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Old 05-14-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
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Default Cats and dogs

I'm really worried as i may be moving back in with my parents and they have 2 cats. My dog has not been around cats much and tends to chase them, but i am worried as he has killed a chicken once, he didn't rip it apart he kinda jumped on it and carried it round. I am worried how he will react with cats and the best way to deal with this. the cats are 15yrs old and tyson is two and very hyper at times when he gets excited.

Has anyone any advice??? also do you think the cats will be in danger??
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:47 PM   #2
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Have the cats been around dogs? A dog-savvy cat will know to go under a chair or not move so the dog will not chase. Also what usually happens is the cats will hid for a week or so when the dog moves in.
The key in introducing them is to teach the dog that the cats belong there and are not prey or vermin.
One possibility is to crate the cats when you introduce the dog. The cats will be safe and they can smell each other. They won't LIKE each other when they first meet (expect hissing and growling) but it is a safe start.
Another thing you can do is wipe the cats with a towel and let the dog smell it before they meet. Or let the cats rub against your pant leg so you smell like them. That way the dog will get used to the smell and associate it with you.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:51 PM   #3
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the cats live a labrador, i like the idea of a crate but i think tyson wud go mad jumping at it and trying to chase them
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:55 PM   #4
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Yes he would. But he cannot get at them. So what you can do is put him on a leash and teach him not to in a situation where the cats cannot be harmed.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:27 PM   #5
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We have (now-sigh) 6 dogs and 4 cats-three of our dogs we would not ever trust with the cats. The cats live in the bedrooms and get play time in the front part of the house (it's sectioned off) and the dogs in the main part of the house. Works for us, we never have any problems.

Never, ever, ever, ever (ever!) leave him alone with the cats. Things can happen in a split second. If any sort of prey drive kicks in, it's bye bye cat. A lady I worked for re-married-she had a boxer and two standard poodles, he had like 4 cats. Everything was going fine, no problems, they went to church one night, and put up baby gates for the cats to get over and the dogs wouldn't if there was a problem. Well...the biggest and oldest of the cats must not have been able to get over the gate fast enough because there were pieces of him...well around the house.

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Old 05-14-2007, 04:42 PM   #6
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how sad thats what i am scared of happening, i just hope it all works out, i'm really sad to be moving back with my parents and i just hope tyson can settle as he only really settles at home and is happy at home.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:04 PM   #7
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Yes I agree that you are right to be concerned, and yes a dog who has killed a chicken and has a history of chasing cats is a very real threat to these cats.

I would plan ahead and agree a management plan with all members of the new combined household. You need total cooperation since one door left open could end in disaster. Plan where Tyson will have access to and where the cats can safely retreat to.

Once a management plan is in place, you can start working to counter condition Tyson. At the moment I suspect cats are simply a trigger for his prey-drive. Through counter conditioning you can seek to change his emotional response to these cats. You have him under control (probably on a lead) - when a cat enters the room (preferably far enough away so that he doesn't react by barking and lunging) you feed high value treats. When the cat leaves, the treats stop. Eventually your dog will learn to associate the cats with the presence of yummy treats which will override the prey drive and focus his attention on you. Until this association has become ingrained and he is totally calm around the cats he must only ever be exposed to them during these training sessions. If he is able to chase the cats at any other time outside of training you have reinforced the prey drive association instead.

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Old 05-14-2007, 05:08 PM   #8
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On a more optimistic note, some dogs using this method will turn around remarkably quickly. I currently have a very bouncy one year old staffy cross foster dog who had previously been a stray. In four weeks I am now able to trust her 100% with my two cats. She will no longer chase and they have even curled up together in front of the fire. The key is total management during the training stage to ensure the dog NEVER gets to practice chasing or aggressing towards the cats.

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