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There is a cat at my moms house that Allegreto has been interested in. He has been fine with her so far and layed his head on/next to her. Tonight he sniffed her like usual and was curious. Then maybe a half hour later he saw her in another room and he started barking and growling at her and trying to go after her. I had him on his leash and would not let him go to her. Then I did bring him to her when he stopped growling and made him sit and lay down in front of her, but he still acted as if he wanted to go after her. When the evening was over I held the cat and he didn't do anything when he saw her, just looked and went on his merry little way. Any advice on how to handle this sitution? What would you have done?
Thank you.
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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Well I have 3 cats now, along with Nubis. Previously, when I had my first 2 dobes, I had 3 cats. The dobes get reprimanded for unruly behavior with my cats as they are part of my family.
Interesting this came up, as Nubis got overexcited tonight and kept bugging my one cat, (the other two hardly interest him). I gave him a good verbal lashing by the scruff of the neck, and the next time he got a long timeout. He wasn't so interested in chasing him afterwards. But it will take time, as the cats will either ignore him or be best buds.
Alot of times it comes down the cat, before only my dominant male cat got along with the male but just never clicked with the female dobe.
 

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So much depends on your dog's prey drive. Shanoa took a TON of work to get her to be safe with our resident cats. I would never in a million years trust her with any other cat or small animal. It's constant work to keep her prey drive in check, and even then, she occasionally has a chase. The techniques that worked best for us are the "Look at That" game found in Leslie McDevitt's book, "Control Unleashed."

On the other hand, my Simon does not have a high prey drive at all. He very rarely will chase a squirrel, and mostly ignores the cats. Once in a while, when the cats are being crazy, he'll get up and investigate, but that's about it.

It's much tougher for a dog to control himself when the cats are running. A cat that will stand and maybe give him a swat is much easier. If the cat is a runner, you need to increase the distance between him and the cat until he can think and respond to your commands. You gradually get closer as he's able to show self control. You have to be careful, too, to keep a loose leash. If there is tension, you'll actually be increasing his desire to get to the cat. It's a form of barrier or leash frustration. One way I train a better recall in my dogs is to have someone hold them back from me, and then call them. Their desire to get to me is increased because they have tension and are being held back. So be very careful with that.
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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Sounds like he wants to learn the hard way! lol. Unless the cats are declawed
That's the problem , the cat he likes the most and wants to play with, was declawed and near death (6lb) stray when I fed him and scooped him up. Lol.
With the others he will try smelling them again to see if their friendship has changed and once he sees a claw swipe, he leaves them alone. The cat loves everyone and hasn't feared Nubis, and that is where some of the problem comes.
MeadowCat thanks for the tips and that book, I might have to get it.
 

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My roommates have 6 cats (not my choice...) and Chase was fine with all but one cat, who is black, and runs away. I think the solid dark color is easier for him to track, which he can easily fixate on. It took months, but all I did with him was say 'no' when he fixated, and made him sit, and when he just sniffed, or let a cat walk by I would praise.

Now, he is fine with all cats, they can go crazy around him and he just ignores them.
 

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I also think cats need a safe space where they know they can't be harassed by the dog. Mine have tall places to be where the dogs can't reach them, and we also gate off the upstairs of our house so the cats have a safe space where litter, food and water are. Some of my cats choose to spend time with the dogs (one LOVES them!), and some choose not to interact at all. I places gates in such a way that the cats can get underneath them at full speed, too, in case they do get chased. I'm lucky that when Shanoa does, on occasion, chase, she does not do anything once she's caught up to the cat. She isn't interested in grabbing them or biting them. If she did, I wouldn't trust her without supervision.
 
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I learned the hard way 20 plus yrs ago that holding the cat is not always the greatest idea. Should that cat decide to freak out, you may get very hurt in the process. I would desensitize the Dobe to the cat, going SLOWLY very very slowly. Only let him close enough he is not reacting. This may take quite a bit of time.
 
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