(Closed) Just adopted a shelter dog… He keeps chasing our cat.

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
6005 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

CorvusCorax:  My neighbors got a puppy and they already had 2 cats. Apparently one cat plays with him, while the other cat hides in another room. I’m wondering if you block the cat in a room for a while for them to sniff each other out, does that make sense?

Okay, how about this. I fostered a dog that another dog I have HAAAAATED. My possessed dog wanted to kill this poor little guy. I would take the little guy in another room to play with him and if I was in the same room as crazy dog I either carried him, or put him on the couch next to me. So for 5 days this went on and the crazy one just needed to be around the new little one, smell his scent in the air, etc. Now they are best buddies!!

I don’t know if this will be the case for you. Can you call the shelter/behaviorist and say, hey, what’s up, what can we do??

Post # 3
6005 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

PS- He’s soooo super cute!!!! Also, maybe there’s a command like “leave it” you could teach the dog.

Post # 4
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

“leave it” is a great command.  Are you sure he is trying to kill the cat and not trying to simply demonstrate dominance or play with it?  I doubt they would lie to you, if anything, they may not have known or it could be your own pack’s dynamic working itself out.  I’d keep the cat safely in a room when you can’t be around them, but hopefully he can figure out the family dynamic.

Post # 5
1153 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

CorvusCorax:  Did they specifically say that he doesn’t get along with cats? Because many rescues don’t have the option to behavior test with cats so they may not know at all. And they may have just made an educated guess based on his interaction with other dogs.

Is he rough with the cat or just chasing it? He may just not be used to being around one and wants to investigate him. I don’t think its fair that you send him back so early in the game. You said yourself that he is a little rough around the edges so he may just need time to get adjusted. Going from a rescue to a home is a big adjustment for him. He looks young so you may have to keep that in mind as well if he is. Puppies are very curious and if he doesn’t have proper manners he may not know how to investigate this new thing (cat) the right way.

I would suggest introducing them in a controlled environment, slowly with him on a leash so he can sniff the cat and get used to it being around. Maybe keep them separated some until he can get used to the cat being around.

Like I said, he’s going through major adjustment and just needs time. If after ample time he’s still not working well with the cat, contact the rescue and see if they can offer any help with training or maybe personal training with the cat and dog together.

Its worth a shot. Its always worth a shot.

Post # 6
9115 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Teach him leave it. Give the cat somewhere to hide, too. We have a lab that was raised with my cat, he likes to try to play with her and will chase her around the house. When she needs a break, I wedge a rubber coated barbell behind “her” bathroom door (Where her food & litter box is.) The dog can’t get in, and she can come and go as she pleases.

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Post # 7
5226 posts
Bee Keeper

CorvusCorax:  Maybe desensitize him? Hold him while another person holds the cat sitting next to him? A formal training class might help. My cats figured out that if they don’t run, my dogs won’t chase them. My husband insisted that we get puppies so they would grow up around the cats and be use to them and not chase them. Uhm, they did anyway. So much for your brilliant plan DH 

He is a real cutie. I hope you can figure something out. It will be so sad if you have to give him back! Totally not your fault though. Someone dropped the ball at the rescue. Even if you do keep him, I’d still complain to the higher ups. That needs to be addressed so they don’t end up with more dogs getting returned because of bad judgement on the humans part.

Post # 8
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - State Park

I rescued a cat after I already had 3 dogs. My cat hated the dogs, and the dogs hated the cat. 

Hold the cat, have someone hold the dog and let the dog sniff out the cat. Chances are its a curiosity thing. I highly doubt the dog wants to kill the cat. My guess is that it’s a curiosity thing, and the dog possibly only wanting to play. 

ETA: I had to keep the cat separated for the first week. By the second week they were all out while I was home, but separated when I was gone. Now they get along perfectly. Occasionally the dogs even let the cat nuzzle along their legs. 

Post # 11
938 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

That’s pretty crappy, considering it’s a pitt mix – I hope the shelter you got him from is a no-kill, or you may be sentencing him to death.

If you couldn’t work on obvious – obvious – dominance/tempermental issues, why on earth would you adopt a dog?  As ALL animals have different reactions, he could be very well fine with other cats and tested with other cats but not as good with your own.

A week… that’s ridiculous.  Time and patience is needed, and you simply don’t seem to have either.

Post # 13
2707 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

CorvusCorax:  well, it sounds like your mind is already made up. In the future maybe you should refrain from adopting any additional animals if you don’t want to “work on it”

Post # 14
719 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

CorvusCorax:  I work at an animal shelter. If you’re not willing to work with him it is best to return him now and give him a chance to find another home sooner rather than later. Dogs can be taught the command “leave it” with cats but it takes time.

I think you’re being too harsh on the behaviourist. Most shelters do not test for dog on cat aggression and cannot make any guarentee how a pet will integrate with existing animals in the home. The shelter environment is simply not a fair representation of how they will act with a family. I would recommend you look at a rescue or ask the shelter to recommend dog who have been in foster care and is successfully living with cats already.

I can sense you’re pretty angry about this situation. Feel free to express your concerns to the SPCA but I urge you to show some compassion for their job. It’s an emotionally draining and often overwhelmingly sad place to work. They are doing they best they can and they gain nothing by lying to potential adopters. They don’t want to see animals returned.

Here’s our shelter’s statement on pet introductions. We do not do any type of testing between dogs and cats:

How a pet interacts in the shelter environment is not necessarily an indicator of how they will behave at home. Home is full of resources to guard and changes in routine, which may not occur in a shelter environment. Even shelter introductions with other dogs, cats or children may not inform us about their behavior in the home. A pet may behave differently with each dog, cat or child based on their past experiences, how introductions are performed or the way the other dog, cat or child approaches or behaves. For example, if a dog only sniffs a cat who stands still, it doesn’t tell us what he will do when the cat runs away. If the cat is in a crate for the introduction, the dog’s behavior could be a result of the barrier, a result of a novel situation, or even the dog’s experiences with crates!

It is dangerous to make broad generalizations about how each pet would behave with resident dogs, cats or children due to this amount of variability. Although shelter introductions may provide further information on compatibility, we support adopters by providing management tips for the first few months to help facilitate, supervise and monitor interactions among their resident dog, cat or children and the new dog to ensure a successful placement.

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