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Old 11-14-2012, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Should I rehome?

Ok the situation is this: I have a 3 year old lab/great dane mix, I got him when he was about eight weeks old. He is a fantastic dog! He has great manners, is house trained, does great with little dogs or same sized females. He even gets along with my neice who isn't even two yet.
The problem is he has started killing the feral cats that have managed to get into my yard. In the last four months he has killed seven that I know of. I have 3 indoor cats, one 17 year old senior, and one who is completely blind. He has shown no interest in the indoor cats and lives in terror of upsetting the senior cat. I know that if he ever hurt one of my indoor cats I would have him put down. At the same time I really love this dog, other than this problem with the cats he is almost perfect. I'm just really torn on what the right choice is here and was wanting some advice on what people think.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My girl never once hurt my indoor cat but outside cats, opossums, birds and squirrels are fair game to her. Unless he's showing you some sign of being aggressive then I don't see the issue with him going after the feral cats.

Is there a way you can keep them out? Also, make sure he's utd on all of his vacs. just in case one of them were to have something he could catch. (not sure what feral cats may have ya know)
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally, I would try to cat proof the yard to keep the ferals out. If they aren't truly feral and are your neighbors cats (and I assume at least some are, since you know their ages), talk to your neighbors about the dangers of letting cats outside. While it's unpleasant and upsetting, I find it hard to blame the dog in this scenario. My Shanoa, who lives with her own kitties, would absolutely kill a cat in the yard if she had the chance. I do everything I can to keep that from happening, but I would not rehome her if it did.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wouldn't rehome him.

And I wouldn't put him down if he does kill one of your cats (although it in NO WAY sounds like that's going to happen at this point). I would consider it my failing if I weren't able to prevent that. Not something the dog should pay for with his life in an attempt to somehow make it 'fair' because your cat died. Would you have one of your cat's eyes removed if they were to scratch your dog causing him to lose an eye? Doing more harm does not un-do previous harm, no matter how upset one may be.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok thanks for the advice. He has shown no interest in the indoor cats, my neighbor up the street does feed a feral colony though and that's part of the reason so many of the cats get to my yard. The poles for my fence are thick cedar posts that the cats climb and then jump down into the yard. It would cost a pretty penny to have the poles taken out and metal ones put in because they are cemented into place.He is completly utd on all shots for the next 9 months.

brw1982: I wouldn't be putting him down in an attempt to "make it fair" it would be that I wouldn't consider him as being suitable as a pet anymore. Killing an indoor cat is crossing a line in my book that a dog can't go back from.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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brw1982: I wouldn't be putting him down in an attempt to "make it fair" it would be that I wouldn't consider him as being suitable as a pet anymore. Killing an indoor cat is crossing a line in my book that a dog can't go back from.
I have indoor cats whom I treasure, and a dobe pup I adore. It would be an immeasurable devastation to me if my dog killed one of my cats. However, this is an incredibly unfair overreaction in my opinion. Your dog has obviously showed no signs of intent to kill the pet cats, but if he did he would simply be doing what many high drive dogs do. It's instinct. It's hardwired. And for this he should die?

I could see rehoming him if this were to happen (although I would never consider it) but putting him to sleep is, I don't know,....brutally mean. Someone looking to adopt a dane/lab mix without pet cats could be missing out on their heartdog becuase you deemed him unforgivable and gave him the death penalty.

At least it does not seem this is where you're headed. And I hope not for his sake.

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Try trapping the cats on the outside of the fence. The city animal control will give you a trap (cage) for feral cats. If you catch one, just call the city and they will come get the cat. Keep the trap for however long until there are no more cats. They will tell you what to use for bait like canned tuna. If it works, then you are heading off the problem before it gets to your backyard.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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brw1982: I wouldn't be putting him down in an attempt to "make it fair" it would be that I wouldn't consider him as being suitable as a pet anymore. Killing an indoor cat is crossing a line in my book that a dog can't go back from.
Why not just rehome him after that event to a cat-free home? How would that make him an unsuitable pet in all homes forever from that point on?
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Have you thought of trying a deterrent device put into your yard? There are several types, one is motion detected and gives off a hissing sound when triggered.

You could also try calling AC to round up the cats. If they are truly feral, I would worry about diseases they may carry. Is there any way to go out with your dog leashed so he can't go after the cats?
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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There used to be some wild cats that came into our yard, but we didn't have Brandy at the time. They would beat up my cat, and we did not appreciate that, so my dad put out some food in a caged trap, and they were stuck in it two days later! He put them in the car, drove for awhile, and released them at the other end of the city. How strange..
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ok the situation is this: I have a 3 year old lab/great dane mix, I got him when he was about eight weeks old. He is a fantastic dog! He has great manners, is house trained, does great with little dogs or same sized females. He even gets along with my neice who isn't even two yet.
The problem is he has started killing the feral cats that have managed to get into my yard. In the last four months he has killed seven that I know of. I have 3 indoor cats, one 17 year old senior, and one who is completely blind. He has shown no interest in the indoor cats and lives in terror of upsetting the senior cat. I know that if he ever hurt one of my indoor cats I would have him put down. At the same time I really love this dog, other than this problem with the cats he is almost perfect. I'm just really torn on what the right choice is here and was wanting some advice on what people think.
Some people honestly do not deserve the amount of love a dog gives to their owners.

I think you should re-home him. Not because he is going to kill one of your indoor cats, but because of that bolded statement. I think you may be a danger to your dog.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wouldn't rehome a dog for going after outside critters. Cat, squirrel, chipmunk is all the same to them.

