogs are unobserved/unmonitored, etc.
    they are? since when? they shouldn't be.



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    they are? since when? they shouldn't be.
    Oh come on. Dogs are always running around loose at barns and other events. Should they be? Maybe not, depends whose property it is, I guess.

    But the point is, a dog with aggressive tendencies can get into a whole heck of a lot more trouble than a horse with aggressive tendencies, just because of the environments in which each are kept.



  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    reasonable? dogs have existed for millenium in association with humans for two reasons: they bark at intruders; and they have prey drive. Most of our dogs sports REQUIRE a high prey drive- herding, fetching, frisbee, agility, earthdog, tracking, racing, hunt trials, all rely on prey drive. Expecting your dog to not have high prey drive and not want to chase and eat a cat is well, maybe you should own a hamster instead. Dogs are also highly controllable, either by physical means (leash) or by training, so once you come to your senses and realize that dogs are predators you can then quite easily prevent your dog from eating the cat. Unless your neighbors can't control their cats and let them run amok in other people's properties.
    Yes, that was exactly my point, haha.

    I used the word "reasonable" because it is perfectly "reasonable" they have a high prey drive since we've bred many breeds to maintain the prey drive of their undomesticated ancestors. So perhaps - it is reasonable because we've required them to be that way? = )

    We have definitely bred much of the prey drive out of some breeds (companion-only types or little lap dogs, though many still have that urge), but at the end of they day, they are predators with VERY big and sharp teeth!

    Just want to tell the OP again: these things can happen. Now you know your dog is that way (it seems like you feel appropriately bad about the situation) and you can now take the proper preventative measures. You are not a monster for letting it happen, and you are not a monster for choosing NOT to put your dog to sleep. Even on a leash being carefully monitored, dogs can be very quick to grab something that darts in their path, so it could happen to the best of us. You can't never train all of the unpredictability out of any animal. Now you know what you need to work on so that it won't happen again.



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