How to Train Your Dog to Accept a Kitten

Medium
1-2 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You want to add a feline furry, friend to your family, but your family already contains a dog, who happens to have very little experience with cats. Is there any hope of integrating a new kitten into your home, in a way that is peaceful and safe for all parties involved? 

The answer is yes! Thousands of households contain cats and dogs, that get along just fine. These housemates can even become quite attached to each other, playing together, sleeping together, and providing excellent company for each other. However, when adding any new member to the household, especially a kitten, you will need to ensure the introduction is conducted in such a way as to create a positive experience, so that your dog will accept the kitten and both kitten and dog are not stressed, frightened or injured in the process.  

Dogs can have a tendency to view small critters as prey, so you will need to ensure that your dog does not make this mistake upon introduction of a new kitten. Also, remember that the kitten itself can be aggressive and lash out in defense if it perceives a threat, even when one is not present. Precautions to control the kitten's perception and reaction to being introduced are also necessary when teaching your dog to accept a kitten.

Defining Tasks

You will want your dog to react calmly around your new kitten, not rushing the kitten, crowding it, mouthing, pawing or otherwise invading the kitten's space. A cat or kitten will often see the above behaviors as threatening and will either flee, creating an opportunity for your dog to establish that he is a great toy to chase, or fight--neither of which is conducive to a happy, peaceful home. Both behaviors can result in either the kitten or your dog being injured. A feisty kitten can scratch a dog's nose or eyes, resulting in injuries, and getting the kitten-dog relationship off to a poor start. 

Before introducing your dog and kitten you will want to acclimatize them safely to the sights and sounds of each other and control the environment where they are introduced. Your dog should have a good grasp on obedience commands so you can control and direct him during the introduction and while the dog is getting used to the kitten's presence in his home in the first few days. Remember, this is a big adjustment for a dog that is unfamiliar with cats. Controlling the situation and ensuring that positive associations are created will make your dog's acceptance of the kitten, his new companion, much smoother. 

Most dogs and cats learn to cohabitate quite nicely together. A little bit of effort on first meeting to ensure acceptance of your new pet will speed up the process and establish a lasting friendship between your furry friends.

Getting Started

When teaching your dog to accept a kitten you will need a way to gradually introduce the animals and keep them both safe during the introduction. A separate room to contain your new kitten, barriers, or crates will be useful. Also, if you have a choice, find a kitten that has some spunk, not a frightened or shy, skittish kitten that will avoid your dog and run. A running kitten presents a target for your dog to chase, resulting in a more traumatized kitten and more opportunities for your dog to chase. Take precautions to ensure the kitten does not get chased or injured during introductions. A kitten that stands its ground, or even shows interest in playing with your dog will develop a friendship with your dog faster.

The Controlled Intro Method

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Step
1
Prepare
Teach your dog a strong 'down-stay' or 'leave it' command. Put your dog on a leash. Have a route of escape for your kitten, like a cat tree or a room with a barrier the cat can easily escape to, but the dog cannot follow.
Step
2
Keep dog still
Ask your dog to 'down-stay' while your new kitten is allowed to investigate the home. If your dog tries to rush towards the kitten to investigate, say “leave it” or “down-stay”, restrain with a leash if necessary.
Step
3
Reward calm
Pet and praise your dog and reassure him for staying in the 'down-stay' position in the presence of the new kitten. Keep the initial introduction short so your dog does not become frustrated, jealous, or over-excited or have an opportunity to intimidate the kitten. Remove the kitten to a separate room or part of the house.
Step
4
Increase exposure
Repeat introducing the kitten, while controlling your dog, increase the length of time your dog is exposed to the kitten. Provide your dog treats to create a positive association with the kitten's presence.
Step
5
Increase access
Gradually take your dog off-leash as he shows calm behavior around the new kitten, continue supervising and provide 'leave it' or 'down-stay' commands as needed until the two animals are comfortable around each other.
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The Crate Intro Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Put kitten in a crate
Put your kitten in a crate, or behind a pet barrier that your dog cannot get through.
Step
2
Introduce your dog
Introduce your dog, while on a leash, to the kitten in the crate or behind the barrier.
Step
3
Allow calm investigation
If your dog barks, scratches or rushes the crate or barrier, reprimand your dog, ask him to 'down-stay' or 'leave it'. Your dog may investigate the carrier or kitten through the barrier but should be calm and not show aggressive or out-of-control behavior.
Step
4
Reward calm
When your dog is calm around the kitten in the container, provide treats and praise. Distract your dog with play with a toy. Repeat over several sessions if necessary until calm is achieved.
Step
5
Increase exposure
Once your dog is calm around the kitten in the container, hold your dog on a leash and let the kitten out of the container or from behind the barrier. Reward calm behavior. Command 'down-stay' for aggressive behavior. Go back to containing the kitten if necessary. Continue supervising and eventually move your dog off leash as he learns to be calm around the kitten out of the container.
Recommend training method?

The Maintain Space Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Contain kitten
Contain your new kitten in a separate room for the first few days. Put a litter box in the room; this provides the added bonus of letting your kitten become familiar with the location of her litter box, and the sights, sounds and smells of the home.
Step
2
Allow introduction through the door
Let your dog smell the kitten under the door or through the crack. Do not let your dog bark or scratch at the door.
Step
3
Allow to see each other
Put a baby gate or barrier in the doorway and open the door part way so that the dog and kitten can see each other and meet through the barrier. Remember that while your dog may not be able to get over the barrier, most kittens can. You will want to supervise closely when just the barrier is present.
Step
4
Reward calm
Reward your dog for being calm in the presence of the kitten on the other side of the gate.
Step
5
Supervise loose introduction
Eventually, allow the dog and kitten in the same room, supervised. Reward your dog for being calm and not approaching the kitten. Allow the kitten to approach your dog while you reassure and pet your dog.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ammu
Pug
3 Years
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Question
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Ammu
Pug
3 Years

I brought a Kitten home last week.I introduced both while pug was in leash and kity was in my hand.Pug sleeps in ground floor and kity in first floor.. Only under our supervision,we allow them to meet.But my pug is showing aggression whenever he sees kity.While kity seems to be not bothered and remains cool.wat to do?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Hello, you are doing the right things so far. I would suggest that you continue with the slow introductions. It is promising that the kitten is nonchalant - eventually Ammu will most likely think the kitten is no big deal either. Take a look here for more advice on helping them get to know each other: https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-cat. As well, even though this refers to dogs, the advice is excellent and can easily be carried to your situation. Read the Respect the Resident and What Not to Do Methods. https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-new-dog. Good luck!

