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Old 12-02-2012, 04:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Having problems with puppy and the cat

My 10 month old puppy goes absolutely ballistic around my 7 year-old cat. I let the cat in, he's instantly on him, sniffing him and nipping the back of his neck, I yell at the dog, tell him to leave it, sit, etc... but he completely ignores me. The cat of course runs for the highest ground and jumps up on the table where I keep his food bowl and Eko will sit at the table and watch him the whole time. Then the cat wants a drink so he'll jump down and get hounded by Eko again, and as soon as the cat stops drinking Eko will drink all the water that's left, like he doesn't want the cat to have any. Even if he's not thirsty he will do this. If the cat tries to hide behind our legs, Eko barks at our feet and runs around.

The only place the cat is totally safe is my lap, once he's there it's like an invisible barrier the dog can't get across, but he'll get on the couch and stare at him the whole time. If I'm not physically touching the cat he is practically on top of him 24/7. The cat is VERY patient, but eventually he gets sick of it and swats at the dog's nose, which at first that's how I figured it would end the chasing, the cat would get sick of it, scratch the dog, and the dog would learn. NOPE! He has scratched that dog several times, and it doesn't even phase him. He backs up for a second, then gets even MORE excited, like he thinks the cat is playing some sort of game. He'll even take his toys to the cat and shove them in his face to try and make him play.

But thankfully there has been no aggression, until recently. Our feeding routine is I make the food, set it down, fill up the water bowl, set it down, and Eko can't touch his food during any of this time until the water bowl is down and I tell him O.K. The cat snuck a bite or two of the food while I had my back turned filling up the water bowl and now things have changed. The drinking all the water thing Eko was doing has gotten worse, and now if the cat comes to take a drink while Eko is eating he will growl and snap.

Is there any kind of training to stop food aggression toward other pets? I feel weird trying to discourage my dog from drinking water but whenever the cat is near it he drinks til he throws up or the water is gone, whichever comes first. And how can I stop him from bothering the cat during the other times when Eko's chasing him around? He's usually very obedient, he knows leave it and drop it, sit, down, all the basics and I rarely ever have to repeat myself. But I might as well not even be there when the cat is on the ground, he is 100% focused on it and nothing else. I'd offer treats, but I'm scared that would trigger the food aggression and he would full on attack the cat.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I feel weird trying to discourage my dog from drinking water but whenever the cat is near it he drinks til he throws up or the water is gone, whichever comes first.
Have you tried having water out all the time so that neither of them feel like the other one might get more then the other? It sounds like the cat thinks that he won't see water again??? I don't think cats require that much water. I have a water fountain that 8 pets share, but I don't think I've ever seen my cats drink like yours.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, no, I'm sorry, you misunderstood, my DOG drinks that much. :P He's the one drinking all the water til he throws up.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Could you keep the cat's water bowl up beside where the food dish is? That way the cat can get water whenever he wants without you having to worry about it.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, no, I'm sorry, you misunderstood, my DOG drinks that much. :P He's the one drinking all the water til he throws up.
OOPS...I might have read that completely wrong..okay, so does the dog have access to a water bowl at any other times besides feeding time?
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Get your cat a water bowl someplace where your pup can't get to it. A cat that does not drink enough water is likely to develop UTI, or get their urine PH unbalanced and have a buildup of crystals in the bladder. The crystals can cause blockage in the urethra, especially more likely in a male cat.

What your pup needs is overall solid obedience foundation, and consistent handling and behavioural expectations. This will take time and focus from your part. Especially now that he has already established this behaviour, and has already learned that yelling from you means nothing.

Have your pup on leash in the house (a short leash will do), physically prevent him from going after the cat, and give him a replacement behaviour. Work on obedience with the cat around as a distraction, get his favorite treats out, and start by asking for very simple obedience that he knows, like sit, or a few seconds of focus, and he gets rewarded. Then you can over time work up to more challenging expectations like a sit stay with the cat in the room, or a sit/down stay with the cat walking by, etc.

During this process, you need to control and manage your pup and your cat so that he does not have the opportunity to chase and harass the cat. All your hard work will come undone if he still gets self-rewarded by getting to the cat.

You'll have to be pro-active in preventing this, and have a system and plan in place to change and redirect the behaviour to obedience exercises.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Have your pup on leash in the house (a short leash will do), physically prevent him from going after the cat, and give him a replacement behaviour.
Castlemaid gave great advice. You need to get this under control now or you're going to have a dead cat.

As suggested, as well, keep the cat and dog food and water separate. Perhaps keep your faucet dripping so the kitty can get a drink, they prefer running water anyway.
Also consider putting up a gate where the cat can have his own spot and the dog can have his.

Don't let the dog stare at the cat. As suggested by Castle, teach replacement behaviors.
The dog staring at the cat can only end badly. Intervene in a heavy duty way before it does.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with the above suggestions. The cat needs safe spaces and the dog needs to learn some additional manners. I think it sounds like you need to step up your leadership role in the house. I would put your dog on Nothing in Life is Free and take away furniture privileges, etc.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with the others above.

I also have a older cat with a younger dog. Maya chased the cat all the time so I designated a room for the cat ( food, water and litter box ) and I also got a cat door and installed it on the bedroom door, so when the cat wanted she could be alone and eat, drink, sleep in peace. The dog bowls are in the kitchen. And I feed them at the same time. Never ever have a problem.

Hope some of our suggestions help ya!!!
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm not expert but I had a similar issue with my pup Barack harassing my granny's senior chihuahua Karla, chasing, barking at her constantly. So i just wear him out...good long walk, with some sprinting, add in some fetching games and boom he's usually too pooped to mess with her anymore. I also picked up one of those laser pointers which he loves to chase, so when I see him even glance at Karla I drop the red dot and make him chase it till he's dizzy. It beats trying to constantly correct him, and I'm in better shape now to boot!

Good Luck!
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