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Introducing a hyper dog to a cat

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My BF and I are planning on moving in together in January and we are having a lot of problems introducing his dog (1 1/2 years old and 45lbs) to my cat (4 years old). My cat does not like dogs in general and his dog looks at any animal smaller than her as a chase toy or prey.

We showed her the cat through the screen door and she went nuts and broke it down. Through the sliding glass door and she went nuts. We've had her on the leash and shown her the cat while the cat was isolated in a room several times...she goes totally nuts and pulls like crazy. We've shown her the cat while the cat is in her kennel and she barks like mad and pushes the crate and flips it.

We also tried putting them both in crates facing eachother and the dog let out horrible screeching barks for 20 minutes before we stopped because we were afraid the neighbors might complain. When we have the cat isolated in a bedroom and the dog sits by the bedroom door whining and clawing at the door and sometimes barking, while the cat is cowering in the closet.

I'm at a loss of what to do. The dog had puppy training and knows basic commands...but she is very hyper and still kind of in a puppy phase, so her obedience is spotty. Any advice would be VERY appreciated.

TIA and thank you!!
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
bump!!
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
My BF and I are planning on moving in together in January and we are having a lot of problems introducing his dog (1 1/2 years old and 45lbs) to my cat (4 years old). My cat does not like dogs in general and his dog looks at any animal smaller than her as a chase toy or prey.

We showed her the cat through the screen door and she went nuts and broke it down. Through the sliding glass door and she went nuts. We've had her on the leash and shown her the cat while the cat was isolated in a room several times...she goes totally nuts and pulls like crazy. We've shown her the cat while the cat is in her kennel and she barks like mad and pushes the crate and flips it.

We also tried putting them both in crates facing eachother and the dog let out horrible screeching barks for 20 minutes before we stopped because we were afraid the neighbors might complain. When we have the cat isolated in a bedroom and the dog sits by the bedroom door whining and clawing at the door and sometimes barking, while the cat is cowering in the closet.

I'm at a loss of what to do. The dog had puppy training and knows basic commands...but she is very hyper and still kind of in a puppy phase, so her obedience is spotty. Any advice would be VERY appreciated.

TIA and thank you!!
I don't know much about this at all. But I can tell you until your dog is very well trained, if she is that prey driven, your cat is at a very high risk.

You need to be able to have your dog under complete control, in a calm down, and then allow the cat into the room where you have a calm quiet dog (on leash and laying down) and allow the cat to come to the dog. You have to do this many times to get them used to eachother, and just incase your dog better have a VERY reliably "leave it" command. That is the only way I know of to do it. And it sounds to me like your dog isn't close to well enough trained.

My advice would be to get the dog very obedient, then maybe try it with a friends cat that is used to and friendly with dogs...... until then you will have to find a way to keep them separated.

Hopefully someone can be more helpful.
post #4 of 22
What breed(s) of dog is she? How old? How much training has she had?

Sounds like she's pretty worked up - take her out for a VERY long run before you even let her see the kitty, get her really tired, it might help some.
post #5 of 22
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
What breed(s) of dog is she? How old? How much training has she had?

Sounds like she's pretty worked up - take her out for a VERY long run before you even let her see the kitty, get her really tired, it might help some.
She's a mutt...pitt/shepard/lab. She's a year a half and has had 6 weeks of puppy training. She's pretty calm and obedient except when it comes to prey. She gets along great with big dogs, but little dogs or animals.
post #7 of 22
Well, I might take flack, but I say don't do it. Your poor cat. Unless you can get Ceasar Milan to help, your cat will be in a constant state of stress. He looks to you for protection and this certainly sounds like a bad deal.

You have the warning signs in front of you. IMO I wouldn't ignore them.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by farleyv View Post
Well, I might take flack, but I say don't do it. Your poor cat. Unless you can get Ceasar Milan to help, your cat will be in a constant state of stress. He looks to you for protection and this certainly sounds like a bad deal.

