How to Train Your Dog to Not Kill Cats

Hard
1-2 Months
Behavior

Introduction

A large German Shepherd, Duchess, has decided that the neighborhood cats should not be in her yard. That may be the case and she may have a valid point, however, those cats are your neighbor's beloved pets. One day, Duchess manages to catch and kill the tabby cat that lives next door, who happens to belong to a 6-year-old girl, who is now devastated by the loss of her pet. You feel awful, and now your neighbors hate you and your cat-killing dog. If you want to get along with your neighbors, and your dog is aggressive towards cats, you are going to have to teach her not to kill cats before something like this occurs!

If you have a cat or live in an area where your dog is regularly exposed to cats, having a dog that is aggressive towards cats is an accident waiting to happen, and steps to correct this behavioral tendency are required immediately to prevent tragedy.  While cats and dogs have often traditionally been thought of as enemies, this does not have to be the case. Many thousands of dogs and cats share homes together quite happily, play together, and develop close friendships.

Defining Tasks

Because cats are smaller than most dogs, there is a tendency for dogs to see cats as prey. Teaching your dog not to attack cats will mean making sure that your dog sees cats as members of the household, or companions, not prey. Because the consequences of unsuccessful training are so severe, you will need to take special precautions during training to ensure that a cat is not injured during the process. During the training period, you will need to make sure that your dog never has uncontrolled access to a cat. If you have a cat in your household, this may mean providing separate quarters for the dog and the cat during training. Some dogs with a high prey drive may need continued supervision over a very extended period of time when in the presence of a cat, to ensure that they do not harm the cat even after initial training success.  

A dog that is socialized from a young age with cats is far less likely to develop cat killing behavior. An older dog that has been aggressive to cats and has developed aggressive tendencies towards cats will be more difficult to train. There are some steps prior to training that you can take which will reduce aggression towards cats and other animals; spay or neuter your dog, ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise and attention, and provide him his own toys to keep himself occupied, so he is not as likely to become bored or frustrated and turn aggression to other small animals. Teaching your dog not to view cats as prey is key to training him not to kill cats and is vitally important to the safety of our feline friends.

Getting Started

Before training your dog to stop chasing cats, you will need to make sure that there is a safe, controlled environment for your dog and any cats involved in the training exercises. Make sure the dog cannot hurt your feline helper by using a short leash and working in an enclosed area with a safe retreat for the cat. A crate to keep your feline assistant safe and give the cat a feeling of protection during training may be useful. Don't put the cat under duress at any time.

The Desensitizing Method

Most Recommended
4 Votes
Step
1
Contain cat
Put your “volunteer cat” in a hard-sided carrier for protection. You can give the cat a toy or catnip to keep her happy during the training time. It is important though, to practice with a docile cat who will not be stressed through the process.
Step
2
Introduce dog
Introduce the dog or puppy into the room. Give the dog lots of treats and attention to keep him focused on you. Play with the dog and practice obedience commands in the presence of the cat in the carrier.
Step
3
Claim cat space
If the dog lunges towards the cat or pays attention to the cat, firmly say “no” and insert your body between the cat and the dog to regain his attention.
Step
4
Reinforce ignoring the cat
As soon as the dog pays attention to you and not the cat, resume giving attention, play, and treats. Wait until your dog learns to ignore the presence of the cat in the carrier.
Step
5
Use leash
Start allowing the cat in the room, out of the carrier. Put your dog on a leash and repeat previous steps until your dog learns that ignoring the cat means rewards, while paying attention to the cat means no reward.
Recommend training method?

The Alternative Behavior Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Control dog
Find a safe place, such as inside a house or in an enclosed yard. Attach a leash to your belt with your dog fastened, and have treats available in your hand. Your dog should already have mastered the 'sit' command.
Step
2
Introduce cat and ask for alternative
Have your cat, or a friend's cat, present. When the cat appears, ask your dog to sit and look at you. If your dog sits and give you his attention, give him a treat. If he does not pay attention to your command but lunges toward the cat, pull the dog away from the cat and repeat the 'sit' command. Repeat this until you are far enough away from the cat that your dog obeys your sit command and ignores the cat, then give a reward.
Step
3
Increase proximity
Repeat this process, until your dog can be close to the cat and obey the 'sit' and 'look at me' commands appropriately. When the dog starts sitting and looking at you automatically in response to seeing the cat, you can put your dog on a longer leash, 8-10 feet in length.
Step
4
Move away from dog
Attach the long leash to a fixed point and move away from your dog. When the cat comes into view, your dog should sit and look at you. Give your dog a treat. If he lunges at or pull towards the cat, go back to previous step.
Step
5
Establish off leash
Take your dog off leash and allow your dog to be present with the cat. If your dog sits and looks for his treat, reward him. If he runs to the cat, go back to step 4. Make sure the cat has an escape route so the cat is not in danger. During the training period, make sure your dog never has access to chase the cat. This may mean separating them physically to different parts of the house if they live together.
Recommend training method?

The Exercise and Obedience Method

Least Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Obedience refresher
There is no such things as taking too many obedience classes. If it has been a while since your dog went to school, enroll him again. It's a great way to practice socialization skills and fine-tune obedience commands like down, stay, and leave it, essential to your cat's safety.
Step
2
Extracurricular activity
Along with the obedience class, take your dog to activities like agility and flyball. These are not only a lot of fun but will mentally and physically tire your dog out, leaving them too tired to chase cats.
Step
3
Run
Get both you and your curious dog in shape by taking up a sport like running or intense hiking. You may find a group that includes dogs for large pack hikes.
Step
4
Puzzle toys
Give your dog an interactive toy to play with when the cat is close by. If your dog is engaged in the toy and not minding the cat, consider a meet and greet in the near future.
Step
5
Reintroduction
Now that you have a dog that is exhausted and content from so much exercise, try a gentle reintroduction by having the cat in close proximity, behind a gate or in a crate.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Bodie
Boxer
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bodie
Boxer
1 Year

We just adopted Bodie and he attacked our cat this morning. After getting them apart, neither appears to have serious injuries. We don’t want to have to choose between the two, but Can’t allow him to hurt the cat. Help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennie, While this is a serious issue, the good news is that your dog did not seriously injure or kill your cat during the interaction, that shows a certain level of control on your dog's part. Is Bodie bothering your cat in general or does your cat initiate the confrontations? If your dog is bothering your cat, then the easiest thing to do is to teach your dog to avoid your cat altogether. You can do this in a couple of ways. The first way to teach this, is to heavily reward your dog for going to a certain location whenever your cat is present. You can teach your dog the "Place" command, and have your dog's place be somewhere like a dog bed set out in your living room. Whenever your cat approaches, send your dog to his "Place" and insist that he stay there by taking him back if he gets up, then reward him whenever he remains there. When you start this, reward him when he first goes there and also every two minutes.. Overtime, gradually increase the amount of time between rewards. For example, at first reward him every two minutes, then every three minutes, then every five, every seven, every ten, and so forth, until he must remain there for thirty minutes before receiving a reward. Do not let him up until you have told him "OK" or your cat has left. This will help him to control his urge to chase your cat by giving him something else to do and by improving his self-control, but it will also help him to enjoy the presence of your cat. Another option is to train him using a remote electronic training collar to avoid your cat. For this you will need to purchase a high quality electric collar such as a collar made by: E-Collar Technologies, Garmin, SportDog, or Dogtra. Do not go with less expensive brands that only have a handful of electric stimulation levels. A good quality collar will have at least sixty levels, so that you can use the lowest level needed and adjust the collar very gradually when needed. Other brands can be faulty, overly sensitive, and downright dangerous. Other brands are the ones you will hear horror stories of if you look online. Of the brands mentions, the E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator is the most versatile for the price. To properly use an electric collar, find an experienced trainer in your area to help you. Electric collars are fabulous tools when used correctly, and they are one of the only ways to effectively stop a dog from chasing prey, but when used wrong they can also cause serious issues, so get help from someone who knows how to use one correctly. A lot of things go into using an electric collar properly, including proper understanding of training principles, proper understanding of canine body language, proper fitting of the collar, proper understanding of basic collar training, such as how to find your dog's appropriate stimulation level and how to keep your dog from becoming collar wise, as well as timing, communication, and awareness of the pitfalls, so that you can avoid them. With that said, if you have the right experience and knowledge or help, they do work incredibly well. If your cat is initiating the confrontations, then your best option is to either confine your cat or to find someone who is experienced in training cats to work with your cat, to teach him to leave your dog alone. Many cats are the initiators of confrontation with dog's so do not assume that your dog is the problem until you have watched the two together for a bit. The problem also might be both your cat and your dog, which means that both need to learn to avoid each other. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Marley
American Bulldog
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Marley
American Bulldog
2 Years

cat aggression. They grew up together and ALWAYS got along great, one day the fights broke out and its been nonnstop. we keep them seperated 24/7 but its becoming inconvient! help!

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

Hello, sorry to hear of the sudden loss of harmony between the two. Because they got along well before, my first thought is to take each one to the vet for a medical appointment to rule out a medical issue that could be causing the aggression (dental issue, unknown injury etc). You will have to make sure that your cat has a safe haven to escape to - and yes, keep them separated until this is solved. Because the aggression and danger is so high, I suggest you have a trainer come to the home to help you deal with the problem. You can try reintroducing them slowly but this may or may not work. https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-kitten The methods are all good. Try to have Marley learn to ignore the cat: https://wagwalking.com/training/ignore-cats. All the best and I hope it works out.

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Question
Chazza
Lab X
4 Years
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Question
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Chazza
Lab X
4 Years

This is my dog inside with cats but outside is a different story. We have two dogs but Brownie never bothered the cats outside until we got Chazza. They have injured a cat and also killed one. Inside Chazza doesn’t bother them but outside he can’t control himself. Please help me. I live on a farm and have quite a few cats.

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

Hello, this is a situation that may or may not be fixable. You will not be able to make the necessary changes and training steps on your own. A behaviorist to assess the prey drive and chase drive is the solution. In the meantime, can you somehow provide a safe haven for the cats in the barns where the dogs do not have access? Take a look at this article which explains why a dog may chase a cat. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Why-Did-My-Dog-Kill-my-Cat. Then. try to give the cats safety and call a behaviorist. I hope it all works out and good luck!

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Question
Steve
pit bull terrier
Three Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Steve
pit bull terrier
Three Years

We adopted a 6 year old cat from a shelter we are all in love with him so I pray I can make this work Smaller pit on the left has been around small animals and did not show aggression to our new cat but was only introduced shortly
We tried to introduce Steve our 3 yr old and he’s so lovable I did not foresee his aggressiveness and I lost my hold on him he lunged at the now running trying to hide cat I broke it up before the worse happened and the cat was not harmed just traumatized 😪
Is it possible with veterinary training to train the aggressive kill prey my beloved dog obviously has or do I admit we can’t and give up our new very beloved cat
Please help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christina, When a cat does not live with a dog it is possible to train the dog to avoid cats, and when a dog is a puppy still the puppy can often be trained to get along with cats, and when a dog is simply chasing or afraid of a cat but does not intend to kill the cat, that dog can often be trained, but because your dog is an adult and the attack was likely based on a predatory instinct, it is very unlikely that the two animals will ever be able to safely live in the same house as each other. With a lot of work it is probably possible to get Steve to the point where he would avoid the cat most of the time and become more tolerant of it in general, but it would only take one wrong interaction to lead to the worst outcome, so it is probably much safer to avoid that possibility altogether. Essentially you could manage the aggression but probably not get rid of it. There is a very small chance that the aggression is based on something other than predatory instinct, in which case you might be able to successfully use behavioral modification to address it. You would need a professional trainer very familiar with different types of aggression to do an evaluation though in order to tell. Honestly, it is very unlikely that it the aggression is caused by something else though, so the chance of success is very small, and it would not be a simple solution. Addressing aggression like what you described, in any form, takes a lot of time and work. I am so sorry that the animals do not get along. I know that must be heart breaking. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Sophia
pit mix
4 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Sophia
pit mix
4 Years

Hi i need help. My dog Sophia has killed 10 cats with in a half of a year and the last one I could not stop her. Is there a way that I can have her and a cat? She is an outdoor farm dog and she has killed all our barn cats and one that was a stray. I love her and I adopted her after she was abandoned on a road side and don’t want her to feel abandoned again if I sell her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mya, Unfortunately the answer is no. Because she has killed such a large number of cats, she cannot ever safely live in close contact with a cat. She had almost certainly killed the cats due to a predatory instinct, and although you can manage that instinct with the right tools and training, you cannot remove it, and if she lived with a cat managing that instinct would be too hard to guarantee safety for the cat. It may be possible to teach her to avoid future neighborhood cats who are very far away by hiring a competent local dog trainer who has extensive experience using Electric Collars. Using an Electric Collar and proper avoidance training she likely could be taught to avoid cats who are far away, but she will never be safe in the same household as a cat, and her desire to kill them will never make her completely safe without supervision. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you for sharing your experience. We are in the same boat. We adopted our dog, and she right away started killing. They were our cats. Our cats are not allowed in the yard, and soon, they quickly learned to stay away. We've had her for about 2 years, and for whatever reason, my cat decided to go into the back yard early this morning. Luckily, my husband and I heard the commotion and got him out in time. I hate that she attacks, but I know its not her fault. She was beaten before. She was found ( stray) so, I guess its her instinct. Ive thought about finding her a new home, but I also hate not telling the new owners that she kills cats. And I feel bad also if I do post that she kills cats, and some crazy person wants her to have her kill cats. When everything is calm, I think about finding her a home, and then I wonder if someone will be kind with her, so she is still with us. Thank you for your post, cause I feel better knowing someone went through the same thing and gives me an idea of what to do. I am thinking of putting her on a leash at night will be a good thing since she's used to being outdoors and she can be close to her dog house.

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Question
Gracie
black mouth cur
11 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Gracie
black mouth cur
11 Months

Hi, we just adopted Gracie alittle over a wk ago. We have a resident senior cat. We have sectioned off our home by a gate. We gave our senior cat Minu our bedroom side and Gracie the living room/kitchen. We let Minu free and he has been coming out more frequently the past couple days. When he is out, we put Gracie on a leash. We are trying to train Gracie to pay attention to us over Minu. Everything was going great . They both sniffed each other & was face to face. Never any hissing or growling. Gracie's ears are always up. My husband felt confident 2 nights ago to let Gracie off leash in our living room, he looked around and thought he didn't see Minu but he was sleeping on our kitchen chair. When Gracie seen Minu, they did a little chase around our table, still no hissing or growling. My husband stopped it very fast. Put the leash back on Gracie and Minu was standing on the other side of the gate unharmed and not afraid. Today Minu came out & Gracie is on the leash. They looked at each other and Gracie wagged her tail. I don't feel like Gracie has it in her to harm Minu, she could be trying to play. I guess I just need to see how you feel and if we should continue doing what we are or try something else? ?
Thank you,
Carrie

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carrie, Gracie may very well just be trying to play with Minu. Keep the leash on and the animals separated when the leash is off for at least a couple of weeks though. You need Gracie to get familiar enough with Minu that she considers her part of the family and Minu becomes boring to her from constantly being around her without excitement. I would have to evaluate Gracie in person to see if she is prey driven toward the cat, but typically prey drive looks tense, with a fixed glare, quivering, drooling, or stalking. Not always but those are more indicative of prey drive. Excitement tends to look more relaxed, loose tail wagging (not stiff), and grinning or calm. Chasing can end in disaster simply because one animal is so much bigger but the intention is often different and the chasing can be addressed (prey drive cannot be ended - only managed). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Elvis
Mix
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Elvis
Mix
4 Years

Hi Caitlin, I have a 5 year old lab/pit/hound mix that is a foster failure. I've owned him for 2 years.

He's a big loveable goofball but protective and has been aggressive towards other dogs. He's bit 2 other dogs that needed vet trips. Seems if the dog he's introduced to shows any aggression, he attacks. He has gotten significantly better since I've had him but I still proceed with great caution when introducing him to new dogs.

Most concerning is he killed one of my mom's cats this morning. I have 3 cats and another dog, they are not scared of him and don't run when he approaches, they even "groom" him and he licks them so he obviously considers them part of his pack.

I don't think he set out to attack mom's cat this morning, I think he just chased her as if it were a game, but no doubt when cornered the cat got defensive. His muzzle is scratched up so he didn't come away unscathed.

He is a very submissive dog when corrected so I feel like he can be trained to leave strange cats alone, just like any suggestions you can offer on how to proceed.

