11:06 am   

When Dogs Chase Cats

Often, the crux of the problem that the dog likes to chase the cat.

Hence, the dog will not stop doing so on his own. In fact, he is likely to develop new and better ways to make it more enjoyable - feign unconcern then leap up when the cat gets close, let the cat walk up for a sniff, then lunge at the last moment. Ah, the joys of it - for the dog.

The cat, however, is having less fun. Here are my ideas:

High Hiding Spots
Your cat needs places he can retreat to safely when he is downstairs. Those floor-to-ceiling climbers work well for this. Make sure they are securely installed then let your cat discover it. This will create safe harbor downstairs.

Dog on Lead
Until you have verbal control [which few person ever achieve], you must have physical control over your dog. Chasing is a potent reward for many dogs, and it will take some consistence and persistence to get it under control. Until then, keep the dog on lead when a cat is around. [Note: Do not leave leash or training collars on a dog when not you're not supervising -- the dog could get strangled. Use only a snug-fitted flat buckle collar for ID.]

Teach Dog "Leave It" and "Down"
Work on these two behaviors when the cat is not around. Work on them with praise, play and treats until your dog is eager to hear them uttered. Do dozens of repetitions until your dog understands exactly what you want him to do.

Reward Calm Behavior
When your dog does begin to listen with the cat around, reward all of his efforts with food rewards, petting, praise and anything else he enjoys (except chasing the cat!). Sometimes we get so caught up in waiting to see if the bad thing is going to happen that we forget to reward the seconds or minutes of good behavior that came before it. Strive to notice EVERY good moment and let him know: "THAT is what I want!"

Crating the Dog
Having your dog crated will allow your cat to explore without worry of ambush. Crating him at night may give the cat the chance to explore at will.


Last Updated: July 02, 2013 (LET) PawSupport