Your little dog is a family favorite. He charges around the house, entertaining the kids. On the whole, he’s pretty well behaved and friendly. However, he does have one bad habit that is proving difficult to shake. He loves chasing cats. Because he’s a small dog, he may feel threatened by cats who aren’t too different in size. The problem is, it’s making life rough for your resident cat. Not to mention, the neighbors with cats aren’t your biggest fans either.
Training him not to chase cats could prevent serious problems. If he catches a cat and does serious harm, then you could be looking at hefty vet bills. Even worse though, if he develops a taste for biting cats, that could then progress to attacking humans. Dogs that attack humans often have to be put down.
Once a dog has developed a habit of chasing cats it isn’t always easy to stop. If your dog is small, you at least have the advantage that he won’t be as strong or fast as some bigger dogs. He could be just as stubborn though. You’ll need to take a number of deterrence measures to start with. You’ll also have to use obedience commands to reinforce your control and position as pack leader. Finally, you’ll need to encourage positive play between your small dog and cats.
If he’s a puppy he should be receptive. You could see results in just a week or two. If he’s older and this habit has been years in the making then you may need a little while longer. Training could take up to two months. Succeed and you’ll never have to panic when you hear the sound of the cat screech again.
Before you can start training you’ll need to collect a few bits. A water spray bottle and baby gates will be needed for one of the methods. You’ll also need food puzzles and other toys.
Stock up on hard to resist treats, or break your dog's favorite food into small pieces. Try and set aside a few minutes every day for training. Consistency is key for swift results.
The only other things you need to bring are patience and a positive attitude. Once you have all that, it’s time to get to work!