I'm heartbroken over what's happened this morning. At the moment all I can do is apologize to my mom and promise never to bring him over there again.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Benjamin, It sounds like Elivis has an extremely low bite threshold and a lack of self-control in adrenaline inducing situations. In other words when he gets into a confrontational situation he lacks self-control emotionally and physically. What this means is that he cannot be trusted around other dogs and cats he does not have a history with period. He may be fine one moment and lashing out the next, and it will often be with only slight warnings. With that said, get him used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle for dog introductions. A soft silicone basket muzzle will be more comfortable, will allow him to open his mouth while wearing it, and will have larger holes that you can pass treats through to him. He shouldn't be meeting any dogs without it. That is not to say don't have him meet dogs though, but use this tool when doing it. To get him used to wearing a muzzle, show him the muzzle and give him a treat every time that you show it to him, he touches it, sniff it, or looks at it. When he is comfortable with that, then touch it to his face, immediately remove it, and give him a treat. Practice that until he is comfortable with that. After that, hold the muzzle onto his face without attaching it, and feed him treats through the muzzle holes while you hold it. Practice that until he is comfortable with that. When he is comfortable with that, then put the muzzle on him and feed him treats through the holes for five minutes, then take it off again. Repeat this and gradually increase the amount of time that he wears the muzzle for and how long he goes between treat rewards, until he can wear the muzzle for an hour without treats, and is relaxed. When Elvis can wear a muzzle, then put the muzzle on him while you are teaching him to avoid cats. For the next part, honestly you should hire a trainer with extensive experience using Electric Collars. You will need to teach him to avoid cats even when they are running or being antagonistic. You can somewhat teach him using positive reinforcement only, but you will need an Electric remote training collar to ensure consistent obedience and in the case of the cats, this is life or death so you need consistency. Look up Jamie Penrith from TakeTheLeadDogTraining on Youtube. He has videos where he talks about ending livestock chasing behaviors in dogs. He is also a great resource for learning more about electric collars. First, spend time getting Elvis used to wearing a muzzle, then purchase a high quality electric collar, such as Dogtra, Sportdog, or e-collar technologies. Don't buy a cheap one. cheap ones can be dangerous. Cheap ones are what you hear horror stories about. Garmin also makes a good one but you will need one with a dial that controls the stimulation levels and theirs only has buttons for adjusting the levels. Have your dog wear this collar for at least two weeks around the house and outside during the day without turning it on. You need your dog to get used to the collar and forget that he is wearing it before you use it for training, or your dog will associate the training with the collar and will only be obedient consistently while he is wearing the collar. You need for him to first get used to the collar on his neck without it being essentially. When you have done that, then hire a trainer with electric collar experience and tell them that you want to teach your dog to avoid cats. This trainer should help you determine what stimulation level the collar should be set at your dog, set up multiple scenarios with cats to do the training, and teach you what you need to do to maintain the training. The stimulation collar settings are unique to every dog. Some dogs are more sensitive than others and each collars levels work slightly different, so a 10 on one collar might not even be a tingle and a 10 on another level might be way too high. The collar also needs to be fitted high on your dogs neck so that it does not slide down, and tight enough for both metal pieces to be touching his skin without constricting breathing at all. This is important because looser can cause your dog not to feel the sensation every time, which might cause you to go up too high a level to get a response. It will also give inconsistent responses which is bad for training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lui
hound mix
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lui
hound mix
5 Months

My husband and I recently adopted our dog Lui who’s 5-6 months old. We have 2 cats at home who are extremely friendly and loving, not instigators at all. When Lui first saw the cats he went ballistic, chased them and could not be re-directed. We now have the cats in our bedroom with their food/water/litter box and a baby gate in the doorway to stop Lui from entering. He will often go up to the gate and growl/bark if he thinks he sees a cat. We’ve tried the re-introduce them but the dog goes so crazy and scares the cats. When he’s out walking he occasionally with bark at people/ other dogs but isn’t phased by squirrels or rabbits. What can I do to stop him from attacking my cats? Will he ever be able to be around them and not want to attack them? I just don’t know if it’s safe to have him in our home with the cats here.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ann, Some dogs can never live with cats because of a strong prey drive. Lui is still young and you mentioned that he does not seem to have a strong prey drive with other animals. It might just be the excitement of the cats in his own home. Teach him a "Down" command. Have him in the "Down" position with a leash on him, attached to a front clip harness or collar that he cannot slip out of. Step on his leash while he is laying down, so that it will quickly stop him if he tries to get up but not be uncomfortable if he stays down. Have another person bring a cat in, at first in a carrier, from the very far end of the room, as far away as you can but where Lui can still see it. Keep your foot firmly on his leash and be ready to keep him there. Remind him to "Down" when the cat first enters, and if he makes any attempt to listen and do it, then give him a ton of treats, one tiny treat at a time for several minutes, as long as he is being at all calm. You can use his own dog food for this if he likes it. If he tries to jump up and fight you to get free, which he likely will, then stay firm, keep the leash to the floor so that he cannot get up all of the way, until he either gets quiet for a second or lays back down. When he gets quiet or lays down, then reward him a bunch, one treat at a time. Expect this to take a very long time for him to get quiet or lay down the first few times. An hour would not be unheard of, at least fifteen minutes is to be expected. The goal is to give him enough time to get bored with the cat and give up for even a second, so that you can then reward his calmer behavior to show him what to do. Practice this often, feed your cat special cat safe treats through the cat carrier holes while doing this, to help relieve his stress during the barking. When your dog gets to the point where he can tolerate the cat in the carrier from far away, then gradually decrease the distance, until finally, with practice, Lui can stay calm and earn his treats while the carrier is only a few feet away. When he can handle the carrier close by, then carry the cat in without the carrier but start from far away again and work up to Lui as Lui improves. This will take frequent practice, time, and two people. If Lui is able to improve, then there is a good chance that he can learn to coexist with the cats with time. If he shows no improvement, then he may not be able to live with the cats. If he shows improvement, then the next step is to get Lui used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle by pairing the muzzle with treats to get him used to it gradually, and then doing up close introductions on a leash with treats without a lot of movement from the cat. The cats moving around him will be the final step. Use a basket muzzle for this because the basket muzzle will let him open his mouth inside it and will have some holes, to let you slip treats through to reward him with. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Zena
Pit bull
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zena
Pit bull
1 Year

How do I stop her from wanting to attack my cat Fiona every time I walk zena

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Felisha, If your cat is an outdoor cat, that Zena only sees while outside, then you can simply teach Zena a strong avoidance of the cat. If Zena wants to kill your cat because of prey drive, then a strict avoidance is your only safe option other than getting rid of an animal. Check out the YouTube channel that I have linked below and the videos on breaking livestock chasing behaviors by Jamie Penrith. I highly recommend hiring an experienced trainer who is extremely experienced with e-collars, also uses positive reinforcement the majority of the time for teaching other things, and can follow the methods from Jamie Penrith's videos. If your dog has any history of aggression toward people, be sure to inform your trainer and do not attempt to train this yourself because your dog will be in a highly aroused state around the cat. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Brinks
German Shepherd
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Brinks
German Shepherd
2 Years

HELP:

Ok it’s been a month now since we got boy and he still can’t control himself to try to get my cats! We’ve made headway, the cats attempt to come out but he’s bolted at them and he’ll stop when I tell him but it’s a close call! Today we had one come out and I held his collar then she went back and I let him go to the gate. He did great! Then... I sat at the gate with both of them, stuck my arm threw the gate to pet the cat then as she got close he bolted and went to snap at her! It was very very close this time. I told him no and to go outside. Is this a losing battle am I being realistic that they will ever be able to coexist?! I can’t afford a trainer just need advice!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Samantha, First of all, before trying anything else have Brinks wear a soft silicone basket muzzle whenever the cats are anywhere where he might get to them, even if you are present. The silicone will be more comfortable and the muzzle's basket shape will let him open his mouth and also receive treats through the holes. Be cautious still while he is wearing this because he could squish the cat still, but this will remove part of the danger of having the animals under the same roof. Many dogs get used to the muzzles and do not mind them after a while if you introduce it properly. To get him used to wearing a muzzle, show him the muzzle and give him a treat. Practice that until he likes it's presence. Next, touch the muzzle to him and give him a treat. Practice that until he does not mind being touched. Next, hold the muzzle against his face briefly and give him a treat. practice that until he is comfortable with it. Next, hold the muzzle against his face for longer and feed him treats through the muzzle's holes while you hold it against him. When he is comfortable with that last step, then strap the muzzle on him and feed him treats while he is wearing it. After a few minutes of being given occasional treats, take it off again. Gradually increase how long he wears it for until he can wear it for long periods of time without being given treats and act normally. Space the treats out gradually while he is wearing the muzzle to phase them out overtime. Expect it to take him a couple of weeks to get to the point where he can wear the muzzle for long periods of time. Whether or not he will get used to the cat depends a lot on why he is going after them. If he simply finds it interesting and fun to chase, the you can likely train him to leave the cat alone. If he is going after the cat because of prey drive, then you will always have to keep them separate. You can teach a prey driven dog to leave cats outside alone using an e-collar and aversion training but you can never ensure that your own cat will be one-hundred percent safe under the safe roof all of the time. The dog will not be able to avoid the cat well enough. Using the muzzle should help you assess that better. Does your dog act happy and excited around the cat and have playful body language or does he fixate on the cat and stare it down intently. The later is more likely prey drive. The former can be playfulness. The playfulness can be dangerous because even a playful dog might get too excited and hurt or kill a cat, but it is not that dog's intention and can be more easily trained. Look into E-collar training. Look up Jamie Penrith from taketheleaddogtraining on Youtube. He does electric, AKA e-collar, training and works on breaking dogs of livestock chasing habits. He also has general videos on how to properly fit and use electric collars. Also, look up videos of dogs in prey drive mode and play mode and watch the dog's body language to gain insight into whether your dog is trying to play or kill the cats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cookie
Dachshund
5 Years
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Question
1 found helpful
Cookie
Dachshund
5 Years

Hello! My Cookie is a female dachshund that never got pregnant, but had episodes of false pregnancy (including swollen breasts and being protective over plush toys). She has a prey drive instinct, she killed a few birds and a baby possum before. She never had contact with a cat, only passers by in the street and she barks at them. I found this stray kitten, he's not with me right now because I wanted to know if is safe for them to live together. Do you think that maybe my dog would care for the kitten because is a baby and she never had a puppy?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Luiza, Because she has killed several small animals before there is a food chance that she would attack a kitten. The only way to know for sure is to introduce them carefully and decide based on her reaction. To introduce you could get Cookie used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle ahead of time and introduce them while she is wearing the muzzle and on a leash for the kitten's safety. If she fixates on it or stalks it, then that is a predatory response. If she seems caring or excited but not at all aggressive towards it, then she might be able to get used to it. To get her used to wearing a muzzle show her the muzzle and feed her a treat everytime you show her it. Repeat until she is comfortable looking at it. Next, touch it to her and give her a treat each time you do so. Repeat until she is happy and relaxed with that. Next, hold it against her muzzle briefly and give her a treat through the muzzle's holes. Repeat that until she is comfortable with that. Next, hold it against her muzzle for longer and feed her treats through the muzzle's holes while you do so. Finally, put the muzzle on her and give her the treats through the holes. Start by having her wear it just for a couple of minutes. Gradually work up to an hour over time and space the treats further and further apart as she improves. Use a soft silicone basket muzzle because the silicone will be more comfortable and the basket shape will allow her to open her mouth in it and the holes will let you pass small treats to her. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Titan
Pit bull
3 Years
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Question
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Titan
Pit bull
3 Years

I have three pit bulls who I love to death. One of them is still young and I am not having any issues with but the other two have recently started getting crazy when they see cats. They have lived with cats their entire lives up until last year when my cat passed away and I moved back home. I’ve never had issues with them up until recently. How can I get them used to cats again and get rid of the cat aggression as I am getting a new cat very soon. Thank you in advance!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kasey, A couple of things might be going on here. The issue might be a lack of socialization around cats while young. If the dogs were around your cat, but never any other cats, then they might not generalize loving your cat to liking all cats. If you have ever met a dog who lives with another dog and gets along well with that dog, but is reactive towards other dogs on walks, then it's the same type of problem. That dog is used to it's own housemate but was never around strange dogs, so dislikes them. Just because your dogs like one cat does not mean that they will like all cats, unless they grew up being exposed to lots of cats. It that case, your dogs need to be around as many cats as possible from a distance. Work with one dog at a time when you are not at your house. Let your dog see the cat from far enough away for him to notice it but still be under your control. As soon as he sees the cat, praise him enthusiastically and offer him several small treats, one at a time. If you are too close to the cat, then he will probably fixate on it and not take the treat though. Practice this with as many cats as you can find. For the sake of training and the cat's safety do this from a distance on leash or in a securely fenced yard though. If you have any friends with outdoor cats in your neighborhood, see if you can get that person to carry the cat past your house to set up extra training times. If the dog reacts poorly to the cat, correct him, but then recognize that the cat is likely too close right now and adjust your distance. A moving cat will be harder than a still one. Any time that your dog sees a cat and looks at you instead of reacting, praise him enthusiastically and reward him heavily, one treat after another. You will likely get brief opportunities to do this. If you wait too long to praise him, then he will probably react still. That look is him asking you what to do, and he needs praise and treats as feedback, to know that he should like the cat. If he won't take the treats no matter how far away the cat is, then become a party yourself whenever he sees a cat. Praise him lavishly, dance, twirl, talk in fun and exciting voices to your dog, get excited. Make yourself as fun and pleasant as you can, so that your dog has a great time. Another thing that could be going on, is that the dogs are being territorial. If the cat reactions are primarily happening by your home and especially if the cats come into your yard or in front of the sidewalk at all, then the dogs are probably reacting because of the location of the cat, or because of location and a lack of socialization. In that case, focus on cat experiences on your own property. Whenever you notice a cat coming onto your property, make the experience as positive as possible for your dog. Show him that you are okay with the cat being there by dancing around, tossing out treats, playing with toys, and praising enthusiastically. Make the cat experience a party and act goofy and fun when you do so, because your dogs will be even more reactive when a cat is on his turf. You are competing for your dogs' attention and need to make yourself a party. The more you do this every time that there is a cat, the more the dogs should start to learn that cats are fun and welcome. Again, if you have a neighbor or friend who can safely bring their cat outside, in front of your home by the sidewalk, then have that person come often so that you can practice with your dogs when you are ready. As they improve, you can work on closer cat interactions too, but always be mindful of a cat's safety in case your dog gets to excited, territorial, or predatory. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Diesle
Pit bull
2 Years
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Diesle
Pit bull
2 Years

We adopted Diesle 4 weeks ago from the local shelter. We have another dog and a 14 year old declawed cat. We have been successful in getting Diesel to walk past the cat and not pay attention to him when we are around. The problem is if Diesel finds the cat in another room he starts barking at him. Oscar is smart enough to stay under something and not run. We step between them and lead Diesel to another room. My fear is if Oscar runs will Diesel attack him? When he plays with stuffed toys he shakes them violently. What do we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Judyanne, I suggest getting Diesle used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle and having him wear it during the day while you work on cat desensitizing. At night keep the animals confined separately. Done right, a muzzle is not a punishment. Most dogs will get used to wearing one just as they get used to head halters and body harnesses. Use Diesle's food and feed him one piece at a time every time that he sniffs the muzzle. When he gets comfortable with that, then give him a piece every time that you touch the muzzle to his face. When he will tolerate that, then hold the muzzle against his face for a second while you feed him a treat through the muzzle's hole. As he gets more and more comfortable with the muzzle, hold it against him for longer while you feed him treats through the holes. When he will keep his face in the muzzle for a minute while you feed him treats, then buckle it and feed him treats through it, then take it off again. As he improves, gradually keep the muzzle on for longer and longer and space the treat rewards further and further apart, until he is comfortable wearing the muzzle without treats. At that point, you can simply have him wear the muzzle during the day around the cat. Practice this as often as you can. You can feed him his entire food for the day, measured out daily and then rationed out as treats, for this. Continue to teach him to leave the cats alone while he is wearing the muzzle. Stepping between him and the cat and walking toward him until he leaves the area is a good thing to do. Also, practice a "Leave it" command with him often. Start with treats, and work up to harder and harder items, like plates of food and food being dropped. Be quick and step on the leave it item or block him from getting the food any time that he breaks the leave it command while practicing this. When he obeys, then reward him with a different source of food, but never the food you told him to leave alone. You don't ever want him to expect to get the thing that he is supposed to be leaving alone, because that things that he is supposed to be leaving will be the cat later. Follow the "Leave It" method from the article that I have linked below for instructions on how to teach the "Leave It" command. When he can leave the items that the article mentions alone, then find the things that you know he likes best and practice around those things also, like plates of food. Here is the article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, teach him a "Place" command and reward him for staying there while the cat moves around. Reward him whenever he is calm around the cat, and ignoring the cat. Be sure to give him plenty of food and treat stuffed chew toys and regular toys to play with also. Finally, if you are not seeing progress, then hire a local professional trainer who has experience dealing with your issue and comes well recommended, and will come to your home, to help you in person. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lue
Wire Hair Labrador Mix
1 Year
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Lue
Wire Hair Labrador Mix
1 Year

We have had my dog Lue for a while and she keeps killing our kittens, so we have to keep her on a chain all day. My dad told me that he wants to get rid of her because of what she is doing.So my options are 1) give her up to a shelter 2)keep her chained up all the time or 3)train her not to kill and maul our cats. Any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shaye, Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining. He has a Youtube channel. He works with dogs that chase and sometimes will kill livestock. To stop the killing you would need to pursue training like that, creating a strong avoidance of all cats. Whether this is doable will depend on your level of dedication, willingness to learn, and how large the space he is in is. If he is in tight quarters with the cats, like in a house, then the temptation will likely be too great, and he will either resort to killing them or will be in a constant state of stress trying to avoid them. If the cats are outside and he has plenty of room to go somewhere that they are not located to avoid them, then the training is feasible. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY If you end up needing to give him up, then look online for a rescue in your area. Many rescues will foster dogs in volunteers' homes, and if you email them you can surrender the dog to them. They will ensure that he finds a great home through carefully interviewing potential adopters and advertising him online and at adoption events. This is a much better option than a shelter drop off. If you do end up taking him to a shelter, instead of a rescue that fosters, then look for a humane society rather than a kill-shelter. Humane societies do not put dogs to sleep. If the cat killing is his only big issue, then he could be re-homed with someone who has him as an indoor dog and simply does not have cats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Casper
Labrador Husky
1 Year
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Casper
Labrador Husky
1 Year

