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Discussion Starter #1
My pup is making really great progress with her training, but I'm a bit worried. She's attacked my cat a few times, but that's only when my cat attacks her first. She's getting more tolerant, and I've been worknig with my cat to quit chasing her and scratching her, and most of the time they get along now and keep their distance from each other. When she did attack her it was more just noise than anything. I told her to backoff and she did.

But just a few minutes ago she snapped at my sister's cat. It's rare that she gets snappy with her. She's the cat that the dog will sit with and clean every night and snuggle with. She loves that cat. Mum gave the dog a piece of pea pod and the cat wanted to sniff it and the dog snapped at her. Then she jumped up on the table and growled at our male cat, who she also likes and often plays with.

Is this the beginning of food aggression, or could it have something to do with her being in heat? She's been bleeding for about a week now and it's her second heat. She'll be getting spayed in about three months, probably around May.

One last question; when she does snap at the cats, what should we do? I'd rather her snap at them than just bite them, but I also don't want her snapping at all.
 

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I would be keeping closer watch on the dog and redirect her when she shows ANY aggression toward the cats. I would also intervene if the cat is aggressive toward the dog by removing the dog or redirecting the cat. Cats being aggressive toward a dog can quickly escalate into the dog's prey drive kicking in and the cat won't win that one.

Atka did snap at one cat one time. It was over Atka's bed. I immediately put an end to that because if it was the beginning of resource guarding, I was having none of it. I started by never letting the dog eat alone. Ever. I handed her food to her. I then fed Oliver near her while I handed her food. Eventually I graduated to her eating next to the cat. She is fine these days.. cats walk up to her when she is in her bed and when she is eating and there is no aggression.

Oliver is a good soul and Atka likes him a lot. They can eat next to each other and if I give Atka her food in a buster Cube, Oliver will follow her around and help her with the eating. He has even reached in her mouth with a paw and taken food out of her mouth.

Yes.. heats can change an animal's disposition and attitude. However, I never let that be an "excuse" for bad behavior. I worked with animals in heat all the time (dairy cows and mares) and they still had to behave.

The way I looked at it was this.. Stallions often had to work in the same ring as mares in heat. They had to behave. If they had to, my mare had to.

While it may require greater effort on your part to get proper behavior wihen you dog is in heat, I would never allow it to excuse behavior that was undesirable.

I spay my female dogs b4 their first heat. Why put up with all of that if I am not going to breed?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That kitty is a devil. She thinks he can win any fight, and has gone out of her way to attack dogs before. She grew up with large dogs, but has always had a dislike for small dogs. I think the biggest issue between those two is that neither one wants to back down and the cat just escalates things too much. They're both doing better, though.

I'll start redirecting her when she does show aggression toward them. Should I take what she's snapping over away, though?

We didn't have to chance to spay her before her first heat. We got her when she was six months and she went into heat pretty soon after that. Then the car died, so the only way to do it is to walk her there and back. Sometimes life doesn't let you do what you want.
 

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Its nice to hear of an owner taking their pets health into consideration before jumping into an early spay. What is even better is working to keep the dog under control.

I can't tell you why your dog is acting in this manner. Could be due to heat cycle, although mine don't behave that way with cats while in. The cats were always still the boss...lol

It could also be an issue with resource guarding, it could just be a change in behavior unrelated to actually being in heat. Either way you want to correct and redirect. You control the reward not her. Does she know to drop it when you want something from her?

You also want to try and keep a handle on the cats. Sometimes they are sneaky though and mine sure never listen as good as dogs, even though some listened better then others. A cat can be seriously hurt by a dog even if the cat starts it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We've made the mistake of making excuses in the past, and that won't happen with her. She does let us take things away from her. She won't drop it on command yet, but if I'm holding whats in her mouth and say drop she will. She gets a bit tense when I do it if she's in her crate, but usually she's really good about it and lets me shove my fingers in her mouth and take whatever's in there out. She likes to steal a lot of things she shouldn't eat so we've had a lot of practice.

The cats are terrible. Only one causes problems, and she spends most of her time in my room where the dog isn't allowed. The dog is nothing but a toy to her. She is trainable, though. Stubborn, but trainable. It'll just take a bit of time.
 
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