Dog Chasing the Cat – How do I get my dog to leave my cat alone and stop chasing it?

Dog Chasing the Cat – How do I get my dog to leave my cat alone and stop chasing it?

by misty
(ca, usa)

How do I stop my dog chasing my cat and being aggressive towards my cat?

I have a question but I need to explain the circumstances of the events. My husband (jason) and I (misty) have always had cats we have 5 adult cats all spayed and neutered and declawed except our youngest jasmine. Our other 4 cats junior, jewel, tiger, and emily. We had before we adopted our first dog. Gunner is a 6 yr old American Pitbull/Queensland mix (88lbs) we had him since he was 6-8 mths old he was a stray. He doesn’t show any interest in our cats, well its like we don’t have cats. We adopted Angie from the humane society when she was 10 weeks oold we have had issues with her as she became older. She is food aggressive even though we always did open feed. She is aggressive towards the other dogs (we also have a 2 yr old red nose pitt/lab mix, he loves cats) Angie is a American Pitbull/Australian Shepherd mix. She is extremely hyper with no off button. And she has not calmed with age. She has always shown aggression towards our cats just snapping and lunging at the cat and the cat would hiss maybe swat, she always runs away its been like that for years. About 2 yrs ago Emily tried to eat some of the dog food, Angie grabbed her and pushed her to the ground and held her there. I corrected her and she let go Emily who was fine. Since then Emily gets in the dish and Angie does nothing. Yet she attacks the other dogs while she’s eating even though they are both lying down, and several feet away. A year and half ago we took in a very sick stray cat, her internal organs were not developed right there was no surgical fix, the vet said she wouldn’t live long. We had her for over a year. Her name was belle she gained weight. Her and Sammy (our Red Nose/Lab mix) became very close. All the cats were nice to her even jewel, and she doesn’t like females at all. The whole time we had belle Angie never bothered her, not once. Belle died when her organs shut down, the vet couldn’t do anything. A couple of months after belle died, we took in a stray female cat we named jasmine. Angies’ aggression issues have slowly increased. And its mostly focused on jasmine. The problem we are having is every time someone knocks on the door Angie goes after jasmine. She runs back and forth snapping at her. Jasmine doesn’t run, she hisses and claws at her. Jason was unlocking the storm door. Angie grabbed jasmine off the lazy boy and dragged her into the kitchen. I yelled at her, I had to pull her off jasmine was so scared she pooped herself, she wasn’t hurt but that is not going to happen again. I don’t know what to do, Angie does this again with her aggression getting worse towards jasmine and the other two dogs I don’t know if we can keep her things are getting progressively worse. Her aggression could get out of control. I have already brought her to the vet, its not a medical issue.

Hi Misty and thanks for your question (love the name too). I will do my very best to answer your question – although there are so many different dynamics going on it could take several pages. I would start by looking to get a professional dog trainer involved so that Angies issues can be corrected at the moment that they happen – I say this because there are so many problems that you have mentioned one on one work would really benefit your dog (and Angie is no longer a puppy and her behavior issues have taken root – although does not mean they can’t be corrected with time, patience and consistency). Make sure that you give Angie lots and lots of exercise and introduce her to as many different experiences as possible – i.e. different people, dogs, people – basically you need to keep socializing your dog. I also recommend puppy and dog training classes where Angie can socialize with other people and dogs with a professional dog trainer on hand to reinforce positive behavior and correct negative behavior.

I will focus on the moment that you took in Jasmine. The main mistake that owners make (and this is very natural) is that a new cat (and member of your dog Angies pack) is sometimes introduced with no gradual process. As the owner you need to be in complete control of your dog’s environment (in this situation I don’t think it would be safe to leave Jasmine and Angie alone). Is it possible to separate them – this is not giving in – it is just learning to adapt to the situation.

By controlling the environment this means giving all parties (i.e. your dog and cat) and exit route. It might be that a crate is another solution (it just means being in control of the environment and preventing situations that are actually very avoidable. In situations where a new cat is introduced to a dog (already in the family) this should be achieved through gradual exposure i.e leave the cat in a crate where your dog can see it and get used to it. Some people in extreme situations use Remote Collars (I am not advocating their use but they are sometimes used a last resort – Leerburg dog obedience training recommend them in extreme circumstances). The remote collar is used as a correction (set at a high level) if a dog starts to chase the cat for the first time – and from then after a ‘No’ is used. Leerburg recommend Dogtra Collars (again I do not use this technique I am only stating that this option is used by some trainers. Other options can involve a Muzzle where you can get dog and cat used to each other using the ‘Leave it Command’ and then removing the muzzle as they get used to each other (the muzzle would only be used when your dog or cat is introduced in a controlled environment. After the training had been successful and your dog is no longer chasing the cat or causing problems the muzzle might not need to be used.

Hope this helps.