All my dogs are fine with the cats, playful, not bothered at all with the cats. But when we are not home, they always kill one of my cats and I do not know why or which dog it is as the remaining cats play with all of them and the dogs are not bothered at all. How do I stop them from killing more cats?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Francois, The dogs need to be kept away from the cats while you are not at home. NO EXCEPTION. If both the cats and dogs are in a small area together, unsupervised, the only way to stop the killing is to separate them. If the animals are in a large enough area that the dog can completely leave the area so that the cat is no longer in sign, you can teach a strong avoidance of the cats, but this only works in large areas like on land, not in a home. You can also teach dogs to leave cats alone while you are there in enforce the training, but when you are not at home monitoring the situation, you cannot depend on that training to prevent the kills, especially since the dogs appear to be fine while you are home. I highly suggest keeping the animals completely separate when you are away. You can get all of the dogs used to wearing basket muzzles, set up a camera, and spy on the animals together, to find out which dog is attacking the cats. I don't encourage doing this though because it will take a lot of monitoring to find out and it does not keep the cats completely safe. It still allows the dogs to trample the cats potentially. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Buster
hound mix
One Year
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Buster
hound mix
One Year

Hello. We got Buster a week ago from the shelter. He is a hound mix. It sounds like he has spent his whole life so far in various shelters. He is great, very relaxed, walks great on a leash. The only problem is he seems to want to eat our cats. We have a 3 year old cat and a 3 month old kitten. We have kept Buster on a leash in the house and have tried working on giving him treats when he sees the cats and does not try to chase them or lunge or bark. He does ok as long as they don't move suddenly. It is usually the kitten running that will cause Buster to try to chase the cats.
Like I said, Buster walks great on a leash, but will still take chase after squirrels when out for a walk. When he is focused on the squirrels or the cats it is very difficult to redirect him and break his focus.
I know that it is early, we have only been working with him for a week. He just turned 1 year old. I recently read that Hounds should never live with cats (after we got him.) The shelter thought he would be good with cats based on his otherwise mellow demeanor.
I just want to know if it will be possible to train this dog so that we are not constantly on guard or if Buster will never e able to get over his prey instinct. Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kim, Honestly, it might be helpful for you to hire a professional trainer who has experience with prey drive and this particular issue, to come to your home and evaluate his response toward the cats. If he is curious and simply wants to chase or play with the cat, then there is a very good chance you can train him to eventually relax around the cats. If he has a strong prey drive toward the cats, and a chase would end in a kill, then you can manage his behavior but you will never be able to completely remove the prey drive and the desire to kill the cats. You would end up having to very carefully supervise and confine the animals separately at all times long-term. That can be done in extreme situations but it takes a lot of work. Just because he is a hound that does not mean that he necessarily wants to kill the cats. I have known a couple of Hounds who were fine with cats. Many breeds of dogs have prey drives, but exposure to cats as a puppy so that they learn to accept them as family and individual temperaments do make a difference. Just like not all herding dogs will have a strong enough herding drive to succeed as a sheep dog, not all hounds have as intense of a prey drive as others do. You could give him a month to warm up to the cats, keeping him on a leash or confined behind a gate or crate safely and continue to work with him, rewarding him for calm behavior and interrupting his fixation, or you could immediately have a trainer that is truly qualified come to your house to assess his response toward the cats and give you an idea of how he might adjust or not. They will not be able to make guarantees, but someone experienced could at least evaluate his level of fixation and drive toward them. If you do end up having to give him up, look into rescues that foster dogs in your city. There are even many rescues for specific breeds. You might try googling his breed, the word rescue, and your city or state. An in-home environment, like a rescue that fosters dogs, would increase his chances of being adopted again, help him adjust to home-life more quickly before his next family, and increase his chances of going to the right family so that he is not returned or given up for unknown behaviors. I have personally adopted dogs from that situation myself and many foster rescues do a great job taking care of the dogs, especially breed specific ones that understand certain needs related to that type of dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cooper
Australian Shepherd
9 Months
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Cooper
Australian Shepherd
9 Months

We recently adopted an Australian shepherd mix from the local animal shelter. We’ve had him for 2 months and he’s about 9 months old now. His last owner gave him up to the shelter after 4 months for unknown reasons. Cooper is friendly with kids, adults, and other dogs. He goes to daycare twice a week where he has the time of his life and has never had any problems. Our biggest concern with cooper is that he is very reactive towards our resident cat who we’ve had for years. She is now terrified of him and we feel terrible. When he sees her, he barks, whines, growls, lunges, and his hair on his neck sticks straight up. Our cat never goes near him anymore, so we’re not sure what would happen if she did. Is it possible to train him to not be aggressive towards her to the point where we feel comfortable leaving the two of them alone together? Help!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sibel, Whether you can train him depends on why he is acting aggressive. If his aggression is a strong predatory instinct, then you can only manage his behavior and keep him and the cat separate. If his aggression is due to fear or a lack of socialization, then you might be able to desensitize him to the cat and change his emotions toward her. The aggression could be due to several reasons and an in person evaluation of his response toward the cat, his body language, and how he initially responds to training would be needed to tell. I suggest looking for a trainer who has specifically dealt with aggression and cats before. I suggest having that trainer at least evaluate him to see if they think his response is predatory or rooted in something else. Predatory instinct is the most common reason for dogs and cats not getting along, but it is definitely not the only reason. The hair raised on his back and growling do indicate aggressive intent and not just excitement like some dogs who want to chase. If he tends to freeze and very intently stare at the cat or try to stalk it slowly, those are predatory behaviors. The lunging and growling could be any type of aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Reggie
Pit bull
10 Years
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Question
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Reggie
Pit bull
10 Years

Our dog has never been around cats and constantly barks, growls, and attacks my three cats. How do I stop this

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Damien, First, I would consider hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like prey drive and and aggression, and comes well recommended by previous clients, to work on the following type of training. If you do have to use remote collar training due to the severity of the aggression, make sure that the trainer is VERY familiar with their use, and uses the lowest level pup will respond to, also uses rewards in training, and does things to build impulse control too. Training should not be corrections alone, but involve teaching new behaviors in place and rewarding the correct responses and mindset in pup, to see full improvement. 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. 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/ Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ringo
Boxer pit bull
5 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Ringo
Boxer pit bull
5 Years

I’ve had a new kitten for a week and a half. I have tried introducing her to my dog slowly. I have allowed him to be near her with a leash on and a muzzle and he constantly lunges at her. He gets obsessed and won’t listen to commands. Can I ever break him of his strong prey drive? I do t want my new cat to be at risk, but I don’t want to give up to soon. Is there any hope?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sherri, Due to your dog's age and reaction there is a good chance that he will not adjust, but a week and a half is too soon to tell. I would suggest working on the training for a full month if that is an option. Continue using the leash and muzzle and making sure that they cannot get to one another when you are not supervising, such as night. Correct Ringo for fixating on the cat or acting aggressively toward the cat but also reward and praise him a lot for calming down near the cat, being nice toward the cat, and ignoring the kitten. Also, practice having the cat on the far end of the room somewhere safe like a crate or with another person and practicing Ringo's obedience exercises with the cat in the background but not close. You want him to subconsciously begin to tune the cat out while he is focusing on something else. Reward his obedience, focus on you, and calm behavior while you do this. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pepper
Pit bull
3 Years
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Pepper
Pit bull
3 Years

Hi, We recently rescued a 3 year old pit bull. She is a total sweet heart and for the most part a mellow dog. I'm concerned about our cats, neither of them have really lived with a dog and I don't want to come home to a dead cat. The cats are both indoor and outdoor and we've set up a safe zone for the cats in the other bedroom where their food, water and litter box are and a gate blocking the door so Pepper can't get in. We've only had Pepper for about a week but every time she sees one of the cats she stares at them and moves towards them pretty quickly and makes this weird sound that's not quick a growl but clearly directed towards the cat. The Cats do not like Pepper. They avoid her like the plague and hiss every time they see her, anywhere Peppers been the cats won't go. The people at the rescue shelter say she has some prey drive but gets along with other dogs. I don't want to give up the dog because we already love her so much. Is there hope for her? Does Pepper just need more time to adjust to being around cats. Please help us!.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jenna, Prey drive is not something that will go away so there could always be some risk. With that said you can manage it better. Check out the video linked below. This trainer also has other videos on how to use certain tools correctly if you go that route. Cat chasing dog and teaching avoidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8lkbX0dhT0 I would be very careful in this situation. Teaching pup to avoid cats they aren't constantly in control with is more doable with prey drive. Being able to trust pup 100% with household cats is risky if the behavior is prey driven. If the issue is simply a lack of socialization, fear, or dominance around the cats, that has a much better possible outcome with training. Prey drive doesn't go away though - it's only managed. it might be worth hiring a trainer who has a lot of experience with prey drive, aggression, behavior problems, and comes well recommended for dealing with behavior issues - not only obedience classes, to evaluate the behavior in person and get an idea if this is prey driven behavior. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Duke
American Staffordshire Terrier
2 Years
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Duke
American Staffordshire Terrier
2 Years

My dog is deaf and I got him about 3 weeks ago from the humane society. I have also a cat that I have had around dogs but not a big dog. I have not introduced the cat and dog formally because I’m afraid of his reaction. I have the cat locked away in another room but it’s not fair to her (cat) to be kept locked up. He (dog) has sniffed at her under the door but anytime I’m holding her and bring her out his reaction is never a pleasant one. He hasn’t had a chance to chase or bite her but he doesnt wag his tail or take his eyes off her when she is visible. And when out for walks he chases other small animals. I have thought about muzzling him while introducing them but with him being deaf it’s a challenge. I’m not sure if keeping him would be best or try working with him and see how it goes. Really don’t want to send him back to the society. He is neutered. Plz help me with some ideas.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, One of the easiest things could be having a trainer who is experienced evaluating dogs around other animals, and prey drive, watch his reaction. If he truly is prey driven toward her, that will be very difficult to manage, and there isn't usually a permanent fix to that - simply long-term management. If he is simply not socialized with cats and unsure about her so rough toward her, with work that can often be addressed. Dogs that are playful and just over excited are the easiest dogs to work with around new cats. Some of the desensitization exercises you would use around dogs with issues with other dogs due to fear or a lack of socialization would also work with a dog that simply dislikes a cat due to lack of socialization, but doesn't have a prey drive-with the intent to hunt the cat. A muzzle is a good tool in this situation, but you would still need a leash and other forms of management at this stage because he could still trample her and severely injure her if he attacked, even with a muzzle. Despite him being deaf you can still get him used to a muzzle. Use a soft silicone basket muzzle so that he can open his mouth while wearing it to receive treats through the muzzle. Put the muzzle on the floor and scatter treats around it. Do this until he is comfortable with it. Next, hold it up and whenever he touches it, give him a treat. I suggest using his entire meal kibble, measured out into a bag or treat pouch and feed him meals this way at least once a day. When he is used to touching the muzzle, then hold the treat inside the muzzle through the hole so that he has to poke his nose into the muzzle a bit to get it. Repeat this until he is comfortable, then gradually work up to holding the treat further down the muzzle and for longer, until he will stick his own face into the muzzle all the way and keep it there to receive more treats for holding it there. Once he can hold his face in the muzzle for at least seven seconds and seems completely relaxed around it, buckle it, give a treat, and unbuckle it. Work up to him wearing it for longer over time and spacing treat rewards further and further apart. Expect this to take a couple of weeks though. Go at whatever pace he needs to stay comfortable with the process and be relaxed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kade
German Shepherd
Four Years
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Kade
German Shepherd
Four Years

Hello, I have a GSD, as well as two cats (one senior and one kitten). My dog was not aggressive towards my senior cat at all, he would completely ignore her. However, when I got my kitten he became highly aggressive towards her, he has lunged at her and attempted to attack her many times now. He even stalks the gate keeping him from getting upstairs (where the cats stay). I'm incredibly concerned for the safety of my cats, but I would like to avoid having to give up my dog (I've never had to give up an animal before and I'm afraid he would do horrible in another home given his history, anxiety, and attachment to our house). However, I'm concerned because his aggressive behavior came out of nowhere (he is otherwise fine with small animals). I'm planning to hire a professional trainer. Will it be possible for him to learn how to co-exist with my cats? The switch to him becoming aggressive towards them was very much out of left field, and I'm unsure what triggered it other than getting the kitten.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elizabeth, Without being there in person to evaluate the type of aggression and his responses to training, I cannot say. I feel confident that the new kitten had everything to do with the sudden aggression. Take dogs for example. Many people have dogs that live with another dog for several years and get along fine. When they take their dog to public places, their dog is extremely reactive toward other dogs. The dog was not properly socialized with other dogs. If you had only ever known one person, you would not know how to be social around other people sufficiently. You would probably be afraid, uncertain, or aggressive if you felt threatened and overwhelmed. Because the kitten is much smaller, he may also view it as a different creature than your other cat. If the issue is simply someone new being on his territory, then a good trainer can likely help you with that problem if you are committed to the training. If the issue is a lack of socialization, then with proper, careful training he may also come to accept the kitten with time - that does not mean it is not dangerous now though, so manage their interactions very carefully. If he is prey driven toward the cat and is intent on killing her that is more severe and sometimes cannot be fixes, only managed to keep the animals apart or and teach him a high level of obedience - which only helps when you are in the room and paying full attention, so can be hard for long-term. If you do decide to re-home him, I suggest contacting a rescue that fosters dogs and carefully evaluates potential families and tells people about his pros and cons so that they can find a good match and him not be returned, opposed to just dropping him off somewhere like a kill-shelter. Someone without cats may not mind his cat-issues. There is a good chance that the issue is specific to the new kitten though, so re-homing the new kitten would probably be much easier if it came down to that. You could always have a friend keep the kitten temporarily and see if things went back to normal without the kitten present. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Murphy
Shepsky
3 Months
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Murphy
Shepsky
3 Months

I got Murphy at 8 weeks and he was doing really well at obeying commands and interacting with my cats (4year old and an 8month month old) I went out of town for a week and left him with my good friend. I get back home today and he won’t listen and is attacking my cats to the point where they growl in his presence, how do I fix?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lance, I suggest a little boot camp for Murphy. For around two weeks (exact time length depending on how he responds to the training) attach him to yourself with a six or eight foot leash whenever you are home so that he has to follow and pay attention to you. Crate him when you are away. Keep his meal kibble in your pocket in a baggie while you do this. Reward calmness and focus on you around the cats, especially when they run. Reward him when he automatically lays down when you stand or sit down for a while. Generally look for opportunities to very calmly reward him for calm behaviors, good listening, focus on you, being tolerant of the cats, and paying attention to where you are going. Teach him the "Leave It" command and use that command to help him with the cats. He is young so be patient with him and calm, but work on giving him more structure right now by having him tethered to you with the leash and having him work for his food. If you work during the day, do this with his evening meal and give him his breakfast the same way that you already are. When he is attached to you and tries to go after the cat, calmly but firmly tell him "Leave It" and if he continues to try to go after them tell him "Ah Ah" and give a quick tug and release on his leash to get his focus back on you. When he does something right around the cat, like not chasing it when it passes by, obeying your leave it command or staying in the down position calmly when the cat walks past, calmly praise him and place a treat between his front paws as a reward. When you praise him keep your tone soft and calm or the praise can make him even more excited. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Leave It" method for instructions on teaching the "Leave It" command. The article mentions using the command for puppies mouthing people but the steps are very similar for teaching it around the cats and their movement also. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fiona
Mastiff
10 Months
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Fiona
Mastiff
10 Months

I have had Fiona for around 7 months. She is a doll but very energetic and stubborn. she just killed my sisters cat and we are very torn on what to do. they have had a couple run ins before but Fiona was always just curious. we never thought she would end up killing the cat. animal control stepped in and Fiona is in quarantine for 10 days. my family is trying to decide what to do because my poor sister was very traumatized by what happened(she was the only one there to defend her cat so she got scratched up) i might have to give fiona up for my sisters sake. i know it is just instinct and things like this happen but how can i prevent her from attacking? and my poor sister is now scared of her. i know fiona is a good dog. how can i rebuild that trust with my sister if i were to keep her? this is probably a silly question but how can i know she isnt dangerous? she killed that cat pretty violently and shook the cat to death. how much is just instinct and how much is her being "dangerous" or "violent"

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Makayla, Prey drive and aggression towards people are two separate things. A dog can have both at the same time, but having aggression towards small animals due to prey drive does not directly relate to whether the dog will be aggressive toward people. The most concerning thing related to people is simply her lack of responsiveness to commands when your sister tried to stop her. She was not attacking your sister it sounds like (I do not know details though) but she also did not listen to her commands to stop. That is more of a management issue. It sounds like if you keep her you need to build a high level of obedience in the presence of heavy distractions (like other animals) to potentially help your sister feel safer again, so that if she ever went after another animals when your sister was around your sister could call her off more likely. The decision to keep her is an extremely personal one that your family will have to decide together though. If she is very prey driven, which is sounds like she is, you cannot remove prey drive. Prey drive is typically specifically towards smaller animals like cats and rodents in most cases though - it is not normally a threat to people, unless you have a separate additional type of aggression going on as well or the person is in the middle of it accidentally - like with the scratches. When you have a dog with high prey drive, the goal is to manage that drive by training the dog to respond even in the presence of high distractions and that does take time and work because you are essentially needing off-leash level training with at least a couple of commands. You can teach such dogs to avoid certain animals outside with e-collar avoidance training, but those dogs should not live with animals they view as prey, meaning that you could potentially teach her to avoid cats outside but she should not live with another cat probably. There is not enough space inside a home for her to remove herself from the area where the cat is always. Having her evaluated by a trainer might help your sister feel safe if her only concern is about potential people related aggression. If her concern is about her attacking another small animal, that is a real risk right now if the small animal is in your home. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Stella
Lab mix
4 Years
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Stella
Lab mix
4 Years

We adopted 4-year-old Stella two weeks ago. She is a very smart, loving dog - but she tries to kill my cats. We've been keeping the cats upstairs, not allowing Stella in the room. The door has been cracked to allow the cats to walk around if they are comfortable (which is rare). Every time Stella sees a cat move she chases them HARD and pins them down. There's lots of barking and snarling. She know some basic commands and is food-driven but nothing distracts her when she does this to the cats. She broke my hand a few days ago when I was trying to get her away from the cats.