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Milo
Ridge back
7 Years
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Milo
Ridge back
7 Years

Hi I’ve just got 2 kittens and he wants to eat them? He is so good with other animals and dog doesn’t chase them I take him for long walks with no lead doesn’t run off to chase wild animals etc but with the kittens he wants to keep trying to eat them and licks his lips like he really wants to eat them?
Not sure what I can do thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gayle, At this point definitely be sure to confine the animals separately in crates behind closed doors when you are not directly supervised. Have a couple of barriers between the animals when not supervising and using proper safety precautions in person. Check out the videos linked below - depending on the severity of the prey drive toward the cats, you may need the help of a professional trainer if there is a stronger prey drive toward the cats. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Severe cat issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y More e-collar work with cats with the same dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8lkbX0dhT0 Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long, Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with a kitten in the same room. You can also back tie pup while they are on place - connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Below are some other commands in general you can practice to help pup develop better impulse skill/self-control - impulse control takes practice for a dog to gain the ability to control himself. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Kody
German Shepherd
5 Years
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Question
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Kody
German Shepherd
5 Years

My dog seems to have a high prey drive towards my two kittens. Whenever we have him behind a gate while the kittens are in a room, he constantly whines and grunts. I’m not sure how to tame my dogs prey drive and I’m worried that if he were to some how get to the kittens he will kill them. The dog has been trying to move the gate to get to the kittens. Please let me know anything that we can do, I’m really worried.

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Question
Lili
No breed
10 Years
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Lili
No breed
10 Years

Hii!So,me and my family rescued a little cat from an abandoned house and we have some doubt's about my dog's behavior around the kitten.Sometimes when she gets near him she tries to jump (we hold him because we are afraid she will hurt him) and she tries to "bite" him.From what i observe she doesn't want to hurt him because she doesn't growl and she doesn't show her teeth but it still scares us.
She doesn't have that much training and we are afraid she will lose control or hurt the kitten.The kitten is just 1 month and a half old.Wee would loove some advice!
Thank you!!
Catarina Pinto

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Lili probably does not know what to think of the kitten. She may not intend to hurt the kitten at all, but just doesn't know what to expect. I would take things slow. Allow only supervised contact like you are doing. https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-kitten Use the Crate Method and have Lili near the kitten safely in the crate for several days or until she is losing interest. Make sure that the kitten always has an escape - like a gated room (you can separate the two at the beginning with a gate when using the crate method too) or a high carpeted cat tree to climb on. As well, there are excellent tips here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-like-cats The Socialization and Safety Method. Remember to pay lots of attention to Lili, so she does not resent the kitten. Good luck!

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Question
Leah
Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Lurcher
5 Years
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Question
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Leah
Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Lurcher
5 Years

We got a new kitten last week, he is 8 weeks old and isn't nervous, in fact he is quite fiesty. I have a dog who I share with my dad, she stays over from Friday night til Monday every week but is never left alone in the house during the day. She lives with a older cat at my dads house, who she has lived with since we rehomed her as a puppy (a few months old). When we first introduced her to the kitten we done this with him in a crate, and her on a lead. She was barking and trying to scratch to get in the cage. We then held the kitten standing up and her her on a lead and she would wine and start to jump up at him. I would tell her off and then reward her when she began to calm down. Slowly she started to get bored and not trying to get up to the kitten as much. We kept them seperate for a few days and Leah (the dog) would search the house in hunting mode looking for him. We then held the kitten inside with the dog free but held by her collar and she sits to watch him. Then we let the kitten stroll free and held the dog and she just wanted to be let go. The bedroom door was open with the kitten inside, and the dog walked in (we didnt do this intentionally) they stood and stared at each other for a good 10 seconds until the kitten put his back up, hissed and swiped and the dog ran away. Another time the next day the dog ran towards the kitten and he ran and hid behind the toilet and she stood crying trying to get to him. Im really upset that we cant have them in the same room without restricting one of them but understand this may be a long process. Leah (the dog) is used to being given 100% attention, and treated like a baby (always having cuddles, sleeping on the bed, and hardly being told off or left alone- ive probably made a rod for my own back). As you can see ive also attached a photo of leah with my dads cat, who she doesnt 100% like but knows the cat is the boss and wouldnt cross the line. Please could you give me some advice. Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hannah, Honestly, it sounds like you are generally doing the right thing and your suspicions are likely correct - they need a lot of supervision, confinement when you can't directly supervise, rewarding for calmness, correcting for over-excitement, and time. I also suggest teaching her the Out command - which means leave the area. The Leave It command, Quiet, and Place. These commands can help her learn better impulse control and help you communicate to her what she needs to be doing instead of getting too excited. Practice the Place command a lot, so that as she improves, you she can be told to go to Place (and automatically stay there) while the kitten is around and you are supervising them. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Also, reward her very calmly whenever the kitten enters the room and she stays calm, she is tolerant and calm around the kitten, or looks to you for direction when the kitten is around. If you feel like the kitten is endanger and things are not manageable I suggest hiring a trainer who can come to your home to help the training process along faster. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

So cute. I found this post while looking for advice on bringing 2 kittens home this week and getting them to know my dog Maggie who looksJUST like your dog. Maggie is a mix of Boston Terrier (white chest) Staffordshire Terrier, and lab.

