Train Your Dog to Behave Around Your Cat
If you are bringing a dog and a cat to live together under the same house, there are certain things you can do to help your dog behave around cats. A lot of dogs are much bigger than cats, so you want to be sure your dog will not hurt your cat. There are some dogs that are small, and an aggressive cat can hurt the dog if the cat is antagonized.
You can teach a dog to cohabitate with cats only if you are extremely consistent. Dogs can usually learn to tolerate cats in the home if the owner takes their time with the training. Some dogs may take longer to train properly than others.
Dogs are designed to be predators and will instinctually try to chase and catch smaller animals. Even though dogs have been domesticated, they will still act upon the instinct. Through breeding, people have changed some of these instincts to suit different needs and desired looks of dogs. Humans have been able to develop a wide variety of dog breeds each to serve a different purpose or perform a certain action.
Dog's instincts are to chase and catch. This is called the prey drive. You can watch a new puppy demonstrate this particular instinct by watching them play. They usually will chase, catch, and shake. The shake is the kill and this is their instincts in action. Some breeds are produced for killing other smaller animals. Some breeds have less prey drive than others and have been created for a whole different purpose of herding, drug sniffing, and they are all still taught that these things are their prey. Just as breeds prey drives vary, so do the cat chasing factors for each breed. Knowing your dogs behaviors is key to helping your dog behave around cats.
There are many successful ways to train your dog to live peacefully with cats and other small animals. We favor teaching your dogs that cats are off limits. Cats are not to be disturbed for any reason. You can use a friend or a family member to help set up some short and daily training sessions with your dog. With the dog wearing your choice of training collar and leash, have your dog sit and stay beside you. Have your helper hold the cat on the other side of the room. Your dog will be very curious and excited at seeing the cat as usual. Make sure that the dog sits and stays. Praise your dog with treats and”good dog” for sitting.
Going slowly is the secret to teaching your dog to behave around cats.
Have your helper bring the cat a little closer. If the dog continues to stay at your side, Great! Give treats for it. If the dog tries to lunge at the cat, give the dog a stern “NO! LEAVE IT!” with a short jerk on the leash and put the dog back in the sit-stay position. As soon as the dog is sitting again, give treats. Carry on bringing the cat closer, a few steps at a time, repeating as needed. You must have patience. Depending on your dog, you may only be able to get a few feet each time. When your dog is able to sit quietly even when the cat is right next to them, you're ready to proceed to the next step.
You may now release the dog from sit/stay and walk around the room with the cat present. Leave his leash on so you can easily catch the dog and give any necessary correction if the dog gives any sign of chasing the cat. At this point it is critical that you supervise for this technique to be effective. You must be able to correct bad behavior from the dog each and every time they even think about going after the cat. If the dog is allowed to chase the cat, even once, the dog will want to try it again. You will have to start your training over from the beginning if this happens.
Some dogs learn quickly while others may take weeks to become responsible around cats. Until you are completely sure the dog will remember its training, do not leave them together.
We also have combined a dog crate and the “LEAVE IT!” command to introduce cats and dogs. Sometimes the dog is crated and the cat free, at other times, the cat was crated while the dog was free. The dog should be allowed to investigate the cat but not bark at it. A good combination of these drills can help cats and dogs live peacefully but it is very intense and time consuming. Patience is the key to having a well behaved dog around cats.
For help on training your dog to behave around your cat, Secrets to Dog Training is the best guide we have found to use to train a dog. We have used it many times with great results. If your cat is new also and you are looking for help training him or her, check out Cat Secrets Revealed. It is the best cat training guide we have found, and can help a great deal if you have a smaller dog that antagonizes your cat.
Prairie dogs are not dogs. A prairie dog is a kind of rodent.
Cat Secrets Revealed