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SueM January 9th, 2010 01:49 PM

New member, big problem

I recently adopted a 4 year old pit bull mix (female, stray) from the local Shelter. She's very sweet and well-behaved, except that she is actively stalking my cat. Obviously, the shelter had no idea how she would act with a cat. We've get them separated, and crate the dog ("Star") periodically. At first, the cat ("Artie", who has been around dogs before) would come downstairs, but they had an encounter in which Star stalked and chased Artie. Artie hasn't come downstairs since, and Star is fixated on the stairs. It's been less than a week, but the stalking behavior has me worried that they won't be able to safely live together unless we permanently divide the house. Any suggestions or advice most welcome!

Marcha January 9th, 2010 02:05 PM

Would you be able to put up a gate by the stairs?

Our Bodhi has high prey drive, and if our cat runs, she simply sees it as prey. If the cat sits still, she'll leave it.

What steps have you taken to introduce the two, and to tell your dog that the cat is part of the pack and off-limits?

What steps have you taken to break the dog's focus on the stairs or to redirect the dog's behaviour?

(and of course, pictures of your cat and dog would be much appreciated! :cloud9: )

rainbow January 9th, 2010 02:11 PM

Welcome to the forum Sue and I second the request for pics of Star and Artie. :thumbs up

It's a dog's natural instinct to want to chase a cat and it is going to take at least a month to slowly introduce them. There is some good information about it here ....


SueM January 9th, 2010 02:34 PM

thanks for the input
2 Attachment(s)
Thanks very much for your suggestions (and for the article). I'm actually an animal behaviorist, and realize that this will take time--my husband is the impatient one! We have a gate at the foot of the stairs, though Star is very strong and I suspect, if highly motivated, could push it down. The only interactions so far (except the inadvertent chase) have been when Star was crated, and she ignored Artie. Artie won't even come down now when she is crated, so he needs to relax more before we try this again. I'm working with Star on basic obedience training, and she is pretty good at sit and down. I'm working on stay, and also want to introduce "no" (or "drop it") before trying an intro again. Easy enough to have her on a leash for an intro, but I don't want to force Artie into it; it will need to be when he's ready! I've attached photos, too.

Dee-O-Gee January 9th, 2010 10:33 PM

Star and Artie are both ADORABLE! :cloud9:

It's still too soon to tell how both Star & Artie will respond to each other. Our teenage Mollie puppy (6 months old) stalks & points at our Kitty but she just eventually learned how to tune Mollie out.

Now Mollie could chase her up and down the stairs but Kitty ends up finding a quite spot then Mollie loses interest in the chase.

Good luck and sweet pictures SueM! :thumbs up

ownedbycats January 10th, 2010 06:50 AM

They are adorable:lovestruck: Artie is very handsome. I have no advice on chasing as I haven't been able to teach my dog not to chase cats. She sees ours chasing each other and just wants to join in.:rolleyes: The one thing that has helped is the "no Bite" command we taught her when she was teething. She still chases the cats, but when she catches up to them, we can say no bite and she will lick them instead.

cpietra16 January 10th, 2010 08:33 AM

Hi Sue and welcome...can you get more info on the dog...can you call and ask the rescue where he was picked up from?
The reason I ask is that I use to rescue dogs off the reserve and they had very high prey drive. High prey drive and stalking are very different in my opinion.
When the cats left the room the dogs would stop the chase and just go back to their other stuff, but when the dog was fixated on the last place the prey (cat)went and stayed there for awhile I knew he was hunting...I don;t want to be negative, but this is my expereince with the rescues I had.

SueM January 10th, 2010 12:07 PM

Thanks to everyone for your advice and comments (and yes, Star and Artie are both very cute!). We know that Star was found in downtown Buffalo, so I'd have to guess that she was probably eating from garbage, rather than hunting. She was malnourished and clearly had a recent litter when found. However, she definitely remains fixated on the stairs and can't be distracted for a good long time when Artie makes an appearance. That's my big concern. Before I try to intro them again, I want to make sure Star understands "no" or "drop it"; problem is, she doesn't pick things up yet--she's just learning how to play! I'll update the list when I have news.

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