While there is a common sense that dogs and cats hate each other, these animals can live in harmony and even be friends. The process is time-consuming and requires patience, especially when they are older and don't know each other. However, it is quite possible to teach a dog to stop chasing cats!
Veterinarian Pippa Elliott recommends:
"Plan the entire process and do a good obedience training with the dog beforehand. Your pet needs to respect basic commands such as "Sit" before learning to control its own instincts to go after cats."
Method 1 of 5: Introducing Dog and Cat to Each Other
Step 1. Choose a suitable place
Introduce the dog and cat at home, not at the shelter where you adopted one of them. This experience can be quite traumatic, especially for the kitten. Do not risk the safety of any of the pets.
Step 2. Choose a new animal that matches the one you already have
If you've always preferred dogs, but now want to adopt a cat (or vice versa), chances are that one will chase and even attack the other. In that case, ask the shelter or pet shop staff if the animal you intend to take home will do well with other types of animals. The adjustment period can be shorter or longer depending on these conditions.
Step 3. Put the animals to interact in quiet situations
As difficult as it is to introduce the dog and cat to each other without any problems, it is still important to try for the animals' welfare. You only need to resort to some basic techniques in this process, involving certain commands and rewards.
- Give the dog and cat treats that they like, but remember that pussies are a little more picky in this regard and like tuna or chicken pieces.
- Train the dog (or reinforce existing training) in basic situations, such as standing still, coming to you, and getting away from you when necessary. Do this before you bring the cat home (or the dog, in the opposite case), or it will be a lot harder to get the two animals to have positive interactions.
- Take the dog for a walk or let it out in the backyard before introducing the cat. That way, he'll expend the excess energy he has and be unwilling to get into trouble with the new animal.
Step 4. Introduce the two animals
Stay around at all times. Keep the dog on a leash, but use treats if it doesn't seem like it's working (for him and the cat). It's also good to ask someone else for help; thus, each one can be responsible for an animal.
Let the animals sniff each other out. It's no use holding each one at the opposite end of the space: bring them together, but be ready to intervene if necessary
Step 5. Praise and reward both animals
Talk to the two animals in a sweet voice, give treats and pet them if they behave well.
Continue praising and rewarding animals in the weeks following training
Method 2 of 5: Teaching the Dog to Leave the Cat Alone
Step 1. Put a treat in each hand
Let the dog sniff just one of them. He'll probably get excited when he thinks he's being rewarded, but ignore his attempts to get the treat right away.
Step 2. Say "Leave"
The most important part of this exercise is to ignore the dog until he stops trying to get the treat. Keep saying "Leave" until he obeys. This may take a while, but it will eventually work.
Step 3. Praise and reward the dog
Say "Good boy" and give the treat from your other hand when he obeys. Don't hand over what's in the hand he was paying attention to! Otherwise, he will end up understanding that he just has to insist to get what he wants.
Step 4. Repeat the process
Be consistent in training and repeat the process until the dog immediately moves away from your hand when you give the command.
Step 5. Start saying "Leave" near the cat
You can start using the "Leave" command near the cat when the dog starts to respect your order. Keep being careful with the two animals together, as the dog's behavior can change a little in the presence of what he sees as prey. Be patient and advance in training until everything works out.
Method 3 of 5: Using a Clicker with the Dog
Step 1. Buy a clicker
The clicker is a kind of plastic box with a metal button that helps in training and controlling the behavior of dogs. The trainer holds the clicker in the palm of his hand and presses the button several times in a row when he wants to condition some behavior in the animal.
Buy the clicker at any pet store or online
Step 2. Get the dog used to the clicker
Just press the clicker button immediately after your puppy does what you expect him to do. Otherwise, the animal will associate such good behavior (in this case, not chasing the cat) only to the sound of the clicker itself.
Step 3. Give the dog a treat right away
The last component of clicker training is giving the dog a treat right after pressing the button. You need to be agile, as the animal must associate good behavior with the clicker sound and, subsequently, the sound with the treat.
Step 4. Simulate the cat's movements
You can incorporate more complex elements into dog training with the clicker, such as simulating the cat's movements. In this way, the animal will be able to better adjust to real situations that may arise in real interactions with the pussy.
- Start walking backwards very quickly while the dog is paying attention to you.
- Stop suddenly. Use the clicker and reward the dog if he stops too instead of chasing you.
Step 5. Celebrate the dog's progress
The dog will not change 100% of its behavior overnight, but will begin to understand your commands over time (in this case, not chase your cat). Reward even small improvements, as they indicate that the animal is leaving certain instincts behind. Engage the clicker and reward him whenever this happens, and gradually the habit will fade away once and for all.