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Question
Khloie
Chorkie
9 Years
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Question
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Khloie
Chorkie
9 Years

I got a kitten. My dog has been around and gotten along with cats in the past. The kitten wants to play with my dog, but my dog tries to ignore and avoid the kitten. Now my dog is stressed - not eating or drinking, peeing in the house, and early morning vomiting. Help!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Betheny, I suggest a trip to your vet. While stress may cause some dogs not to eat, the other symptoms indicate that there is likely something medical going on also. - I am not a Vet. If your dog doesn't feel well he won't feel up to being around the new cat, which would make him not want to interact. There may have been something going on before the cat and it's just gotten worse lately. First, rule out any medical conditions with your vet. Don't force the animals together right now. Reward your dog whenever the cat is present in the room and your dog stays calm, and keep the kitten from pestering your dog - let them learn how to simply calmly coexist. Keep the kitten in another room when you cannot supervise the kitten around your dog. For right now I suggest visiting your vet and keeping the animals apart. If something medical is ruled out, then you can also try the suggestions I mentioned above to decrease stress and let them warm up to each other gradually. Until your dog is well though I wouldn't push any interactions. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Panda
Boxer/Lab
2 Years
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Panda
Boxer/Lab
2 Years

We acquired Panda from a family member and we have 2 kittens who are old enough to not be cooped up all the time. Whenever we let Panda out if his kennel in the morning his rushes at the kittens and tries to hurt them. We have tried sitting down with him and the kittens and tell him that they are friends and bad dog but he just snarls at them. We don't want to get rid of him but don't know what we should do to help him transition. We have had him for 3 weeks now. What should we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jacinda, Since it has been three weeks without progress I would highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections to help you. Right now start out by getting Panda used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle so that he will be safer around the kittens during introductions. This will help a trainer work with him faster also. Have him on a leash for introductions and correct him for any aggression toward the kittens and reward him for tolerating them. Start with more distance between them and with the kittens being still and reward good responses at that distance and correct fixating or acting aggressive toward them. You want the kittens to become boring so practicing his obedience with rewards in their presence may also help. Correct his response early as soon as he begins to act aggressive or fixate on them. Learn canine body language so that you can tell when he is relaxed and happy verses aggressive or stalking. A professional trainer will need to evaluate in person whether Panda can get used to the kittens or if his response is prey driven and cannot be changed enough to make the interactions safe long term. To get Panda used to wearing the muzzle show him the muzzle and give him a treat. Repeat that until he is comfortable around it. Next, touch it to him gently and give him a treat. Repeat that until he is comfortable. Next, hold the muzzle on his face briefly and give him a treat. Repeat that until he is comfortable. Next, hold the muzzle against his face for longer and feed him treats through the muzzle's holes while it is there. Repeat this until he is comfortable. Next, put the muzzle on him and feed him treats through the muzzle's holes once every moment. Gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and increase the amount of time between rewards until he can tolerate wearing the muzzle without distress for one hour. Expect this process to take a couple of weeks. Meal times are a good time to practice this. You can feed him his food one piece at a time as rewards for tolerating the muzzle. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bunny
Aspin (Asong Pinoy)
2 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Bunny
Aspin (Asong Pinoy)
2 Months

My puppy supposed to be a very happy dog, she loves ayong around, biting things and such but the moment I adopted a new kitten, she suddenly changed, she looks sad. They don't scare each other, they even go near to each other but my dog looks so ad, she doesn't play anymore like she used to. Do you have any advice on how to make her happy again? I got no problems on making my kitten and her as friends but, she suddenly got lonely. Please, give me some advice :(

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Virma, First, I suggest a trip to your vet to check her for potential parasites, an infection, or a virus like parvo. She may have even picked something up from the kitten - it is very possible she is sad and won't play because she doesn't feel well. If there is nothing wrong with her health (I strongly suggest looking into that first though), then whenever the kitten is around give her a treat when the kitten enters the room and when the kitten comes over to her to help her associate the kitten with something good. I also suggest spending time teaching her new tricks and commands with treats and lure reward training in an area where the kitten cannot come. If she is feeling stressed about the kitten, then give her times to do something that will build her confidence without her having to worry about the kitten coming over... such as practicing tricks or easy agility courses you set up outside. Just be sure that these areas outside are somewhere where other dogs cannot come to avoid diseases while she is on the ground - she can be carried other places too but should only be set down on the floor or ground in places where other adult dogs or un-vaccinated puppies have not been. I suggest a trip to your vet first though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Grace
German Shorthaired Pointer
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Grace
German Shorthaired Pointer
6 Years

When I introduce my dog and kitten my dog wants to chew on it like a toy. There is very little progress of them getting along. How can I get them to become best friends?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lydia, First of all, your goal should be your dog leaving the cat alone. At this stage you don't want to encourage a lot of interaction or play. You want your dog to learn to mind its own business and for the cat to become boring. As they establish mutual respect for each other and become safe around each other, they may choose to hang out more as adults. Teach your dog the Out command - which means leave the area. Correct your dog for getting too interested in and intense with the cat. Use a basket muzzle for safety if needed, and always have the dog on the leash or behind a gate and supervised during the early days. Whenever your dog gets too excited around the kitten, command Out, and if he doesn't obey and leave, correct him. Teach Place and have him practice staying on Place with a leash on that is secured to something close by in case he breaks command around the cat. You can screw an eye-hook into the baseboard or wall to attach the leash to if needed but be sure to use the right hardware to make it strong, like finding a stud in the wall and screwing it into that instead of drywall. The leash should be loose while he stays on Place and is only there for an added safety measure - you want him to practice self-control while on the bed and to be staying out of obedience. When he stays calm on the bed with the kitten in the room in your lap, and later the kitten walking around, then toss treats onto the bed as a reward. Essentially, firmly correct any intensity toward the kitten - don't wait until it's a bite. If he is staring at the kitten intensely, let him know he should stop that. If he is getting super excited about the kitten, tell him to calm down or leave. Use commands that he knows to give him instructions, such as Out, Place, Leave It, or Down. Also, focus a lot on rewarding calmness, tolerance, and ignoring the cat. Don't leave them alone together and take measures to keep the kitten safe right now, such as a basket muzzle or leash, and crate him in another room when you are not home to prevent him from getting to the kitten. Out command - which means leave it https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fizzy
Jack Russell Terrier
12 Years
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Fizzy
Jack Russell Terrier
12 Years

We have had our dog since she was a puppy we recently added a kitten (Pixel- 3 months old) to the mix she is very playful and very friendly but the dog is unpredictable and has been staring her down and we are worried she will go for her.

