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So, to start off we recently adopted(about 4 days ago) two Great Danes(came as a pair) who are approximately 3 and 4 years old. One is male-Zeus, the other female-Mila. We already have two other dogs-one male and one female who we have had since they were puppies. We also have cats at home, all of whome are completely comfortable around dogs because everyone has always been raised together, and rule of thumb is everyone must get along, lol. Well, we adopted these two Great Danes and the owners had told us that they didn't have much time for them anymore and so we knew we were in for some obedience issues from the beginning. To what extent, well we weren't sure. In the first few days they have been fine with our other dogs, after slow introductions and taking everything one step at a time. They even got along with the cats and the female was sleeping next to them on the couch. Now all of a sudden today she has went after 3 of our cats, getting 2 of them and picking them up in her mouth and thrashing them around. Thankfully we caught her in time as it was happening and the cats are ok, although quite shaken up. These are big dogs, I can't afford to have them all of a sudden decide that they are going to dislike cats. In all of the situations Mila went to the cat, the cat was not running, darting, moving suddenly, etc. I hate to get rid of the dogs, and am hoping to find a quick fix to this. They could be great dogs with consistent training, but this is an immediate needed fix as it is life threatening and we have no way of keeping our cats away from the dogs all the time. Any advice, insight, tips, or personal experience with this would be great. If you need any more info, just let us know. I'm looking to get this resolved as quickly as possible as I cannot tell when she will again do this out of the blue. She's also the gentle one of the two Great Danes. When we go to the park they both show aggression towards other dogs, but at our house with the way we have introduced them we haven't had any problems. Thanks in advance!
 

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Not sure what to say. If you have cats who won't run from dogs and two large dogs who cant be separated from the cats...then you are looking at rehoming the dogs or losing a cat(s). Usually I suggest keeping a baby gate up to where the cats can dart to safety underneath and keep away from the dog...but if the cat isn't running away then it isn't really worth it.

The only thing I could think of is gating the cats from the dogs and, with the Danes on leash, working on training them to ignore the cats. So looking is ok but not going near them. But again...there is no quick answer if the Dane is just not safe around the cats. An attack might be rare...maybe once a couple months...but that could be enough to kill the cat.

I am sure the Dane showed behavior indicative of hunting when she did go after the cats though. Hard stares, stiff body, crouching, etc? And if it was done without the cats moving then I don't know what would happen if the cats DID run...that could end in a real hunt and chase if it was prey drive acting up. However if you can't separate them when you leave and can't watch them 100% then there is no certainty.
 
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