Stella also growls at people - strangers or people that live in this house. The hair on her back stands up. It's not playful at all. She's started nipping and chasing some people, too.

Stella is scheduled to start a basic training class next week. Will this help? Are we making the right choice by keeping her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, I cannot tell you whether you should keep her or not, but I can tell you this is a serious issue. Most concerning is that she snarls at people she knows. Chasing and pinning the cats is very normal for many dogs who did not geow up with them - dangerous for the cats still though, because dogs are naturally predatory towards animals like cats. Obedience is needed and will be a part of treating her aggression but it is definitely not the only thing needed. You need to hire a professional trainer who is experienced with aggression and will spend one on one time with your family and Stella, either at your home or at a training facility part of the time. An obedience class is not set up to address aggression and many obedience class trainer are not experienced with aggression (some certainly are - but many are not). Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. He is a trainer who specializes in aggression and is on YouTube. I highly suggest hiring someone to work with you in person, but you can learn more online there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cowboy
Pit bull
6 Years
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Cowboy
Pit bull
6 Years

I recently moved in with my significant other and brought my 3 year old cat with me. My significant other has 1 large 6 year old male pitbull and 1, 4 year old female pocket bully. The male is not fixed and shows some aggressive behavior over the female and other dogs. He is very Territorial over us humans and has a high prey drive. Currently, we built a steel reinforced pool gate seperating the animals into different sections of the house. The cat and I have been here for about a month and things are okay but exhausting. The cat feels safe behind the gate and knows what’s on the other side. Occasionally they are nose to nose through the gate and the cat hisses and whacks his muzzle. This seems to excite to dog. During the day when all the animals are sleepy, there isn’t much activity near the gate. However, I noticed in the evening is when the commotion starts. Cowboy becomes obsessed with the gate and claws and whines all evening long. My question is do you think there is any sort of professional training that can be done? I know they will never be able to live safely together but my
Goal is to have them ignore each other. I try to distract the dog with toys or playing outside but he has a one track mind.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madelyn, You can teach avoidance using an electric collar. This needs to be done on top of general obedience training also, with the help of a professional trainer who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training (also called stimulation collars). Before starting any such training though I suggest having the dog evaluated for aggression based on your description. Aggression being present will effect how the training should be done and additional safety measures that should be taken during training. Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining on YouTube, and his livestock chasing videos where he teaches avoidance. https://youtu.be/CpdvFaXnvyg I suggest finding a trainer who could do a safe version of this (after evaluating aggression status), modified to apply to the cat. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jack
Pointer
7 Years
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Jack
Pointer
7 Years

We got Jack 4 years ago as a stray. Over time, he developed very protective tendencies for our other dog and my husband and I. 4 months ago we found a cat in a ditch abandoned and brought it home because it was domesticated/loving all over us, etc. We decided to keep her but we were very worried about Jack because he had shown aggression towards other dogs. We worked and worked with him and we thought everything was good! The cat would rub up against him , no growling on Jack’s part, and then today happened. He attacked her. She was playing and he went after her. He got her in his mouth but my husband broke it up quickly and she got away (we still don’t know how serious it is). What can we do???? We already love her!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello April, I am sorry this happened. What you can do depends largely on why he attacked her. Was she running and the chase triggered the attack? Was he jealous of her or being possessive of you or an object? Was she in his space and that provoked him? Was there seemingly no trigger and it was purely prey drive? (There may have been a not very obvious trigger, like she was near his food bowl or toy if he generally is fine with her). If the issue was related to something like possessiveness, jealousy, or a lack of tolerance of her being in his space, then those issues will need to be address like you would with that type of aggression in general. If the aggression was triggered by motion or prey drive, then unfortunately management may be your only option, since you cannot eliminate prey drive. Management would involve a high level of obedience, teaching an avoidance of the cat, carefully monitoring them, and confining the animals when you cannot monitor. Even with all of these things in place there is still a large risk since, as you saw, fights can happen instantly. I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced with a variety of types of aggression, including those mentioned above, as well as prey drive, to evaluate what may have happened and what type of aggression you are dealing with. Once you know what's going on, then you can pursue the correct type of training for that situation. Until then, I suggest getting him used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle and carefully monitoring the animals together at all times, or keeping them in separate areas of the house. You can introduce a basket muzzle by sprinkling food on top of it at meal times. Once your dog is comfortable touching it, then hold it up and whenever he sniffs it, give him a piece of his meal kibble (measured out into a bag not from his bowl). Once he is comfortable touching it, hold the kibble in the muzzle so that he has to reach inside to eat it. Practice this until he is comfortable reaching inside, and as he improves, gradually hold the kibble further in the muzzle so that he has to reach in further to get it. When he is comfortable having his face in the muzzle, feed him several treats in a row so that he will hold his face in there for longer. When he can hold his face there for 10 seconds calmly, briefly move the buckles together, then give a treat. Next, buckle and unbuckle the muzzle while you feed treats through the muzzle's holes. Increase how long it stays buckled for as he improves and remains calm and happy. Finally, space out your treats and increase how long he wears the muzzle for until he rarely needs a treat and is relaxed about wearing the muzzle. Be sure to use a basket muzzle, or even a soft silicone basket muzzle (to make it comfortable). A basket muzzle will let him open his mouth while wearing it so that you can feed him treats through the holes. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Neala
Mixed Breed - Puggle and Catahoula
5 Years
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Neala
Mixed Breed - Puggle and Catahoula
5 Years

Hi there,

I've had Neala for 3.5 years, and over that period of time, she has had almost no exposure to cats. My girlfriend has two cats, and when we visit, Neala cannot contain herself. We have sectioned off the kitchen so that Neala can see the cats but cannot access them, and she whines, barks, and does everything she can to get toward them. If she can't see them, she sits at barrier in front of the kitchen and pants heavily, waiting for the cats to appear. She has no interest in treats, toys, or playing - she just wants to get toward the cats.

Since she continues to lunge at the cats when she sees them (and since one of them recently sprayed her out of fear), we've had to keep them completely separated. We've been doing this for a couple of weeks now with almost no improvement. I'm not sure what to do next.

Thanks,
Michael

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michael, I suggest hiring a trainer who is experienced with remote collar training to help you with leave it, out, and other commands that build impulse control. Once she is calmer through interrupting her fixation using the remote collar and teaching those commands, then she will likely be more open to receiving rewards and you can reward her calm, compliant behavior instead. For the remote collars (e-collars) she needs to build a good foundation of obedience through training, then the remote collar is simply used to snap her out of her fixation so that you have the opportunity to teach her to calm down instead, as well as enforce the commands you give her very consistently. Obviously do not trust her around the cats at this point and even early on in the training when she is doing well. She needs to be completely fine around them long term before she would ever be left unattended with them. The goal with the cats is to make them boring to her. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Millie
German Shorthaired Pointer
2 Years
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Millie
German Shorthaired Pointer
2 Years

My husband and I recently (4 days ago) adopted Millie, a 2 year old German Shorthaired Pointer. We have a cat already (Rocko) and he is 9 years old and means the world to me! When we brought Millie over for a home visit, she growled once but otherwise ignored the cat. But now that we own her, she growls every time Rocko walks by. She never shows her teeth or raises her back just a rumble. This morning she lunged a little bit at the cat and I'm terrified she's going to hurt Rocko. Rocko does not care. At all. He doesn't growl, puff up, hiss. Nothing. He plays in the same room as her and exposes his belly without a care in the world. When Millie rumbles at him he keeps his distance and proceeds with ignoring her. Rocko is cuddly and I hate that he can't be around me while Millie is in the room. We currently keep Millie confined to the living room with a dog gate and keep her kenneled at night in another room so we don't have any disturbances. We tell her no but she's hard to pull away. My husband has grabbed her scruff and pulled her but she is so nose driven and can't break away from staring at the cat. She does not react to toys and doesn't seem to care for treats either. When they do pass each other successfully we give Millie praise. Do I need to give this more time? Or will she be unable to break this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elaine, You would definitely need more time to know for sure, but I would recommend hiring a professional trainer to evaluate Millie's response toward the cat. Ask trainers questions and look for one with experience with aggression and who is familiar with prey drive and body language, so that they can evaluate the situation. If she is simply not used to cats and uncomfortable around her, then there is a decent chance you can work her through that with cautious commitment to training. If she is highly prey driven toward the cat, you cannot change prey drive, you can only manage it to make it safer. A highly prey driven dog and a cat that the dog is prey driven toward is not something I recommend trying to manage in such close quarters for the safety of the cat and stress of the dog. There are many types of aggression though. Many dogs react grumpy toward new dogs and eventually adjust with training. If that is what is going on, you may be able to get past this. If it's prey drive, then I would be very concerned. The staring at the cat without breaking her gaze does concern me. That shows a level of intensity that can be concerning, but without being there in person I cannot really say. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Beadle
American Bully Staffy Bull Terrier
1 Year
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Beadle
American Bully Staffy Bull Terrier
1 Year

Our dog was raised with our two cats with minimal issues. She's very boisterous, which I think upset one of the cats one day and he attacked her. The cat's attack was pretty severe and left her with multiple cuts. Now she goes after the cat when he enters a room. If they're already in the same room, she's pretty fine but seems on edge. I dont think she's going after him in a predatory way; I think she just wants him out of the room. What can I do to fix this? She gets along fine with the other cat with only a few chasing incidents which she gets timeout for, and seems to work. The cat that attacked her is a different story entirely and she chases him barking and growling like he's the vacuum cleaner.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lauren, It does sounds like fear-aggression opposed to prey drive. Honestly this will be hard to address without being able to address the cat's behavior also. If the cat is being pushy and at risk of attacking her again, it will make it hard to build her confidence around him again. I suggest teaching her a behavior she can do when the cat arrives that earns her a lot of rewards. Work on teaching her the Place command or to go to her crate with the door open. Once she understands what Place or Crate means and to go there, reward her with favorite treats and even a food stuffed chew toy when she goes to those places when told. Next, have someone else bring the cat in the room during practice. As soon as the cat enters, have her go to her spot and receive the rewards. (Do this on leash with a slack leash at first in case she decides to go for the cat). Practice this until she starts to associate the cat's arrival with being told to go to those places and earn rewards, and will go there on her own without being told when she sees the cat. This will accomplish a couple of things: 1. It will give her something else to focus on other than the cat. 2. It will keep her away from the cat. 3. It will help her associate the cat with good things again. You also need to advocate for her. When you see the cat taunting her, starting at her, or generally doing anything to antagonize her, make the cat leave the room. If she feels like you are in charge and enforcing house rules for both her and the cat, she is more likely to look to you for help and relax around the cat. Practicing obedience commands to build her respect and trust in you can also generally help her depend on you in situations that make her feel nervous. If you do not see improvement soon or feel like you need help, I suggest finding a great trainer who can do the above training as well as desensitize her to the cat. Look for someone who is experienced with fear, trauma, and aggression. I wouldn't wait too long to get help if you do not see improvement. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Piper and Bella
West Highland White Terrier (Westie)
11 Years
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Piper and Bella
West Highland White Terrier (Westie)
11 Years

I would like to adopt a cat. However, my two dogs are naturally aggressive toward cats and small animals. They themselves are small, but have tag teamed a neighborhood cat before. They were much younger then, however they still seem to have an aggression toward cats and small animals even now. They've never killed anything, but they have brought back live animals for us at times. Do you think it's realistic at this point in their lives to add in a cat? And if so, which method would you suggest?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Baylee, Honestly I would not recommend getting a cat right now. It does sound like they probably have a predatory drive towards cats. You cannot change predatory instinct since it is instinct. You can just manage it. You would always have to carefully manage the animals through a high level of obedience for the dogs, confinement of the animals when you are not present, and even then accidents can happen. It would be stressful for all of the animals and probably difficult for you. The methods described are primarily for dogs who have not shown aggression toward a cat before, but simply chase cats due to over-excitement or are young enough to be socialized towards cats still, or for those who already have all of the animals and have no choice but to manage the interactions long term to minimize the already present risks. The methods are not recommended for dogs with a proven predatory drive toward cats in most cases, if you can avoid the risks to begin with. I suggest waiting a few years. When you do get a cat introduce the animals while a future dog is still a puppy, or choose a rescue that was raised with cats and known to be good with them already. A calm cat that is less prone to be reactive and run also makes interactions easier. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lily
French Bulldog
7 Months
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Lily
French Bulldog
7 Months

We got our adorable little girl a week ago. She was spent the first part of her life mainly in a pack of other frenchies and will need all her basic training but in the meantime we have a 2 year old cat who gets along great with our 2 year old Boston Terrier however we introduce them when the dog was a year and cat was 6 weeks. Our precious Lily is very hard to redirect when she sees the cat and immediately chases which causes our cat to run and defend from either the bed or sink. We have also had a time or two where Lily chased our cat up a tree in the front yard. Our cat seems to be trying to hold it's ground but at this point my cat is too scared of the dog to try and approach and the dog is way to focused on find and chase for any positive interactions. While still working on very introductory command training of the puppy is there a way to deter or reduce this prey drive and focus?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bree, I suggest teaching the "Out" command - which means leave the area. Check out the article linked below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I also suggest keeping Lily tethered to you with a chew proof leash while you are in the process of training still, and crating her when you have to leave the home. When you are training or playing games she does not have to be on the leash attached to you, but when simply hanging out it will keep her out of mischief, give you opportunities to redirect her focus back to you more easily, and help her bond with you. Check out a leash like VirChewLy that is chew-proof if she tends to chew (most puppies her age chew a lot right now). When you are going to be sitting or standing for awhile, give her a food stuffed chew toy to keep her busy and to help her learn to lay down quietly by your feet and chew her own toys. Check out the article linked below for some tips on tethering and stuff hollow chew toys with food. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Correction. 1 year old cat....

