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we are moving into the same house as a cat aggressive dog in 2 weeks. I have 2 cats. I have no choice but to move in, so that is not an answer. This dog lived with cats when she was younger, but has not lived with one in 5 years except for a 2 day period when my brother brought in a stray kitten. the kitten stayed in a cat carrier. One day he let it out to sit in his lap, but it jumped out of the "leg circle" he had made and within 10 seconds the dog attacked it, putting out one of its eyes. I would hate to get rid of my adult cats without trying some other suggestions. What would you do if you were in my situation? (Gettting rid of the dog is not possible). Thanks.
 

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I'm dealing with this situation myself. In September I moved into a house with my dog (Duke) and two adult cats, and a roommate who also has a dog (Coco). My cats and Duke have always been buddies...but the cats and Coco? Not so much. When we first moved in, Coco growled, chased and went after the cats BAD. However, it is more of a play thing and not an attack-to-kill sort of thing. I can tell by Coco's postures and expressions that he really just wants to play, although an 80 lb Lab "playing" with a 10 lb cat can still result in injuries! Plus, it is traumatic for the cats.

At any rate, we started slow, but after two months the cats and Coco are co-existing semi-peacefully. I began by having my roommate hold the female cat (who is "braver" than the male cat) while I had Coco sit across the room and gave him really high value treats (MEAT). Each time Coco would look at the cat and then back at me--jackpot! He'd get a about 10-15 treats.

There were LOTS of "good boys" and praise throughout all of this, and we only did it a few minutes at a time so as not to overwhelm either the cat or the dog.

We did this daily and gradually moved the cat and Coco closer to one another in the room. It got to the point where Coco and the cat were within inches of each other and Coco did not lunge.

From there I began to have my roommate set Chloe on the floor and again repeated the treat, "good boy" cue when the cat walked by. The goal here was to get Coco not only to ignore the cat when she's in the room, but also when she's in motion (inhibit Coco's prey drive).

Once Chloe got used to Coco and realized I would not let him "get" her, she then took it from there herself. Anymore, if Coco gives her crap she just smacks him in the face and he backs right off. :D

My other cat, Louie (the male), however, is much more timid and scared of Coco. The dog knows this and takes advantage. So it's been slower progress, but we're getting there.

HOWEVER...like I said, Coco isn't out to kill...he just wants to play. If the dogs you are living with are truly out for blood, that is way out of my league!
 

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thank you. I think she is out for blood, so I am going to start with a muzzle, but i like your ideas about the treats and making sure the cats can eventually move past her without setting off the instincts.
 

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To be perfectly honest, I would keep my cats in my room at all times if I had to live with a cat aggressive dog. Very slow desensitization MAY work over time...but even dogs that have lived with cats before who have high prey drive CAN, if ever left alone with the cats, kill it. It doesn't mean it's a bad dog, but what a price to pay for your cats.
 

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To be perfectly honest, I would keep my cats in my room at all times if I had to live with a cat aggressive dog. Very slow desensitization MAY work over time...but even dogs that have lived with cats before who have high prey drive CAN, if ever left alone with the cats, kill it. It doesn't mean it's a bad dog, but what a price to pay for your cats.
Same here.

I would keep the cats in my room, with the door locked to prevent people from accidentally letting them out. Then you can schedule in time for them to be let out. Time when the dog is crated -- and you make absolutely sure that everyone in the house knows not to let him out. I wouldn't even let them out in the house when the dog is out on walks, because when he comes back and sees them he might get off his leash and kill one.

You can do things to make your room more cat-friendly. Buying cat furniture will help a lot by creating vertical space for them. Check out armarkat's furniture online, it's way cheaper and nicer than the stuff they sell in pet stores. Also, you can make little nooks and crannies for them to hang out in. That stuff will make your room feel a lot bigger for them. I've lived in an efficiency (a one-room apartment) with three cats, so I know it can be done.

It's just way, way too easy for dogs to kill cats. And it can happen faster than you can stop it. You need to educate your brother, and the other people in the house, so that they don't make the kind of mistake they made with the kitten again. That is so horrible and sad that he let a kitten get hurt like that. Where is that cat now?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Don't get all crazy. At the time, we had no idea the dog was cat aggressive. The cat was in the carrier because we didn't know what kind of things might be wrong with her. My brother did a wonderful thing bringing that cat home. It would have been drowned that day if he hadn't. The cat is now probably playing with the other cat she lives with or bullying the dogs we have. She is very happy and healthy, now. I came here looking for help, not someone to preach about my brother being horrible.
 

