We have seen that dogs and cats can coexist peacefully, especially if they have grown together since they were puppies and kittens. Some dogs, however, just don’t know how to resist the temptation to chase the cat, whether or not the cat lives with them at home or belongs to a neighbor. We discover how to teach the dog not to chase the cat to avoid unpleasant situations…
Why do dogs chase cats?
Dogs that chase cats are liable to chase anything that moves! Especially if you are outdoors where you could come across another small dog, a child, or simply a ball to play with. Whenever he sees something small move quickly, it’s really hard to resist the instinct to chase after it. Generally, dogs that chase cats only do so because it they possess highly developed motion sensors.
Another reason why dogs chase cats is linked to territory- the cat could be seen as an intruder and consequently the first reaction is to chase him away. There are dogs that have this instinct more developed than others; some will immediately give chase the moment they see a cat, tugging violently and creating a very dangerous situation for all parties involved: the dog, the owner, and the cat!
Nowadays the cats seem to know that dogs will chase them if they run, and in most cases, the ones you meet on the street do not move, and stand very still in order to observe the ancestral enemy that passes in front of them. In still other cases, the cat will suddenly stop, and at that point the dog stops. The situation that merits a category all to itself is that of the dog that chases the family cat. After that, we will discover how to teach the dog not to chase the cat with some useful exercises.
How to teach your dog not to chase the cat
Assuming that the cats brisk and sudden movements are what instigate your dog into chasing the cat, the first part of the solution is getting your dog used to that sort of energy and those sort of movements so he’ll no longer see it as unusual behavior. Sit the dog in front of you, and when he isn’t expecting it, jump quickly backwards. You will see that your dog will jump towards you. Repeat the exercise until your pet doesn’t react to your sudden movement and sits quietly. When he does so, reward him! He must understand that if he sits still, he’ll get a treat.
Once the dog has learned to keep calm, you can arrange to have the dog and the cat in the same room. Initially, keep the dog on a leash and repeat the exercise described above with the cat, so that the dog creates the association of prize -> cat. It goes without saying that your dog should already know the “basic commands” such as “sit,” “no”, “come,” and “leave it”, otherwise this exercise it is useless. The command “come” is important to attract your dogs attention, while the command “leave it” will be useful in case your friend is distracted by the feline.
In all stages, the dog will need to be reassured and rewarded, while you’ll have to offer hiding places for the cat where he does not feel threatened by the dog. Teaching your dog not to chase the cat is therefore not an impossible task, the work will be long because they will not give immediate results, but if you persist and have a lot of patience, you’ll definitely have good results!