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Hi all,

Need some advice on teaching a one year old dog not to chase cats. He is part beagle and part cattle dog. For about the first 3 weeks, he completely ignored the cats and the adoption place assured me he as good with cats. Now the instant he sees them, he chases them then pins them to the ground by their neck. We have had him for a total of 2 months now. So far we have dealt with it by saying no and directing him to the couch where he has to stay for a few min before he can be off again. I also push him away of he is messing with the cat within arm reach. The cats do have a bedroom they can relax in and plenty of high places that the dogs can’t reach in the rest of the house. I just need to know what else I can do. He is usually pretty obedient but he really likes chasing them more than he wants to listen to me. If I catch him starring and say no and put a hand on him, he doesn’t take off, otherwise it’s all bets are off. I am not against aversive training. By that I mean spraying water or making noise to stop him mid chase instead of waiting till I can reach them to interfere. Unfortunately sound and water have no effect on him. Shock collars aren’t an option I would be willing to consider though.

Is this a lost cause? I have one cat that braves coming out and he is getting better about going after him, 50% success, but I have another one that is just terrified and he hasn’t walked comfortable through the house in over a month. I know part of the draw is chasing him because he never sees him, but I have to make it stop. At the end of the day, the cats were here first so Rory is just going to have to get on board.
 

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Our puppy was very interested in the cats at first, and when they darted she definitely wanted to chase. For the first 2 weeks we had her we kept her leash on her in the house. That helped because we were able to either tether her to us or a piece of furniture or step on the leash and prevent her from chasing. We also have a baby gate up so the cats can roam freely in a large portion of the house without having to worry about puppy. She's doing really good with our male cat because he doesn't run. He either saunters or sits. They have gotten use to each other now. Our female cat is a darter so Zoey is still a little too interested in her. This is where the gate comes in handy because the female cat will jump the gate to come visit with us and then can just as easily jump the gate to leave if she feels uncomfortable. Also the gate provided a physical barrier, but Zoey could still see the cats and get used to them being there and visa versa.

The thing that I think helped Zoey so much was just seeing the cats around as much as possible and being praised for calm behavior. They became less interesting. She will still occassionally try to chase if the cats dart but we are able to interrupt her and then reward her for stopping chase. I would definitely trying the tethering and leash dragging with your dog to help get control of the situation. Also, if you can distract him before he chases that could help. As soon as you notice him being too interested in the cats distract him with something else. And reward as much good, calm behavior as you can.

Hope some of this helps!
 
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