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Wonderful new dog - but HOW to STOP cat-chasing?

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by Molly99 View Post
    It would effect other dogs, but OP didn't say anything about other dogs. In my experience the cats around did not seem to react, so it must be at a frequency they don't "hear". But it could just be the moronic cats that roam my neighborhood!!!
    I have another dog, so that probably wouldn't work for me. The huge problem is, to administer these corrections, the cat AND the dog have to be in the same space. The cat is now petrified of the dog and either hides upstairs, in the basement, or outside depending on the whereabouts of the dog. It's impossible to bring the hissing, squirming, terrified cat anywhere near the dog to apply the dog > chase cat > CORRECTION strategy.

    We are so upset. We love this dog. Right now he is snoring at my feet. But it's not safe leaving him alone in the house with the cat.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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    • #22
      That would be a deal breaker for me, I'm afraid. I really dislike dogs that chase cats, for whatever reason.

      I'm sorry you're having to deal with this!
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

      Comment


      • #23
        How long have you had him? I'd give it some time, correct when necessary, and see where you are in a week or two. Once the novelty of KITTEH!!! wears off, I bet that things will settle down.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by darkmoonlady View Post
          If you have a friend with a cat who is one not impressed with dogs and two knows to beat the living snot out of any dog who comes near them, a day in a cats presence like that will teach a dog a lot.
          Eh, I have my friend's dogs for the weekend and they chased my cats, and the off-the-streets-will-eff-you-up cat beat the crap out of one of them, and no sooner had the bleeding stopped than the damn dog was nosing around the basement door again looking for them. On the other hand, my own dogs give the cats a very wide berth at all times...
          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

          Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Guin View Post
            The cat is now petrified of the dog and either hides upstairs, in the basement, or outside depending on the whereabouts of the dog.
            so offer the cat a safe place to hide, behind a door or baby gate. Nothing wrong with that.

            It's impossible to bring the hissing, squirming, terrified cat anywhere near the dog to apply the dog > chase cat > CORRECTION strategy.
            I would absolutely, under no circumstances whatsoever bring a frightened cat near the thing that is so frightening that it has to hiss. Cats can do an incredible amount of damage to you in a few minutes. You've gotten some good suggestions, but what you really need to do is change what the cat means. Cat should = go find human=food treat or go for a walk. The walk can be really really short, outside with a leash for 2 minutes and then back in. Since dogs don't view life exactly the way we do, a walk out to the sidewalk, back up the drive and then back inside can be a wonderful treat.

            If this dog lived at my house, he'd wear a line for the next 3 months or so. He would not have one single more opportunity to practice this behavior and he'd get started on Sue Ailsby's Training Level program. What he needs is to learn some self control and that doesn't happen by accident or in a 2 day training session.

            I know it can be done, but you have to decide if you want to put the effort into making it happen.

            I just saw a video on FB today about +R training exotic species and how every interaction you have either builds trust or destroys it....that is equally true of building or destroying self control.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ2MpmxUgSA

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by Superminion View Post
              How long have you had him? I'd give it some time, correct when necessary, and see where you are in a week or two. Once the novelty of KITTEH!!! wears off, I bet that things will settle down.
              But we can't correct if the cat refuses to be anywhere near the dog!
              I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

              Comment


              • #27
                That's true. It is hard, but I'd still give it some time. Big change for everybody, having a new dog in the house! Cats can be quite... well... cats.

                My fingers are crossed that things can work out in everybody's favor!

                Comment


                • #28
                  Since you have stated that he has an easy going, nice personality, I think you will be capable of breaking this habit

                  We took in my SO's parents 5 yr old un-neutered lab when they moved across the country, and before they got him, his 'breeder'(very loosely termed) owner had actually taught him to chase, and KILL(!!!) cats. Total a-hole, but I digress....

                  We also have a very beloved older cat, who was not going to go anywhere, and it was a very real concern.

                  The dog was neutered within a week or so of coming to our home, and although he didnt display any of the typical un-neutered tendencies(roaming, marking, aggression, sex drive) he was still going to be snipped.