I wouldn't put down a dog for going after another pet. Rehome them yes, I think I would have to because of the emotional connection but realistically I know if my dog got to one of my cats it would be my fault for not keeping my cat safe. The dog doesn't deserve to die because of my mismanagement.


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Old 11-14-2012, 05:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think if you are seriously concerned that he is going to go after one of your cats, then yes, rehome him. I don't think that killing feral cats outside is an indicator that he WILL try to kill your indoor cats (especially if he has shown no signs of trying to so far). However, if he is dooming himself by following his natural instincts, that doesn't really seem fair to me. Prevention is the best intervention.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Would you put down your cat, if your cat killed your kids canary or hamster, or gerbil, mouse.......
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Do your indoor cats have safe places to go in every room? We have a baby gate in the door to the basement, for example, where the cat can go if she needs to. I know you said your cats were handicapped, but it might give them a chance to escape (baby gate are also a good way to keep the dogs out of the cat litter).
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Do your indoor cats have safe places to go in every room? We have a baby gate in the door to the basement, for example, where the cat can go if she needs to. I know you said your cats were handicapped, but it might give them a chance to escape (baby gate are also a good way to keep the dogs out of the cat litter).
I'll echo this, we put a cat door in the basement door and the cats have many high up places and underneath things as well they can hide...though it's usually the dog hiding

Mabel lovesssss her kitties! loves them but her natural instinct is evident so we're very careful and watchful of play. We have a neighbor with two fat roaming cats who like to tease from outside the fence, i'd like to say mabel would only try and play with them like her cats but the fact that they stay out of the yard with her now and came in before we had her and we had a lab (who would go run to investigate the "game" in the yard) tells me the cats aren't thinking the same thing.

I'd also never euth. her over it...if it was a person well that's a bit more obvious, but all it shows is that the dog needs a cat free home for naturally inherited reasons...a second chance over death? I'll take it any and every time! I'd hope you didn't mean it how it came out and are just typing in a stressed state worried about your cats and your dog as well as the ferals.

I'd also like to add, our neighbors, ALL of them know and understand that mabel is a dog, hannah applies too though it's less likely, and if their animal (cat/dog/ferret) comes on our property uninvited how Mabel reacts is her own instinct and not my fault, i've ahd multiple discussion with above cat people about their cats and respecting property lines...for their safety and my sanity (my cats don't like visitors and i'm on new curtain set number three from them "attacking" the intruder through the window...)
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you for being honest about the death sentence for a dog displaying a natural DOG instinct. I'm not sure if you've sent an email to our rescue director yet about a Dobe, but I'm going to pass along this info. I can tell you point blank that after reading this, there is no way in heck I'd trust a beloved foster dog in your forever care.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Would you put down your cat, if your cat killed your kids canary or hamster, or gerbil, mouse.......
This times a million.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes, you should re-home.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:14 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I think you should get another cat, a really nasty big tom cat, that should stop the ferrals from coming in the yard.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:33 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:10 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Well thanks for the advice everyone. Unfortunately my town has no AC the most the sheriff has to me is and I quote him word for word "If you don't want the strays in your yard I advise you to shoot them or put out poison. It's not my job to take care of strays." My town also has no Humane Society worth mentioning. They don't trap ferals, take in strays, rehome animals, or do any of the other services a humane society is supposed to do. What they do do is run a thrift store. The nearest no kill animal shelters to my town are filled to capacity and have a waiting list of people who want to drop off their pet there and the kill shelters don't hold a dog for more than 48 hours. Not to mention a large solid black dog is not considered easily adoptable, one that has a history of killing cats wouldn't even be put on their adoptable list, he would go straight to the euth list at the shelter and the no kill ones said that he isn't adoptable enough to take in.
Matt Vandart: It was good advice to try and get a tom to keep the ferals away but my old cat wouldn't tolerate a tom around the house.

I also don't see why people are so terribly upset about the fact that I would have him put down. Yes it would be a terrible thing, worse than spending the rest of his life in a kennel at a shelter being taken out once a week for a walk and ignored the rest of the time before he gets put to sleep anyway because no one wants him? I also understand that some people might consider it old fashioned but I was raised that a dog who kills things, for the fun of it, isn't much of a dog in the end. People on this forum can say terrible things about me and think I'm a horrible person if it makes them feel better, it doesn't really bother me. What does bother me is that I asked for advice and only three people who responeded even tried to help, most of you just ranted at me for a bit and left nothing helpful behind.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:26 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I also don't see why people are so terribly upset about the fact that I would have him put down. Yes it would be a terrible thing, worse than spending the rest of his life in a kennel at a shelter being taken out once a week for a walk and ignored the rest of the time before he gets put to sleep anyway because no one wants him? I also understand that some people might consider it old fashioned but I was raised that a dog who kills things, for the fun of it, isn't much of a dog in the end. People on this forum can say terrible things about me and think I'm a horrible person if it makes them feel better, it doesn't really bother me. What does bother me is that I asked for advice and only three people who responeded even tried to help, most of you just ranted at me for a bit and left nothing helpful behind.
It's not "for the fun of it". It's a biological instinct called prey drive and some dogs are more intense than others.

I don't think you're a horrible person. I think you're misinformed.

Going by your idea that a dog who kills things "for the fun of it" (i.e., has strong prey drive) then damn near the entire terrier group is made of up dogs who aren't much of a dog...what with most terriers being bred specifically to find/chase and kill vermin.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:29 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Your question was, "Should I rehome?"....not, "Should I dump him in a kill shelter?"

You also didn't ask for other advice. Most people answered your question, some also offered other suggestions outside of what you asked for. It doesn't have to be so black and white, but it is up to how much you will put up with and how hard you are willing to work to keep all of your animals safe and happy.
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