While it may sound like the events of another episode of Tom and Jerry, dogs chasing cats isn’t a laughing matter. Your pooch can seriously harm the cat if he perceives her as prey, breaking her neck with just one shake. Even if he’s just being playful, the cat may consider him a threat, initiating a battle of no survivors. Now eliminating this habit is quite challenging, which is why you may need to enroll your fur baby in a dog training course. However, you need to learn how to prevent the problem and contribute towards solving it.
So, without further ado, here are five tips to put you on the right path.
Tip #1) Focus on Prevention First
Prevention should be your priority since resolving this issue may take time and a lot of effort. If your pooch is still under 12 weeks, raise him with one or more cats. This way, he’ll see cats as part of his family rather than prey. Besides, the cat will teach him a lesson or two on respect. However, you should supervise their interaction to prevent them from harming one another. Only intervene if you believe that one of your pets is in peril.
Tip #2) Reintroduce the Two Pets
If your dog tends to chase the neighbor’s cat, reintroduce them as though they’re new to your household. (read Preparing Your Dog for a New Furry Family Member for more details) However, introduce the pets in a place where the cat can hide if she feels nervous. To further put the cat’s owner at ease, keep your dog on a loose leash and stay alert to stop him if he decides to take off towards the feline.
Tip #3) Use Deterrents to Keep the Cat Away
In most cases, it’s the mischievous cat who tries enticing your dog into a long, perilous chase by entering into your yard. For instance, you can add motion-activated water sprays around your yard. However, you’ll need to place these strategically or else you may end up keeping people away. Also, visually check the yard for the evil cat’s presence before letting your pooch outside.
Tip #4) Teach Your Dog to Come When You Call Her
You need to train your pooch to recognize a reliable recall so that you can call her to you once the chase is on. Puppy obedience training can help you in this regard, especially when carried out away from cats in an environment that allows your gal to focus on learning. However, this will take time, so don’t try testing this concept so soon. If your dog hasn’t mastered this skill, it’ll be very difficult for you to get hold of her once she sees a cat.
You can teach your dog to associate the appearance of cats with obnoxious sounds or a repulsive scent. A certified dog behaviorist can help you in this regard as they will have the necessary products to keep your dog in line.
If your dog responds to these, you won’t have to resort to stricter corrective methods. However, if you don’t have a choice, make one that’s best for both animals. This kind of chase can make your fur baby into a very aggressive dog. Even if that’s not the case, a stressed out cat can become a lethal ball of nails and fangs. So let the experts handle the process so that you can have a great, well-trained dog who isn’t a menace to every feline on the block.