The time old battle between dogs and cats rages on, each day in the alleys of your streets, at the leash-less parks near you, and likely inside your home as well.
Introducing a new cat to your dog can be a stressful time for everyone. You don't want the dog to hurt the cat, but yet it is so natural a reaction for a dog. To the dog, a cat is like a squirrel that got indoors. There are definitely some ways to ease this transition and definitely a few ways to at least keep everyone safe. To do this correctly, we need to take a look at what really causes this behavior in the first place.
The Root of the Behavior
If you have ever had a dog launch themselves into your flat screen you have learned a valuable lesson about what you can and cannot have come across the television. There is a pretty good chance that they were lounging at a cat.
The truth is, this behavior is pretty innate in their DNA. In the wild, a cat might be the natural prey of your dog. Personally I think dogs are just jealous that cats rule the world of internet videos, dogs being a distant second. The natural reaction for a dog is to lend chase to things that move quickly. To them it is like a challenge, the gauntlet being thrown down. It is the same impulse that causes them to chase a squirrel or hunt down the local kid on a bike.
That, coupled with the canine lack of knowledge regarding video technology, causes them to lounge at your television or computer monitor. They simply don't understand that the cat is not standing right there. At least not until they have made that mistake a few times over. After they have smashed their face into the screen a few times they will learn not to do it through lessons of the hard surface variety.
Certain breeds, specifically herding dogs, are far more likely to chase cats. If your do not have cats in your house, they are also more likely to have aggressive behaviors toward cats in general. This is because they do not have an affection or familiarity with the species. They will likely lunge at your television for a variety of animals and potential prey that come across your screen.
They are definitely some training techniques you can use to reduce their hate of cats and therefor cat based videos, but to work toward that goal there are some things you will need to do.
Encouraging the Behavior
Unfortunately there is not likely a ton you can do about this. A television is to us what it is to them, a portal to another world. The only real distinction is the abstract understanding of what a television is. To your dog it more likely seems like an open doorway, and at most it probably appears a window and the cat in the screen is just outside. They simply do not understand that what is in front of them is not real, at least not in the sense they believe it to be. Unfortunately this is not something you can teach them either, it is too abstract for an animal to understand.
Hiring a dog trainer could be a good step forward. Then can instill the appropriate commands and best practices in your home to keep your dog from leaping into your screens or freaking out whenever they see a cat on television. Mounting your television high on the wall may make for a better solution as they simply will not be able to reach it. Even if they could it is bolted in and unlikely to fall.
If they manage to find a way to reach it and still knock it over, make sure you get it on camera. That footage could be worth a fortune on YouTube.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Your canine will be much less likely to be scared or lunge at cat videos or cats appearing on your screen if they are accustomed to having a cat in the home. Be sure you take careful precautions when introducing your dog to a cat and be sure to take care of both of their safety. That being said, a cat around the home may just be the perfect thing. After growing accustomed to the cat you have brought home, they will likely become much less aggressive toward cats in general.
This avenue is pretty effective, but most people do not want to go to the hassle of getting a cat just to calm down your dog. Maybe you could borrow one from a friend.