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Greetings! I just adopted a 2 year old female labmix. After doing some research she definitely seems to be a redbone/lab mix. She’s darn near the perfect dog but I’m a little worried about one thing: our cats.

So far here is what I’ve observed:

She’s fine with the cats, generally not interested in them or only mildly curious about them. She has tried to share food with them and has gotten right into some of their faces to say “hi” but if one of them runs she runs after them. If I call her back when she does so she comes back to me immediately 9 times out of 10.

She grabs her toys by the neck and shakes them out like prey. This upsets me because I’m imagining her doing the same thing to our cats.

Any thoughts on whether this is normal/trainable adjustment stuff or if we have to rethink this pairing? I don’t ever leave them alone unsupervised. Our cats are the priority.

Otherwise she’s a model citizen, a fantastic leash walker, and very eager to please. She definitely appears to have had at least some training in the past. Her recall is not perfect but inside the house she’s about 99%.


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Just because your dog shakes and plays with her toys like she's killing prey doesn't necessarily mean that behavior is going to transfer to the cats. Additionally, many dogs will chase a cat that runs, but it doesn't mean they're after them to kill them. Chasing things is just fun. Yes, some dogs will shake a cat to kill and some dogs will chase a cat with the intent to kill it, but if your dog can be called off the cats and generally ignores them, I would say her naughty behavior is fairly benign and she isn't secretly planning to harm them.

It's always a good idea to make sure your cat has plenty of "escape routes" just in case your dog is being too pushy, in addition to always being supervised. I found my dog pays the least attention to the most confident cats, and high places they can escape to to look down on dogs disapprovingly seems to bolster their courage. Reward the dog for ignoring the cats, especially when they're doing something fun like running or playing.
 
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