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We inherited an adult pitbull mix 2 months ago from my good friend. We have known her (Sadie) for about 2 years now, and she has always been friendly and incredibly submissive with us. We have been slowly introducing her to our two cats using baby gates and and Sadie's crate, and so far the signs have been great. In the last few days the cats have been getting braver and coming out past the gate when Sadie's laying down, and sniffing her face to face through the gate. Today we were feeding our younger "foodie" cat (Zoe) her favorite special great of turkey, and Sadie obviously wanted to get it, but was sitting and staying obediently. Out of nowhere she bopted past us and chased poor Zoe away from the food. I yelled at her, and am embarrassed to say that I got scared and gave her a hard smack on the rump before pinning her and letting Zoe escape. Afterwards she was incredibly submissive, and when we were taking her to her crate later she completely I ores the cats. The thing that has me scared is that even though She didn't growl or bark, and I didn't see her snap I found a couple of hairs that looked like Zoe's on the tip of her mouth/snout. We checked out Zoe and she's uninjured. I don't know what I should do, are the past 2 months of socialization undone? Do I need to restart with closed doors and sniffing even when I'm home?

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Obiously the cats weren't too traumatized because they were both back out today, and Sadie continued to ignore them. Do I need to be preventing them from being in the same room, or just supervising them?
 

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Obiously the cats weren't too traumatized because they were both back out today, and Sadie continued to ignore them. Do I need to be preventing them from being in the same room, or just supervising them?
Definitely supervise them, but also avoid giving the cats treats in front of the dog, and vice versa OR ensure everyone gets one at the same time. It just makes things far less complicated.

ETA: If your cats are anything like mine, they shed more when startled or afraid - if Sadie's nose was wet some cat hair could've stuck to it, thus explaining the cat hairs on her nose.
 

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That's good to know about the fur. We were giving them both treats, but Sadie just eats soo Much faster than everyone else!
 

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My dogs will chase the cats away from their food (or food they consider to be theirs). I consider it to be normal animal interaction and I don't interfere. If she ignores them or is friendly with them the rest of the time I wouldn't call her cat aggressive at all. But if you want to work on the resource guarding I know you can find a lot of good info here.
 

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I wouldn't call her friendly, just tolerant. She is actually closer to terrified of Alle, our other cat. How do I know if she's chasing to play, chasing to get them aWay from food, or chasing to hunt? Will there be differences in body language? The main reason we worry for Zoe is that she's kinda fat, and a little slow lol!
 

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You could always give Sadie a larger treat? If you already are, only giving them treats when separated is probably the way to go.

Chasing away from food will probably stop once the cats are a sufficient distance away from the food and no longer show interest in it. Chasing to play I would personally discourage (redirect towards a toy, do a few minutes of training, etc.) just because I personally can't tell between chasing to play and chasing to hunt (Snowball does neither, but the JRT we were looking after did both) and the potential end result is just not worth the risk, in my opinion. Maybe others will have more helpful advice about chasing though. I'm still a dog n00b.
 

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You'll have to watch the body language for your individual dog, but in my opinion:
1. Hunt - Quiet (scary!) or a low growl and very intense ... all out. Sometimes stalking beforehand, but not necessarily.
2. Chasing - Not as intense, not as persistent, may include barking.... but a relative thing based on the individual
3. Chasing Away - As Gingerkid said, short and quick, maybe with a growl/snarl/ and air snap (also called Snarking...)

Think of chasing to hunt as being quiet (I want to catch you!!!) vs. play as being noisy (I want to encourage you to run so that I can keep chasing you). I base these on observing my Lab mix, as well as others.... when I was shocked to learn that my fluffy teddybear was a fairly stealthy, intelligent, and effective hunter...

I suggest that you monitor the interactions, b/c you never know when a quick motion might trigger an instantaneous predatory response.
 
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