Does Your Dog Chase Your Cat?
Does Your Dog Chase Your Cat?
I was asked to write an article on dogs who chase cats, so I popped over to You Tube and watched some videos.
I was actually horrified at what people allow, just see for yourself:
In one video, a lady pushed her hissing cat toward 3 awaiting, over stimulated dogs; all while she snickered.
The cat, literally ran for its life.
People Don’t Realize
I’m hoping the lady isn’t just evil.
I hope that she just doesn’t realize how dangerous this is for her cat.
Dogs are prey animals.
When something runs and moves quickly, it engages a dog’s prey drive.
When a dog catches its prey, it often kills it or wounds it severely.
And, the dog doesn’t really understand that the cat it may love inside the house is the cat it just killed.
Instincts override any rational thought a dog may have.
But, therein lies the difference; dogs are dogs, they are not people. They don’t think things through on their own, they often just react which leads to bad things.
I watch that video and think if that cat was not fast enough and one dog caught it, the three would have ripped it apart.
Not because they are evil dogs, but because that is what their instincts tell them to do.
And it is clear that these dogs have never been taught to control their impulses.
Cats should have a safe place.
Ironically, I forget that cats can be outside.
I personally believe in keeping cats safe by being indoor pets. Outdoor cats have a life expectancy of about 3 years due to traffic and other animals killing them.
If your cat is outside, provide it with a box or a place where it can be and dogs and other predators cannot get in to it.
If your cat is indoors provide it with a room or a closet where the dog or dogs cannot go inside.
Cats need a place to chill and space of their own.
I think we all need our own space!
It is unacceptable to let a puppy or a dog pester or terrorize a cat any time it wants. Which is why we spend a GOOD deal of time showing you how to train your dog Cat Manners, inside this training course.
If the cat wants to engage or play with the dog it can come out.
Puppies or Dogs Need to LEARN Your Expectations
I can’t tell you how many people think that allowing a dog to chase a cat is an acceptable behavior.
I can’t believe how many people make excuses; saying dogs will be dogs!
Or, they mistakenly expect the cat to correct the dog (this might get the cat killed, by the way).
The truth is that the dog needs to learn to control his prey drive and his impulses.
Do you want your dog to rip your arm out of its socket when he sees a squirrel, another dog, or a cat on a walk?
Of course not!
But if you don’t actually teach your dog how to act; how do you expect your dog to react appropriately?
Dogs don’t make the best decisions on their own.
They tend to stick with relying on their instinct and doing what feels good; which usually isn’t a good thing.
I Teach My Dog
I put my dogs on a leash while the cat is around (actually they spend a large amount of time on leash learning this and other basic manners).
He is never allowed to start.
If he shows an inappropriate behavior he loses a privilege and is taught that this is not acceptable.
I tell my dog “No” or whatever your no word is, and I make him do a down stay or go outside or go to his crate for a time out.
You see, chasing a cat is probably like an addiction.
I am certain that is it “super fun” for the dog and probably feeds the brain dopamine, serotonin or other endorphins.
As you can imagine this is hard to counter act if the dog is allowed to learn how much fun this is to accomplish.
I Control Prey Drive
I control my dog’s prey drive by playing with him.
Toys are his prey.
And, I control his toys.
Eventually I make him do some obedience in order to play with his toys.
This teaches him to control his impulses.
Recently I was able to call my dog off of an opossum in the field.
I didn’t want her to kill it.
I didn’t want it to bite her!
And, because she had been taught to respect her cats and control her impulse to chase; she trotted back to me with no issue!
It is simply something that has to be taught and something that you control.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.