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Chelsita,
I don't think Canteloupe meant it the way it came out...she is saying that what HAPPENED to the kitten was horrible. You never said the dog was not known at that time to be cat aggressive...all we had to go by was that you were moving in where there was a cat aggressive dog and that it had injured the kitten after your brother let it out of the crate. So it is human nature to assume, lacking in information, that your brother had made a terrible error in judgement and needs to be educated about the risks. Obviously, that was in error, but it wasn't meant badly.
 

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Oh yeah, I'm sorry, I did mean it the way Cracker explained. I didn't mean that your brother is horrible, I just meant that what happened to the kitten was horrible.

I'm so glad to hear that he's safe and sound, and you're right that your brother did a wonderful thing. I'm sorry if I got a little judgmental, I just always expect the worst with this stuff.

I hope the other info that's been posted helps you with figuring out what to do. Good luck!
 

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I would keep the cats in your bedroom with the door closed till you can slowly introduce the dog and cats together and always keep the dog on a leash when the cats are around. My dog bullies my three cats around and he is smaller than them but they manage to take his bullying but they will let him know when he gets too out of hand normally by just bopping him on the head. But if you are worryed because of the size and weight difference it would be safer to start slow slow slow and do some scent swapping by rubbing towels on the dog and giving the cats treats on that towel so they associate the dogs scent with good things and vis versa with the dog. If the dog has good impulse control and can manage to sit and stay while the cats are out you could give the dog treats every time it pays attention to you rather than the cats and will eventually learn that ignoring the cats gets it rewards. There is another site I know of that you can get a lot of advice from regarding your cats in situations like this. Feel free to PM me for the address as Im unsure if I can post it on here. Best wishes
 

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I never recommend this but here goes. First of all, as everyone says ALWAYS keep a barrier between the dog and the cats. If that is a leash or a wall or a muzzle, it does not matter as long as the dog cannot ever hurt the cats.

I would try the route of letting the dog know the cats are off limits. See if it works. Techniques are teaching the dog a fool proof lie down to the dog.. no matter what no matter where. Put the dog, on leash, in that lie down if he makes ANY move toward the cats. Ever.

The other thing I would consider in this case, because the cats are truly in danger from this dog, is e collar training. You will need an EXPERIENCED e collar person to be part of this. Do not get an e collar and cold cock the dog. It can back fire horribly. If you have a dog that runs thru the shock and bites whatever it associates the shock with you can make things much worse. I have seen this lead to a dog being PTS.

I do not LIKE E collars but they can be useful if the dog's life is in danger or the lives of the cats (or other animals). I am sure there may be those who come on after this post upset I would suggest an e collar at all, but it is a tool and this may become a situation for the use of that tool.

I will also reinforce that you try OTHER METHODS FIRST as long as the dog CANNOT GET TO THE CATS. IF those things do not work.. and you will need to give it a month being very very careful with the cats and dog in that month so no harm comes to either, THEN look into E collar work.

Even if the dog comes to accept the cats, by any method used, NEVER EVER allow the dog and cats to be together unsupervised. Crate the dog or put the cats in a dog proof area.

Good luck.
 

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I do not LIKE E collars but they can be useful if the dog's life is in danger or the lives of the cats (or other animals). I am sure there may be those who come on after this post upset I would suggest an e collar at all, but it is a tool and this may become a situation for the use of that tool.



Even if the dog comes to accept the cats, by any method used, NEVER EVER allow the dog and cats to be together unsupervised. Crate the dog or put the cats in a dog proof area.

Good luck.
This approach ( the use of a e-collar) has worked succesfullyfor me in several situations...Part of what I do on a routine basis involves conditioning dogs to leave cats alone/cohabitate (hi prey drive dogs with a history). I have 10 specially trained cats just (only) for this purpose.

I start with teaching a dog a highly proofed *leave it* while on leash (both in a static and walking/heeling environment) with small then larger distractions/influences (various things) so the dog learns the basic rules.



I then set the dog up in working with a long line again proofing the behavior to chase after,engage, or focus on other animals/things while in my presense.

At some point depending on each circumstance I set the dog and cat/s up to share resources such a food and tight spaces for further conditioning. I set up a condition/s that allows the dog to touch and smell the cat/s and get accustom to the cat rubbing against the dog especially in the facial area. I proof the dogs triggering response by holding the cat in various ways and by having the cats run towards and away from the dog under various cirumstances and positions.( dog in sit, down,stay,ect)


I then move to the off leash proofing in a supervised mode and finally.... proofing the dogs behavior with cats and other animals in a stealth mode (the dog does not think I am watching).

The remote collar whether I use tone,vibration,intercom, or shock works great to finish off the conditioning.

