Dog playing too rough with cat...
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  1. #1
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    Dog playing too rough with cat...

    At least it looks like it to me. We got our dog and cat when they were both about 2 months old. Both were strays. They are about 8 months old now. They have always played together, eaten together and slept together. As they get older, Liza, the dog, plays more and more roughly with the cat, (Ted). She also "fleas" the cat all the time. The cat does not seem to mind, and makes no attempt to avoid her. Liza frequently picks her up by the head and carries her around the yard. The cat just hangs there limp. When I see her doing that I make her stop. When they are playing, the cat will have his ears back and bat at her, and sometimes will "meow" loudly like she is hurting him. When that happens, I call her name and say "stop". She does, but the cat does not try to escape. I asked my husband if it were possible that the cat does not know he has the claws to make her stop. He said I was being silly. Maybe I am. I'm just afraid that she is going to injure him without meaning too. She is, from the best information I got here, part Rhodesian Ridgeback, part Black Mouth Cur, and probably some Shepard. The cat is white and gray with black spots in the gray. I have no idea what he is, but he is not aggresive at all. He does not mind being picked up and "petted". My husband picks him and and lays him on his back in his arms and scratches his belly. He loves that. I guess my question is, and forgive me, I have the gift of making a long story even longer, but I want to know what the likelyhood is that she might get more aggresive with the cat, and what I need to do now to prevent it.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Dog playing too rough with cat...

    When the dog picks the cat up by her head and carries her, all the dog has to do is shake his head ONCE and the cat has a broken neck or back.

    The cat trusts the dog.. has had no reason not to. The dog needs to be trained that cat play has its limits. You get the job of training the dog.

    For perspective:

    If you had two children and one was very small and the other very large, would you tolerate the larger one carrying the smaller one around by his head?

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    Re: Dog playing too rough with cat...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    When the dog picks the cat up by her head and carries her, all the dog has to do is shake his head ONCE and the cat has a broken neck or back.

    The cat trusts the dog.. has had no reason not to. The dog needs to be trained that cat play has its limits. You get the job of training the dog.



    Lucky me! I see your point, apparently this cat trust the dog way more than I do.



    For perspective:

    If you had two children and one was very small and the other very large, would you tolerate the larger one carrying the smaller one around by his head?
    Good point there. Any ideas on teaching limits, other than making her stop when I see it happening? I'm sure this goes on when I am not around.

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    Re: Dog playing too rough with cat...

    In order to extinguish a behavior that the dog has found to be fun you need to offer a replacement behavior. I suggest a soft toy to play with and rewarding her for playing with it. Right now playing rough wiht the cat is "the best game in town" and you need to give the dog a new "best game in town." There are other, more experienced trainers who will come along and answer this better than I have I am sure.. especially as to alternative toys and games than rough housing with the cat!

    I would not allow the dog to have access to the cat when I was not around to monitor the situation (going back the the two children, this is what you would do with them). If you see the dog trying to pick the cat up I would intervene with a toy and/or a treat to alter her focus away from the cat.

    It is a good thing that this cat does not run away from the dog when she plays rough.. dogs naturally CHASE and a game of chase the cat can quickly escalate to something much more sinister. My cats never ran from my dogs either.. they rule and if you doubt it, ask them.

    If the dog and cat are left in the house when you are not around, the dog needs to be trained to a crate. This will limit her free access to the cat.

    You can also start basic obedience with this dog.. and spend more time playing with her so she focuses on playing with you. Games such as tugging on a rope, chasing a ball etc. are all good for bonding with the dog as well as using up eneergy and showing her appropriate play items.

    I have 4 cats, a kitten (8 months old) and a German Shepherd 1 year old. Oliver the kitten and Atka the dog play but I monitor it as I do not want this to get out of hand or for anyone to get hurt. Atka also plays a little with the other 4 cats but they owned a GSD before and have let her know the way things work.. we ALL are lower in the pecking order than they are... I am their servant and Atka is tolerated...

    I feed Oliver and Atka together (side by side) and Oliver will reach a paw into her dish and steal a food nugget or two. When Atka gets her Kong filled with Peanut butter on her non crate bed, Oliver works at one end and Atka at the other. They share a dog treat in the evening at bed time. Atka is not allowed to put her mouth around Oliver, tho she does lick his face and do that flea chewing thing sometimes. I do monitor their interactions. Oliver is never outside unless on a leash, and Atka is never outside alone. We go out and he walks on his leash. Atka is now working off leash.
    Last edited by Elana55; 01-19-2008 at 09:21 PM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member mastiffmama27's Avatar
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    Re: Dog playing too rough with cat...

    Now I know what to call that nibble thing Elijha does with the cats!

    I'll be very interested in seeing the replies to this thread as I am having the same problem with a pittie we rescued right after Thanksgiving.
    "Maybe you've been looking for love in all the wrong places. A dog will treat you better than anyone you'll meet at happy hour. Trust me. I've been to happy hour."

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    Re: Dog playing too rough with cat...

    Thank you Elana for the, " extinguishing a behavior with a replacement behavior" advice. Makes sense. Both the cat and dog are outside animals. The dog refuses to come inside. The cat will wonder in and out if we leave the door open but prefers outside. We live on 40 acres of wooded property and they both seem to want to be outdoors rather than indoors so it is hard to regulate their interaction. From what you say, I guess our best bet is to keep something on hand to replace the cat with when we catch her rough-housing him, and to praise her for accepting it. We will continue to intervine when we catch her carrying the cat around by his head and playing too rough. You are the second person to suggest obedience training. I am leaning toward that and think it will help. Thanks again...

    Linny

    Oh yeah, hope all goes well with working Atka off the leash.

    Quote Originally Posted by mastiffmama27 View Post
    Now I know what to call that nibble thing Elijha does with the cats!

    I'll be very interested in seeing the replies to this thread as I am having the same problem with a pittie we rescued right after Thanksgiving.

    You sound like me! There were so many things I did not know until I started reading this forum. Good luck with your pit. I am assuming, maybe incorrectly, that you refer to a pit bull by calling it "pittie". Let me know if I am wrong. One of the things I have learned from this site is that there are many breeds of dogs I had no idea existed. I know many people have a negative view of pits, but I've had two female pits that were very loving and never had an aggression problem. My brother has had several males that were never a danger to anyone, human or animal. Dogs are like children. They have instincts, but they learn from you and respond to life accordingly. I understand that some dogs, like humans, are genetically inclined to be more aggressive, but I believe you can overcome that by raising them right.

    By the way, God bless you for taking this animal in. I respect that and wish more people would take the time and have the heart to do it.
    Last edited by Linny; 01-19-2008 at 10:18 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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