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Dog Question! - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
Dog Question!
Hey dog folks and dog enthusiasts.

So...how do you keep a 20 lb dog from being interested in a very bold cat?

My dog didn't used to be interested in cats but suddenly she is, and we really need her to get along with Gutter's cat for her to be able to stay with me. We haven't tried it out yet because we also need to get a kiddie gate with a cat door (do they make those??) to keep the dog out of the cats food cuz she'll hoompth that real fast.

She won't hurt the cat. At most she'll just terrorize it by chasing it. So basically, what are some effective ways to get her to leave the cat alone? I considered just letting her go and if the cat scratches her she'll learn but I still am nervous about doing that because well..this cat can be pretty rough.

Also any good alternatives to keeping the dog out of the cat food aside from kiddie gates would be wonderful.
17 comments or Leave a comment
rikacmo From: rikacmo Date: October 19th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Desensitization is what usually works well for people, but it does take a bit of time. Slowly introducing things to the dog with the cat's scent on them, introducing cat noises, etc, while petting her, cuddling her, maybe a treat or two--stuff that'll make her associate 'cat' with 'calm and happy'.

You could probably find a better guideline online somewhere, but basically the end result should be that the cat is just a fixture of her world and not exceptionally new and interesting.

-- Rika
trippystate From: trippystate Date: October 20th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I have two cats, a dog, and a bird.

The dog learned very quickly to leave the cats the hell alone because they have claws. Do not worry about the cat beating up the dog, they most likely will only scratch when the dog tries to bother it. As for the cat food, I have all of mine up on a table or shelf where the dog can't reach.

oh and because I mentioned the bird, the cats have learned to leave my parrot the hell alone because she bites very hard:)

I wouldn't worry
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 20th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Well theres also the worry about the cat box. My dogs never eaten cat poop before but I really don't wanna find out too late that she does ;P

maybe I should stop mothering her so much and let her learn for herself. I mean she is 12...
trippystate From: trippystate Date: October 20th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
ah yes. I'm fortunate in that my dog has not "discovered" the cat boxes (I dont' know why). Maybe put the cat box in the bathroom? I dunno:/ My dog is also always supervised when he's out of his crate because he tends to chew on socks and suck. It's hard but you kinda have to catch her in the act if she does and then scold her for it:/
trippystate From: trippystate Date: October 20th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
HAHAH *chew on socks and SUCH . . . not suck.
martes From: martes Date: October 20th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
You might try one of those shock training collars. A couple good jolts every time she gets near the cat should be enough. Works like a charm for teaching dogs to avoid rattlesnakes.

Put the cat food on a table or counter where the dog can't reach, but the cat can jump up to, and put a child gate on the bathroom door where the litter box is.
neongryphon From: neongryphon Date: October 20th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those would be my suggestions, too. My Jack Russel/Staffie mix loves the cat so much, but if she runs, he’ll chase her. He used to bark at her, bounce on her, and do all those overly-happy dog things that sent my cat into a rage. And my worst fear was when she scratch his eye pretty bad :\ Figths are not good.
I didn’t have a shock collar at first, so I used two frying pans and banged them together when he started up. He’d stop instantly since he hates noise. But be sure not to make eye contact with your pet when doing such a thing as they could relate the noise/fear to their owner. So always be sure that you look away and pretend like you heard nothing.
I can also use a very severe, deep ‘leeeeeve iiit.’ And when he’s really hypo, the doggy language command for ‘stop’ is a short sharp and loud yip or bark, so you can make that sort of noise yourself to get their attention. Reward your dog when he leaves the cat alone and comes to you when called. Try a clicker for reward training, they’re excellent.
growing_rose From: growing_rose Date: October 20th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Do you have a particular "Don't do that" kind of voice or command? You could always just say "Puppy!" in that kind of low warning ending in high attention voice. Do it often enough and the pup will learn that this kitty is no more exciting than any other kitty.

As far as litter boxes, I've heard dogs dig in them when they're low on nutrients, so make sure your doggy eats plenty and you might be fine. *shrugs*
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 20th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
well my dog is 12 and when she stayed with my uncle he undid a lot of training we did so no, i don't think yelling at her without some kind of other thing like a squirt bottle or like Martes suggested, a shock collar (eek) would work.

Shes on special perscription food from the vet so hopefully thats enough nutrients!
growing_rose From: growing_rose Date: October 20th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh ... I'd rather avoid the shock collars ... but that's my preference. I'm aware it's a low voltage ... but still seems so mean.

What do you do for discipline then? If you see her chasing after the cat, chase her down and let her know you're mad. Keep doing it and she'll be like "Oh ... not good." Then reward for good things, like just glancing at the cat and not caring, or giving a sniff.

For my own dog, I'm pretty sure we let our tough old cat beat her up when she tried to chase him. :P She sleeps with the cats we have now.
From: dirtylittlelie Date: October 20th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
My friend owns, breeds (not bad breeding, good breeding), and buys and trains dogs. I would ask her for you, but right now, she's going through a really horrid crisis, and hasn't been online much.