Both animals are very affectionate and loving not vicious at all when they are on there own.

We have tried introducing them slowly but we can't keep Pixel in a seperate room as she cries a lot! And this aggravate the dog.

Im not sure the best way to get them use to each other, the kitten is very eager to get to no the dog and play but the dog not so much please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Beth, Staring can be related to prey drive, especially since the kitten is so small - when the kitten gets older is could get better but not necessarily. Check out the two videos linked below. One case is an overly interested, aroused dog, the other is a dog with a history of killing cats. You will notice the difference in tools and structure depending on the severity of the case: Less severe case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojIQmMuOwns More severe case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zsa
Maltipoo
7 Years
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Question
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Zsa
Maltipoo
7 Years

I have brought a new 10 week old kitten home about 2 weeks ago. Initially my dog was calm, but excited and my kitten was terrified. Now my kitten is generally fine around my dog (no hissing or growling, but still somewhat cautious), however my dog seems to have regressed. She is very possessive. If my kitten is in bed with me my dog can jump up no problem. But if my dog is on the bed first and my kitten tries to join us she will jump at her and growl. My dog doesn't want my kitten to come into any other room of the house either. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lina, It sounds like the issue may be more pup resource guarding you and furniture/spaces, than prey drive. I suggest a combination of teaching pup directional commands, building their respect for you (so pup doesn't view you as something they own), keeping the animals separate when you can't supervise and enforce rules, and being the one to create and maintain rules between the animals in your home. Pup needs a bit of a bootcamp as far as structure and boundaries being increased, at least for a bit. Check out the following articles and videos on teaching directional commands like Out, Place, Leave It, and Off. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Off - section on "Off command specifically: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ To build pup's respect, have pup work more through the Working and Consistency methods linked below. Pup will already be following the Obedience method somewhat with the above commands too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Finally, decide what the rules are in your home and you be the one to enforce them, instead of the animals being allowed to on behalf of each other. For example, when you say Off - they must get off furniture, no guarding of people or things - if you guard, you have to leave, no blocking spaces and doorways, no nudging, climbing into laps uninvited, or barking for attention, no stealing things from another animal, no bothering another animal when they want to be left alone, ect... When one animal breaks the rule - like pup getting between you and the kitten, or the kitten wandering over to pup when they are sleeping or eating, you be the one to enforce the rule and make whoever is causing the issue leave, instead of pup using aggression. Do not pet or reward pup when they act aggressive or tense. Be calm, confident and firm with rules. Do reward pup when they are being tolerant and calm. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Hank
French Bulldog
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Hank
French Bulldog
3 Years

Our French bulldog is squealing, barking and crying loudly at the new kitten. Kept them apart by a laundry room door the first week. Let them meet yesterday he tried to bite her, she sliced open his nose. Try to give them a few hours with the family while one is locked up but he screams at her and us through his kennel. How do we get him to be ok with her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello, How this is addressed depends a lot of the severity of pup's prey drive toward the cat, or if he is just overly excited and aroused. You want to work on desensitizing pup to the cat, improving self-control and calmness in general, and rewarding a calm response around the cat. Fair corrections and interrupting pup while in an aroused state around the cat might also be needed before pup will be in a mindset to be able to be desensitized to the cat and learn control, also. If so I suggest hiring a professional trainer who is familiar with this area of training and how to deal with prey drive, arousal, building impulse control, and using both rewards and fair corrections wisely. Check out reviews of referrals. The first two videos linked below are good self-control and desensitization exercises to practice with pup on a back tie leash - to keep pup from being able to suddenly bolt toward the cat. The severe cat videos are things I would only recommend doing with more severe cases under the supervision of a trainer qualified to do so - many trainers won't have that type of experience so ask a lot of questions when looking for the right person to help your needs. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Severe cat issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y More e-collar work with cats with the same dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8lkbX0dhT0 Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long, Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with the kitten in the same room. You can also back tie pup while they are on place - connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Below are some other commands in general you can practice to help pup develop better impulse skill/self-control - impulse control takes practice for a dog to gain the ability to control herself. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Taco
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Taco
Chihuahua
5 Years

My Chihuahua constantly barks when she hears a noise outside, when someone new comes inside, and when I had brought my neighbors lost cat inside out of a storm and put the cat in the spare room. She would calm down but every time I would open the door to the room with the cat, she would bark and run at the door. How do I train her to stop barking and prepare her to be introduced to a kitten? How should I go about introducing them for the first time? I am adopting 2 kittens in a month.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Patience, I suggest combining a few things in your case. First, you need a way to communicate with her so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Work on the Desensitization method from that article as well. Make a list of the barking triggers, such as people out the window. Reward pup whenever pup stays quiet in the presence of the trigger. Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter. One type of interrupter is a Pet Convincer. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. While you are not home, confine her in a crate or room that doesn't look out the windows right now - barking at things out the window lets her practice the bad behavior over and over again and barking is a self-rewarding behavior because of the arousing chemicals released in a dog's brain - so once a dog starts she is encouraged naturally to continue it and stay in that state of mind if you aren't there to interrupt. For introducing the kittens I would first determine whether her reaction toward the cat was a desire to chase, a fear, or simply over-excitement. If the desire is a strong prey drive I don't recommend adopting kittens. You can manage prey drive but you can't get rid of it completely since it's instinctual - leaving the cats always at risk. If her desire is to chase, fearful, or over-excitement, you can work on impulse control, quietness, desensitization, and learning to leave the cats alone. Before adopting kittens, work on the quiet command and other barking training mentioned. Also, teach a long, high distraction Place command - where pup can stay on a Place bed even when guests come through the front door or fun and tempting things are going on - start with Place for just a few minutes and work up to longer gradually. Also, work on building pup's calmness and impulse control in general by practicing the commands like the ones below: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ If you aren't sure whether she has high prey drive toward the kittens or how to train, I suggest hiring a trainer who specializes in behavior issues, comes well recommended by previous clients, and has experience evaluating things like prey drive, to guide you with her training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Addy
American Staffordshire Terrier
7 Years
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Addy
American Staffordshire Terrier
7 Years

