How to make your dog stop chasing the cat?
For many years, you wanted to buy a dog. Unfortunately, you used to live in a small apartment, so because there wasn’t enough space, you chose to adopt a cat. Recently, you moved to a lovely house, with a big backyard and you feel that this is the perfect time to bring a puppy into your life. But what about the cat? Will they get along?
For many dogs, chasing a cat is the ultimate joy. While some may only do it in order to have fun and because they seek a new playing companion, for others their predatory instinct is kicking in every time they see a kitty and is driving them to hunt it. This type of behavior can result in injuries sustained by both parties involved in the chase and if your backyard isn’t dog proof with products found on our website, a dog may dig its way under the fence in order to chase a cat and he may get lost in the process of hunting it.
You may find dogs that are indifferent to cats or just a little curious about them, but if your puppy is becoming agitated and anxious every time he sees a kitty, it would be better for you to start teaching him to refrain from his hunting urges. But how to fight his instincts?
- Introduce him to the cat while he is still a little puppy. This way, they will both become comfortable with one another, and will even start to care for each other, just like in the videos from the internet that make us say “Ohhh, that’s sweet”. By doing so, you won’t even let his hunting instinct to kick in and thus, they will both live happily ever after.
- If you’re willing to adopt an adult dog, and you see that he likes chasing the cat around the house, then you have to change his mentality. Doing it will take a lot of time and patience on your part because you will need to fight a behavior that is very self-rewarding for him. Meaning that you will need to teach your dog some self-control, something like “Just because your instinct tells you to hunt the kitty, it doesn’t mean that you have to”. Although a lot of times this is easier said than done. But here are some commands that you may try, in order to alter your dog’s behavior:
- Leave it! Teach him to leave something that he would normally want to go get, by rewarding him. Start with his favorite toys, move to food and eventually to the cat.
- Stay! Also using a rewarding system, teach him to stay while you distract him by tossing a chew toy and move forward to a ball. After he masters this, try with the cat (but don’t throw it, just leave her to walk in front of your dog).
- Go to your bed! Teach your dog to turn his attention from something that he is doing, like eating (or annoying the cat), to something else, like going to his bed.
If your dog starts to master these exercises it means that he has a lot of self-control and it’s safe for both him and your cat to live together.