Method 4 of 5: Preventing the Dog from Chasing Other Cats on the Street
Step 1. Just take the dog for a walk on a leash
If your dog has a tendency to chase cats on the street, you'd better always put a leash on him when you go for a walk. Only release it if there is no kitten around, such as in squares and other quiet places. Anyway, you'd better get used to "times" when there are no other animals around. Remember that cats are most active in the early morning and especially in the early evening when they are out hunting.
- Use the "Leave" command method when walking the dog. It may happen that he tries to chase cats on the street even though he is on a leash. Teach him to be quiet when he sees these animals, especially if there are many near his house.
- Be careful as the dog may start straining against the collar and barking when it sees cats on the street. Depending on the case, he'll notice you're nervous about what's going on and get even more aggressive. Learn to hold his attention in any situation to prevent this from happening. Give snacks, praise, etc. and start in quiet surroundings, like inside your home, before heading out for a walk. You will see that he is much calmer.
- Another interesting technique is to teach the dog to come to you when called before you start walking him off-leash. Do this while walking away from the animal (just like before), and the exercise will have even more effect. Over time, he will associate good behavior with the rewards he can receive. Always remember to have good snacks on hand!
Step 2. Release the dog in the backyard
You can release the dog in the backyard, as long as you are careful when opening the gate (to enter or leave or to park the car, for example). That way, he'll have a little more freedom without the risk of chasing cats down the street and making trouble.
Step 3. Don't let any cats in your yard
Ask your neighbors to watch out for their pet cats if you're afraid something might happen. If necessary, install motion-detecting water sprays and use other strategies to keep animals away. Finally, don't forget that it's not always worth talking to pet owners (since cats are very skittish animals).
Method 5 of 5: Understanding When It's Time to Intervene
Step 1. Understand why dogs chase cats
Dogs chase cats for two main reasons: when they want to play (perhaps thinking that cats are actually other dogs) or when they have the predator instinct activated. You have to intervene if anything like this happens to your pet. Your pet may even want to play, but end up being too aggressive and even hurting the pussy in the process. Intervening is even more important if he is hunting, as there is a risk that the animal will even kill the other "unintentionally".
Step 2. Keep an eye on the animals at all times
The training and adaptation period will take a while. You'll be able to get away from the dog and cat after a while, but it's best not to risk their safety for at least a month before that. The most important thing is to make sure they don't dock when they're alone.
Step 3. Put the dog in punishment when he starts chasing the cat
It sounds silly, but it helps a lot to correct the bad behavior of the animal that is in training. Just don't think about anything that might put your pet's safety at risk. Just get him out of the situation for a while.
- Place the dog in the same space whenever he is grounded. Think of an isolated environment, such as your home's back bathroom. Just don't make him uncomfortable, like in the rain or scorching sun or in risky and harmful situations.
- Say "Punishment" slowly when your dog starts chasing the cat.
- Take the dog by the leash to the punishment spot slowly when he starts chasing the cat.
- Wait a minute or two and then release the dog. Repeat the process if he chases the cat again.
Step 4. Divert the dog's attention
You can condition your dog's interest if no other technique works. This measure should be a last resort and never put the animal's safety at risk. Experts recommend that pet owners associate the experience with something unpleasant, involving things like specific sounds and smells. Even using a cold water spray can stop the dog. Over time, he will associate the behavior with this "punishment" and gradually stop doing it.
Step 5. Hire a professional trainer or trainer
You may have to go to a professional if all else goes well with the dog. Go find someone who is an expert on the subject and use proven, reliable methods with animals. While the process isn't as cheap, it's much more effective than trying to do it all yourself-especially when nothing else works to stop the dog from chasing cats.
Do an internet search or ask a veterinarian or other trusted person for guidance from trainers and trainers. If possible, also talk to satisfied clients of this professional before closing the deal
- Don't let the dog have access to the cat's feed bowl and litter box. This can make the pussy stressed and even aggressive.
- You don't need to raise your voice or yell to give the dog commands.
- Be consistent in training. The best strategies are to repeat and reward certain behaviors.
- Never be violent with any animal. This is not only cruel, but it can lead to behavioral problems (such as aggression and excessive fear).
- Do not wear chain collars. Choose softer materials like leather and plastic that won't hurt.
- Some dogs never learn not to chase cats, even when they're smart. This can happen if your pet's hunting instincts are too strong. If so, concentrate on teaching the "Leave" command to the animal. Do several exercises with him on a daily basis and just take him for a walk on a leash.