We have had a brother and a sister kitten we have brought into the home. at first, the dog was not happy. She would bark and wine and make a noise she usually does when she prey chases and would even try to snap at them from a distance. Gradually, with the kittens in the dog crate and her on a leash outside of it and controlled, I was able to get her to sit, and keep calm to lay down.She has done that for a week now. However, she keeps trying to lick them through the cage. the kittens allowed that for a bit until addy started to not quite do a defleaing bite, but trying to pull them through by fur, so we put them away and tried again later and again the next day.
She is now at a point where she doesn't claw or bark at the door they are behind, she will wine and look at me to bring them out, so we do. She still is a little excited but able to stay seated with my fiance and I. When she gets overly excited, we put them away and allow her to calm down.
We just brought the calmer of the two kittens out and held her while my fiance had addy by the collar sitting. When we bring them close, I bring the kitten's back to her first and she bathes them but then she tries to bite fur with a little bit of skin to pull towards her. I can not tell if this is her way of trying to take the kitten to mother it and claim it or if she's trying to eat it because it's all done calmly but with intent focus. Now that it has been five minutes with the cat put back, she is laying at my feet, head down almost asleep. Calm.
We know one bite or wrong move from our 80lb dog can injure or kill one of these kittens, but addy has shown tremendous progress since they have come in two weeks ago. This is also the first time she has been introduced to cats.
Should we get a muzzle first before letting the cat free or should we give it more time before they are as freely around one another with out the cage and restraint? A little advice would go a long way because if we have to give the cats back, they will be split up and as brother and sister, they make an amazing duo. They don't run from her in the cage, they sit there and wait until she is calm, then they approach. They seem to be very intellectual but they have a lot of energy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Deseree, I would definitely give it more time. The licking that turns into nipping does sound prey driven and definitely not motherly. It sounds less intense than it was initially, so she is hopefully making good progress, but she is not ready for the kittens to be free around her yet, even with a muzzle on. There is still the risk of her squishing one if she tries to attack it while wearing the muzzle. I would suggest muzzling her and doing what you are doing now, but the muzzle will allow you keep the kitten a bit closer and let her get bored with it. Use a basket muzzle so that she can open her mouth up inside, and pass her small treats through the holes while he is being calm. Interrupt her behavior firmly when she starts to get over excited and nip through the muzzle, and give her a break like you have been doing if she gets over aroused. Practice with her restrained by a leash or collar until she is bored with the kittens when you bring them out. Be patient, this will take time. When you get ready to test them together, then definitely use the muzzle on her and keep a leash on her even if it is just dragging behind her, so that you can grab her quickly if you needed to. I would wait an extremely long time before you trust her around the kittens without confinement or a muzzle. She might get to the point where she can ignore them and be around them just fine, but if they run her prey instincts might kick in again, so you need to take things slow and give her instruction along the way to let her know when she is doing something correct and when her behavior around the kittens is unacceptable. Do not leave her to her own devises. Congratulations on the kittens. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jolie
Brussels Griffon/pug mix
4 Years
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1 found helpful
Jolie
Brussels Griffon/pug mix
4 Years

We rescued our dog 2 years ago. When we brought her home we had to adult cats in the house. They all get along fine. Our dog is pretty lazy. Very rarely barks unless there is thunder or fireworks. We just got a 10 week old kitten that we rescued through our veterinarians office. We had to do a meet and freest in the office with our dog and the kitten to make sure the dog didn’t show any signs of aggression. She passed with flying colors. We originally gated the kitten in the living room until he could get used to us but after the first day he learned how to climb over. The dog has been showing signs of aggression towards the kitten. She barks, growls at him and tries to go after him. We can’t leave the house because they have to be watched constantly. What can i do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cindy, First of all I suggest crate training the kitten and Jollie, so that you can crate them in separate rooms when you cannot supervise or need to leave the house. Check out the article linked below to introduce Jollie to the crate. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, check out the videos linked below. Jollie needs to be corrected for chasing, staring at, fixating on, or acting aggressive toward the kitten. You can also teach a Place command and reward her for calmly staying on Place while the kitten is in the room. Only reward when she is being tolerant and calm. Check out the videos linked below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojIQmMuOwns Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Arrow
Border Collie
8 Years
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Arrow
Border Collie
8 Years

Have just got a new kitten that is kept in a crate most of the time at the moment due to it being injured. We let the kitten out for short periods of time at night under supervision and our dog is not keen on him. He tries to chase it and he is very weary of anything or anyone touching his feet or tail so when the kitten jumps at his feet or tail he will growl and jump at him.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question about Arrow. He is a herding breed by nature and a little kitten no doubt moves fast and is fun to chase. Be careful, remember that this kitten has already experienced trauma with the injury and you do not want to cause even more trauma with fear or another injury. I think you need to teach Arrow what you expect to be acceptable behavior around the cat. This will take time - but Border Collies, as you know, are extremely intelligent and will pick up things very quickly! The methods in this guide may be very helpful: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-greyhound-to-like-cats Good luck!

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Keira and Shyla
Pit bull and pit bull/boxer
15 Years
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Keira and Shyla
Pit bull and pit bull/boxer
15 Years

I had a cat for 12 years recently lost him in aug due to old age he was 14. I feel it was time I got a kitten(what was I thinking) it’s been about 8 years since I had any issues with “redirected aggression” with my dogs! Thought they were old and way past this stage but it’s something I have never gotten over. I have a fear that having this new kitten will make my dogs go at each other again, is this possible?! Did I make a huge mistake?! Please help?!