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Rocky
German Shepherd
5 Years
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Rocky
German Shepherd
5 Years

Hi, i need help with my dog. So i have 2 cats inside the house and my dog stays out in the garden but sometime the cat sneak out in the garden and im afraid one day he will seriousoy harm them, which he just tried to day a few minutes earlier .I've been trying to get him used to the cats by collaring him and taking them out a letting them room around sometime if i have another person available i even take them out without collaring him .His reactions vary sometimes he just sit and doesnt take his eyes of him while clearly he is bother by their presence and he may try to attack and sometimes he ignore them .But once he wants to attack he wont listen to my commands at all .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Inas, It does sound like he may be prey driven toward the cats. If that is the case, I suggest teaching him to avoid the cats completely. If his response toward the cats is less extreme, then you could teach him to go somewhere like a dog house when he sees the cat (assuming the cat won't follow him in there). You would first teach him a command that means he should go into the dog house, then you would heavily reward him for obeying that command. Next, you would practice the command in the cat's presence, with someone else managing the cat and him on leash, so that he learns that as soon as he sees the cat he should go in his house to receive a reward. Finally, you would remove the command and simply practice letting the cat's appearance be his cue to go to the dog house to get his reward. This will probably only work if he is not highly prey driven toward the cat, but simply excited about them or unsure about them. If he is highly prey driven toward the cat, you will need to teach a high level avoidance like the one used to teach livestock chasing dogs to avoid livestock. To do this, find a trainer who can help you implement the training from the videos linked below. Finally, take extra measures to keep the cat from getting outside whenever possible. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ichigo
Labrador Husky
4 Months
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Ichigo
Labrador Husky
4 Months

I have a young puppy, and an even younger kitten. Sometimes they play and get along. The kitten even nurses on the puppy occasionally when he’s asleep. But often, the puppy attacks the kitten, grabbing it by the back or neck and running full-tilt through the house, shaking the kitten vigorously. I’m worried that he will kill the kitten if we don’t find a way to stop this behavior. We’ve had the puppy about 8 weeks, and have had no luck with house breaking or any kind of obedience training. I can’t afford to pay for training, but if this behavior doesn’t stop, I will have to get rid of the dog, and he was a gift from my daughter.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tonya, First of all I suggest tethering him to yourself for both potty training and to teach manners around the kitten. Check out the article linked below and follow the Tethering method when home, and the Crate Training method when you need to be gone or don't want him to be tethered to you with the leash. Potty training with tethering and Crate Training methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Next, check out these videos of a puppy class. Follow along with your puppy at home and practice the exercises to help with general basic obedience: Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bianca
Argentine Dogo
2 Years
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Bianca
Argentine Dogo
2 Years

We just got a 2 year old female Dogo foster. We already have a 7 year old make Dogo who we had since a baby and has lived his whole life with cats and never showed aggression to them. This foster is from Puerto Rico and was used for breeding. She was recused as she was abandoned for what looks like a couple months at a park there. She’s with us now in Miami. She hasn’t lived with cats and we have three!! They are locked in a bedroom and hating it. When they see her outside they think it’s our other dog. She stares at them and barks. I can distract her and pull her away but she looks like she wants to get them. Can a trainer come to my home and have any luck with this or is this a horrible match.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, That depends on whether she is prey driven toward them or simply curious and wants to chase without intending to harm. If she is not prey driven, then with work and careful management you may be able to stop the chasing or pestering. If she is prey driven, then you can only manage it, but never trust her around the cats completely. I suggest having a trainer who is very experienced with this and with prey drive, come to your home to evaluate her level of intensity toward the cats and be honest with you - knowing that you are debating re-homing her as a new dog and simply wanting to know if this is a good fit, opposed to hiring them to help you modify the behavior just yet. Look for a trainer who will be straight with you and tell you after they evaluate her if they honestly think this is prey drive or not. Some things to look for with prey drive are intense staring that is hard to break, stiff body, freezing, shaking, ridged tail, or a general intensity with their interest in the cats. Play and curiosity tends to look happier, more relaxed, and something even playful with a play bow. There will still be a lot of excitement and interest but the dog will usually look more relaxed and happy while interested, opposed to sniff and intense. Prey drive can look a little different occasionally though so have a trainer evaluate also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Princess
Shepherd mix
7 Years
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Princess
Shepherd mix
7 Years

A few meonths ago, a starving cat wandered up to my house and wze, took her in. Princess was very interested but never tried to bite her and sh ignores the cat now. The cat hads 2 kittens and princess is obsessed! I've tried twice to introduce them and when she senses I'm going to take them away, she tries to grab them out of my hands. She kills rabbits, mice and moles and yesterday she killed a feral kitten that wandered into the yard. I'm not sure if it's a hunting instinct since she doesn't bother their mama

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sue, This is likely predatory instinct. Because she killed the other kitten and does appear to be prey driven toward small animals, the size difference between the kittens and their mom probably makes her view the kittens as something different than the mom. I suggest being very vigilant to keep her apart from them and manage the animals until the kittens are bigger - at which time you can assess if she still views them that way and how to move forward. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Paloma
mongrel
7 Months
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Paloma
mongrel
7 Months

About 3 weeks ago, I adopted a 7 month old dog. Before she came to my house, when she was even younger, she used to live with a kitten, which was the same size as her, and used to play a lot. Now the dog got really big and runs after my cat when she sees her. I´m not sure if she just wants to play with the cat, or attack her, but I´m worried because, as she is much bigger and heavier than my cat, she could accidentaly hurt her. The dog is very playful towards human. My cat is very afraid of the dog and runs away every time she sees her. What should I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Isadora, First, I suggest working on commands that build impulse control. Teach her a strong, 1-2 hour Place command (this will take time and practice to get up to 1-2 hours) Teach a Leave It command and an Out command also (Out means leave the area). Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out command how to: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Second, I suggest keeping a chew proof leash on her while she is not in a crate while you work on teaching her to leave the cat alone. Crate her with an interesting chew toy when you can't do this. If she doesn't pull hard you can attach the leash to yourself like a tether so that your hands are free. If she pulls you will have to hold the leash (and work on leash manners). Once you have taught Leave It, Out, and Place, use those commands to teach her to leave your cat alone and tolerate her. Reward her calmly when she is being calm with the cat in the room, even on the leash or while on Place. (Do this calmly do that you don't end up accidently getting her too aroused and making it harder). To keep your cat safe, you can also screw an eye hook into the baseboard near her Place just in case she tries to leave when you are not nearby to stop her. Use the appropriate hardware like dry wall screws or screwing into a stud to make sure it can hold her if she tries to chase. Keep the leash long enough that it will be slack while she stays on Place like she should - so that she is exercising her self-control to stay there and not just dependent on the leash. You can also give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy, like a stuffed Kong toy, to enjoy while on Place when the cat is in the room if she is behaving well. Chew proof leash option: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HIM4RI/ref=twister_B0058G36O8?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 If she seems to be prey driven toward the cat and not just excited or unsocialized with older cats, then I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to evaluate her around the cat and help you. Be sure to ask questions to ensure that they have experience with prey drive and are qualified to evaluate her since not all trainers are experienced in that area. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Patches
Pit bull
18 Months
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Patches
Pit bull
18 Months

My pitbull has recently started showing aggression towards my kittens and has actually killed one while it was trying to get a taste of some food she was eating. Now while the kittens are playing and if one starts to run towards my spouse or I she starts to show aggression and go after the kitten. What can I do to change this behaviour?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Edith, I strongly suggest considering re-homing the kittens for their own safety. You can take measures to better manage her aggression, separate them, teach her to avoid them, teach her to tolerate them being near her food better, ect..., but since she already killed one this is likely not something you can stop completely, and even if things are managed a lot better between the animals to minimize the danger, the danger will probably always be there and the risk of something happening again present. It only takes a second for something to go wrong in this type of situation and she is in such direct contact with them that teaching a strong avoidance is not practical - even with good management something could go wrong. Very sorry you are going through this. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Roxie
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
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Roxie
Labrador Retriever
2 Years

We have a foster dog who we are considering keeping. We have been told by her previous owners (via the rescue agency) that she was agressive, pulls a lot, hyper...all of which we have not witness. They also said that she attacked and injured their cat (quite badly.. if we can believe what they say).
We really want to keep Roxie but are concerned over the cat issue as my extended family whom we visit frequently throughout the year owns cats. Roxie would be exposed to the cats only on these visits. How can I plan for these visits (which are can range from at least overnight up to a week), how do I manage a potential agression which may or may not manifest so rarely.
It should be noted, we have seen no agression towards small animals of any kind in her. She is slightly fearful of men but comes around with lots of affection. She has been Introduced to other large dogs and children with no problems. She is slightly fearful/ anxious in new situations.
Thank you for any suggestions you may have!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tracy, First, I would visit a local pet store that has caged cats and simply walk her around the store, past the cats and observe her for any signs of prey drive. If she doesn't show any, that doesn't mean should wouldn't attack the cats for other reasons, but if she does exhibit it, that will give you a lot of information. You can also do the same thing with pup on leash at a friend's house with a cat caged and pup on leash. To really address a cat issue if present, you will need a cat quite honestly. Since you don't have one, I would look for a training group that has the resources to deal with this, like a group that regularly deals with behavior issues and has an "office" training type cat, who is used to dogs and dogs are regularly worked around as a source of distraction or to deal with aggression issues. Honestly, this will be a bit harder to find. Groups which specialize in behavior issues are more likely to be set up for this. Call and ask trainers and training groups that specific question when looking for someone. Once you have access to a cat, check out the videos linked below for examples of how cat aggression is often dealt with. How it's dealt with depends a lot on the severity of it. If pup is highly prey driven and fixated, corrections are likely needed as part of the training to create an opening for pup to "snap out of it" and be able to learn. If the reaction is more mild, often tolerance can be taught with more positive reinforcement only methods and a lot of structure. 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 Some things that can help manage a visit with a cat include: crate training with a crate pup cannot escape out of. Teaching pup impulse building commands like Place, Leave It, Out - which means leave the area, Down, and Heel ahead of time. Working on pup's obedience in general, which help with listening, respect, and trust for you, and will give you more off-leash control - which will be needed anytime pup is off-leash inside with a cat. If pup is really struggling desensitizing pup to a basket muzzle and keeping the basket muzzle on and pup tethered to you while not in an inescapable crate can also help. You will want to introduce the muzzle ahead of time to make the muzzle not another piece of equipment like the collar and leash, and not something stressful. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s 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 Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Crate introduction - surprise method - it says small dog but the method is the same for other dogs also: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rocky
Pit Bull/Boxer
5 Years
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Rocky
Pit Bull/Boxer
5 Years

I have had Rocky, another dog (German Shepherd/border collie), and my cats in the same house for the 4 years I have had him. He just recently has killed two of my four cats a month apart and made an attempt on a third. He has never shown aggression towards them before. When he was allowed to interact with them, he would groom two of the cats, which are the two remaining. When I am home and the cats are out he ignores them because I have made it clear he’s not to interact with them, but when I’m not there he will attack them if I don’t separate them. Both dogs took part, but he seems to be the leader of the two and the marks on my cats were mostly from him. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sara, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you. After killing two of your cats and attempting a third, all on separate occasions he may never be safe around the cats again. These are not random, isolated incidences. The repetition suggests something more intentional - making it much more dangerous for the remaining cats. If the cats were your neighbors cats outside he could be taught to avoid them probably, but when in the same space together all the time an avoidance is not reliable, and management may be your only option. Unless something is triggering the attacks other than prey drive toward them, that can be modified to stop the incidences, your other cats are in definite danger, even with good management. Someone needs to evaluate the situation in person. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bailey
Labrador Retriever
6 Years
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Bailey
Labrador Retriever
6 Years

Ijust got a kitty and my dog bailey keeps lunging at the kitty. its the second day and i don't know how to make bailey stop being aggresive, and i don't want to get rid of our kitty what do i do? please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Riley, If Riley is simply excited about the kitten and too rough, then I suggest working on a Leave It command, an Out command (which means leave the area), and using something to interrupt his behavior, then practice giving him commands like Down-Stay and Place and reward him for staying calm around the kitten. Very closely supervise them together and confine Bailey in a crate in another room away from the kitten when you are not supervising and especially when you have to leave the house. Right now they should only interact with a barrier like a Bailey in a crate or baby gate (and your supervision still), or Bailey on a leash. Whenever you catch Bailey choosing on his own to be calm around the kitten or ignore the kitten, calmly place a treat between his front paws and quietly tell him "good boy" - do this calmly so that he doesn't suddenly become too excited. Leave It command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place command: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Down command: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ If Bailey views the kitten as prey, then you will need to hire professional help to evaluate the situation and determine if they can live together safety. A dog that is prey driven toward another animal cannot stop being prey driven. You can manage the behavior and keep them separate. You can even teach the dog to avoid the animal if there is enough space for him to stay away (like acres of land - not inside a house) but you cannot make the situation completely safe for the small animal. There is a small chance that some dogs will outgrow a prey drive toward a kitten as the kitten becomes a cat and is larger, but this is not very common, and when it happens it requires the kitten staying in danger for several months until that point - if there is potential prey drive, hire a professional trainer to assess the behavior and whether something can be done successfully. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Hera
Bull Terrier
1 Year
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Hera
Bull Terrier
1 Year

My bull terrier continues to disobey my wife and I and keeps trying to attack my baby kitten, Shes already been raised around cats but attacked the older cat before he ran away. We are planning to have kids one day and i dont want to have to choose between the dog and the rest of my house hold, what should i do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jason, First of all, her trying to attack the kitten could be related to prey drive since she also attacked your older cat despite being raised around him. You need to have a professional trainer who specializes in behavior problems, with experience with aggression and reactivity, to help you evaluate the behavior. Once you know why the behavior is happening, then the trainer can help you decide on a training protocol that will fit her. Her going after the kitten will not necessarily equal her being aggressive toward a baby - depending on why she is aggressive toward the kitten. Many dogs associate kittens with prey but babies with the family if she has been around kids and done well in the past. Her not listening needs to be addressed though or there could be issues. To build respect check out the articles and videos below: Dog Training Do’s https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2016/09/08/the-ten-commandments-of-dog-training-and-ownership-do-2 Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Commands that can help teach calmness, self-control, and respect: 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 Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It command from the 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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Copper
Corgi/Chihuahua Mix
8 Months
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Copper
Corgi/Chihuahua Mix
8 Months

My whole family is full of cat people. I'm a cat person. I had myself convinced I'd be perfectly happy never having a dog again. But then I met Cooper and fell in love. Copper is a shelter pup. We had gone to the shelter to adopt a cat because we had moved and have more room for them. We're up to 6 cats now. We have two large dogs as well, but they get along perfectly with all the cats. I went to see the dogs, just to visit and give them some love. I fell head over heels for this little guy, though. He is so precious, I actually talked my mum into letting me get him (if dad agreed). Before we could fill out the paperwork, we had to get him cat tested, it would kinda suck of my new puppy tried to eat our cats. I don't know how poorly he reacted to the cats as they did the test behind closed doors, but I do know he failed. I go to the shelter often to visit him and play with him, but I want nothing more than to give him a home with me. I will soon be volunteering at the shelter, so I hope they'll let me work with him. But I don't know the best way to go about it. I can't do it daily and I assume it will have to be done at the shelter. What do you suggest?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kerry, It depends a lot on why he failed the test. If he was just overly excited and trying to play too rough or chase the cats, but didn't want to kill or attack them, then he would need to be corrected for too much interest in the cats and rewarded for ignoring them. The cats being still and further away will be easiest. Closer is harder, and the cat moving is the hardest. Multiple cats moving would be the final step and you would want to do any up close interactions with a basket muzzle on him just in case. If he showed signs of prey drive toward the cats, I would not suggest even attempting to adopt him. Prey drive cannot be changed, it can only be managed by teaching the dog to avoid cats - which can't safely be done in a home with cats - that training is for teaching a dog to avoid neighborhood cats. A prey driven dog living with 6 cats would likely end up with at least one cat dead when the animals ended up together unintentionally. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Honey Nut
German Shepard Keeshond mix
2 Years
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Honey Nut
German Shepard Keeshond mix
2 Years

We adopted her 6 days ago. We’ve had our car for 9 years, the car is super friendly toward all animals. The dog is super aggressive towards the cat and while walking her towards small dogs. Besides that she is the perfect dog!!! Is she trainable with cat or no?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laura, Without evaluating pup in person I cannot say for sure. I would look into hiring a professional trainer who is experienced with this type of behavior specifically and have them evaluate her in person. Under the supervision of a qualified trainer with experience in this area, you can pursue some of the following training once they have evaluated her and determined the level of her prey drive and how to tailor the training to her. 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 If pup's aggression toward the cat is more severe, I especially recommend working with a trainer for the below training. 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. 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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Bella
German Shepherd
2 Years
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Bella
German Shepherd
2 Years

I brought Bella into my home a month ago. She's never been around cats. Once she saw my 8 year old cat, she chased and barked. The cat is comfortable around my other dog, but she was scared to death. I've tried using "leave it" command, and now Bella is wearing a shock collar. Today she started getting the cat's bed (she has to get on couch and into a bay window) and dragging it into the living room. I'm not sure if she's aggressive, but I don't want to find out the hard way! Any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, Check out the videos linked below: More severe case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y Less severe case: https://www.youtube.com/user/TaketheLeadK9 Teaching an e-collar avoidance: Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nick
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
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Nick
Labrador Retriever
2 Years

Hello, since my friend is going to live with us for one month, and she has a cat, but my dog never seen a cat before, so when they met, my dog doing a baking at the cat, and goes really excited, but it seem that my dog never want to hurt the cat. Is there a way to make my dog claim down when he see the cat and do not have a crazy barking? (my dog is a chocolate lab retriever, and he has been neutered).

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Youhang, It sounds like your dog may just be overly excited and wants to chase the cat - this can be dangerous but usually the dog's intent is not to harm the cat. I suggest teaching a Place command and having your dog work up to being able to stay on place for 1-2 hours, and reward calmness, ignoring the cat, and tolerance while on place by calmly placing a treat on the Place bed with a very calm word of praise - excitement can make the training harder for your dog. You can bolt an eyehook into a wall stud and tether your dog to that with a leash long enough to stay loose while you dog is on place, just in case your dog breaks Place command while still learning - to keep the cat safe during training. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Teach your dog to avoid the cat and simply leave it alone - the goal is calm co-existence and a bit of avoidance: What I suggest doing first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojIQmMuOwns More extreme case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y Don't leave the animals alone together - when you are not there to train and enforce the rules right now, keep the animals in separate rooms, and when you leave keep your dog in a crate in a separate room. When you get ready to do up close introductions you may want to use a basket muzzle. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Charlie
Pocket Pitbull
2 Years
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Charlie
Pocket Pitbull
2 Years

Hello

We adopted Charlie about 4 months ago after he had a very traumatizing past. We have two cats in our home. Charlie saw our cat and began severely shaking similar to a reaction of a dog who is scared of thunder. He got out of our hands and chased the cat into a corner. The cat was covered in slobber, but did not appear to have and physical injuries. He reacts the same way each time he sees our cats, but now we try to better keep him controlled. The cats remain sectioned off in different parts of the house, but we prefer to not make that a solution.
From my observation, he appears to be very fearful of cats, and acts out in aggression about 10% of the time. I do not feel comfortable leaving them alone unsupervised, but that is eventually my goal.