I'm purchasing a puppy from her soon, and when I asked about it being okay with my fiance's cat, Reagan, she said they should be fine together. When she gets a dog, or a cat, sometimes her dogs get curious about the new cat, or the new dogs get curious about the cats she has. She just lets them duke it out, and has never had anything worse than a scratched nose on the part of one of her dogs. A little blood, but nothing serious, and then they generally leave each other alone.

I'd say...see what they do around each other. The cat probably won't be very nice toward your dog, and your dog might end up with a scratched nose, but if it understands that the cat will live there, it shouldn't be too mean.
My parents' dog was really aggressive toward the wild cats that live around them, but when we got a cat, he was always really really submissive to her. Acted almost scared. Hopefully you won't have many problems.

As to the cat food problem...I have no idea. Actually, since you mentioned it, I'm worried about my puppy getting into Reagan's catdishes. :/ I'll have to ask my friend when she gets back from her hiatus.

And if you want to see her dogs/my puppy, the website is http://www.saltcreekfarmcollies.com/puppies (Mine is Roman, the little mahogany male. :3)
frostfur From: frostfur Date: October 20th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
To help keep the dog out of the kitty chow, try placing kitty's bowl on a higher surface (table, countertop, desk, etc) that the dog can't reach - gives the cat a safe place to eat without being bothered.

I used to have a 23 lb cat with my 30 lb border collie x. Upon first sight, my dog ran up to the cat and got a good whack in the face. He learned, even if he never lost his odd fascination for the cat. On occasion the cat would actual stalk and chase the dog, definately not out of play. Don't worry about it too badly, but if you're both gone, I'd recommend shutting the dog or cat securely in a room - watch them when they're together, and keep them safe then they aren't.

As for the cat box.. I'd recommend placing it in a room the dog uses less often (like the laundry room, or the bathroom), or ask your dog to leave it alone. Or place it atop a higher place. I don't think he can really get hurt by it; my dog has eaten a few kitty patties in his day and never had any ill effects (other than it being horribly gross).

Hope that helps ^_^
(Deleted comment)
enveri From: enveri Date: October 20th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)
We have a large dog and two cats. The dog likes cat food. Both fresh and... er.. recycled.

Unfortunately, we had to go with the child gate method, and our cats just learned to jump over it. Something you can look at; they make gates (not with cat doors, alas) that are supports with an opening in the middle. You can wedge the gate part open with a narrow enough opening for the cat... but not the dog.

Ideal if you have an area in the condo/house where you can stash both the food and the litterbox.

Annd... pet smart just made a liar of me. Not sure if it's high enough (didn't notice how large the dog is) but worth a look? Link.

Also, if litterbox diving becomes a problem, there's a new style of litterbox out at Petco- there's little steps that lead up to the actual box area that makes it harder for doggie mouths to get in there. I've actually been eyeing them in the stores for our house.

In any case, best of luck! Integrating pets is always a special experience. ;)
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From: dirtylittlelie Date: October 20th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
That's what my fiance suggested. :D
neongryphon From: neongryphon Date: October 20th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a good idea! Better than the table which just encourages the cat to jump up while you're trying to eat D8
From: dirtylittlelie Date: October 20th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
So I talked to my dog friend today and she said that at first, cats and dogs are kind of interested in each other (at least the dog is interested in the cat), and that, if you leave them to duke it out themselves, they'll eventually reach an equal ground where they're comfortable with each other.
It's highly unlikely they will begin to actually like each other, but it's possible.

As to the keeping the dog out of the litter and cat food, she said that her dogs have always respected a simple baby gate. Cats can easily jump over or through it, so you wouldn't need to buy a catdoor one, unless you really wanted to. Just keep the cat's stuff in a room that the dog doesn't normally spend much time. Laundry rooms are good if you have them.

Good luck!
gamehawk From: gamehawk Date: October 21st, 2006 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kiddie gates work pretty well, one way or another. When my mother's friends come to visit, they sometimes bring their small annoying dogs, and Mom has a cat that's generally larger than they are. Some of them (a min-pin, for example) can jump over gates *better* than the cat can, so the solution was a tension gate mounted a few inches above the floor. The dogs can't figure out how to squeeze under, but the cat sort of flows (or, if she's outsprinting a wound-up little rodent-dog, does a home-plate slide... wood floors, yay). The min-pin could probably jump it, but he's dumb enough that when the cat goes under he becomes convinced that that is the only way to follow it, so he doesn't even try.

We're in fact going over there this evening to demount the existing laundry-room door for her, stick it in storage, and mount a cheap door with a few inches of the bottom cut off, so as to (1) eliminate the possibility of jumping/climbing canines scarfing cat food (which is generally too protein-rich for dogs' renal systems) and (2) allow Mom to close the laundry-room door, concealing food/water/litterbox without closing kitty away from same. If you go with a more permanent solution like this, use the kiddie gate to judge what works for the cat but not the dog before busting out the woodworking tools...
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