Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.
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  1. #1
    Senior Member LenaCara's Avatar
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    Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    I have a 4.5 month puppy and she will not stop harassing the cats. I have 2 and my roommate has 1. My 2 tend to stay on high places or walk calmly around the dog. She leaves those pretty much alone, at most she follows one until he is under a chair, sniffs him then lays in front of him and chews on a toy. My roommate’s cat is a different matter. He walks by her and hits her with a paw and has done this since we got her 2.5 months ago. He also goes into “play” mode and lies on his back when Josie runs up but still hisses at her so she is all sorts of confused.

    The problem is that she wants to play with him so she follows him around and instead of going someplace high or under a chair when she is bothering him, he hisses and gives her a paw to the face. Sometimes he takes off and the chasing begins. Right now I have been dealing with it by just saying no kitty when she is bothering them and if she doesn’t leave them alone I attach her to a leash to her kennel for 10min. At first this seemed to work as she would whine to be let go and was unhappy. Now she just lays down and goes to sleep the instant the leash is on.

    She knows it’s for messing with the cats because when I tell her no kitty, she looks at me then keeps sniffing, mouthing their tails. When I grab the leash, she runs to the back door, like were going for a walk but just goes with me to her kennel because she knows what’s coming. I have also stood between her and the cat when she was annoying him and said no kitty and sent her from the room. Usually she is back within a minute sniffing him or laying down a foot away from him and staring at him or chewing on something.

    So yeah, am I doing the right thing? Is there something else I should do? I know it’s partially the cat’s fault but I expect more from Josie because at the end of the day she is a dog and could hurt the cat if she doesn’t learn to be indifferent to him and keeps this behavior up.

    I don't keep her attached to me because aside from this she has perfect manners. She rings the chimes when she has to potty and never chews anything that doesn’t belong to her. Besides, we had her attached to us for the first 1.5 months and never let her chase the cats and taught her no kitty but obviously it didn't override her will to play.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member beverley's Avatar
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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    we tried all the above and more with branston and our cats, but it isnt to be! he is pants with cats, he is a year old next week and no different to when he was 8 weeks old lol!
    ive put a gate across the hallway so that he cant get to them anymore and the cats food and bedding etc is upstairs.

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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    this requires 100% consistancy on your part.

    Step between the dog and the cat and QUICKLY move into the dog's personal space making the dog move backward and LOOK UP AT YOU. When you do this, say, "MY CAT!" or "LEAVE the Cat!" The trick in this is technique. You are pushing into the dog's space so quickly and close the dog is going to think you will step on them.

    Leave a leash on the dog at all times. Let him drag it. If he goes after the cat, step on the leash. Get in close and then release the leash. When he goes for the cat you are holding the leash and you again step into his space and make him step back and look up at you.

    Also provide the cat with a safe place. Baby gates the cat can walk thru and the dog cannot. When you are not home, separate the dog and cat physically. I crate or kennel the dogs, cats free roam except for Squeak who has an outdoor secure kennel next to the dogs (another story... LOL). Dogs WILL kill cats even if the cat is their best friend and they otherwise sleep with the cat. If the cat runs and the dog chases, the cat can go from being a friend to being something to prey upon.

    BTW sending the dog to a room or to a crate etc. is not the best answer as a punishment. Consistancy in handling shoud fix this.. and cosnstancy means EVERY time.

  5. #4
    Senior Member lisak_87's Avatar
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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    this requires 100% consistancy on your part.

    Step between the dog and the cat and QUICKLY move into the dog's personal space making the dog move backward and LOOK UP AT YOU. When you do this, say, "MY CAT!" or "LEAVE the Cat!" The trick in this is technique. You are pushing into the dog's space so quickly and close the dog is going to think you will step on them.

    Leave a leash on the dog at all times. Let him drag it. If he goes after the cat, step on the leash. Get in close and then release the leash. When he goes for the cat you are holding the leash and you again step into his space and make him step back and look up at you.

    Also provide the cat with a safe place. Baby gates the cat can walk thru and the dog cannot. When you are not home, separate the dog and cat physically. I crate or kennel the dogs, cats free roam except for Squeak who has an outdoor secure kennel next to the dogs (another story... LOL). Dogs WILL kill cats even if the cat is their best friend and they otherwise sleep with the cat. If the cat runs and the dog chases, the cat can go from being a friend to being something to prey upon.

