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Ok, I have an eight month old sheltie. He's hyperactive (As most puppies are) but knows sit, lay, leave it, come, and no and he's very good at following the commands. The issue, I have an 8 year old cat who lives in the house and when the dog sees that cat all of his training is thrown out the window. He won't listen to a thing you say as he's FAR to interested in playing with the cat. The cat, sometimes, likes to play to, and much to my moms terror, the cat and dog play while the cat growls and spits at the dog in fun. Another issue is the fact that the puppy plays far too rough sometimes. He is always knowcking the cat over and sometimes just pinning the cat for a moment or two before leaping off and barking happily with his tail wagging.

Now, the cat DOES have his claws, but they don't particularly hurt my puppy. HE has enough fur now around the neck that he's got a good protection. The cat did get him once on the nose pretty good but it's like the dog doesn't feel one thing as he goes right back into the game. It's hysterical to watch when he isn't too rough but things almost ALWAYS get out of hand the longer they play and the cat ends up running up the stairs to hide from the dog.

I am not sure how to stop this. I've tried rewarding the dog whenever the cats around and he's calm but it doesn't seem to have helped at all. With a leash on him all he does is pull and pull and pull, and a few times me managed to slip out of his collar. I am truly not afraid that the dog is aggressive to the cat. It's VERY obvious by his nature that he wants to play. He plays the same way when around other dogs. I just need him to understand that the cat, who is half his size, is NOT a dog.

Oh, and the dog is not crate trained. I've never crate trained a dog and we've had no problems with him having free roam of the house (Except the basement which is gated so only the cat can get down there to get away from the dog, eat and use his litter box).
 

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well, i am from the school of "dogs do not play with cats", so i really don't have any suggestions for you in terms of teaching your dog to "play nice" with the cat. if you want to teach your dog that cats are not for playing, this is what my wife and i did - we have 2 herding breeds, a dutch shepherd and some type of shepherd mix that we rescued, along with 2 cats.

first, you mentioned the dog just pulls and pulls on leash around the cat, and can sometimes slip his collar. i'd look into a different collar, something like a martingale/choke/prong, depending on what your dog requires in the way of corrections, and you should find somebody to teach you how to administer a proper correction if you have not already been taught regardless of what type of collar you use - all training collars can cause damage if used improperly. if you don't know what type of collar you should use for your dog, you definitely should seek some professional assistance. since you also mentioned he acts this way around other dogs, you might want to focus on leash training completely separate from the cat.

what we did was have the dog drag a leash around the house, with the appropriate correction collar for the dog (our dutch shepherd was unphased by any correction on anything but a prong, our rescue is much more sensative and requires little more than a jingle of his tags). when the dog shows interest in the cat, give a "leave it" command (you can also "claim" the cat as yours by simply placing yourself between the dog and the cat and body block). should the dog obey the command, massive praise/treats/play/etc...make it worth his while to listen. should the dog ignore the command, use that leash to enforce your command, and when the dog does leave it, massive praise/treats/play/etc. the earlier you can "see the wheels turning" in the dog and give the "leave it" command, the better chance you have of him listening to the initial command. luckily for us, our little rescue can't help but whine, whine, whine with excitement when he's about to give chase, so he gives himself away. :)

what we taught our dutch shepherd when he was young, and what we're in the middle of teaching our rescue is basically avoidance - cats are not toys, not to be chased/played with, generally cats are no fun at all. as the dog matures and accepts that cats are not to play things, you can allow brief non-play interactions. our dutchie is 20 months old now, and i cannot even remember the last time he tried to chase or play with a cat. the cats can be chasing each other through the house playing, and he hardly even looks. he may give a sniff when he walks by a cat, or the cat may give him a nudge or weave in and out of his legs, which is fine, but they do not play together. they cuddle and sleep together on the bed or couch, and they are good buddies, but they do not play. as you stated in your post, it almost always escalates, and it does not take much for even a small dog to do big damage to a cat, even on accident.

we keep our dogs crated when we are not home, and even with the dogs crated the cats are locked in the basement (this is mainly because our male cat likes to deliver little kitty toys to the dogs to choke on - cats are evil creatures). :) at night, the dutchie sleeps free in our bedroom, as does one (and sometimes both) of the cats. i'd definitely recommend you separate the dog and the cat while you are not home, as you said you do not crate train. even when our dogs have earned the run of the house when we're not home, and have been trained that cats are not to be played with, i will always put the cats behind a closed door when we are not at home to supervise. dogs are animals and have instincts, i really like our cats, and i cannot even imagine how my attitude towards my dog(s) would change should they harm one of our cats.

i feel the safest way for dogs and cats to live together is for the dog to be taught that cats are not toys, although i'm sure there are many different opinions on this, what we've done has worked very well for us. hope this helps.
 

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My current dogs are the first dogs I've ever owned, but I've always had cats. From my experience, the cat usually wins when there is a disagreement. Your cat would give the dog a good claws-out whack in the nose if he was really pissed off. The cat would also leave and hide if he didn't want to play with the dog.

Does the cat seem upset when they're playing? Unless the cat is struggling to get away and is unable, I wouldn't be too anxious about it AS LONG AS YOU'RE THERE TO SUPERVISE.

On the other hand, I think it is necessary to teach the dog to leave the cat alone when you say so. This is not only for your cat, but for any other cat your dog might see outside.
 
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