                  When we first introduced him to Sylvester, he immediately raised his hackles, deep growl,puffed out and had a laser beam stare on the cat, who was on the couch. I had him on a leash, and he had to be right beside me and was not allowed to get infront of me. And I also had to keep trying to block him or give him a shove with my knee into his shoulder, along with me saying 'leave him' or 'NO' in an authoritive tone. Biggest thing was to break that stare and get his attention on me.

                  He's actually quite a sensitive dog who loves to please and gets quite upset when reprimanded and is a total treat hound, which worked very well in my favor. And once he started learning that he was going to get talked to sternly and put in the 'bad dog' corner, which also meant he wasn't allowed to be with the family, he picked it up quite quickly. He did go after the cat a couple of times, and I was present so punishment was swift.

                  Once the the cat was comfortable having the dog near him, the dog was allowed to sniff his hind end(cat was on my lap on the couch and SO had the dog on a leash). He sniffed without that laser eye and looked up at my SO with his ears relaxed and his tail wagging! We hit a break through! He was then lavished with attention and treats. Lol, he was so happy to see we were pleased with his behavior.

                  He slowly stopped eyeing the cat, which of course was rewarded and he stopped it all together.

                  He went thru a period of about six months where he was terrified to even look in the cats direction lol, if he and the cat had to pass each other in the hallway, the dog would squish up against the wall as hard as he could and not even look at the cat in fear he would get a swat from the cat, or a stern voice from us. Sylester had some fun with this, as he would sit at the bottom of the stairs, while the dog was at the top and he wouldn't let him come down! He'd have to bark so one of us could save him.

                  They now snuggle together, with the cat getting the biggest most comphy spot of course, or will share a bit of food.

                  The dog even went as far as to protect the kitty this summer. I was cleaning my garage and had the cat and dog in there with me, when two of the Nieghbor dogs came running in(uninvited) and went after the cat and cornered him, my dog went ballistic and chased the two dogs out, and quickly ran back inside to make sure the cat was ok! That is when I knew for sure he had been successfully rehabbed from his cat killing days.

                  Breaking that intense stare and rewarding immediately was key for us. I second the leash thing, I would have it attached to my waist and I'd drag him around the house and yard with it.

                  Sorry this was so long, but i went through this exact same thing and had to share my success story. Everybody is harmonious.

                  Good luck with your new pooch! And keep us updated

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Tough situation, but I personally would rehome the dog.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by caballero View Post
                      Electronic training collar. Operant conditioning at its finest.
                      THIS...it works for any unwanted behavior from any distance. A loud "NO" at the exact moment reinforces the action!! I never would have considered trying it until I was "given" an impossible GSD "bolter"!! Cured him and we lived happily ever after for years.
                      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        [QUOTE=Superminion;6792051]How long have you had him? I'd give it some time, correct when necessary, and see where you are in a week or two. Once the novelty of KITTEH!!! wears off, I bet that things will settle down.[/QUOT

                        The Cat vs. Dog thing has gone on for ages...The only way it will end for the OP's Big dog will be when he manages to catch and kill the cat. It will not resolve itself IMO!!
                        www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Is the dog aggressively hunting and chasing the cat, or is it more of a 'wow, it runs! Let's chase!' True prey drive is almost impossible to break, and even if the dog learns not to go after the cat, it will never be safe to leave them alone together. 'Chase the running cat!' game is a lot easier to break.

                          Bring Kitty into a smallish room with nothing to hide under, but places to climb on and feel safe, like a dresser or table. Keep dog leashed. If he so much looks at the cat, give a sharp 'ah-ah'. If he looks at you, praise and treat. Keep doing this, until he stops being focused on the cat. Then, have someone hold the kitty on the couch, and sit down on the far end. Then progress to letting dog sniff the cat (if the cat it ok with it). By this point, the cat should be less terrified and the dog should be calm in the presence of a on moving cat. The cat can resume life as normal, and you can let the dog wander with a leash on. If he focuses on the cat at all or gets worked up (staring, following, whining...), redirect. If the cat runs and he doesn't chase, throw him a party!

                          Good luck! As long as it's just typical 'cats are exciting and new! They run!', it's completely fixable.
                          .

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                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            This isn't curiousity chasing, like my sister's sheltie. This is "DEATH." The dog was on his own for several months and I have to believe that he was killing his own food. We are probably bringing him back to the foster home today. My heart is shredded.
                            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                              That would be a deal breaker for me, I'm afraid. I really dislike dogs that chase cats, for whatever reason.

