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Hey.

So I have never posted to one of these before—but I’ve also never been in the situation I’m in. Last night while I was away at my neighbors for an hour my dog brutally killed my cat. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and most of them have lived together all their lives. With the exception of this dog. He is a red heeler and he was a couple years old when he came to live with cats. With this being said he has lived with them most of his life and with this specific cat for 4 years. When on walks his prey drive has always been high but not in the house. Never, obviously, has something like this happened. And now I can’t look at my dog the same. Every time I see his face cut and swollen, from my cat trying to fight him off I assume, all I can see is the image of my cat dead and bloody on the floor and all the other spots in the house that had blood and showed my cat put up a fight. I am overwhelmed with guilt for not being here to protect him and overwhelmed with sadness and anger every time I look at my dog. I don’t know if I should try and re-home him to a home without cats or give him a second chance here and hope I can get over everything I am currently feeling and this was a one time thing. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks. ?
 

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First off, I am sorry for the loss of your cat. That is a horrible situation to be in,

Unfortunately you're in a horrible situation that I fear the internet will likely not have a good responses as we do not know your dog or the situation. The best thing I would suggest would be to speak with a professional. An Behaviorist would be the best choice but a certified trainer may be able to help as well. They will be able to meet your dog and assess and give you the best guidance.
 

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my heart goes out to you! Its probably one of the worst position any pet owner can be in. I do agree with the advice to speak to a professional. They can assess the situation much better than advice you would get on the internet. All the best!
 

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I personally feel that I could not move past this incident and ever trust the dog again.And I would rehome him. But that is just me and my emotional makeup. You might just put the question to your veterinarian, especially if you can't afford the help of a trainer or a behaviorist.
 

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You have to choose what you want to do with this dog. Can you live with seeing this dog every day and interacting with it? Could you live with yourself if you re homed this dog and it killed another cat? Obviously the remaining cats need to be protected whether that means locking the cats in a room or crating the dog when not 100% supervised. Sorry this happened and I can't imagine having this happen to me.
 

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If U don't want to keep him, I'd find an ACD rescue or a herding-breeds rescue

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I would not rehome the dog EXCEPT via a breed- or type-specific rescue. :) // IMO & IME, he's not a dog who can be placed via a DIY post on CraigsList, or thru a classified ad - he needs to be placed by a rescue that knows his breed & tendencies, & can do all the right things B4 placing him -
visit the applicant's home, assess their past experience with dogs, get their vet-references, etc.


Along with that, of course, *reputable* rescues will take the dog back at any time in the future, so if his adopter is badly hurt in an accident & can't care for a dog anymore, or has a stroke or other life-changing event, the dog is not left to the mercy of relatives or orphaned.
He won't be dropped off at a municipal shelter, to be placed by ppl who have no behavioral history of him. // He'll go back to the rescue, who know his history & can once again find a suitable cat-less home.

If U intend to keep him, I'd sequester the cats from him permanently, even if U are at home - snatching up a cat & shaking sharply can be fatal in a few seconds, with a broken neck or spine; there is no time to "rescue" the victim.

U might think about pre-conditioning a basket-muzzle, if there are pet-cats who roam the neighborhood, so that he can cheerfully shove his own nose into the muzzle & willingly stand to have it buckled.
Then he cannot kill cats when on or off-leash as easily - it's not guaranteed, as if he pounces on a cat & bashes the cat with the basket-muzzle, he might fatally injure her or him. But it would certainly make it a lot less likely.


Here's a video on introducing a basket-muzzle:

Notice that while this stranger-suspicious ACD is still giving the trainer the hairy eyeball, she's happily interacting with the muzzle - the trainer's timing for clicks to mark desired behavior & predict a reward are spot-on. :thumbsup:

- terry

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Around 30 yrs ago me and my sister left home on school run. When we arrived home to hers we found their boxer had killed the puppy . The house was a blood bath with pieces of puppy everywhere. So my heart goes out to you. I was seeing those images for weeks. She chose to put to sleep as had baby and 3yrs n 6yrs children. Your in a hard place with big decision. Hope vet can assist you with whichever route u take. Awful situ to be in.
 
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