You have the warning signs in front of you. IMO I wouldn't ignore them.
Yea, but I can't just not go on with my life because of the cat. I mean I love her and I don't want to get rid of her so we have to find some way to work this out.
post #9 of 22
I think the link that lmunsie posted is a good starting point and describes the bare minimum as far as the timeline. Even when things go well, it takes a few weeks for the dog(s) to be ok with the cat(s) and several months for the cat(s) to be ok with the dog(s). It doesn't sound like you have the best options going into the starting gate with a hyper dog and a cat who doesn't like dogs. Since you're determined to make it work I would focus on getting the dog to have a rock solid recall and also shut up on command. One and a half years is old enough to have good obedience skills and I wouldn't let the dog near the cat (even if the cat is protected by a crate) until the dog will calm down on command. Even then I would make sure the dog is good and tired before trying any introductions.
post #10 of 22
Have you tried putting somethig with the cats smell near the dog? A blanket, towel you have rubbed the cat with, anything like that? Put that near her along with something with you and your boyfriends smell, t-shirts not washed work great.
It may get the dog used to the idea that this animal is NOT prey.
Take any plushie toys away from the dog do not let her think other animals are prey. Lay back on fetch games, tug of war, she will not be happy, but it may clam her down a little.
Pit /shepard/ lab. wow, that is a hunting dog, with a big bite.
Err on the side of caution, these animals may never get along, and you cannot break up the fight if it happens, and it will happen fast.
Sorry, I have been no help really.
post #11 of 22
I agree. The breed combination would make me nervous.

Like previous poster, there will be problems. Read Imunsie's thread. If this does not make you stop and think again about bringing this dog into the cats life, nothing will.

You should not put your life on hold, nor should you put your cats life in danger. If you cannot give up the guy, I would definately find a good home for your kitty.

From what you say, it will take more than exchanging scents to calm this dog down. I certainly would never leave them alone without securing one in a room. Even then.......
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillcat View Post
Have you tried putting somethig with the cats smell near the dog? A blanket, towel you have rubbed the cat with, anything like that? Put that near her along with something with you and your boyfriends smell, t-shirts not washed work great.
It may get the dog used to the idea that this animal is NOT prey.
Take any plushie toys away from the dog do not let her think other animals are prey. Lay back on fetch games, tug of war, she will not be happy, but it may clam her down a little.
Pit /shepard/ lab. wow, that is a hunting dog, with a big bite.
Err on the side of caution, these animals may never get along, and you cannot break up the fight if it happens, and it will happen fast.
Sorry, I have been no help really.
She's a small dog for the breed combo...about 45lbs and very, very submissive. So far she hasn't shown much aggression toward the cat, so that is good.

I have a friend of a friend who is a dog trainer and introduced her husbands pitt to her cats so I may call her for help if we move in and have trouble. thanks for all of the tips though. We did try the things from the articles first...but it really didn't work because the dog is just too hyper when she sees the cat. I guess the BF needs to work more on basic obedience with her.
post #13 of 22
She may be small for her breed, but her hyper activity concerns me.
Does she get enough outdoor time, just to run and play and roll in stinky stuff and be a dog?
45 pounds is a whole lotta dog, never doubt that.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
When we have the cat isolated in a bedroom and the dog sits by the bedroom door whining and clawing at the door and sometimes barking, while the cat is cowering in the closet.
What's "said" to the dog as this is going on? Nothing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post

We showed her the cat through the screen door and she went nuts and broke it down.
And was she reprimanded on the spot? Was nothing said? You never know how some dogs might interpret silence or a sweet "no no bad doggy" tone (not accusing you guys, i'm just saying).

Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
We've shown her the cat while the cat is in her kennel and she barks like mad and pushes the crate and flips it.
Same question as above. I hope you don't think I'm accusing you guys of saying nothing/doing nothing, because I wasn't there to see, but, are you?
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillcat View Post
She may be small for her breed, but her hyper activity concerns me.
Does she get enough outdoor time, just to run and play and roll in stinky stuff and be a dog?
45 pounds is a whole lotta dog, never doubt that.


IMO she doesn't...but she's not my dog so I don't have control over that right now. She is mostly indoors and only goes on walks like 1x a week.

I was just mentioning her weight because when I mentioned lab/shep people may have been thinking an 80-90 lb dog, but I know her bite is probably just as bad as a larger dog.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1atsite View Post
What's "said" to the dog as this is going on? Nothing?



