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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I have two dogs, Koko(a deer chihuahua) and kiwi(a papillon chihuahua mix) and I’m visiting some family both of which own cats. I’m with the first family for two days and they have two cats both avoid strangers so little interaction. But the second family member I’m supposed to be with for a few weeks and she’s got three cats, two of which are always around the house.

Koko, now he’s five almost six and he never had an issue with cats before, we only have one left that’s outdoor cat they see once in awhile. Koko and this cat are best buddies, well sometimes, the cat rubs up agaisnt Koko and he does nothing. But suddenly I’ll let him outside and he bolts to the cat and starts attacking him, like to the point where there’s been fur lost in one case. I’m worried what he will do around these three new cats. He’s been here before and was fine but again he’s gotten weird with age where he has these outbursts agaisnt cats. I know all her cats will fight back if he goes after them but idk if he’ll learn his lessson and I worry for the cats.

Now kiwi has just turned a year old this may and she’s not had much socializing with cats except our one outdoor one. Which she’s seen Koko go after him but I never seen her really go after him, she’s a big mimicker though. We were sitting on the couch here when one of the cats here Cleo comes out of the room to drink water. Kiwi’s ears go up and she’s immediately growling and not stopping. I moved her away and she kept moving back to the edge of the couch to look and growl at her. After awhile she stopped and sat down and only growled when the cat left.

I’m worried what to do abot their issues with cats.
 

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For such a short period of time, just be a good house guest. Keep your dogs under control, use a leash, put them up in your room to take a break, or use a crate, etc... and see what your hosts do in return (which must be voluntary), but could be things like putting the cats in another room for an hour or two while your dogs roam and enjoy some free time, but that's up to them. As a guest, it's your job to ensure your hosts and their pets are happy.
With everyone under control you could have tasty treat parties, have your dogs sit (or whatever else they know, for treats) and cats (at a comfortable & safe distance) get treats too, so everyone can be happy together for some moments. A can of tuna can really cut through hard feelings.
Given that Koko has shown real aggression with intent and a level of unpredictablility, do make sure you maintain physical control of your dog in the presence of cats. Once you take secure steps to ensure everyone's safety & your hosts happiness, you can feel better and relaxed.
If you don't already teach your dogs tricks, (clicker training), now would be a good time. Imagine sitting on the couch with your people, your cute dogs at your side (or on the floor), spinning or sitting pretty or bowing at your cue, cats comfortably lounging in another corner while your pups show off their stuff. That can be your future. Enjoy, have fun, play safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do have a crate I made sure to bring with me, I was hoping that could be a safe way for them get used to the dogs. Luckily the cats at this first house(my grandma’s) don’t really care to look at them. I let them smell their scent, Koko doesn’t care as he’s been here before, kiwi was a bit suspicious. She may not hate cats she’s a barker in general, I forgot to mention that. She barks at every person cat and dog she sees but usually when they get close she doesn’t care. Only issue is she causes a chain reaction and sets Koko in a defense stance. I was going to take them to obedience classes before we left but they ended up getting canceled last minute and I didn’t have time to find a new one.
 

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If you want to do that, you can try, but you would still need to start in exactly the same place as I described:

ie: keeping everyone safe & separated through management.



You have at least one dog that has exhibited unpredictable aggressive behaviour (size doesn't matter) so you need to keep that foremost in your mind.


You are a guest, and have an obligation towards your host not to inconvenience them, let alone risk harm, physical or psychological, to their cats.


You don't have much time.


What I outlined, would be the beginning of having cats and dogs safely co-existing. The treat training, my suggestion of teaching tricks and/or having mutual treat parties, is actually in the category of counter-conditioning and would (if all goes well) eventually change the animals responses to one another.


If you really want to change your dogs behaviour, rather than manage, google 'introducing dogs to cats' and you will find a variety of comprehensive articles on the process. Jackson Galaxy has some very good things to say on this subject.


It's great that you are preparing ahead of time, so everything should go nice and smooth. Just get them used to being on a leash (to prepare) and maybe teach them to 'go to mat' and 'lie down (on mat)' and brush up on 'crates are fun places to be'.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will try the methods you suggested above, I’ve been getting started trying them on the cats at this house, they don’t come out often but when they do I take it as an opportunity to prepare my dogs. I know size doesn’t matter, I’ve seen Koko get aggressive and knew that beign small still means he can cause harm. So far Koko hasn’t displayed aggression to the cats here, it’s only kiwi barking at them and some growling. I make sure they are separated from the cats at any time I’m not there to keep them on a leash. If we need to leave the house they go into a crate in a room the cats cannot get to so that the cats are safe.

I’ve googled a few articles about introducing cats the dogs and been studying up on them. The house with the three cats also has a dog(sometimes two when the second is visiting) and I think that will make them less focused on the fact that there are cats nearby.
 
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