With his aggression and apparent fear, do you think this is possible? We have tried slowly introducing the dog and cats in a safe manor, but he still shakes heavily when he sees them.

What should I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaity, The shaking could be fear it could also be excitement and prey drive - a sort of nervous energy and over-arousal. I suggest working on the training from the videos linked below and seeing how he responds before deciding if he is a good fit or not. When you are not home I would always crate him though just in case - even if he does fine with them loose while you are home after training. The trainer from the video linked below has additional how to fit and use videos too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y Additional cat video with less intense dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojIQmMuOwns Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Patches
dolmation mix
5 Years
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Patches
dolmation mix
5 Years

We just adopted Patches a couple of days ago and we already have 2 dogs and 1 cat Raja. Well Patches did really good with my other dogs and we were told he'd never been around cats before so we put Patches on a leash and Raja in a carrier to introduce them. Well Patches didn't seem very interested in Raja so we decided to try and pull her out of the carrier and see what happened, again they both did really well so we continued to do this for a couple of hours and they did great. Then this morning my boyfriend was putting Patches into the kennel and Raja walked by and Patches pushed past my boyfriend to get to Raja, while he did get to her I am worried about this and my boyfriend wants to take him back to the shelter because he says he's to old to train him but I just don't know what to do, can you please help us?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tamara, It doesn't sound like he is extremely fixated on the cat. He may be interested in chasing and not killing. I suggest trying the protocol from the video linked below and see how Patches responds before deciding. He could simply be excited - but do take safety measures right now since we don't know how intent he is on the cat. Check out the videos linked below: Less aggressive dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojIQmMuOwns More serious case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y Reward calmness, tolerance, and ignoring the cat - he may not take food when excited though and that's fine, a simply calm praise will do in that case - he may take food later when he learns to be calmer. Keep the cat somewhere where he cannot get to it while you are not home, or crate him while you are gone. Also, work on Place as a way to practice calmness around the cat. Attach a leash to him and tether it to something secure while he is on place - loose enough that he won't feel it unless he gets off Place, but it's still there as a safety measure just in case. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Peach
Maltese-mix
6 Years
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Peach
Maltese-mix
6 Years

Peach lived in a cat-free home for four years. She has always been very interested in cats (on walks, in our back yard, etc.) and never seemed particularly aggressive.

We adopted a kitten when she had just turned four, and at first she was enamored, but as the kitten became playful, Peach became aggressive. To be fair, I wouldn't want a new kitten getting lots of attention to be surprise-swatting me either.

Their relationship has never gotten better, and she is aggressive toward the cat, growling if she gets too close to myself or my husband, too close to her food, etc. Occasionally, the cat will get in Peach's space, and she attacks the cat. Barking like crazy, and even putting her teeth on her (I'm not sure if she's really biting, or how close she gets to skin as the cat has very long, fluffy fur).

On the other hand, we adopted a second cat a year after the first (Peach was five) and she and that cat are buddies. Peach never growls at her, is patient when being sniffed, and generally doesn't mind her presence.

I'm just not sure 1) why she is so aggressive to cat #1 but not cat #2, and 2) what I should be doing to teach her not to attach cat #1. As of now, I just pull her off the cat, scold her, and put her in a "time out" in the bathroom to give the cat some space and neutralize the situation.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lindsey, Since the cat aggression doesn't sound prey drive related, he may simply like the other cat's personality better - just like some dogs will get along fine with certain dogs but not others. Your first cat may also have made the addition of the second cat easier for him by making a cat's appearance normal - even though he hated the first cat by that point. Either way, to deal with his aggression toward the first cat: First, practice being around the cat and correcting bad responses toward the cat with good timing - less intense protocol that I recommend using first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojIQmMuOwns More severe cat problem protocol if he is super driven toward the cat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y Second, teach place really well, then once he knows Place well practice him staying on Place while the cat walks around (but the cat not going up to him) and reward him for calmness and ignoring the cat. Correct staring at the cat intensely, aggression toward the cat, "bad thoughts" toward the cat, and trying to get off place because of the cat. You can keep a leash on him and tether it to something secure nearby or screw an eye-hook into a stud in the wall and clip the leash to that. The leash should be slack/loose, and just there in case he bolts off the bed before you can get to him - as an added safety measure. You want him to stay on Place out of obedience and not because he feels held back - obedience exercises self-control and teaches more. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo In general, whenever the cat enters the room and he responds well, give a treat (look at his body language - is he truly calm, or tensing up and mad at the cat - only reward relaxed and tolerant...good thoughts). Work on building his trust and respect for you in general so he is more likely to let you handle situations and less possessive of you (being jealous about the cat getting your attention can actually be related to him not respecting you well enough and acting like he owns you - it's a form of resource guarding/possessiveness). The following protocols can help build respect and trust without too much confrontation "meanness". Working method/Consistency method or all three: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you 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 Finally, you be the one to mediate the interactions between the animals if you are not already doing so - so that both animals learn to respect each others space and your household rules because you are enforcing it and not because of aggression from each other. Decide the rules first...No aggression, no being pushy, no pestering each other, no trying to steal things from each other, no pushing each other out of the way, no hanging around while the other is sleeping or eating, ect...When one of the animals breaks a rule, you be the one to enforce the rule. For example, if your cat is going over to your dog while he is sleeping, you make the cat leave. If your dog pushes the cat out of the way, make pup leave the room. If either animal shows aggression, make the aggressive one leave the room. If one animal is guarding something, remove what they are guarding and make them leave the room while also dealing with the animal that's being pushy and pestering if needed. Try to keep your attitude calm and confident around the animals - there should be clear consequences for things but anger, nervousness, feeling sorry for the animals, or overly excited may make things harder for them to learn. You want them to be calm - so teach with an attitude of calmness and confidence yourself as much as possible - I know that can be hard to do in the moment though, so it takes practice. If needed, keep pup tethered to yourself with a leash for a while so you can reward and correct more easily as needed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Freyja
Doberman Pinscher
10 Years
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Freyja
Doberman Pinscher
10 Years

Freyja is a senior dog, 10 years old, and has strong cat aggression tendencies and a strong prey drive. She has killed 3 cats that have come into her back yard. We are moving in with my fiancé, who lives on a farm, and has 3 pet cats and a lot of strays about. I’m unhappy with his methods of introducing her to the cats, as he is very forceful with her and has popped her on the head when she lunges for them on the leash. She’s sensitive and I don’t want her to be afraid or hurt. Will one of your listed methods possibly be successful for her? It would be very difficult to keep the cats and Freyja separated at all times, as they are indoors and outdoors, and it would also be difficult to keep her leashed at all times, as there is also a 5 year old involved. I can’t allow the negative reinforcement training, but need to find something that will be successful. I want her senior years to be good ones!

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

Hello, because Freyja has killed 3 cats already, this indicates she has a strong prey drive and it may or may not be fixable. But you will have to call in a behaviorist/trainer with experience with these issues. The training can be a positive experience - make sure that you hire a trainer with the same philosophies as yours but who is capable at the same time. Can you assure the cats have a safe haven to escape to, where Freyja has no access? It is quite possible that the cats will not be safe ever when Freyja is around because of her age and strong aggression/drive making her kill the cats. Please have a trainer give their opinion. (You can try our methods listed but the fact that the cats and Freyja cannot be separated, and the fact that it is difficult to leash your dog presents challenges. I hope it all works out!

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Abby
American Bulldog
5 Years
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Abby
American Bulldog
5 Years

Abby has been with us since she was 6 months old and has always lived with and gotten along with our cats . She even cuddles and plays with one of them. Recently she has become aggressive toward 2 of our cats . Attacking them and not listening to us when we call her off. She was aggressive with our 14 yr old malamute once she rewatched maturity And the malamute showed signs of aging . How can I redirect her behavior without putting the cats in danger ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kim, 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. 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/ Because this needs to be practiced very carefully to ensure the cats' safety, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who has a lot of experience with aggression and behavior issues, and comes well recommended by their previous clients, to help you assess exactly how to modify the training to ensure safety - possibly with the use of a leash, back tie leash, or basket muzzle while working, at least at first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rhyme
aussie - spaniel
5 Years
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Rhyme
aussie - spaniel
5 Years

I have 2 dogs (a lab and an Aussie shepherd/spaniel mix named Rhyme) and 4 cats. The lab is fine will all the cats. The Aussie is fine with 3 of the cats, but the 4th (Killian) is a problem.

Rhyme is blind, has been from birth. The cat he has an issue with is also blind, again from birth. These 2 are the only special needs pets. Once Rhyme scents or becomes aware of Killian, he will stalk him and get worked up. If he finds the cat, he will lunge and it looks like he will snap his teeth on the poor cat. Rhyme doesn't do this with any of the other cats; he cuddles and plays with the others. In fact, when this cat was first introduced to the home, Rhyme would often be near him with no issues.

I'm not sure how to address this.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Belinda, I suggest both desensitizing pup to the cat's smell and presence and disciplining pup as soon as he starts tracking, fixating, or stalking the cat. Work on teaching pup Place command and reward pup for staying on Place with the cat in the room. At first the cat should be further away, then closer as pup improves at Place and ignoring the cat. When the cat can get closer without pup breaking the place command, only reward pup for ignoring the cat and being calm while he is close by, not just for staying on Place. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Also, practice walking past the cat at heel on a leash. Correct anytime pup starts to fixate on the cat - trying to go in his direction or getting worked up about the cat. Reward for ignoring the cat as you pass. You don't want pup to be able to bite the cat he is so close but the cat will need to be close enough that pup smells him as he passes. Having a second person handling the cat while you train Rhyme is recommended. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo I also recommend teaching the Out and Leave It commands and working on those around distractions like smells. 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/ For many dogs just laying down some clear boundaries and practicing self-control exercises is enough, but if pup is prey driven toward the cat I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and uses positive reinforcement and fair corrections to help you teach pup a stronger avoidance of the cat carefully. Check out the articles linked below on this: 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 The training would need to be modified in person because of the sight limitations, but most of it is actually the same whether the dog can see or not, the main difference is that the cat's scent will be the trigger and not the cat's movement, meaning that you will probably have to train a bit closer to the cat without getting so close you put the cat at risk, and you might encourage the cat to make some noise like meowing for food, or recording that cat's meow and playing it during training to test pup's response, then either correct or reward as needed, depending on whether pup wants to bother the cat or ignores the cat. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nessie
German Shepherd
7 Months
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Nessie
German Shepherd
7 Months

I just got a new puppy about a month ago from a friend and nessie doesnt seem to bother cats except my moms siamese cat they get into it they siamese cat even likes to intagonize. And they dog bit my mom when she went to pull her away from cat. Is there anyway to correct this problem?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ivy, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who is experienced with behavior issues and will work with you one-on-one, and comes highly recommended by their previous clients to help you with the following. 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. 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/ The cat also needs to be trained to leave the dog alone. I am not a cat trainer so I can't speak towards that, but finding an appropriate form of gentle discipline for antagonizing the dog and an appropriate reward for tolerating the dog and ignoring him may be options. When you are not present, confine the animals separately, such as pup in a crate and the cat in another bedroom so that neither can harm or antagonize the other. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nessie
German Shepherd
7 Months
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Nessie
German Shepherd
7 Months

Me and my mom recently just got a 7 month old puppy named nessie mixed with german shepherd and doberman from a friend of mine. When were at my friends house with nessie where she grew up she doesnt seem to bother the cats or other dogs she has, but they moment shes in our house nessie and my moms cat want to fight aggressive, my mom cant even touch other animals without nessie flipping out, only time my mom can pet other animals is if were at my friends house where nessie grew up. My dog nessie and moms cat cant get along but yet nessie gets along with my brothers cat too. Idk what to do but i dont want to get rid of nessie bc shes a good dog, its just nessie and my moms cat cant get along they other day nessie and my moms cat went at it and when my mom pulled nessie away with her collar she almsot got bit. is there anyway i can fix this and keep my dog?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ivy, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who is experienced with behavior issues and will work with you one-on-one, and comes highly recommended by their previous clients to help you with the following. 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. 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/ The cat also needs to be trained to leave the dog alone. I am not a cat trainer so I can't speak towards that, but finding an appropriate form of gentle discipline for antagonizing the dog and an appropriate reward for tolerating the dog and ignoring him may be options. When you are not present, confine the animals separately, such as pup in a crate and the cat in another bedroom so that neither can harm or antagonize the other. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Husky
1 Year
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Luna
Husky
1 Year

I had two cats before getting Luna at 8 weeks old she is a Husky/Klee Kai mix, and she has always had an issue with chasing them but one of the cats knows how to stand up to her and the other just allows her to bite its neck. She has never drawn blood but I am afraid as she gets older she will seriously injure or kill my cat. She will leave the cat alone if I tell her stop or no but at times when I go into another room she attacks the cat and chokes it with her jaw so now I’m scared to let her out of my sight. I don’t want to have to rehome her but I’m so scared she will kill my sweet gentle cat that won’t defend itself!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Charissa, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who has experience in this area to help you implement the following training to teach her to avoid 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 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. 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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Gendry
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
2 Years
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Question
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Gendry
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
2 Years

We got our dog as a puppy and he has lived with our two cats his entire life.Everything has been fine until today. My wife was wiping eye discharge from his eye (he has allergies) and our one cat got too close to him. For the last 8 hours, our dog keeps trying to attack our cat in a very aggressive manner so we have been keeping them separated. My wife and I are stressing out and we don't know what to do. The dog is fine with our other cat, but we are afraid he is going to seriously hurt the cat he has now "turned" on.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. We hope this is a behavior he can easily get over. Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michael, I suggest finding a trainer who can practice the following training with you as soon as possible. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pipoca
Shiba Inu
2 Years
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Question
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Pipoca
Shiba Inu
2 Years

Pippy is a 2 yr old female, intact Shiba Inu. She was raised by us, with two older Boxer/Lab mix neutered males as well as three cats.

She has grown increasingly aggressive. We noticed her aggression towards the male dogs when she was in heat. Other times, (most of the time, actually), she gets along fine with them.

More concerning, she has just begun to go after our cats. The cats are inside/outside cats. She has known them her whole life and never had problems. But she went after one the other night, and a second one last night.

She was definitely out to kill. Pounce and full attack. Neither cat was injured because we were right there, but needless to say, this is a problem.

I have four kids, ages 10-13 and I don't want a bite incident (she accidently bit me last summer when I was pulling her apart from our senior male).

I also do not want a dead cat.

Any suggestions? We will be having her spayed as soon as we can afford to do so. And we cannot afford private trainers, etc. Money is so tight.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Crystal, If she were my dog I would also be spaying her since the aggression toward your males seems to be mostly related to hormones. Look online in your area, many humane societies and spay and neuter clinics offer affordable or sometimes free spaying services, some programs will also give you vouchers if you qualified - that can be brought to certain veterinarians that accepts it to have them to the procedure for free or less. Google free spay and neuter "your state" and check out...https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/low-cost-spayneuter-programs As far as the cats, check out the videos and trainer from the videos linked below. These videos specifically focus on cat issues but these trainers, especially SolidK9Training has a number of other free videos online talking about obedience and behavior issues also. 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. 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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Bella and GusGus
Husky/wolf
6 Years
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Bella and GusGus
Husky/wolf
6 Years

We have 3 large dogs, but in not worried about the German Shepherd as he’s afraid of the cats.

Bella is a husky/wolf and incredibly smart and independent. She does know that I’m “mom” and I’m charge. She got out a couple of years ago, and had to hunt to survive for a couple of weeks until someone found her. Since then, I’ve noticed a prey drive when it comes to smaller animals...and she easily killed one of our chickens when it got out.

GusGus is her son. His father is a German shepherd. He also likes to chase cats, although I have no idea what he would do if he caught one.

A couple of weeks ago, one of our outside cats turned up dead. It wasn’t torn to pieces as I would have expected if Bella had caught it, it didn’t seem to have any broken bones...although, it’s fur was ruffed up, matted, and dirty. I had no idea if it was Bella, GusGus, or if one of them had just found it already dead and brought it to the front yard. When I found it in the morning, all three dogs seemed uninterested.

Fast forward to having to stay at my in-law’s house... My husband caught Bella with the neighbor’s cat in her mouth. He said she got a couple of shakes in before he got the cat away from her. The cat seemed ok and got up a tree.

I’m working with Bella to be ok around our new kitten. She’s mostly ok, but her occasional interest and intense stare bugs me. ... plus I’m going to have to work with her son at some point.

For now, unless I’m working directly with Bella, the cats and dogs are totally separated.

