Does Your Dog Like to Chase Cats?
18 September, 2013

We love our dogs and cats and want them to live in harmony.  Usually, our dogs and cats get along well, but there are those times when your dog is a cat chaser!  It really is very common and sometimes it only a sign of play.  However, there are times when the chase can become intense and we don’t want our feline friends hurt!  There are ways to help stop your dog from being a cat chaser which will in turn make your household much more peaceful!

You should first train your dog

Start with one dog and introduce him to your cat slowly by having him on a leash or in a halter to limit access to your kitty. Place the cat on the other side of a baby gate or inside a carrier, then stand with your pooch at a good distance from the cat and ask your dog to sit or stay, a command familiar with him or her. When your dog stays in the position, reward him with a treat. The ultimate goal is to teach him a different way of responding to the cat and if your dog plays nicely, he or she will be rewarded!

 

If your dog starts to chase your kitty, put your dog in a room by himself or into his crate for a few minutes. You don’t need to hold a grudge against him, but he needs to know that his chasing behavior has a serious consequence. Not only will you not allow it, he will have some time alone if when he chases your kitty.

Try to bring them a little closer next time

When you think that your dog can relax in your cat’s presence and understands that the rewards are part of the correct behavior, you can move a little closer. Try bringing the carrier closer to the dog or letting the cat out from behind the baby gate. If your dog tries to lunge for the cat, the leash or head halter will allow you to safely remove him for a training break before you repeat the process at a lower level of intensity.

Always reward your dog’s calm behavior when he is around your cat. Any time they walk in and your dog is calm, reward like crazy with treats or praise. This will help him make a nice, positive association with the presence of the cats. It will also help him learn to look to you when the cats are around rather than making his own choices about how best to deal with the cats!

Give your cat a place to hide or relax

While the training is taking place, make sure that your cat has a place to hide or jump to.  Your cat’s stress level can be reduced if you provide your kitty with a separate living area, such as a room with a high enough baby gate that keeps the dogs out but that the cat can jump over. Many cats will also relax if they have easy access to elevated areas, such as cat perches.

Remember to always keep your cat’s safety in mind.  The dogs don’t usually have an issue with your cats (but some cats are bigger than some dogs).  Just don’t leave either of your pets unsupervised until you are sure that they can get along splendidly.  Good luck!

Always reward calm behavior in the presence of the cats. Any time they walk in and your dog is calm, reward like crazy with tasty tiny treats. This will help him make a nice, positive association with the presence of the cats. It will also help him learn to look to you when the cats are around rather than making his own choices about how best to deal with the cats!

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