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Chasing Cats and Small Animals

July 3, 2011

We introduced Fig to a friend’s cat and he wagged his tail super excited. The cat fluffed up raised a tail and hissed. He had to be held back because he wanted to play and wrestle. He has this happy excited reaction to most everything that moves presently, even with old dogs who do not want to play.

There a number of desensitizing steps you can take to get your dog over kitty excitement. They say to have your dog on a leash with distractions on hand to move attention away from the cat as necessary. This is easy with our dog because he is HIGHLY food motivated. Below are detailed cat desensitization steps:

1. Put your dog on the leash (supervised) so you have something to step on if your verbal correction fails.

2. Do early, early verbal corrections. As soon as the dog just looks at the cat, tell him firmly “No!” Don’t wait for the chase and then just participate yourself in the chase!

3. Practice 1-min Sits and/or Downs on a leash in the same room as the cat about 1-3 times per day at a distance that the dog can handle.

4. As the dog progresses, close in on the distance between dog and cat.

5. As the dog progresses, drop the leash.

6.  As the dog progresses, wean off the leash.

7. Practice Heels on a leash around the cat.

It’s just a question pup getting used to cats. Obedience training basics help, so get your basics done first, if your dog is overly interested.

OK – everything I have share so far is expert advice – we found a better route. We found an old cat that was completely over dogs. She doesn’t run when a dog starts to stiff and get super excited. Instead she slowly slinks away when upset. She will take swipes when completely pissed, but there is loads of tolerance first.

Our pup followed this poor kitty around for two weeks with his nose in poor kitty’s rear. She got pissed after a couple days and he adapted. He went stealth with his sniff attacks. He would maintain a fair distance, until she was no longer looking. Then he would rush up behind her silently to sniff. When she noticed he would away around like nothing was going around. I might have even seen him try to whistle.

After a month of daily life, he had not interest and they will lie next to each other on the rug. I am not saying they are friends, but they clearly don’t hate each other. Fig started to act more like a cat (pouncing and slinking) for a bit and I wondered if he know what species he was, but he was just trying to fit in.

We have friends with another terrier who will escape the house to chase and bark at cats. It is a problem. We started to introduce him on lease to our cat who is not worried about barking, but it was too much. They could not get his excitement lowered. We think the instructions will work over time in conjunction with this cat, we will see!

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