As Elana55 and others have pointed out it is the UNSUPERVISED environment that must be taken into great consideration regardless of the training/conditioning approach. A dog or especially 2 dogs or more can behave differently outside the influence of supervision and untill a history is established ...a cat (or anything else for that matter ) is far more likely for engagement. In addition I have found that you can condition a dog to cohabitate with a cat which does not always translate to liking the cat.:)
 

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I do not LIKE E collars but they can be useful if the dog's life is in danger or the lives of the cats (or other animals). I am sure there may be those who come on after this post upset I would suggest an e collar at all, but it is a tool and this may become a situation for the use of that tool.
While I don't like electric collars either, I agree that this is one situation where I'd be okay with using one, because a life may be at stake. If you go this route, though, make sure you learn everything you can about how to use one first.

Even if the dog comes to accept the cats, by any method used, NEVER EVER allow the dog and cats to be together unsupervised. Crate the dog or put the cats in a dog proof area.
I think this is really important to stress, also. Even if, over time, you get to where you trust the dog with the cats, never ever assume that they're okay alone. When alone, they should be separated, no matter how much you think you can trust the dog.
 

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I think this is really important to stress, also. Even if, over time, you get to where you trust the dog with the cats, never ever assume that they're okay alone. When alone, they should be separated, no matter how much you think you can trust the dog.
Surely there are dogs out there somewhere that can be trusted with a cat in the house alone...or maybe it really is all just a matter of time regardless of any dog with a history or without..:)
 

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Surely there are dogs out there somewhere that can be trusted with a cat in the house alone...or maybe it really is all just a matter of time regardless of any dog with a history or without..:)
I don't know... I'd be inclined to think that there probably are some dogs that could be trusted. But I think most couldn't be, and it's not something I'd ever like to risk.

With a dog that has, at some point in its life, exhibited a high prey drive with cats, I certainly wouldn't ever risk it.
 

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I don't know... I'd be inclined to think that there probably are some dogs that could be trusted. But I think most couldn't be, and it's not something I'd ever like to risk.

With a dog that has, at some point in its life, exhibited a high prey drive with cats, I certainly wouldn't ever risk it.
I will keep my fingers crossed for my cats because anything is possible. The 2 Border Collies and Cattle dog that cohabitates with my cats (alone in the house) where once focused on engaging cats and it is as you say it is always a gamble..... that some take.
 

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There is a poster on here who had pictures of her dogs sleeping with the cats. They never aggressed at the cats.

One day, while at work, the one dog killed one of the cats. This cat had been aggressive with the dog. All seemed fine until the same dog breached a door to a dog proof room and killed the second cat that frequently slept with the dog.

Years back I had dogs that I left unattended with the cats but after that story I never will again. Any dog. Any time.

I had my 4 cats when I milked cows, when I raised heifers, b4 my divorce, after my divorce, thru 5 moves in 6 years, b4 a BF and after the BF and I still have them. They walk on leashes and ride in the car and have gone on trips with me. They sit on command, behave at the vets and are easy to pill. My promise to them was that we were in it together to the end. I will keep that promise to them and they keep the same one to me. We are a team and have been for 14 going on 15 years.

To that end, as well trained as Atka is, I will never risk my cats... which now number 5 with Oliver, Atka's special friend.

Atka has never shown any aggression with the cats. Ever.
 

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I must be very fortunate to have had a dog for almost 14 years and she was always left alone with the cats and never once attempted to hurt them. I leave my dog now alone with the 6 cats and haven't had a problem so far. She knows those cats are mine and don't dare hurt them, mind you both of the dogs have/had very low prey drive
 

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I just lost my 10 yearold, 7-lb runt to a dog attack. New roommate with dog moved into my house. Dog just come from living in home w/1 other cat. On day 10, new roommate left her bedroom door shut but not closed. Dog attacked cat, had him in his mouth & was starting to shake/snap/kill cat when we separated them. No puncture wounds to cat, but 48 hours later cat had to be taken to emergency.
Necessary surgery & hospitalization to save him from internal injury (gas in abdomen) started at $5,500 Could not afford so had to put my baby down. Was devastated.
Roommate & I were planning on introducing my 2 cats & her dog slowly. It only took a few seconds while no one was watching for dog to get out of her room & find cat in my room. It was tragic.
Now keep dog in her room w/door ALWAYS closed & my remaining cat in my room w/door ALWAYS closed unless dog is outdoors & leashed. Not taking chances...was a bad scene. We are planning on getting dog trained, but I am not confident a dog w/killer instinct can be trained 100% not to attack. I will not take a chance. Roommate may have to move out.
 
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