My dog won't stop chasing my cat [caused an injury]

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My dog won't stop chasing my cat [caused an injury]

This is a discussion on My dog won't stop chasing my cat [caused an injury] within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello everyone! I have a 10 year old cardigan welsh corgi and two calico cats. A year and a half ago, i got my second ...

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Old 01-16-2019, 01:10 PM
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My dog won't stop chasing my cat [caused an injury]

Hello everyone!

I have a 10 year old cardigan welsh corgi and two calico cats.
A year and a half ago, i got my second calico cat.
In the beginning, my dog would stalk and growl at my new cat however after various methods/getting used to her.. she became more relaxed and stopped stalking her every minute.
These past 6 months things have gotten worse between them. Whenever my cat plays with her sister or toys, my dog goes into stalking mode and chases her. Naturally, she runs away but tries to resume what she was doing only to be chased again. Despite my cat's spunky stubborn attitude to be herself, i see how anxious she has become.
Some days my dog will chase her once or twice a day, but other days she will stalk and chase her consistently throughout the day! When she chases her, she corners her. My dog gets this crazy stalking look in her eyes where she will not stop until she gets a chance to corner her or bite at her. When my cat jumps on the couch to get away, my dog will try to bite her and cry for not being able to. I will usually, try to distract my dog with a toy or (usually) i yell at her. Yelling doesn't do much and doesn't care for her toys when shes like this.

It's gotten to the point where she bit a small chunk off my cat's leg, and i only noticed it early morning when i happened to glance at her legs. (she was napping, and didn't see signs of pain. She was taken to the vet.) This is the first time this has happened and I am so lost and upset!

I have tried teaching "leave it" command, but she doesn't always obey. My dog is not food motivated or praise motivated. I've tried taking her on long walks to get her energy out but it seems to fuel her stamina for stalking.
I don't know what to do anymore and I would love to hear some input from you guys.

I would also like to mention that she does not treat our other cat like this. She leaves her alone and respects her, however before getting my second cat my dog would stalk her too.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:44 PM
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Sounds like your dog may have high prey drive. I would keep them separated.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:14 PM
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I'd keep your dog on a leash at all times, even inside.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:16 PM
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Can you block off an area with baby gates to give your cats a safe place to play and get away from your dog?
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:29 PM
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This is extremely traumatic to the cat and very dangerous and life threatening. Your cat could start showing any number of stressed behaviors, or illnesses, respiratory infections, allergies, stomach issues. The most common behavior is inappropriate urination in the house. Not to mention injuries. You could wind up with a dead cat or a lot of huge vet bills if your dog isn't either completely separated at all times or taught immediately that chasing either cat is completely unacceptable behavior and will never be permitted at all.

Leave it is not an optional command in this situation, neither is not listening. Keep the dog on a leash at all times, tethered to you to teach her to respect you and that her freedom is something she has to earn, or put her in a crate or completely separate room where she can't get out accidentally and hurt the cat.

This is hunting prey behavior and you have to teach her that these two specific cats are family and part of her pack and off limits. You can also not ever let the cats outside as she may not recognize them in a different environment and could easily kill either of them.
If you can't be firm and consistent with her, keep her completely separate until you can get a trainer to work with you. It's cruel and dangerous and traumatic to the cats to let her continue behaving this way.
I'm sorry to sound harsh but they feel pain and fear just like people do, they just hide it as a survival skill.

I've had large dogs and cats for decades and never had any dog hurt a cat, not even a dog I watched for a friend. I have had cats scratch dogs but that's safer to let them show the dogs they will defend themselves.

I've never let a dog chase and stalk a cat, I've stopped that behavior immediately. If they're not treat or praise motivated, they stayed literally tied to me and restrained. Every dog is freedom motivated but they have to earn that freedom by respecting and listening to me.

Last edited by Shadowmom; 01-16-2019 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:15 PM
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Cats are generally extremely skilled high jumpers. Putting up some high shelves for your cat may really help your situation.

One thing we did for our cat was to put up a (cheap recycled) tall shelving unit behind our couch in our living room so our cat could hang out with us all without the dogs being near her. I put a plastic cube milk carton crate thingie on one side with the grated part facing us so she could watch us, but feel a bit enclosed in her lil cube.

We also recently made some little individual window seat type shelves mounted up really high on the wall so she could perch up there and watch everything. She loves her new ultra high shelves!! Thank you to Jackson Galaxy for the great idea!!!!!

These high places really helped us in the beginning since our fearful Gracie dog would always freak out and get super nervous around our cat, Tortie, and chase her out of the room. I wanted our cat to feel safe and be able to peacefully hang out with us---and I wanted to not stress out either Gracie or Tortie.

I also did tons and tons of quiet, fun, highly rewarding counter conditioning with Gracie on leash with me as she learned to relax around Tortie cat. Gracie was absolutely NOT chasing our cat out of prey drive, more from being stressed out by her presence.

Tortie cat liked to stare Gracie down--- and this made Gracie dog super uncomfortable and nervous, hence the chase to make Tortie go away! With the cat out of the room, Gracie would relax. Stress/fear/nervous/uncomfortable call it what you like, but this was what was going on with my dog and cat.

Maybe put up some high places for your cat as you are working on relaxing your dog around your cat?
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:21 PM
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The dog in the op is targeting the new cat in the house, newest member of the pack and is described to fixate when the cat runs and plays. It also fixates on biting the cat and has already drawn blood and removed the cat's flesh once from biting when chasing. It focuses so much on chasing the cat when it plays and runs that it ignores everything else.

That sounds much more like prey drive than fear or anxiety. Nothing is mentioned anywhere about this cat staring down the dog. If it was just chasing with no intent to catch or hurt like my current dog it wouldn't have already drawn blood.

Giving the cats high places to safely escape is great. But the ops dog should not be allowed loose with any cats unless it is much better trained. It's just too dangerous for the cats right now.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:16 PM
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@Shadowmom, I wasn't suggesting that the OP's cat was chasing the cat out of fear/anxiety since I haven't seen the animals interactions. Rather I was explaining what was going on with my dog and cat.

And honestly for a while in the beginning I wasn't sure if my dog would hurt my cat bc sometimes, well, a heightened dog is a heightened dog. I didn't want my cat or dog to live like that so I started working hard on the counter conditioning with both of them.

But---I was offering some suggestions that may help AS she is working on training her dog to relax in the presence of her cat. If you go back and read my post I said that I used counter conditioning with my dog on a leash to change her mindset about how to interact around our cat. And the high shelves can really help. If the OP keeps her dog on a leash in the living room, for example, in front of the cat on the high shelf, it can really help the situation. The cat will feel safe up high, and the Op can give her dog treats and praise for relaxing in the cat's presence.

I also baby gated off one room all the time in the house for our cat to retreat to. When I got home everyday Gracie dog and I would go "visit" Tortie cat at her gate. I always used the same phrases of "Let's go see Tortie" or "Gracie, where's Tortie?"

I made it a quiet happy game, with asking Gracie (on leash!) to lie down in front of baby gate and I gave both Tortie and Gracie treats. Eventually she got so used to the training game that she would come home and look for Tortie before even saying hi to her Dad, my sig other, who she looooves.

This worked wonders for us, so it may help the Op to train the dog not to chase the cat.

I also used this same training method to teach my dogs to be able to watch birds up close, squirrels, babies, etc.and not chase them.

And I agree, letting the dog chase the cat is dangerous and super stressful!! Separate them until the dog is no longer a threat to the cat. Baby gates, leashes, etc can help.

Hope this clarifies my prior post. Thanks
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aggression, biting, cat and dog, chasing, stalking

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