I have a new dog (chi/daschund) who is very aggressive towards my cats if they get near her food or bone. Any advice on discouraging this behavior?
By tazzycat from Gilbert, AZ
Its natural, the cat will learn soon enough to stay away from the dogs stuff!
You need to let your dog know that you can take away his food at any time, (and give it back of course) so that he not so possessive around it. Agression toward the cats could escalate as the dog gets older toward people too. My family had a dog once who grabbed a kitten for getting too close and broke her neck. My mother was worried about her grandchildren and we wound up finding the dog another home.
I use a squirt water bottle to discourage my German shepherd from being aggressive towards my cats. My cats now "rule the roost" and the dog treats them with respect (backs away from them). Doesn't hurt the dog and keeps the cats safe without the dog thinking it was me stopping her from attacking the cats. This way, the dog doesn't think that when I'm not there, she can go after the cats.
My Dobermans have never shown anything but love and respect for my kitties (they all live indoors) but if they did, I'd stop them in their tracks. Maybe with a dog trainer, whatever would work. I would not tolerate that behavior for one minute.
As one person suggested, maybe a squirt bottle filled with water would discourage the aggressive behavior, but it sounds like a problem to me and this is unfair to the cats.
Jennifer Northern Virginia
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Get a squirt bottle with a fine spray. Put some water in it. Squirt the dog and say "No" very firmly whenever the dog chases the cats. If the cats are by any chance provoking the dog, a little dampening of their enthusiasms couldn't hurt.
Never spray anywhere near electric or electronics or anything else water will wreck. Also, of course, mop floors if water gets on them and don't spray where cats or dogs or people could fall and hurt themselves. I take a squirt bottle in the van when I go shopping. It also rinses things quite nicely, but needs to have a top that can be closed and bottle should be kept upright. (04/13/2004)
By Linne D.
Well, in our house we have 2 very excited puppies (a year old Golden Retriever and a 7 month old Lab) and 2 not-so-excited cats. What we found best was to section off part of the house for each set of animals using the tension mounted baby gates. Easily removable when you have company or for cleaning.
Ours is in the hallway between the living room (dogs) and the bedrooms (cats).The cats can easily jump over the gates when they feel threatened and the dog can be trained not to jump/knock them over. The cats have their litter and food in a bedroom on their side of the house, so they only have to see the dogs when they want to.
The main thing is to be consistent. If you don't correct the dogs each time they try to jump over, they'll always try to get the cat who just landed lightly (or in the case of my large cat, not so lightly) on the other side of the fence. (06/17/2004)