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New dog chasing cats

ryannah05
December 2nd, 2008, 10:08 AM
We have just inherited a six-year-old dog, Nikki, a small chocolate lab/collie mix. The problem is that we already have three cats in the household, and Nikki wants to chase them. When she realizes a cat is in the room, she becomes so focused on it that she can't seem to hear or see anything else. She becomes nearly frantic in wanting to get the cat. Nikki is not well trained in general. She will sit on command, but that's about it. I am looking for suggestions on how to teach Nikki not to chase my cats.

BenMax
December 2nd, 2008, 10:22 AM
Hi and welcome. Do you have any back ground history on your new dog? Has this dog ever lived with cats? When the dog chases the cats what exactly is the dog doing after the chase?

When introducing a new dog to cats (whether he/she lived with cats or not) you must segregate the cats from the dog for a while. The cats should be safely enclosed in a room where the animals can smell each other with safety. You can then keep the cats in the room and separate them with a baby gate so that they can see one another however the dog cannot get over the gate. When you introduce the dog with the cats, the dog should be tethered to you so that you can correct the behaviour. This correction should not include yelling or yanking but instead a toy to divert the attention or a goodie. You do not want to associate negative with what you want to be a positive interaction.

Do your cat have claws to defend themselves?

The process may take time, but what really needs to be established is good manners in the dog. He/she should listen to your commands such as 'go lie down', sit, stay.

sugarcatmom
December 2nd, 2008, 10:31 AM
Totally agree with BenMax, you're going to have to work on Nikki's obedience. In the meantime, never ever allow her to chase the cats, even (like BenMax suggested) if it means tethering her to you whenever you're in the presence of the cats.

Here is a PDF with some good tips: http://www.labadoption.org/linkpages/DogBehave/Articles/Cats.pdf

BenMax
December 2nd, 2008, 10:42 AM
Totally agree with BenMax, you're going to have to work on Nikki's obedience. In the meantime, never ever allow her to chase the cats, even (like BenMax suggested) if it means tethering her to you whenever you're in the presence of the cats.

Here is a PDF with some good tips: http://www.labadoption.org/linkpages/DogBehave/Articles/Cats.pdf

Thanks for the link sugarcatmom - very helpful. There are phases to ensuring that the interaction will be positive. If you ask an unknown dog to interact well with cats, it could be disasterous...and deadly.

I foster for dogs and cats. In order to cat test a dog, I always ensure that the cat is 100% safe as it only takes seconds for a dog to kill a cat. You must also know your dogs body language. Through this you will be able to find out whether something may go wrong.

Equally how the cats reacts to the dog is very important. If the cats project themselves as prey and a dog has prey drive then this is dangerous.

Please read carefully as per sugarcatsmom's referral.

Good luck and please make it safe for the kitties.

ryannah05
December 11th, 2008, 11:08 PM
I appreciate all your feedback. Things have already improved quite a bit. The cats do have claws, and they have several places they can get to that the dog can't. We aren't allowing Nikki (the dog) to be alone with any rooms with a cat at this point. Nikki has never been around cats before. The first night we brought Nikki into the house, two of the cats instantly took off running. For the next several days, that's how both of them reacted to her, and she got really excited about it. The third cat just climbed into the piano and ignored everyone. The two cats have calmed down now and don't run, which has made a big difference. Nikki is still interested in them, but she ignores them a lot of the time now.