It’s day one of having the kitty and we were all able to hang out with no issues but I wouldn’t dare walk away from the kitten. It seemed to go pretty good if I had to do something I would pick the kitty up or let the dogs out to pee. They all seemed relaxed and sleeping in there own areas but that fear of them acting out or not getting along with the kitty is there!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Penny, I would want to know a lot more about how they are responding right now. It sounds like they are certainly interested in the kitten and not leaving them unsupervised is VERY important. Are they exhibiting extra stress, acting prey driven toward the cat, not listening to known commands? For some dogs a lot of structure, practicing things like Place and Heel around the kitten, rewarding calm behavior around the kitten and managing the household so that neither dog is spending a lot of alone time with the cat or each other - if that's a concern, during the adjustment period can help get over any initial periods of tension without starting new bad habits, and aggression issues. If there are not strong prey tendencies toward the cat, then once things are calm, the dogs adjusted better, you can go back to a more relaxed schedule and management - just using the strict management of everyone being supervised or apart during the transition. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Both dogs are seniors 14 yrs and 15 years old!

This is penny

Things are going very well. The dogs stay put when I tell them to and the kitty explores when the dogs are sleeping they smell each other and seem ok. I just fed bad cause the kitty has spent most part of the day in the room. I go back and forth with all animals it’s exhausting! But I know that I can’t just throw him in the mix it doesn’t help when I have my other half telling me that I should t of got him because he been in the room! He’s clueless. And I can’t risk both dogs going after the cat! I’m only one person. But they watch him run and play through the patio door and it’s not like they are chasing wanting to eat him haha I just want to do this right and hope that I am I don’t want the dogs feeling out of place they seem content as ever and at night we have all slept on the bed I don’t get great sleep tho cause it’s like I’m sleeping with one eye open! I’m sure this will take time and hope I’m doing it right!

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Lenna
Goldendoole
1 Year
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Lenna
Goldendoole
1 Year

Hi, I have a 1year old dog and I recently got a kitten, about 8 weeks old. My dog is so scared of the cat. The cat is running around the house but my dog is kinda got force to be on a side. The kitten started to show curiosity about my dog. But whenever the cat got a little near, my dog would run away and the sudden movement make the kitten scared and haze at my dog. What should I do so that my dog is not so scared of the kitten? My dog has always been very sensitive and scared of everything.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Danni, I suggest a combination of practicing obedience with rewards for obeying and staying calm in the presence of the cat, and desensitizing pup to the presence of the cat in general using rewards for whenever pup behaves calmly around the cat. Be sure to focus on teaching calm obedience around the cat while also rewarding pup for courage - so that pup doesn't just go from fearful to rough or reactive once they overcome their fear - but transitions to manners around the cat that you have taught, like laying down, ignoring the cat, and being gentle. Desensitization examples - fear of objects opposed to a cat - but the process is very similar. The dog in this video is barking - which it doesn't sound like your dog is doing, but the reason that dog is barking is fear and suspicion, so the underlying issue that's being addressed is the same -fear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp_l9C1yT1g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5BjvNScFPs Obedience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Delta
Dachshund
1 Year
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Delta
Dachshund
1 Year

Hi! We adopted Delta when we already owned an adult cat, but a few weeks ago we adopted a new kitten. Delta has been really excited every time she sees the kitten and she keeps running after her, which scares her. Since she is a dachshund, we find it really difficult for her to listen to us and for us to teach her commands such as ''stay'' and ''lie down'' even with treats. She's really being rough with the kitten and the cat while playing and I'm really scare that she could hurt them or even worse by accident (they are always supervised, but sometimes she bites their neck). Please could you give me advice for my stubborn dog?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Corely, Most of what you need will be obedience practice. Since pup is new, they likely don't have much prior training and will be to distracted around the cats to learn commands while they are in the room. Start by teaching pup the needed commands while the cats are not around. Practice those, then add in the distraction of the cats as pup improves. There are usually variety of methods for teaching a command - treats are easy but many dogs need other motivation instead of or in addition to treats. In the meantime, I suggest having pup tethered to you with a hands free leash or crated at all times, to keep the cats safe, help your relationship with them, and teach general household manners. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Another method of teaching Place: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Sit - Treat Luring method or Pressure method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ When you practice the below impulse control activities, I suggest tethering pup to somewhere secure nearby, with the leash kept loose enough they won't feel it unless they try to get off place, to ensure the cats safety during training. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pongo
Pug Mix
8 Years
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Pongo
Pug Mix
8 Years

Hi there, we have just got 2 kittens (10 weeks old) our dog pongo is a loving dog but is very very hyper and excitable. He barks at pretty much everything (birds in the sky etc) we have tried to introduce him to the kittens through a barrier but every time he sees them he barks like crazy and the kittens run away and hide. Would you have any tips on what we can do? Thank you x

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jemma, First, check out the quiet method from the article linked below. Once pup knows that command, practice the Quiet command with pup in a leash and the kitten being held by someone else across the room or in another room where pup can still see them a bit - bring the kitten in sight, pup barks, wait until you get a brief pause in the barking - which might take a while at first, then as soon as pup stops barking for a second, reward with a treat. Have the cat leave pup's sight for a minute, then repeat. Keep repeating this until pup doesn't bark at the cat when it appears because pup is expecting to be told quiet and given a treat. At that point, reward pup for seeing the cat and not barking, keep the cat in pup's sight for longer and longer as pup improves, spacing your treats further apart so that pup not only has to stop barking to get the treat but also stay quiet or not bark to begin with around the cat. When pup can stay quieter while in the room together, I suggest practicing things that increase pup's self-control around the cat to teach calmness around the kittens. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long, Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with the kitten in the same room. You can also back tie pup while they are on place - connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Always keep the animals safely confined apart, behind closed separate closed doors when you are not directly supervising them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Louie
Bich-poo
10 Months
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Louie
Bich-poo
10 Months