If I work slowly and carefully, knowing that it may take months....is there hope that my dogs and cats can form a bond? Or, will I always need to keep them separated because of her history and breed?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Steph, Honestly, I cannot say for sure but most likely you will always have to keep them separate. You can work on teaching an e-collar avoidance of the cats while outside, but I would not expect the animals to bond or trust them at any point. The avoidance training is similar to how to teach a dog to stay away from livestock when they have a history of chasing and killing - not introducing a new dog without a killing history to your other family pet, like most methods that focus on bonding are aimed at. Check out Jeff Gellman from Solidk9training and James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining. Both have YouTube channels where they have videos talking about e-collars and teaching avoidance of livestock or cats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zoey
Lab mix
5 Years
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Zoey
Lab mix
5 Years

Is there any hope for our 5 year old lab mix? Zoey is a sweet dog but loves to chase anything in yard, birds, cats, chicken..etc. we love on a farm so have lots of animals roaming including our neighbors chickens. Zoey has caught and killed a chicken already and this morning mauled on of our barn cats who couldn’t run away fast enough! The cat is ok but def traumatized. We have an invisible fence now so she cannot leave yard to get anything outside our area and tried an electric collar with lease and muzzle training but she seems as if she cannot get out of her predatory trance once in it; we don’t want to have to rehome her but don’t k ow what else to try? Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lynn, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer with experience teaching avoidance with an e-collar, who also uses positive reinforcement. An e-collar will allow you to train remotely - which is often needed for teaching livestock and small animal avoidance, but the e-collar without the proper training isn't effective alone, if pup isn't also developing impulse control, understanding why they are being corrected and how to avoid it, and being rewarded for doing the correct behavior around the animals instead. A long leash and rewards need to be added to the training, with pup being taught a command like Leave It/ Out - which means leave the area, reeled in with a long leash when they don't move away from the birds, corrected with the e-collar only after they have learned Out or Leave It and told to move away and disobeyed the command - so they understand why they are being corrected and the correction stops as soon as they move away - via being reeled in the with leash and the e-collar stimulation stopping once they begin to move away, and being rewarded each time they choose to move away without having to be corrected or reeled in. All of this will require a LOT of repetition so that pup develops a strong long-term habit of avoiding the birds and cats. Out - 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 Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining on YouTube for videos discussing and demonstrating work with livestock chasing and killing dogs, and the proper use of e-collars, long leashes, and obedience in dealing with those behaviors. Finally, the training will need to be done more remotely with the e-collar once pup has thoroughly learned with you present, and pup corrected when they go near the birds and cats while you hide from somewhere nearby where you can watch them to correct. That way pup will decide that the rules still apply even when you aren't there. Long term, a fence is still a good idea. It's very important for the training process to be in place, for any tool to be effective, and unfortunately many trainers won't know how to work with this type of behavior and the tools necessary, so do a lot of research while looking for a trainer to help, asking a lot of questions about how they train, experience, and what tools they are knowledge about. Using a high quality e-collar is also important. Dogtra, SportDog, E-collar technologies, and Garmin are a few examples. Pup's individual "working level" which is the specific level pup response to without being too intense, will have to be determined while pup is calm and not around the animals, before training with the collar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI&t=975s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shiva
Corgi Husky Mix
9 Years
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Shiva
Corgi Husky Mix
9 Years

Hi there,

We adopted Shiva as a 2-ish year old stray and she joined our family of 2 geriatric cats and additional corgi mix of a similar age 7 years ago. Around 3 Years ago while we were visiting my parents (a place we frequently visited with the dogs), there was an altercation between Shiva and one of my parents cats and the cat ended up needing to be put down. No one was around so we didn't see what happened, but we are sure it was her.
She never once raised a hackle at either of the senior cats in our home, or the babies we have have since had, but she has been known to hunt mice and other small animals. Fast forward to now and we have lost the cats and moved. Shiva HAS caught a few gophers in our yard. Otherwise she is not even close to being an aggressive dog.
We just adopted a cat and have kept them separate. We introduced and I kept the dogs' attention with cheese. The cat was nervous, and I could tell Shiva was excited. Her pupils dilated huge and her hindquarters started shaking.... which is usually her reaction to seeing a squirrel in the yard.
Currently we have a gate at the top of the stairs so they have separate areas, but I miss having my dogs up there. Is there hope for her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jaynie, There likely is hope but you will not know for sure until you try. I suggest hiring a trainer who has the needed experience to help you work on the following training with her. Because she is exhibiting prey drive, you will probably need to do the type of training in the moderate and severe cat videos below, instead of just general obedience and impulse control exercises by themselves, but you can start with the mild cat issue video because those are still important exercises. 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. 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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Jacob
Inuit
2 Years
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Jacob
Inuit
2 Years

Hi I rescued an Inuit dog (Jacob) 5 days ago after he was rescued by the shelter from a man trying to drown him and cut his tail off. They estimate his age to be 2-3 years. He has a super loving nature and is learning sit, stay, etc very quickly but he is absolutely obsessed with my cat who is 16 years old. I have not let him off the lead near the cat as due to his very large size and strength I can't run the risk of him attacking and hurting the cat, I also find it hard to judge his mood due to not having a tail. I have tried 3 times a day to approach the cat and make him sit, stay in stern voice etc but he is fixed with staring at the cat directly in the eyes and will not focus on anything but the cats eyes. If he is not listening to my sit/leave it command etc I stand in front of him to get his attention and he then goes mad flipping and jumping about trying to see the cat again. once the cat has left the room and I have let him of the lead a min or so after he goes round the room super fast for a good 10 mins looking and sniffing for the cat. I have tried distracting with food treats etc when sitting still but he is not interested in treats at all and will not take them. I have also tried putting a muzzle on him and let him sniff the cats backside but he managed to bite his tail through the tiny gap between the basket muzzle. I also have 1 Female Alaskan Malamute since a puppy (now 12 years old) and she is brilliant with the cat. Any advice will be great as I don't want to give up on Jacob but at the same time I have had the cat for years and would hate the thought he is living in fear. Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, First, as you probably know what you are describing does sound a lot like prey drive - which is instinctual and not something you can get rid of. However, you can manage it with consistent training and work. I would recommend hiring a trainer who has the experience needed (ask a lot of questions before hiring) to help you implement the following training. Know that you are probably looking at a moderate or severe cat issue via the videos linked below, but I have included a milder case in case it turns out to be less of an issue than it appears once you work on some impulse control training with pup. 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. When you get to the point where you are ready to involve the cat in the Place training, back tie pup while they are on place - connecting a 6 or 8 foot leash attached to pup to something very secure near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. Pup should have a pretty solid Place without kitty around before starting this - being able to stay on Place when the doorbell rings, you let guests in, you jump up and down, drop food, and create other distractions. You will have to work up to all of this but pup can probably get there sooner than you would think if you practice as many days during the week as you can for a bit. The back tie leash should keep 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 so these will be things you will probably be working on for a while. The great news is that these are awesome commands for pup to know to prevent or manage a huge host of other behavior issues and make communication with pup much easier in general - so the pay offs are more than just the cat for the amount of work you will put in. 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/ A lot of the general impulse training you can do on your own without a trainer if you wish, but for the e-collar specific cat training I would hire someone who is very experienced with behavior issues, e-collar training, advanced obedience. Who uses positive reinforcement in addition to fair corrections and boundary training, and is calm and not angry acting while they train. They should be teaching you how to do the training yourself as pup improves, so that you can continue the training on your own also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mina
German Shepherd
1 Year
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Mina
German Shepherd
1 Year

I just rescued this poor GSD. She was so severly emaciated she quite literally only had days to live. Shes doing much better as you can see in the pics. Those are pics of her fixated on a cpl of our cats. Im afraid to bring her in to attempt to potty train her because of the way she acts when she sees them. I also have 2 other dogs a pitbull and an american bulldog both females as well. The socialization with the other dogs is actually going better than expected. But the whole cat situation has me worried because i know for sure she is a chicken killer. Ya know high prey drive and all that. Can you tell from the pics if she would kill the cats? Also im afraid if she did go after the cats it could trigger the other dogs to attack her. What do you think?

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

Thank you for the question. I cannot tell at all from a picture whether Mina would harm your cats, but the fact that she has gone after other prey means that you must be vigilant and protect the cats at every instance. I would not take any chances by ever leaving them alone together but you may be able to have them in the same room supervised. I agree that you do not want to set the other dogs off because it may do irreversible damage to their relationship. Here is a guide about introducing a dog to cats: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-not-chase-cats. However, I do think before you consider introducing them, you have to allow Mina into the house and get her relaxed in her new home, so that she feels secure, well-fed, and loved. Mina needs this after what she has been through. Get her used to the routine of the house and get her potty trained as you mentioned. Keep the cats away from her in a secured area where she can get used to seeing them without having access. Once Mina is secure and relaxed in her surroundings and has had obedience training, then you can consider an introduction. Being a German Shepherd, she will learn her commands (sit, stay, come, down, leave it) very quickly. This knowledge will come in handy when you are teaching her how to behave around the cats. Good luck and enjoy the training!

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Luna
German Shepherd
2 Years
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Question
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Luna
German Shepherd
2 Years

We have 4 shepherds, a Pomeranian and 3 cats. Luna was the 5th pet in the order and brought in as a puppy. We had an older shepherd, the pom and the cats....all ranging in age but none younger than 2 at the time. Luna has always "bowed up" on the others but it didn't turn violent until after she had puppies. Now we've had multiple vet visits for 2 cats the pom, and one other shepherd. She tried fighting the older male twice, but lost. Now she doesn't bother him. The other shepherd she has only bit to bleeding once and that's her son. The attacks are random and fierce. How do we stop her?

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

Thank you for the question. I think that the safest way to deal with this issue is to see a trainer who is used to dealing with aggressive and dogs have them come and evaluate Luna to see if progress can be made. How is she in her obedience training classes? The fact that the attacks are random and fierce means that she should never be left alone with any of the other pets. I think it is very important to take her to the vet to rule out a medical issue since the attacks only began after she had puppies. Maybe she has an injury that did not heal after the birthing process. I am sorry that she is having this serious issue but I do not think it can be handled this way; an in-person trainer (and the vet checkup) is the safest solution. I hope you can see a resolution very soon.

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Shadow, Crawley, and Sprite
Lab mix, Terrier mix, and Corgi mi
7 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Shadow, Crawley, and Sprite
Lab mix, Terrier mix, and Corgi mi
7 Years

We have three rescue dogs and a bunch of indoor rescue cats.

The dogs and cats all get along inside very well, the dogs are all kennel trained and we had a bit of food agression that we fixed by moving the cat's feeding time and place to the same as the dogs and next to the kennels where the dogs are fed.

The problem I'm having is that while all the cats are indoor cats we have a couple of "door darters" who will run out if given the chance.

When the dogs are outside the leave the chickens and Pygmy Goats alone but will chase the any of the cats that get out. It seems that the Terrier mix, Crawley gets it into his mind to chase the cat which over excites the Lab Mix, Shadow, and they try to run down the cats.

A few days ago the dogs chased down one of the cats and broke her leg so badly we have to get it amputated.

What kind of training can I do to teach the dogs not to chase any of our cats when they get outside.

One of the things we are in the process of doing is building a 2500 sq foot catio but now construction is delayed by the $2k vet bill.

And advice on how to get the dogs to stop chasing the cats outside? They don't do it inside.

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

Thank you for the question. I think based on the experience that happened with your poor cat, it is going to be a challenge to train all three to leave the cats alone. The catio may be the only solution and I do think it is imperative that you prevent the cats from getting outside at all costs when the dogs are out. Even though you may think that you make progress with the three dogs, it will just take one of them being in the mood to chase and possibly injure and then there will be nothing you can do to stop them. I really think that the safest thing to do is keep the cats safe at all costs. You could look into having a training specialist come and evaluate the dogs to give an opinion but Terriers, for example, were once trained to track and dispose of vermin. The chase and conquer trait is an innate one. I know this must be difficult but I also know that you do not want your cats to suffer - I think it's best to keep them away from the dogs. All the best.

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Carciofe
Africanis
2 Years
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Question
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Carciofe
Africanis
2 Years

About two weeks ago, my dog found a stray kitten in the garden and attacked it (picked it up and shook it around). I managed to separate the dog and the kitten, and my landlady who lives on the same property (separate building) adopted the kitten. I have tried controlled introductions after exercising Carciofe, but Zaza, the kitten, is clearly uncomfortable in her presence and although Carciofe will behave if I'm at the other end of the leash with treats, as soon as she's released (with the kitten safely in the other house), she goes looking for the kitten and if she catches sight of her through a window, barks, puts her hackles up, and tries to get to her. Is there any way I can reduce this excessive prey-drive towards cats, or should I consider moving house? And is there any way to train Zaza, the kitten, to be more comfortable in the presence of dogs?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sara, First, know that this is something that should only be done with the help of a professional trainer who has experience with the following (and access to cats to practice this with). The kitten could likely become more comfortable with other dogs, but it would take a lot for the kitten to not be afraid of your pup specifically, since the attack was very traumatic for her. Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining. He has a Youtube channel. He works with dogs that chase and sometimes will kill livestock. To stop the killing you would need to pursue training like that, creating a strong avoidance of all cats. Whether this is doable will depend on your level of dedication, willingness to learn, and how close the cat typically is. For example, if he were in tight quarters with the cat, like in a house, then the temptation will likely be too great, and he will either resort to killing them or will be in a constant state of stress trying to avoid them. If he has plenty of room to go somewhere that the cat is not located to avoid them, then the training is feasible. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Once pup is avoiding the cat, you can add in rewards for calmness, attention on you, and ignoring the cat - make sure you are rewarding a calm mindset though because you want to avoid creating more arousal in this situation. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Archie
Newfoundland
10 Weeks
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Archie
Newfoundland
10 Weeks

We just brought home our 10 week old Newfoundland Puppy 2 weeks ago. At first, he ignored our two cats. Slowly they got more comfortable with each other. They started playing with each other. The puppy is growing fast and he plays rough. Today he chased and grabbed the cat and started shaking her. That scared me. Is this something to be concerned about with a 10 week old puppy?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brandy, You should be concerned about shaking behavior but since pup is young there is a lot of room for training and improving the issue. I would address it though. Check out the video linked below. Begin working on building pup's self-control and gentleness around the cat now. 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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megawatt
Pit Bull/ Labrador
3 Years
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megawatt
Pit Bull/ Labrador
3 Years

my dog has never been around cats and my new roommates have 2. how do i get my dog to stop trying to kill the cats

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jarrett, 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 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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Scotch
German Shepherd
11 Months
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Scotch
German Shepherd
11 Months

Hi,
We live in a neighborhood where there are many stray cats. When scotch sees a cat he immediately chases it. He has never killed a cat but we want to make him more sensitive towards cats. He disregards what the owner says completely when he sees a cat.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Nikhil, I suggest working on his Come command. Check out the article linked below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ I also suggest teaching an avoidance of cats in general, so decrease the chances of him chasing cats even when you aren't watching. Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining. He has a Youtube channel. He works with dogs that chase and sometimes will kill livestock. To stop the killing you would need to pursue training like that, creating a strong avoidance of all cats. Whether this is doable will depend on your level of dedication, willingness to learn, and how large the space he is in - if the cats are only outside and he can choose to go where they are not, this is much easier than when done with household cats. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Charger
Chow Pei
3 Years
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Charger
Chow Pei
3 Years

My dog Charger is 50% Chow Pei and 25% Labpit. He is 3 years old and has a somewhat high prey drive. He wants to go after a cat and possibly attack. When he was a puppy, he had been around cats and never had an issue, but sometime after he turned 6 months he went nutso. He chased a cat away and it never came home. Sometime after that, he broke out of his clip collar after a squirrel, forcing us to buy a buckle one. The worst thing to ever happen though is one day he got into our neighbor's house and went after her cat that cannot walk well at all. He didn't touch him but barked and growled and scared him to death. One day the cat was out of the deck and Charger went after him again, I honestly believe he wouldn't kill a cat since what I saw with him seeing this cat on the deck he didn't touch him just got close and barked with huge pupils. Her other cat is young and an outdoor cat that she is ok with Charger going after since she can easily get away but we try to prevent him going after her. He's chased another neighbors cat up a tree but I think that's all. I have noticed though that when he's tied up outside he will watch the chipmunks and birds and whatever else and just stared at them doesn't chase. He does have a PetSpy shock collar that he responds to very well, except, of course, if he sees a cat. I have also noticed though, at the vets on two accounts, there have been cats in carriers that he either didn't notice or just didn't care about. Also at our local hardware/feed store they usually have an adoptable cat he'll whine at but never really anything else. I'm not sure what to do with him at this point and if he would ever really get a hold of a cat. I just don't want him to get a hold of our neighbors disabled cat one day.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kassidy, Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining. He has a Youtube channel. He works with dogs that chase and sometimes will kill livestock. To stop the killing you would need to pursue training like that, creating a strong avoidance of all cats. Whether this is doable will depend on your level of dedication, willingness to learn, and whether you have access to a dog savy cat. Be sure to take precautions like a harness or collar pup can't break or slip out of, a strong leash setup, and securing the leash to something that pup can't pull over - which could be you but would be safer if it was a tree or pole type object - just in case pup tries to bolt toward the cat during training - and it sounds like pup is pretty strong and determined. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY 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 cat in the same room. 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. 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/ This training isn't just corrections, this is repetition and taking the time to build pup's impulse control, rewarding calmness and staying focused on you around the animals, and finally practicing with the e-collar when pup is leashed securely but doesn't think you are around when he sees the cat. Hiding somewhere nearby while practicing outside, or setting up a camera inside to spy on pup can help "catch" pup in the act even when he doesn't think you are around, so that he also learns to avoid cats even when you are not in sight. The training starts with working pup up to being able to avoid the cat when you are present first though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Riley
pit mix
6 Months
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Riley
pit mix
6 Months

Hi,I have a 6 month old dogo argentino, pitbull mix named Riley. I've had him since he was 7 weeks old and have been working with him daily to make him an ideal companion.

