Is there a way to teach or train a dog to be calm around cats?

asked 2015-08-27 14:56:10 -0600

My schnauzer is great with all dogs, but he can't seem to keep his cool around cats. Is there a way I can train him to be better behaved around cats?

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I have two cats and two dogs and they get a long really well. I know from experience it helps if you bring a kitten into a home instead of a full grown cat. When I brought a kitten into me dog's life it seemed to help because he was more curious about her than anything and this gave them time to get to know each other and grow a bond.

Katrina M.'s profile image Katrina M.  ( 2015-08-28 21:37:20 -0600 ) edit

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answered 2015-08-27 15:49:06 -0600

Most dogs can learn to get along with cats (or at least with cats in their home or in homes they visit frequently). Many dogs only want to chase and play and don't necessarily intend to harm, though the chase itself can trigger predatory instincts even in dogs who don't normally have a high prey drive, so encouraging calm behavior is always for the best. There are some dogs who will never trustworthy around cats and other small animals, but with a lot of time and effort, you can teach your dog to remain calm.

For desensitizing your dog to an indoor cat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHrHB...

For outdoor cats on walks, I use a combination of my "leave it" cue to ask my dog not to approach the cat, followed by "let's go!" which is my cue for continuing the walk. In order to make the walk itself more interesting, I'll lean down closer to my dog, use my happy voice, and pick up the pace, jogging a little and engaging her so she willingly puts her attention on me rather than the cat.

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answered 2015-08-28 02:29:14 -0600

I am fostering a cat for a few weeks now and managed to get my dogs to leave the cat along by having them leave the room when they seem to be looking for the cat; It doesn't work very well with highly energetic dogs. It takes a lot of work so you might have to give yourself a break by using a crate or restraining method. Dogs only listen to confidence, so you can't let yourself get frustrated.

I'm guessing you are referring to cats that are not I your home in which case; since its a hard impulse to stop,

Depending on the intensity or intent you would want to do the same thing you would do to make him listen to you if it was another dog that he is "not keeping his cool around".

In order to the dog to listen to you will need to bring your emphasis to the same level of enthusiasm as the dog has towards the cat. (To do this you have to put your feelings aside and be completely in control when correcting him or he will ignore you) Get his attention then immediately follow up with a correction.

Don't be discouraged if it doesn't work at first. Again, depending on if its a cat at home or a strange cat it might take days or years.

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answered 2015-08-27 16:13:21 -0600

Most resources I've read say it's best to do dog/cat introductions with a cat physically above the dog (on stairs or a table) to empower the cat. I don't have too much experience in this area, but that's my two cents.

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Positive reinforcement and clicker training. With a see-through gate between them, click and reward dog whenever he ignores or looks away from the cat. After a couple of days, place dog on leash, remove gate, click and reward. It took my none-cat experience dogs 4 days to become cat friendly.

Alyssa G.'s profile image Alyssa G.  ( 2015-08-28 11:20:12 -0600 ) edit

The commenter who said the cat being above the dog is right. I know from experience that if my cat's at a higher point in a place, that's not cornered, he feels safer. But if the dog approaches my cat when my kitty is on the ground... Let's just say it's not a pretty sight. Lol.

Amaranth A.'s profile image Amaranth A.  ( 2021-01-22 09:27:47 -0600 ) edit

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