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njk 01-10-2014 11:52 PM

Puppy and older cat problem
Hi everyone,

I'm new here, and new to raising a German Shepherd pup! We have had Zelda for a couple of weeks now (she's 10 weeks) and I also have a 13 year old cat. Zelda loves to bite (normal from what I've read on this forum) and while we're working on her biting us humans (by redirecting to toys, walking away and ignoring, and I'm also exploring clicker training for when I'm patting her) I'm at a loss as to how to stop her biting my cat. My cat doesn't fear her, he walks around the room and does his thing, but she does like to annoy him and bite til he cries out in pain and hits her. And of course if he runs she chases him and bowls him over. My vet suggested time out when she bites him, but considering my vet also told me to hold Zelda down and make her submit cos she's too dominant, I'm a bit wary to take her advice. And just FYI, we will not be forcing her to submit or any such nonsense.

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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BowWowMeow 01-11-2014 12:27 AM

If your puppy is chasing and biting your cat, keep him tethered to you (on a leash) or crated at all times. That way you can redirect immediately when he tries to bother the cat. He needs to learn that he cannot ever chase or bite the cat. I cannot emphasize this enough--there are several members on here whose cats have been killed by their dogs.

Also, you can but dog gates that have a little gate at the bottom that a cat can get through. I would also be sure to crate your puppy for some time when you're home so that you can spend time with your cat.

It is up to you to protect your cat and that may mean limiting your puppies freedom for quite some time!

njk 01-11-2014 12:58 AM

Thanks for your reply- though it has me quite worried now. I do suspect my cat may goad her into chasing him, as he runs from her when he is in a playful mood and then jumps someplace high and watches her as she yaps at him. I was just reading about perhaps keeping her attention on me and rewarding her when she ignores him when he's near her. Perhaps something i can try also?

We have a dog gate with cat flap but unfortunately Zelda is small enough to follow my cat through the cat door. My partner and I have only just started talking crate training and unfortunately he is against it but i'm trying to push for it.

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AkariKuragi 01-11-2014 01:35 AM

Leave it is also a good tool for this. It might take a while to build it up to a level where she will leave the cat on command but it is easy enough to teach.

I also think leashing her/crating her is a good idea. That way she is not reinforced by chasing the cat and doesn't keep biting at the cat, etc. I don't think the dog should be loose with the cat until she grows up a bit and learns some self control.

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njk 01-11-2014 02:10 AM

I was looking up Leave It earlier and will definitely get her started on it asap. She isn't used to a leash yet though so that will be step 1 looks like. I live rural and the indigenous community nearby is rampant with dogs with parvo. They come into town so unfortunately she is restricted from being walked until two weeks after her last injection. Will do some research on leash training now. We have her getting used to her collar at the moment so hopefully it goes well lol thanks!

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