And was she reprimanded on the spot? Was nothing said? You never know how some dogs might interpret silence or a sweet "no no bad doggy" tone (not accusing you guys, i'm just saying).



Same question as above. I hope you don't think I'm accusing you guys of saying nothing/doing nothing, because I wasn't there to see, but, are you?
We do reprimand her, but she basically totally ignores us even when we try to do more of a positive enforcement "sit, stay" with treats. When we say NO and pull down on the leash she ignores it too. I think my SO really needs to work on her training and getting her a lot of play before my kitty comes full-time and hopefully we can make some progress at that time.

My SO also has the habit of saying "NO" and then two minutes later the dog sits or calms down and then he gets all lovey and says "good girl" and I personally think that's confusing, but I don't know anything about dog training. I feel like if the dog is doing a command that she first had to be reprimanded for that a "good doggy" is not in order.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
then he gets all lovey and says "good girl" and I personally think that's confusing, but I don't know anything about dog training. I feel like if the dog is doing a command that she first had to be reprimanded for that a "good doggy" is not in order.

I think you might be right ... Thanks for answering, and thanks for not assuming I was being rude/harsh to you
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
IMO she doesn't...but she's not my dog so I don't have control over that right now. She is mostly indoors and only goes on walks like 1x a week.

I was just mentioning her weight because when I mentioned lab/shep people may have been thinking an 80-90 lb dog, but I know her bite is probably just as bad as a larger dog.
This dog needs to be let out more! I understand her hyper now, poor pooch!
Her breed needs to exersize, no way around that, To keep this big of a dog inside, it is, well cruel.
one walk a week?
I am sorry for being harsh but that is harsh.
You need to have a sit down with your boyfreind and tell him that his dog needs to be a dog.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillcat View Post
This dog needs to be let out more! I understand her hyper now, poor pooch!
Her breed needs to exersize, no way around that, To keep this big of a dog inside, it is, well cruel.
one walk a week?
I am sorry for being harsh but that is harsh.
You need to have a sit down with your boyfreind and tell him that his dog needs to be a dog.
well, her being inside is her choice because she wants to be around us and we're inside. I would *love* it if she were outside more but she just whines at the door. I def need to get on my SO about walking her more and taking her to the dogpark more.
post #20 of 22
I have a Great Dane that obviously lives indoors. Currently he is 130-140 pounds but he is only 11 months old. He is going to get bigger. That being said our kitty and puppy can now reside in the same room without any issue. (she lays on the couch and he lays on the floor) However, we never leave them alone in the same room. It only takes a second for something to go horribly wrong. Thor still gets excited whenever Kiki makes sudden movements. He wants to play, but she wants nothing to do with it.

How does your puppy get potty breaks? Do you or your BF take him out on a leash? If so you can increase the time she is outside during this time. Let her run around for a bit while on leash. Unless you have a big yard then take her out and play with her out there. If you live in a colder climate and the dog doesn't want to go out for an extended period of time you can always train your pup to use a treadmill. It takes time, but I have seen it done.

Your dog needs more exercise period. Even if she wants to be with you....trust me I know how this is. She still needs to run. It doesn't have to be for a long time. Squeeze in 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there. If you have to walk any distance to get the mail..take the dog with you.

Have you tried clicker training? Even if she isn't very food motivated the clicker may still work. I know how frustrating having a dog can be if they aren't well trained. Thor is a work in progress every day.

Things you can do to help with training if you don't do them already. Put puppy on a feeding schedule dogs should not be free fed. When you feed her make her sit and "wait" for her food. Do not allow her to "get it" until you tell her to. If she is crate trained make her give you a command like "sit" or "down" every time before you take her out. Before you take her outside make her sit and wait until you tell her it's okay to go outside. You may be doing these things already, but if not it's a good place to start.

Please don't leave all the dog training to your BF. If you are going to be living there then the dog is going to need to listen to you as well. For the time being keep swapping sleeping blankets/towels between the kitty and the dog and keep them separated except for under close supervision and then I would stick to keeping the dog crated and letting the cat run free. Remember the dog needs to get used to seeing how a cat operates. Have BF give the puppy treats if she remains calm while in her crate whenever kitty comes near. (give kitty treats too) The goal is for your dog to think "kitty=good things for me" Find something she likes and utilize it.....peanut butter, treats, ice cubes, belly rubs, ear scratches...whatever.

