↓ Read on to watch this amazing video
Many pet owners know that cats and dogs can live happily together in a home, even though cartoons and commonly used tropes don’t say so. That doesn’t mean they’re always easy to get along with. Dogs love to chase cats, or at least some dogs think so. Why do dogs chase cats? Certain breeds, such as collies and retrievers, have a natural instinct to chase small animals that move like prey.
The good news is that just because they have a tendency to chase doesn’t mean they can’t be taught not to scare cats. This can be a lengthy training process, and in some severe cases, a behaviorist is required, but it is possible. For dogs with a high prey drive who are aggressive towards smaller animals, it is advised not to keep them in the same home for the cat’s safety.
If you notice your dog trying to chase your cat, you should act quickly to fix the problem. Behavior is self-reinforcing. The more your dog chases the cat, the more it will validate the behavior and reward your dog when the cat runs away. It’s best to keep them separate while trying to solve the problem. Installing a baby gate in your home and separating them when you’re away will help you control their interactions.
For breeds or puppies that don’t have a strong appetite for predation, chasing cats can sometimes be a form of play. When chasing the ball you throw, they find it fun to chase them the same way. When training dogs or weaning them from destructive behaviors, it is important to make sure they receive adequate mental and physical stimulation.
Take your dog out for a daily walk, or play a game of fetch with them. If your dog enjoys chasing cats, they’ll probably have just as much fun chasing a ball or Frisbee. Provide them with ways to expend energy in an appropriate setting. Exercising them may help with training, but don’t overdo it. Training them can also be tiring for dogs. Make sure you give them enough exercise to take the edge off, but make sure they still have enough energy to focus.
Best for Dogs of All Sizes
Even if your dog and cat have met before, they must be reintroduced in a controlled environment. Your main goal is to teach your dog to ignore the cat, but making sure your cat feels comfortable around the dog is just as important. Slowly reintroducing both can help your cat feel safe and confident around dogs.
Use baby gates and separate two rooms in your home. Place them on the sides so they can see each other. Make it a habit to feed them both on opposite sides of the door when they are together. Feeding them close to each other at the same time will help them associate each other with good things. When apart, if your dog shows interest in the cat while they are on the other side, start the training process by separating them by the door, get low-calorie training treats that you can use, and start getting your dog’s attention to you. When your dog looks at you, reward them. For a quick compliment, use a clicker or use an acknowledgment like “yes” or “good” when you give them the treat.
Best Dog Door Overall
teach them a command
Leave it, or come, are two powerful commands that are good for teaching your dog in a few situations. Teaching a dog one of these commands can be helpful when dealing with a dog chasing a cat. You can practice commands with high value items to start training them. Say “leave it” or tell your dog to come to you when the dog approaches a toy or treat. If they turn their attention to you, you should click or say “yes” and immediately offer them the treat.
Repeat these steps until you feel your dog has a firm grasp on the command. A strong call-back command like “come here” is also a great way to stop them from chasing the cat. If you’re having trouble teaching them basic commands, seek help from a professional trainer or behaviorist.
give your cat confidence
The best way to help your cat feel confident about your dog is to stop your dog from chasing the cat. Make them feel safe and comfortable at home or even in the same room. The baby gate part of the house where they can leave and separate if they start to feel uncomfortable, and put cat towers or shelves that they can climb to keep the dogs away. When you let cats into the same room, feed them high-value foods as long as they show confidence approaching dogs. The less nervous and jumpy the cat is around the dog, the less they will trigger the dog’s instinct to chase them.
Use a rope or nylon adjustable leash to keep your dog and cat in the same room. You should start keeping your dog on a short leash and allow your cat to roam freely around the room. When your dog looks at the cat, every time your dog looks at the cat, call the dog or tell your dog to “leave it” and give the dog something to eat. Once you feel your dog can ignore the cat on the shorter leash, extend it to give the dog more room to roam. Repeat the same process and call your dog over every time the dog looks at the cat.
If your dog barks or rushes at the cat to chase them, correct them by saying “no” or making a loud noise, then shorten the leash and repeat the steps. The overall goal is to teach them a strong command that you can call to come over when they are off the leash before they start chasing the cat, and tell them they will be rewarded if they are ignored. Using a leash is a great training tool that will allow you to take control of the situation and keep your cat safe.
Best Minimalist Dog Vests
When training your dog to behave around cats, separate them if you are not in the same room. This will ensure that they do not return to their old behavior and that your cat is safe. If you have a larger dog who might be able to break through baby gates, separate rooms of the house that only your cats can enter, and make sure they have access to water and a litter box.
Should you get a cat?
If you know a dog who likes to chase small animals or has a strong desire for prey, and you want a cat, consider getting a cat that matches your dog’s personality. Regardless of your cat’s temperament, be prepared for some training. If you find a cat who is equally energetic and playful, it may help them get used to each other. A low-key, laid-back cat may not be the best choice for an energetic dog. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for a cat. Also, when you make your first introduction, consider enlisting the help of a certified trainer to help with the introduction. Safety should be your number one concern. If you have a dog who is aggressive with small animals, you may want to reconsider getting a cat.
Training a dog to get rid of bad behavior can be a lengthy process, especially if it’s been going on for a while. If you notice your dog trying to chase your cat, you should take immediate action to stop the behavior. Positive reinforcement will help teach your dog that good things happen when cats are ignored. When your dog is overstimulated, it is best to remove them from the situation and allow them to calm down. Patience is crucial when training. Punishing the dog will not help solve the problem.
When you punish a dog for bad behavior, they don’t connect the punishment to what they did. Trust is crucial when training a dog, and punishment can destroy your bond. You want your dog to see you as their source of security and leader. A good remedy is to give them a quick tug on their leash or make a loud noise to get their attention.
With a little time, patience, and training, your cat and dog can get along well. At any time, if you are having difficulty with one of the steps, there is a professional dog trainer available to help you through the process.
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the world?
How about the fastest dogs, the biggest dogs, and those who are – quite frankly – just the kindest dogs on earth? Every day, AZ Animals sends out lists like this to our thousands of email subscribers. The best part? free. Join today by entering your email below.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.