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one big not-so-happy family!

heather331
December 30th, 2005, 03:37 PM
i've posted about my 4 month old puppy Dakota and my 2 cats Miss Maui and Luna several times before but this post is about them together. First i need to give you some background. I have had both of my cats for about 3 years. They were both adopted. Miss Maui was over a year when i got her and Luna was about 7 months. They both are spayed. My boyfriend and I got the puppy Dakota back in October. We do not live together but are going to be moving in together soon. (within the next month). I have an apartment and he has a house. The cats live with me and the puppy lives with him. They have met on several occasions. I am always at my boyfriends and I stay the night there most nights so I decided to go ahead and move my cats in to his house, since I am there all the time and I will be moving in also within the next month.

Ok now that you know what is going on, here's the problem:

the puppy and the cats do not get along! Dakota is terrorizing them. she chases them everywhere. they hiss and growl at her and swat there claws at her. i firmly tell her "NO" when she is bothering them (which is all the time). i dont get on the cats for swating at her because i think this needs to happen. they have to establish their place in the house and I believe this is their way of doing this. i'm just worried that dakota will get scratched. i have a bathroom blocked off with a baby gate and their litter box and food is in there. this is their safe room but they dont really go in there unless they want to eat or use the bathroom. they try and stay up on top of the backs of the couch to stay away from the dog but this doesnt really help since she gets on the couches too. the second one of them gets down she goes and chases after them. Dakota gets crated at night so the cats have free rule of the house at night. One of the cats, Miss Maui, will sometimes seek out Dakota and run up to her and swat at her, but this is usually after dakota has been jumping and barking at her. Dakota thinks its a game! I'm just worried that they will never live peacefully together. I just dont want my cats to be scared all the time! :sad:

HELP!

LM1313
December 30th, 2005, 06:01 PM
Does Dakota have any obedience training? Teach her sit and down and also "leave it", as in "leave that alone" (whether it be cat, food, or toy.)

She needs to learn that not only do you not want her to chase the cats, but that you will not LET her chase the cats. Keep her on a leash around the kitties at first and firmly correct her EVERY time she goes for the cats. Practice obedience commands in the same room as the kitties so that she has to focus on you instead of them. Also, you can have her sit or lie down when the cats are around.

Also, praise her like crazy when she ignores or is friendly to the cats. But don't try to distract her with treats if she's already teasing them or she may think she's getting rewarded for chasing them! Instead, correct her for chasing them, put her through some obedience commands, and only reward her after she's obeyed them.

I agree with you that the cats shouldn't be punished for swatting. They are just trying to put the pup in her place and not get chased. :)

Good luck, I hope everything works out!

~LM~