WE got a new kitten on Friday which our puppy is completely enamored with and loves, The problem is in the last 48 hours our puppy has turned his nose up at food and barely eaten. I have tried everything. I even took him to the vet and they did blood work and physical and said he is healthy. Could this be the adjustment of the kitten and what do I do. He drinks. He may take a piece or two of food but that's it. He nibbled her wet food but even that isn't enough to sustain him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tara, Does pup seem nervous around the new kitten at all? Some dogs will refuse to eat if highly stressed. Excitement can cause a bit of food refusal, but not usually a huge amount. High levels of stress or trauma is more often to blame. I suggest taking pup somewhere away from the cat, like to a cul-de-sac in your neighborhood, backyard, or calm park. Somewhere calm and far enough away from where the cat is that he isn't thinking about it. Without overworking pup - since he is low on calories. Practice some simply obedience commands to get him in a working mindset, then try using pup's kibble as treats for obeying. You can also purchase freeze dried liver treats as kibble toppers and treats, and try using those or crushing those into powder and placing the powder and kibble in a ziploc together to scent and flavor the kibble better. See if pup will work for their food once you remove the distraction of the kitten and get them into a different, calmer mindset away from the cat. If pup will eat that way, the issue is likely the cat, and pup probably needs to be desensitized to the cat and calming exercises like Place and heel practiced around the cat, as well as pup given breaks away from the cat, like the training exercises with kibble I just went over. If pup still won't eat with the cat not present and in a calmer mindset, something else may be going on. You may want to get a second opinion from another vet or revisit your vet. You may want to try switching pup's food in case the food is upsetting their stomach (check online to see if there is a recall out for that food also) or they are sensitive to an ingredient in it (switching to a different grain/carb and meat source specifically if checking for an allergy). Switching pup to plain rice first, then gradually introducing the new dog food can help prevent sudden stomach upset associated with a sudden change as well. Check with your vet though, I am not a vet. There is also an "ask a vet" section on wagwalking.com. Keep an eye on pup's fluid intake also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Golden Retriever
5 Years
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Luna
Golden Retriever
5 Years

My family recently acquired three kittens due to them being born in our garage. We have them in a separate space, blocked off from our dog. We tried introducing her to them a few times but all she does is bark. If she hears them, she barks. It's been a constant thing that we don't know what to do about. We also have an adult cat who Luna's lived with for years so she can get along with cats. We don't think Luna would hurt them but she gets very excited. Even after a morning of walks/playing, she still gets worked up. If we ask her to sit, it takes a few tries for her to do it. We've been rewarding/distracting her as well.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. The little kittens are quite different than an adult cat so it may take time. Following the steps in the article you have read already about accepting a kitten is exactly what I would recommend. It is essential that the kittens have a safe place to stay at all times. Take a look at this guide as well: https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-cat. Patience and continued short, safe introductions are all I can recommend. All the best to you and the animal gang!

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Kronos
Black Lab
2 Years
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Kronos
Black Lab
2 Years

I have noticed issues with my dog since the new kitten was introduced into the house. After a few days we allowed the kitten out and supervised both of their behaviours with the other one. However, my dog got hissed at once and hasn't wanted to go near her since. That was the second day after the introduction. Now he is getting into the trash and grawling at the little kitten just for exploring a little further in the house. We have to kennel him up when she is out now. He tried to attack her about a week into her being here and his behaviour spiraled from there. I want them to get along fine, but right now I'm at a loss. Truefully the kitten is actually my roommates cat and the dog is ours. We have explained and shown that he is still our dog, but the bad behavior still continues. What do I do? It seems like the kitten does want to become friends, but Kronos is keeping her at arms length. I know putting in the kennel during this stage teaches him to resent her and I don't want that, but it's the only way that has worked so far to help with a quiet home. I want to get this figured out I really do. It's either that or our roommate will have to get rid of the kitten or we get rid of our dog or our roommate has to move again. It would be the second move in 2 months and I don't want him being homeless because of this situation.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I agree that Kronos may feel resentment that he gets crated and the cat gets freedom when he was in the home first. However, safety is the main concern. Make sure that the cat always has a safe haven to get to, like a climbing tower or a gated off room. Instead of always crating your dog, try putting the cat in the cat carrier and having Kronos sit quietly beside the crate (further away and slowly inching closer day by day as you introduce). Start the introductions from day 1. Take a look here for more pointers: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chase-cats. Make sure that you are taking Kronos out for extra walks - lengthy ones - for a break from the cat as well as for mental stimulation. When home, give him treat toys (for example an interactive feeder) that distracts him for a while when the cat is around. Keep watch all of the time so the cat is always safe. Good luck!

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Lizzy
Shih Tzu
14 Years
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Lizzy
Shih Tzu
14 Years

We had a stray kitten show up on our deck. We are trying to introduce Lizzy to it. The kitten is fine with Lizzy but Lizzy barks, cries, shakes and has a hissy fit when we try to introduce them. We got Lizzy from a shelter when she was 4. She can’t hear anymore so it makes it hard to get her to be calm.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Cute photos! You can understand Lizzy's dismay - she's a senior canine and this is a big change to her world. Give her time and do not try to push the issue. As long as she is not trying to hurt the cat (and it does not seem so) just let her ignore the cat for now. Make sure that you are not changing Lizzy's routine at all. Still take her for her regular walks, give her lots of playtime and plenty of treats. Eventually she should be able to coexist with the kitten. I would get the kitten checked at the vet right away to make sure there are no parasites, worms, fleas, etc that can be added to the home or passed to Lizzy. Good luck!

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Karma
Pit bull
9 Months
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Karma
Pit bull
9 Months

my sister just got a little kitten maybe around 6 weeks old. My dog Karma Has tried to attack her on 3 different occasions. it is like she's trying to eat her what do I do? She has been around cats before so i don't understand why acts aggressive towards this kitten. Please help i don't want her to kill this kitten. And she is a good dog mostly

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the photos! Firstly, work on the Crate Intro Method described on the page you are reading. https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-kitten Keep the kitten away from Karma otherwise. You can also look at all of the methods here: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-kill-cats. Practice over and over - it may take weeks or longer. Make sure that Karma is up to speed on her obedience commands (sit, down, come) and is getting tons of exercise. Train her to listen to you at all times: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. If this training does not help, please call a trainer in your area with experience with aggression and prey drive. Keep the kitten safe in between training. All the best!

