So, I have 4 cats and 1 dog named Taco. Taco's main selling point has always been her tolerance of cats and her iron bladder. Those are the only two good behaviors she came to us having.
If I'm being honest, Taco is the bane of my existence and I mean that in the most loving way possible.
For the 4 years we've had her she's always ignored the cats and they've mainly ignored her.
We moved recently to a much bigger apartment and the cats love the extra space, they have their own areas, they have a catio and the dog gets more space to run around and can go sit on the catio when she wants as well.
Now for the last few months I feel like I'm constantly calling her away from the cats. She'll stalk them, baring her teeth. Sometimes it seems as if she's herding the cats and sometimes it seems that she just really wants after them.
It feels random. Sometimes it's when there going in or out a room, sometimes it's the water bowl, sometimes it's them going on a chair that she never ever goes on, sometimes it's the bed, sometimes it's the collection of cushions that make up our "couch" , sometimes it feels like a jealousy thing.
For example when we were moving I was clearing out the room with my eldest kitty and out of the corner of my eye I see her move up behind him and try to grab him by the neck.
He treated her with one of his indigent meows and I locked her in the bathroom until we were ready to go.
Part of me wonders if it's because my eldest who is the alpha cat is getting a little bit frail and she feels like she can bully the cats because of it. (He went after her once when one of the other cats got hurt--wasn't her fault, but she was close enough that in my eldest's mind she was the cause)
She's also getting older herself (approaching 9 years old) and I wonder if she's just getting old and grumpy. She's had a recent exam and has a clean bill of health.
Taco has also been peeing in the house--no, not having accidents. The "accidents" happen over night usually, but she'll also come back from a walk where she did all her business and pee one little drop. It's not an infection. It's behavioral. It feels territorial.
Maybe the large space is making her feel more insecure? Maybe it's the multiple moves in the past few years? This is the third place she's lived with us and we've only had her about 4 years. We did add on 2 cats last year, but she's been getting more attention since her dad's home from work for most the day and they are cuddle buddies.
When we moved she did have to stay with my sister for 2 weeks so we could save up for the dog deposit--so maybe that's it? But she's stayed with my sister for a week or two before.
Taco has come a long way since we got her. She doesn't bite people anymore, doesn't need a muzzle for nail trims/ medical handling. She's even a little bit better with other dogs--but I'm not sure I can deal with this new aggression towards the cats.
I don't think I can keep her if she does end up hurting one of them. It would be unforgivable.
I find myself getting way more frustrated with her than before and I know that's not helping.....Anyways, I'm up for trying a bunch of different things.
I was thinking of investing in a crate for her? To help with the potty problem, but also to give her a place where she feels "secure".
I'm going to give the DAP collar a go today.
Do any other dog people have advice? Maybe just words of encouragement?