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Dog and cats -- who is Alpha?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We have one small dog and 2 cats, all 12 - 18 months in age. I have been reading Jan Fennell's book "The Dog Listener" and am trying to present my husband and self to the dog as the Alpha pair; just wonder if anyone has any advice where the cats fit into this? If the humans establish themselves as Alphas, the dog is calmer, more obedient etc...but will she see the cats as her equals or will she fight with them for superiority? Do I have to bother about who I feed first and all that? Right now, they play quite well together though the dog will push the cats out of the way for my attention. I am not consistent about who is fed first; the cats get more bedroom snuggle time without pup being present and the dog gets more cuddles on the sofa.
post #2 of 8
I've read that the dogs don't view the cats as "part of the pack" so you shouldn't have to worry. Treat them all as equals, and yourself as the pack leader toward the dog. Everyone should be happy!
post #3 of 8
My dogs view my cat as a pack member. He doesn't seem to really have a rank... if anything he would be considered the alpha because he's allowed in a different part of the house [that they aren't] they all play together just fine. The dogs feel comfortable on their backs with him, but often times he rolls around his back too.

My older dog will growl at him if he comes towards her food, she does this to every dog, but as far as I know everyone is happy.
post #4 of 8
I'm not sure where we all fit in, but I do know that my dog views himself as the absolutre lowest ranking animal in the 'pack'.
post #5 of 8
Cats do NOT follow our or a dog's pack status. Most dogs know that cats will rule in one way or another. Our lab is jealous of any attention we give the cats - she must feel she's above them and demands her pets if we even mention the cat's name

As long as the dog knows you and your husband are the alpha leaders, that's all that is necessary. Don't worry about the cat/dog status between them. Just be sure the dog knows its not allowed to chase the cats.
post #6 of 8
In my house my 5 lb kitty is most definetly the ruler of my 20 lb Bichon Frise. So much so that I have to keep her away from him or she will have him in a corner cowering and crying.
post #7 of 8
Kandie ( cat ) and Gigi( dog) are both Alpha females so we have some issues but the cat usually is higher than the dog then Zoey is on the bottom rung
post #8 of 8
definately my dogs.. there are more of them (4) than Miagi and Tiger. Jenny & Buster chase them from time to time.
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