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Sky
Sky Terrier
10 Years
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Sky
Sky Terrier
10 Years

We adopted a rescue dog a few months ago. After doing so, we learned that our dogis deaf or hard of hearing (she is older). She was pretty quiet and kept to herself when we first got her but has slowly come out of her shell. Well, my niece (who lives with me) got a new kitten yesterday and their introduction to each other was not great. The dog gets too excited about the cat. She has tried putting the kitten in her mouth a couple times and because she is deaf, verbal commands don't work. How can we train our dog to get along with the kitten without verbal queues?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it's not too late to start the introductions over. How does Sky do with the rest of her commands? Does she know and respond to them? Commands like "Sit" and "Stay" will work well in this situation. Here are a few pointers: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-deaf-dalmatian-puppy and https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-labrador-retriever-with-hand-signals. They may not work with your dog, but it's a start. As far as the kitten goes, do not let Sky get too close just yet. The Polite Introductions Method may work: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-greyhound-to-like-cats. Sometimes when a kitten or cat is put into a crate and brought into the room where the dog is over a period of several days, the introduction goes more smoothly. I would also search online for a forum with deaf dog owners and put the question out there. You may find advice for other issues, too. All the best!

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Benz
Border terrier cross
7 Years
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Benz
Border terrier cross
7 Years

We recently bought a 6 month old kitten and when we first introduced him to our 7 year old terrier cross dog it all went really well. They even slept on the landing together in their beds. But in the last couple of days whenever the kitten tries to go over to our dog to sniff or ‘wash’ the dog, he starts to growl and goes to bite the kitten. What’s the best way to go about this so, we try to reassure him when the kittens near but doesn’t seem to help!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it is unfortunate that the happy beginning has now turned awry. However, the fact that they got along well in the beginning is a good sign. I don't think the problem is entirely Benz's fault. After all, he had 7 years of peace and now he has a kitten who is washing him. I would work with the kitten to try and keep them occupied and away from Benz if it continues, for at least a while. Make sure that Benz still has just as much affection - even more that he did before - and take him for more walks than previously. Shower him with affection so that he does not feel that the kitten is more important. Buy the kitten a cat tree to climb up if an escape is necessary. Place it near a window and chances are the cat will want to spend plenty of time up there looking out the window and not bothering Benz. Buy the cat specific cat toys to keep busy but at the same time, buy Benz a new toy, too. I am sure they will coexist eventually. All the best!

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Leo
Pit bull shitzu mix
4 Years
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Leo
Pit bull shitzu mix
4 Years

Hi.
I recently got a kitten who is about 2 months old (male) and my dog looks at the kitten as prey. He also doesn’t listen to commands when the kitten is around. I already put a baby gate and my dog learned how to jump over it. Will time help them get along? It’s been less than a week.
Thank you

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Hello and thank you for the photos. Keep the kitten safe and out of Leo's reach as you work through this. This guide has excellent instructions about introducing them safely. Take a look at all of the Methods and take advice from each. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-greyhound-to-like-cats. Be aware of the kitten's stress level. You don't want a dog who constantly chases and a cat who never comes out of hiding - not a peaceful household. Brush up on Leo's obedience commands and be sure to be consistent in training him to leave the cat alone. Don't leave Leo in the house unless the cat is secure in a closed room. Making it work is possible, it will just take a few weeks of consistent training. Read the guide and put it into practice. Exercise Leo a lot through walks and games of fetch and ball to tire him out as well. Good luck!

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Daisy
Cock-A-Poo
9 Years
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Daisy
Cock-A-Poo
9 Years

Recently got a 8 week old kitten (Kiki). We keep a hold on daisy when she’s interacting with Kiki but she’s whining, trying to bite the kitten. I’m afraid that what we’re not handling daisy right. What tips can you give in awarding good behaviour without her getting over excited.
Kiki on the other hand has settled in fine, she has hiss at daisy but I think she’s doing fine

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Very cute! There are excellent tips here for introducing a dog and cat. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-like-cats/. Use the Do's and Don'ts Method and also the Socialization and Safety Method. Make sure that the kitten has a safe haven to escape to if needed. That is essential. Keep Daisy's routine the same so that it does not seem that the kitten is favored over her. I would watch every single interaction. Sometimes it helps to put the kitten in a cat cage and keep them in the same room as the dog, allowing the dog to get used to the kitten without being able to get close. Keep working on it - reinforce some of the commands that Daisy learned in dog training classes so that she is obedient when you are calling her away from the cat. Good luck!

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Bailey
Jack Russel patterdale staff
9 Years
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Bailey
Jack Russel patterdale staff
9 Years

I have 2 dogs. One staff who is very good and dislike and her son, who is castrated. He does not get along with other dogs and will fight. He tends to bite down on them but not mark them. I have 2 new kittens. About 6 weeks. They are very young as farm cats. I’ve been keeping them in a big crate while settling into the house and Slowly trying to introduce them and the dog has been very good but did lunch at The cage once. He trembles and has a nervous manner when near the kittens. I’ve put him on a lead and let him sniff the kittens, and fussed him when he relaxed after I took the kitten away. We’ve had the kittens a week now and they are roaming the house, I put bailey away for them to do this as my other dog is fine. Today I tried introducing him off leash and he was very good, no trembling. Sniffed the kitten throughly but then slowly opened his mouth and tried putting the kitten in his mouth. I sternly said no and removed the kitten. I am worried that he will not except them And I don’t want him to harm or rag or kill the kitten. I’m not sure what to do.

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Tardis
cockapoo
7 Years
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Tardis
cockapoo
7 Years

Hello, we adopted a kitten a week ago. She's 10 weeks old now. I've been trying to train the dog to get used to her. She has her litter and bed in a room in the basement. Dog never goes down there but we put a door on the basement in addition to the one already on her room (kitty can roam basement freely too with supervision)

The dog eventually realized she was down there. He's been a bit obsessed with the door now. He gives a little yap and whine. He also tends to be obsessed with his nose to the door and laying there the kitten has even played a bit pawing at his nose!

It seems to be going fine but I'm just wondering if this has been going fine.
My mom and sister (who wanted the cat mainly) keep freaking out that he wants to eat her. To the point she's ordered a muzzle and won't let me go further with them meeting (dog on leash sitting and letting cat come up on her own.)

Any advice you could give me? My sister thinks the dog sniffing the door with some whines and tail wags is him wanting to eat her. When he does that the cat is at the door interested in him.

Just wanting to know if I'm doing anything wrong and if you could give me anything to say to reassure my family that the kitten and dog are doing fine?

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