If your dog doesn’t want to be friends with your cat, or if it’s attacking all the cats in the street, this can be a real problem. So you need to let your canine know that this behavior is unacceptable. It is better to start training as early as possible. From this article, you will learn how to stop dog aggression towards cats. Otherwise, it can end tragically. With effort, you will solve this problem.
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Why Are Dogs Aggressive Toward Cats?
A variety of reasons can cause a dog’s aggression toward cats:
- hunting instinct (dogs may see a cat as prey; it is especially true for hunting breeds);
- protection of their territory;
- incompatibility of characters (your pets just do not fit together);
- negative experiences in the past (some cat once abused your doggy).
Dogs or puppies who encounter a cat for the first time may simply not understand how to behave correctly with this animal. They need to be educated. So don’t be surprised if your dog is cat-aggressive.
4 Steps to Stop Dog Aggression Toward Cats
I have picked out for you the best ways to help cat-aggressive dogs. I recommend using all these methods together to get the best results. And be patient.
1 — Teach your dog the basic commands
Commands like “stay,” “sit,” “come,” and “leave it” can help control your dog’s behavior. If you have time, do it yourself. I recommend reading our article on How to train a dog. If this challenge is not possible, you can contact a professional trainer.
If your dog already knows these commands, you need to continue training near the cat or on the street. Your dog must learn to be obedient, even when there is a provocation.
2 — Control your dog with a leash
Use a leash during training and also during the walks. This way, you can control your dog when it tries to lunge at the cat.
If your cat-aggressive dog tries to run toward the cat, pull the leash and repeat the command, such as “stay” or “no.”
3 — Reward good behavior
Don’t forget about rewarding good behavior. Give your dog a treat every time it behaves calmly next to the cat. Also, express your approval with words.
4 — Give your dog enough physical and mental activity
If your dog has something to do, it’s less likely to want to attack the cat. Consider:
- Do you take your dog for walks often?
- Do you play with your dog?
- Do you exercise?
- Does your dog have toys (for chewing, for mental stimulation)?
If the dog has enough exercise, it will be satisfied and tiring. If you don’t have time to play, you can hire a nanny.
Learn more about Unique Indoor and Outdoor Exercise Ideas for Your Dog.
What To Do If Your Dog Is At War With Your Cat
If your cat and dog can’t make friends, the following tips may help.
Introduce the Animals to Each Other
If you want to bring another pet into the house, don’t confront them face-to-face immediately.
- Place your dog and cat’s bowls on opposite sides of a closed door, and feed them.
- That way, your pets will be close and can smell each other, but they can’t hurt each other.
- Allow them to get used to the new smell. Then try to get them to know each other closer.
Set Up a Safe Den for Your Pets
Your pets need a safe place where they can get some privacy. The lack of such a place can also be a cause for conflict. The dog and cat should have a separate den, away from each other. They also need their own toys.
If your fur babies are too aggressive, you should keep them away from each other (for a while, until they calm down). A pet gate or special lock on the door will help.
Place the cat house somewhere higher up, so your Fido can’t get there. Then the cat can always escape.
Don’t Let the Dog Attack The Cats
If your dog becomes aggressive toward the cat, take it into another room and lock it up for a while. This kind of punishment helps make the dog clear that this behavior is not normal. But don’t use physical punishment.
If you have a large breed dog, it is best to watch the dog every time it is around the cat. Even after the animal stops being aggressive. Sometimes their games get too rough, and a large dog can hurt a cat.
It can take weeks for a dog to stop reacting aggressively to cats. Some cats and dogs never become absolute friends, and clashes happen again from time to time. But I hope you’ll have a good experience!
If you have any other helpful tips, post them in the comments.
About the author
Anastasia is the author of the blog for dog owners, trainingyourpuppy.net. She had several fur babies (dogs and cats). They taught her how to cope with various problems. Now Anastasia shares her experience and knowledge with others.
photo cred: https://unsplash.com/photos/7QjU_u2vGDs
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