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bab31182 12-30-2013 07:24 PM

Fixation on cat's path
Hi, everyone,

I've read lots of great info on this forum over the years and decided to jump into the conversation with an issue that I've had trouble resolving. I tried searching a few times, but couldn't find any threads so I apologize if this has been discussed already...

My five-year-old German Shepherd had never seen/lived with a cat during the first 3.5 years of his life. He has a very high ball and prey drive, but generally listens to "leave it" commands.

If I say the word "cat" or make the noise we use to call the cat, he immediately gets anxious and starts patrolling, whining, etc. When I bring the cat out of her room (we have a baby gate in the doorway so she has a safe spot), he'll come up to me and sniff/lick her very quickly, then immediately lay down on the floor and fixate on our hallway (when I let her go, the cat usually runs out of the living room and kitchen, then through a spare bedroom and across the hallway to her room). It doesn't help that the cat is extremely skittish and runs at the first sight of the dog, or if she thinks I'm going to bring her out if he's not crated.

The dog won't relax until the process of the cat running across the hallway and into her room is complete; even if I sit down with the cat right next to his face, he won't look at her and is more worried about watching the hallway than anything. If I hold the cat and stand in the kitchen, he'll stare down the stairway or hallway seemingly hoping to catch a glimpse of her running back to her room.

Has anyone experienced this? Why is he so locked in on where the cat should be/will go and not where she is? He never seems to be in attack mode, but the cat is very skittish and runs as soon as she sees him, which inspires the chase. The few times that he did actually look at her, it seemed like he was in a rough play mode (he tried hard pawing), but I've been careful to avoid testing his true intention.

David Taggart 12-30-2013 08:40 PM

If you know, you can be addicted to the chemical substance produced by your own body - that is to adrenaline. People may have adrenaline rush for different reasons: somebody is a trouble-maker, and another one has to watch news before going to bed. I believe, dogs could be addicted as well as humans. This addiction could be vividly seen in males who are always looking for fights with another dog, and you may detect its traces in your dog. Dogs raised in one house with a cat, normally wouldn't pay attention to a cat in a static position, i.e. cat sitting in one place, but any dog would be even slightly excited if he sees a running cat. It excites him. Because it happens regularly, your dog may just wait for his portion of adrenaline. Watching your running cat for him is like watching the latest news about suicide bombing for a human.

Galathiel 12-30-2013 11:06 PM

My pup has been raised with a cat, but still gets excited when she comes over the breakfast bar into the den.. every ... single... time. It's very annoying. Every day I tell him MANY times a day to leave her alone. Sienna (my persian) is not afraid of him per se, but doesn't appreciate when he does prolonged sniffing.

TexasCrane 12-30-2013 11:23 PM


Originally Posted by David Taggart (Post 4745858)
Watching your running cat for him is like watching the latest news about suicide bombing for a human.

I've got to say, David, that I actually enjoy reading your posts because I'm curious as to what ridiculous, batsh*t crazy things you're going to say. But that line might just set a new WTF record for you.

YukonKaitie 01-01-2014 12:26 AM

Bab31182, I am really glad that you posted this because I am having issues with my 16month old GSD and my elderly cat. My cat ignores the dog most of the time, but when he licks her, then it's game on. I think that maybe just each household dynamic is different and the dog may want the cat back where "it belongs" in his opinion. I dunno.... Just a thought

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