He has two main issues, dominance with other intact male dogs and wanting to eat our new kitten.
While he's getting neutered to help the issues with other dogs.
We're working with him and the kitten with hopes hell improve.
When he sees the kitten he tenses up, gets a stiff tail and stares at him intensely (I have trouble breaking his eyes away from the kitten.
He's already lunged and nipped the cat during our desensitization sessions.
He has a muzzle, a shock/training collar and is leashed near the kitten at all times.
His body language says he's nervous and unsure, but also that he has a prey drive? He's been near other cats when he was a puppy (7-10 weeks) but is now acting up around the new addition.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brooklyn, 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. 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/ This does sound like prey drive - which isn't something that goes away. It becomes a management and avoidance training need. Occasionally, a dog will improve around a cat when they get larger and are not perceived as being as small of pray - but that is not the case with most. Hopefully that will help some in your case. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Georgia
Rottweiler Mix
8 Years
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Georgia
Rottweiler Mix
8 Years

We live on 2 1/2 acres. Georgia is an outside dog as are the cats. We have had Georgia for about a year. Her previous home had no cats. At first we thought she was just to rough with a kitten and they she thought it was a toy. But now she has chased a running cat as well. The cats got smart and stayed up or under things when she was out. We lock her up in a kennel a few hours a day to let chickens and geese out. But if I am out with her she could care less about the cats. She doesn’t behave aggressively towards them. No growling or barking. What I have seen twice now. Is she Gramps them and shakes them. So training in the same room with me she would obey. When I see a cat in the yard and I see her she downs seem to be obsessed with it at all. So it would be hard to correct a behavior until it’s too late for the cat. I have witnessed two of these now one she chased A running cat and the other she didn’t. It was just hanging out near a tree we were sitting under. What can you recommend?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Wendy, I suggest teaching an e-collar avoidance of the cats. This will be done with you present at first, just to do the e-collar training and teach the rules (but that's just to lay the foundation necessary for the next part), then you would use the e-collar remotely to enforce training from further away while you spy on her and she doesn't know that you are watching - via a camera, window, tree, ect... I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who has experience with high quality e-collar use, avoidance training, and also uses positive reinforcement. Look for someone who comes well recommended by their previous clients for behavior issues like hers, and who can help train. Check out the videos linked below of a trainer who specializes in livestock and animal chasing and killing dogs, working with a livestock killing dog - different animal but also prey drive and happening outside when pup is unsupervised. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leo
German Shepherds
8 Months
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Leo
German Shepherds
8 Months

Dog has been chasing and barking at are cats, yesterday he killed a half grown kitten

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you with this in person, who has experience with this area of training. Check out the videos linked below of teaching an avoidance and self-control around prey animals. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY 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. 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/ The details of how to train will depend a lot on pup being evaluated in person, and how intense pup's prey drive is vs. just having fun chasing the kitten and things got out of hand. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leah
French Bulldog
7 Years
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Leah
French Bulldog
7 Years

I am considering bringing home a kitten in a few weeks. I have finally talked my husband into it. We have a 7yr old French Bulldog and a Great Dane. I am not worried about my Dane but I am concerned with how my French Bulldog will react. She has never been around cats but I have chickens and she has killed two. She definitely has that French Bulldog dog ratter prey drive. I feel like we can do it but that it might takes months. Her kryptonite is water. She has being sprayed with a water bottle. She also LOVES food. She could eat herself out of a five pound barrel. I have a spare bedroom that the kitten will stay in if we are not with it and that is also where the litter box and food and such will stay. How do you propose we go about the introductions? The kittens and mom are on a towel right now that I plan to take home for the dogs to smell and inspect to start getting used to the scent. I really want this to work. I have wanted a cat for years, as I had one growing up. Thank you for your advice.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the videos linked below, and also begin building pup's self-control in general. 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 Introducing: Practice the Place 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 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/ Finally, if pup continues to have issues past the initial three months of working on the above training, you may need to move to teaching avoidance training as well - which is reserved for dogs with higher prey drives who wish to kill the small animals, most of the time. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dolly
Labrador Retriever
13 Months
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Dolly
Labrador Retriever
13 Months

We farm. Several out buildings and a large barn. Invaded by cats, drop-off's, over past 12 years. New Lab puppy fine with adult cats, wants to play with kittens which has resulted in killing 5, one eaten all but the head.
I can't watch her all of the time, but she and our 2-1/2 year old Golden follow me every where I go. Very stressful she is cruel to the kittens, but only when I'm busy and not paying attention to her.

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

I am sorry to hear about the situation. This is very difficult to resolve and I am certain that a few tips (like separating the kittens from her and introducing them slowly) would be difficult to adhere to based on the fact that the kittens and the dogs have free roam of the farm. Can you find homes for the kittens? I would suggest trying an animal behaviorist (even online via Zoom) to see if they can assess Dolly and help you train her. Until then, please try these steps with her as described in these guides about chickens. I am sure the methods could apply. https://wagwalking.com/training/not-kill-chickens https://wagwalking.com/training/not-kill-small-animals However, once a dog is prey driven, it is difficult to remove that innate characteristic, and any new kittens will always be in danger. All the best and I hope you can resolve the problem.

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Rosie
Lab mix
3 Years
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Rosie
Lab mix
3 Years

About a year ago, I moved in with my boyfriend, who has two cats. We installed a baby/pet get that allowed the cats and not the dog to get into the office if they needed to get away from our dog, and introduced them, at first with our dog on a leash. Eventually, we let her off and let her roam, and when they had issues, they'd pretty much resolve it themselves because the cats would stick up for themselves and scratch her. With that and us teaching her to "leave the cat alone" they have turned in to friends. Generally, they get along, but my dog is jealous when anyone else is getting attention or food, and sometimes nips at their ankles, or she still chases our cats on occasion, especially if they are in the yard together (we just moved and got a yard). How do I break these last remainders of aggressive behavior toward the cats? It's sometimes hard to catch her in the act because it happens quickly or in another room. My dog also can get aggressive towards other dogs if they approach me, even if it's friendly, and I don't want her to do that either.

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

Thank you for the question. It seems that you have made the right decisions about training Rosie with the cat. The fact that you have the yard now, which makes chasing the cat a lot more fun, could put you back to square one in a sense. But this time around Rosie should get the picture pretty quickly - I think you will have to reinforce what you have already done by redoing it again. Keep her on the leash in the yard while the cat is out there, too, for a few days or weeks and work that way to re-train her to leave the cat alone. This guide (despite being about chickens) has good training suggestions. Take a look: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-chickens As for the aggression towards other dogs, is this a new behavior? The Passing Approach Method and The Walking Together Method are worth trying. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Can you see about joining a walking group? Often, dogs that have aggression are put in groups with a knowledgeable trainer, they go on walks keeping their distance and then gradually move closer together, giving the dogs time to feel comfortable before being close as they walk. This may help Rosie get used to being around other dogs. If the aggression keeps up or gets worse, it is best to seek help with a professional as soon as you can (even online). Good luck!

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Nala
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
4 Years
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Nala
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
4 Years

We've adopted a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross (we suspect possibly crossed with a Patterdale Terrier) recently. She came from a childcare environment, but was re-homed after she killed a cat. We don't live with any cats, but our neighbourhood has many roaming cats, with at least 4 cats visiting our garden on a semi-frequent basis. She is lovely and cuddly with people, but has a strong predatory drive, so whilst we know it'll be impossible to completely train the instinct out, what methods would be recommended to try and mitigate the risk of an accident occurring. We've been attempting clicker training, trying to get her to sit when she sees a potential prey item, whether that be birds, cats, etc. Whenever she sees a cat on leash she begins snarling, barking and pulling towards it. Any advice would be appreciated.

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

First, things first - please speak to your neighbors and let them know about the problem so that they will try to keep their cats out of your yard, and possibly they will keep a better eye on them when they are outside. This is essential. I think this is a situation where one on one training with a professional who is used to working with dogs who have a strong prey drive is the best way. You are right; it may be impossible to train it out of Nala but a professional face to face is your best bet. Until then try the Reel in Method:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall and the Consistency Method:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. There are also excellent videos here and the opportunity to talk to a trainer: https://robertcabral.com/. Good luck!

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Ernie
German Shepherd
1 Year
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Ernie
German Shepherd
1 Year

I got Ernie a year ago as a puppy. I separated my cats in a room so I could slowly acclimate them to each other. However my father for some reason thought it would be funny to just let him in the room and “figure things out on their own.” I thought this was a horrible idea but he did it without my permission. Ernie has never killed or seriously injured the cats but he has cornered/went after them. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to rehome any of my beloved animals. Currently I have been using a gate to reintroduce them and I’m also muzzle training him for safety. How should I go about reintroducing them?

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

Ernie is very happy looking! It is good that you are using the gate and yes, you have to reintroduce them - but after a year I am hoping Ernie will get the idea. Along with separating them and slowly letting them meet again, it is essential that Ernie learns to listen to you at a second's notice. He needs to go to dog training - not only will this make things safer, but you will also form a bond with him that will go a long way to behaving. If he has not gone to school yet, call for classes. In the meantime, practice: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you The Consistency Method. As well, look here for additional steps on working with the cats:https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-cats. Good luck!

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Daisy
pitbull
3 Years
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Daisy
pitbull
3 Years

Hello!
My dog Daisy recently caught a stray kitten and killed it. She is good with people and other dogs. However, I've noticed an increase in aggression when the mailman comes by. Because she attacked a cat, could she be getting more aggressive towards people?

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

Hello, with the killing of the kitten and the increased aggression toward the mailman, I would be concerned. I suggest that you contact a trainer in your area who can come and help you work with Daisy before a situation occurs that you cannot control. In the meantime, work on her obedience commands every day and work on getting her to listen to you: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. Keep Daisy on a leash whenever you are out of the home. And research a trainer for help without delay. All the best!

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Miska
Siberian Husky
3 Years
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Miska
Siberian Husky
3 Years

My partner brought home 2 cats about 4 weeks ago.. however we have 2 dogs. Both our dogs are rescues, we got miska when she was 1 years old. Bertie gets on with them fine the other one (husky) just wants to eat it. I have the cats down in the living room twice a day whilst miska can see them through the glass doors however she just goes nuts at the door, trying to get in. When the cats go up to the doors, miska try’s and eats her way through the door/ glass. We’ve had her on a lead with the cats in the living room and again she can be sneaky like she’s just sniffing them out then ends up going for them. I’m really worried and it’s horrible to see (the cats weren’t my idea). I know husky’s have a high prey drive and unfortunately last year she did get out and attacked a sheep that had escaped and was in our drive way. She is such a loving and caring dog towards me and other people/children and other dogs. But I personally think it’s to late to train her to get on with the cats but my partner is refusing to get rid of the cats which I think is very selfish. Please can you give me some advice and help. Many Thanks, Natalie

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Natalie, Check out the videos linked below. For more severe prey drive, I do recommend working with a trainer who has experience in this area and comes well recommended, in person. 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 cat in the same room. 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. Make sure all points of contact are secure. You may also want to start this process with the glass between at first too. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mella
German Shepherd
2 Years
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Mella
German Shepherd
2 Years

I have 2 questions.
I’ll start off with our mella was a stray off the street that we have adopted to be ours, at the beginning she was scared and timid now she has an amazing personality. My questions are

1. We have a shar pei and everytime she walks in or around mella while she’s with us she growls at her, our shar pei doesn’t care nor mind but it bothers us. Why does she do it and how do we stop it?

2. Mella our German Shepard tried to attack our cat, she’s never show that type of aggression before. We keep the cats and dogs separated 24/7, to be fair our cats don’t like the dogs either but why all of a sudden would she try to attack our cat? And how do we stop her from doing that?

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Jagger
Miniature Schnauzer
6 Years
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Jagger
Miniature Schnauzer
6 Years

We got a new kitten and are having a hard time introducing them. When we bring her out of her room Jagger doesn't stop staring at her and is very tense. The kitten is fine, but Jagger seems to be anxious. When we carry her he tries to get to her by grabbing onto our legs or trying to get on the couch. When we go in her room he stands right by the gate and whines sometimes even barking. I love both of them but I plan on taking the cat with me to college in 2 years so I want them to get along until then.

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Selena
Pyrenees Husky
4 Years
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Selena
Pyrenees Husky
4 Years

I got her from a neglectful home. Like a lot of Pyrenees, she was placed in a barn at 6 weeks old with only goats for company. I got her at around 10 months old. She was petrified of everything she was in poor health.
I immediately got her fixed, got her shots and began skin medications. I have had her a few years now. She has come a long way. Very beautiful, recognizes her name, "usually" come when called and house broken as long as there is a doggie door available.

The problem is that she throws some switch. She is so sweet and pleasant you would not know that she attacks cats. Even my cats that she has been known to share a bed with.
She only did this in front of me once, when I first got her. I thought she was over it, because she even plays with the kitten. However, twice I have caught her loosing her sh... as I was walking away from the house towards the car. Since then we lock up all the cats everytime we leave the house. It is a nuisance, but I won't put the cats in danger.
Well, tonight she was lying on the living room floor about 6 feet from me. Note, there were two of my cats on the couch with me. All of a sudden she jumped up and ferociously went after one of my cats in the hallway. Let me say that it happened so fast, came completely out of the blue and was very loud and vicious. She had every intention of doing great harm to that cat for absolutely no reason at all.

Currently, she is locked outside. It is night so it is not so hot right now. I put water out for her, but this is not an answer. I am seriously thinking about putting her down. I truly love the dog, but I cannot justify putting the cats in this position, nor can a live with a dog locked outside permanently.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sharon, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer with a lot of experience with aggression and resource guarding. It sounds like the issue could be pup guarding you or areas/things in the home around the cats. When the cats approach what pup thinks of as hers, she attacks then, even though they are fine at other times. You would need a professional trainer with experience in this area to evaluate this in person. If this is the case, you would want to desensitize pup to the cats approaching what she views as hers, as well as work on building her respect for you - since she appears to be resource guarding you as well. If you do decide not to keep her, I suggest contacting a local foster-based rescue in your area. A rescue like that should be able to find her a new home without cats, knowing her history. They also might be able to do what's called a "courtesy listing" which is where pup is advertised through their website and places, to fine a home for pup for you, while you care for pup at your home for a bit longer while they look. If the issue is prey drive, you can teach pup impulse control and to avoid the cats, but it sounds like there might be more going on than that since they are often fine together, and only specific things trigger it; however, check out the videos linked below for some examples of how to deal with an impulse control- prey drive issue. Teaching Place in general is great for respect building also. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you.
I will look at the links you sent.
I will also take your advice on the behavioral training.
To be honest, I really can't afford a trainer though.

I have to say that I have had lots of dogs, many were rescues like her. I have done quite well with most, but I am no trainer.
This behavior is quite peculiar to me in that I can't see any justified reason for it. The cat was just walking down the hallway towards the living room. I honestly think the dog forgot I was there for the moment. I reacted quite quickly, but not faster than the dog of course. As soon as I yelled the dog cut off the attack and ran out the dog door. I felt like she knew it was unacceptable behavior and she knew she was in trouble.

When I first got her she showed too much interest in my cats. Then once she went after my fixed Tom. He was just sitting on the floor about 10 feet away doing nothing. I have gone to great lengths to make sure the cats are protected when we leave the house. Also to get her used to the cats. When I brought the new kitten in last year, the dog slept and played with him even.


I still didn't trust her alone with him though.

She does have trouble with being tied down. She has gotten better, but will still panic if I tie her and leave the area. I have hefty harnesses for my dogs. They are only out on when we go anywhere. I have tie downs in my truck bed. If I park and walk away from the vehicle she freaks out. At first she chewed through the tie down. Within 5 seconds. So I got heavy duty tie down wire. Then next time (mind you I only walked about 50 ft away and she could see me) she completely chewed through the harness. It only took her about 20 seconds to get through it. Now, I don't take her or I make sure someone is with meet that can stay at the truck if needed.

She is a 110 pound beautiful girl. She is sweet and smart. I have worked with her a lot. She used to seek ways to get out and run. She did not come back when called either. I have gone to great lengths to better secure my fencing, gates and doors. She has escaped only twice this year (my kids left the front door open). Both times she ran like the wind, but when I caught up to her in the truck and got out and called her she actually came to me.
She will never be trusted off leash though.

I really do not want to put her down. She is besties with my husky lab fixed male. She was quite dependent on him for a while and still sticks close to him when anxious. However, she gets aggressive towards other dogs while on leash or on another side of a fence. After proper introduction with my daughter's dogs Selena was still "uneasy" and I watched her carefully. She had a difficult time becoming comfortable with them around, but by the second day I saw no anxiety. And when we introduced her to my daughter's new pit pup Selena was so excited and they played for hours. Even though the pup was only 8 pounds. Selena was sweet and gentle. Just like with the kitten.

Anyway, thanks so much for the advice and information. I take both seriously and to heart. To be totally honest, I think Selena has every intention of doing great harm to the cats, but refrains from it when I am home / around, because she knows that she is going to get in trouble. Kind of like a dog getting into the trash when no one is around, but to a greater extent. Why she can tolerate them and even play with them one minute then try to kill them the next is what truly puzzles me.

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