    BTW sending the dog to a room or to a crate etc. is not the best answer as a punishment. Consistancy in handling shoud fix this.. and cosnstancy means EVERY time.
    ^^ Yep, this! Elana gave me the same advice 3 months ago - Brady is now besties with the cat and they play very appropriately.
    Proud "mama" of...
    Buzzy - 5 years old
    Luna - 3 years old

  6. #5
    Senior Member LenaCara's Avatar
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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    I will definately try that. Right now the cats do have a floor of the house that Josie can't access and Josie is in a crate when we are not at home. How much interaction should I let her have with the cats? Is it okay if I let her sniff them? Should I only intervene when she runs at them or puts a paw over their back? Most of the time they are up on chairs or the table and she is just on the floor watching them or following them around. She even takes toys with her so she can have something to chew while on the floor next to them.

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    Senior Member Sendiulino's Avatar
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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    We didn't teach our dog to leave the cat alone. We encouraged them to meet on their own terms, and the cat taught the dog to leave him alone. Now, they can be in the same room with each other, no problem about 50 - 60% of the time. The other 40%, the puppy still wants to play with the cat, and what does the cat do?

    Smacks her in the head with a paw of course :P And then the puppy backs down.

    I guess it is a little less concerning because Sam has a double coat of fur and even if the cat swings claws, it never connects with her skin, nor does the cat seem to aim for the eyes or anything which I've actually taken notice of. The cat doesn't want to actually hurt the dog.. only make her get out of his space.

    That being said, what we've had to do to make sure the cat is able to get away from the dog on his own, is set up low-lying boxes in the doorways of our two bedrooms in the apartment. These boxes are small enough that we can step over them, and the cat can jump over them, but the dog is too small to manage. So now if the dog chases the cat, the cat can bolt safely into another room

    But ultimately, letting them work it out on their own -- under supervision of course -- is proving to be the best solution for us. They seem to be working it out.
    Samantha | Miniature Eskie | DOB: 3/28/2011
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  8. #7
    Senior Member LenaCara's Avatar
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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    I've been trying the work it out yourself routine. I think I may just be over analyzing the situation. The cats have lots of places that she can't get to even on the bottom floor of the house. One of them manages to travel without ever touching the ground. I think I just expected her to ignore them by now but she is only 4.5 months old so probably not too realistic. I can say that the trouble cat has claws so he can defend himself and Josie has never been hurt nor have the cats. She does have little marks on her ears from the cats telling her no. I wish someone could come see them and tell me if they are doing fine or if I need to be interfering. Plus the cats aren’t scared of her, they have no problem walking right up to her and rubbing on her. I just worry due to all of these crazy dog kills cat stories I read.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Greater Swiss's Avatar
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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    I've got a similar problem, and it is FAR from perfect, but what we have been doing so far is being there whenever the cat comes near to the dog, and showering treats on her whenever she is calm. We wait a little longer each time. It is at the point now, when Caeda (the dog) is calm and doing something like chewing on her bully stick, the cats can come within about 3 feet so long as the cats don't do a dash....closer than that we are still working on and running cats we are still working on, but it has come a long way.

    It takes a LONG time, and LOTS of consistency, but it used to be if the cat wasn't on the top shelf she'd be dashing around and barking....just remember if you try this method give it several days or a week before you see a significant difference.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Teaching puppy to leave cat alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sendiulino View Post
    We didn't teach our dog to leave the cat alone. We encouraged them to meet on their own terms, and the cat taught the dog to leave him alone. Now, they can be in the same room with each other, no problem about 50 - 60% of the time. The other 40%, the puppy still wants to play with the cat, and what does the cat do?

    Smacks her in the head with a paw of course :P And then the puppy backs down.

    I guess it is a little less concerning because Sam has a double coat of fur and even if the cat swings claws, it never connects with her skin, nor does the cat seem to aim for the eyes or anything which I've actually taken notice of. The cat doesn't want to actually hurt the dog.. only make her get out of his space.

    That being said, what we've had to do to make sure the cat is able to get away from the dog on his own, is set up low-lying boxes in the doorways of our two bedrooms in the apartment. These boxes are small enough that we can step over them, and the cat can jump over them, but the dog is too small to manage. So now if the dog chases the cat, the cat can bolt safely into another room

    But ultimately, letting them work it out on their own -- under supervision of course -- is proving to be the best solution for us. They seem to be working it out.
    Letting them "work it out" may be fine with a small dog.. but a big dog can break a cat's back with a single paw swipe.

    Yes. Allow the CAT to approach to sniff noses. Allow the CAT to do all the approaching. Never allow the puppy to chase and the puppy is not to initiate contact until the puppy understands backing off.. and a human is a better intervention with a dog than a cat paw with claws.

    BTW I have known of a cat "spiking" a dog and the dog taking offense and the dog killed the cat quick as a wink.... .

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