                              I'm sorry you're having to deal with this!
                              Total deal breaker for me, too. And totally agree with wendy earlier that with some dogs with a very high prey drive, it can be virtually impossible to discourage this. And meanwhile Mr. Kitty, not a young cat, it sounds like, is now terrified, not a great way for him to live either, as he will/could be sidelined, will live like prey.

                              Rehoming sucks but sometimes just seems the fairest thing. I have had my own issues with "siblings" that do not get alone. I had two older female kitties who tolerated each other, then got a young male to replace a male who had died. He is cute and loving but VERY aggressive, and while one female just stood up to him and would not tolerate his $hit, the other one was terrified, lived up under my bed. So, she now lives with my mother and a very, very mellow male kitty. I hated to do it, had had her a long time but no one would take him, so this seemed like the best option with everyone getting a good home. Given his aggression, my cats now each have their own "suite" of rooms then come out into the main area on "shifts". Not ideal but no one has to live panicked.

                              Good luck on this. Sure isn't easy.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Would it help to think of containing the dog instead of the cat? (In your OP you mention gating off the cat.) I.e., don't worry about gating the cat in, but rather shutting the dog in a single room like the basement or whatever dog-proof room works when you are not there. Or a dog crate, as several have suggested. Then use training when you are present and able to keep kitty safe.

                                Management magic. Very high rate of success right out of the box!
                                If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Guin View Post
                                  This isn't curiousity chasing, like my sister's sheltie. This is "DEATH." The dog was on his own for several months and I have to believe that he was killing his own food. We are probably bringing him back to the foster home today. My heart is shredded.
                                  I am really sorry, that must just break your heart. I do think you are making a agood decision under the circumstances. He will likely always see kitty as "prey" and "food"....when I was a kid my mom brought home a lab puppy, loving, sweet, great dog EXCEPT for any one outside family (little kids, girl scouts) she would growl, hackles up. Mom made the decision it was NOT safe for a family with little kids, really heartbreaking (but I think she landed well).We got another lab puppy who was a typical loving, goofy lab. Really, really sorry.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    if the dog is actively trying to kill the cat, I think yes your best option is to return the dog. You're heartbroken, but how will you feel WHEN (not IF, WHEN) the dog finally kills the cat?
                                    dogs can kill a cat in a blink of an eye- even if you're there ready with a shock collar on the dog, the dog can grab and shake and dead cat while you're still trying to get your finger to move to hit the button on the remote.
                                    You might be able to break this dog of chasing the cat in the house, but he'll probably continue to go after them outside- how will you feel if he kills the neighbor's cat?

                                    Originally Posted by darkmoonlady View Post

                                    If you have a friend with a cat who is one not impressed with dogs and two knows to beat the living snot out of any dog who comes near them, a day in a cats presence like that will teach a dog a lot.
                                    or end up with a very dead cat. Dogs kill cats all the time- even very small dogs are capable of killing cats. I know someone with a little JRT who has taken on some big tough tomcats and well, RIP tomcats.

                                    I have owned several dogs who thought cats were prey, and I would never attempt to make them live in a household with a cat. Not fair to the cat.

                                    The best way to stop cat-chasing is to prevent it by exposing very young puppies to cats during the imprinting period of life- this is when they learn what species are "self" and which are not. If you ever raise a litter of puppies, make sure you do this.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I agree with rehoming, because if anything happens to either animal you'll feel terrible forever. If you can't guarantee both animals safety 100%, then you made the right decision to rehome.
                                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        We took him back to the foster home today. We had to. Last night the cat wouldn't even come inside the house. He is a wonderful, wonderful dog but he can't live with cats. I think maybe during the months he was on his own he was hunting and killing his own food, too.
                                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Guin View Post
                                          We took him back to the foster home today. We had to. Last night the cat wouldn't even come inside the house. He is a wonderful, wonderful dog but he can't live with cats. I think maybe during the months he was on his own he was hunting and killing his own food, too.

                                          I have a dog that was feral for years, and I KNOW ate cats to survive. So even if my DH wasn't allergic, I could never have cats in my home. You did the right thing.

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