Good luck!!
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
IMO she doesn't...but she's not my dog so I don't have control over that right now. She is mostly indoors and only goes on walks like 1x a week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillcat View Post
This dog needs to be let out more! I understand her hyper now, poor pooch!
Her breed needs to exersize, no way around that, To keep this big of a dog inside, it is, well cruel.
one walk a week?
I am sorry for being harsh but that is harsh.
You need to have a sit down with your boyfreind and tell him that his dog needs to be a dog.
Wow I can see why the dog is hyper. This is like trying to make a healthy 2-yr old kid sit still for days on end. A walk once a week doesn't come close to a dog's need for exercise and the mental stimulation it gets by getting to sniff things, meet other dogs etc. A tired dog is happy dog and is alo much easier to train. Anything you can do to help this doggy burn off some energy will help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
We do reprimand her, but she basically totally ignores us even when we try to do more of a positive enforcement "sit, stay" with treats. When we say NO and pull down on the leash she ignores it too. I think my SO really needs to work on her training and getting her a lot of play before my kitty comes full-time and hopefully we can make some progress at that time.

My SO also has the habit of saying "NO" and then two minutes later the dog sits or calms down and then he gets all lovey and says "good girl" and I personally think that's confusing, but I don't know anything about dog training. I feel like if the dog is doing a command that she first had to be reprimanded for that a "good doggy" is not in order.
May I recommend the NILIF method for dealing with this dog?
http://www.dogguide.net/nilif.php
Regardless of what your BF does, you can apply it and the dog WILL understand that in order to interact with you, there are certain rules. As far as being lovey dovey 2 min after a reprimand I think that is ok. With dogs (and cats for that matter), if you are going to issue a verbal punishment, you have to do it WHILE the action that caused it is taking place. If you scold a dog even 15 seconds after the fact, the dog won't connect the dots. So a scold followed by everything being back to normal is fine IMO. Some people even try to do "time-outs" with dogs as if they were kids, even though there is no basis for it. A kid sitting on the naughty step will think about what she did to get herself there. A dog shut up in a room alone will wonder what's going on outside the room or even get distracted by something it smells through the window.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
well, her being inside is her choice because she wants to be around us and we're inside. I would *love* it if she were outside more but she just whines at the door. I def need to get on my SO about walking her more and taking her to the dogpark more.
I think that is a good sign that she wants to be around you because it makes for a good starting point to train recall. If she tried to run away or was alool that would make it harder. Most dogs prefer to be with their people (and a good thing too!).


Quote:
Originally Posted by marinewife05 View Post
Please don't leave all the dog training to your BF. If you are going to be living there then the dog is going to need to listen to you as well. For the time being keep swapping sleeping blankets/towels between the kitty and the dog and keep them separated except for under close supervision and then I would stick to keeping the dog crated and letting the cat run free. Remember the dog needs to get used to seeing how a cat operates. Have BF give the puppy treats if she remains calm while in her crate whenever kitty comes near. (give kitty treats too) The goal is for your dog to think "kitty=good things for me" Find something she likes and utilize it.....peanut butter, treats, ice cubes, belly rubs, ear scratches...whatever.

Good luck!!
I think there is no way around you getting involved with the dog training. You could end up very frustrated otherwise and you have time to lay some groundwork now. Good luck!
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the great advice! I really appreciate it and so does my kitty.

I am going to help my BF train his Lola...I just meant that I'm not really able to be consistent now, before I move in. She is a very good doggie, just hyper and I'm crossing my fingers that one day that can live together happily but I would NEVER leave them together alone unless I was 10000% sure Lola wouldn't harm Hailey (even then, I don't know). I know how quick an attack can happen as my aunt's cat was attacked by her mom's dog.

Funny you mention a great dane because my mom has one and Hailey hates her!! But the great dane knows her place around the cats and tries to play but the cats hiss and spit and she goes and sits in her bed. Hopefully Lola will learn her place around Hailey...but I know it won't be easy and it will be a learning process for everyone involved.

Thanks again!
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