Puppy is driving me nuts with our cat. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy is driving me nuts with our cat.

So Caius is just a few days shy of 5 months old now. We got him at 7 weeks. We have a female cat named Gemma, shes almost 6.

Whenever Caius see's Gemma he barks and chases her. Even in his crate he will bark when he see her. We know he is barking because he wants to interact and play with her. He barks at everyone, people/dogs (which is something we are working on) until they pay attention to him and just licks and plays with them. I cant get him to calm down when he sees her. I have tried using treats and toys, it just doesnt work, its like nothing else matters but the cat.

Gemma is a very timid kind of cat. She is isnt the kind to sit on your lap and fall asleep. She likes to be in the same room as you but at a distance. She is very skiddish and often hides when people come over. She has always been this way. I guess you can see she isnt very confident which makes her afraid of Caius.

I am at my wits end. I feel so bad for her because she often just stays upstairs in our bedroom now, she only comes down to eat at night or when we are not home and Caius is crated. I feel like my home is divided. I dont need them to be best pals I just want them to be able to co exist.

Any Advice?

BTW here they are...
sorry its so big!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 11:21 AM
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I completely understand your frustration. We have 3 German Shepherds. The oldest one is VERY possessive of the cat. He doesn't want any other dog around it, but also annoys the cat by chasing him when he sees him walking around. He doesn't bark or growl at him, but it's still super annoying that the cat can't move freely around his own house. Our second dog doesn't bother him so much and will even lie around or play with him if the other dogs aren't present. But now the youngest is mimicking the older. Any time she sees the cat she runs at him in a playful way. I don't have any suggestions at this point. Despite all that we've tried it's hard to get their attention away from him.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 11:51 AM
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Stop letting your puppy chase your cat. Especially with a fearful cat it can lead to issues down the road once your puppy is full grown or even now.

Keep your pup on a leash for a bit and correct her whenever she tries to chase the cat. Teach her chasing is not allowed.

They make the high pitched bark deterants that release noise to stop dogs from barking. You could try one of those for in the kennel. It may also make the cat skittish but if your pup is smart she should learn fast to not bark.

One thing though is you need to be firm and nip this in the bud right now. Bribery is not going to work when harassing the cat is far more rewarding. For corrections I've found a sharp ah-ah works for my dogs but it'll vary by dog.

Also teach the puppy a leave it command. Once you got that down use it on the cat and enforce it. If she starts chasing you say ah-ah and pick her up if needed, again you can try leasing her to you. You won't have to do this forever just until she understands and then maybe have to reinforce it on occasion. Since you've let it go on for awhile it may take a little bit to get through to her but just be consistent. 100% no cat chasing ever.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:47 PM
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This is one area where there is no compromise. Puppies are not allowed to harass cats or any other residents of your home, period. To me, this is a line that will not be crossed. Honestly this should have been established the minute the pup was brought into the house, but it's not too late to fix this.

Get a handle on your puppy and enforce the rules. This is not a time to compromise or redirect. Stop the behavior as Kazel outlined above.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 01:38 PM
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OP...the only thing IMO you can do is keep the dog and cat separate ....they're not going to happily co exist (as you said) in the same room but they can co exist in the same house--just not with in sight of each other....period......your 5 month old may get a little more "mellow" as he ages and becomes an adult....the key word in that statement is "may" or he may not....the issue you have is your cat is a "runner" and you can't fix that.....you see the term these days "prey drive"---prey drive would typically be a wild animal who's hungry...in turn they chase another animal--take it down and kill and eat it...end of story.....sounds like your pup wants to play....


Most dogs love to play....GSDs are no exceptions....even more so when they're young pups...they love to chase balls-toys-sticks-flirt poles--it's all a game to them....I'm a firm believer that for those members here who have a dog and cat with problems---it's because the cat will not stand it's ground ....most dogs are completely stumped and flabbergasted when the cat doesn't run and/or ignores them.......when a cat turns and runs the dog thinks "oh boy this little guy wants to play a game of chase"...and so...the game is on......


We've had a couple dogs over the years that came to us with problems...sometimes a list...one of the things on the list would be....NO CATS....I'd go along with what was expected...because I knew the dog hadn't meant me OR my cats....we've had 3 different female cats--they all grew up around big dogs so they had no fear and didn't run...they didn't mind giving a couple quick "swats" on the muzzle if need be....most dogs that were used to a "runner" didn't know what to make of that...they'd turn around look at me sorta confused ??....take a few steps and lay down with a heavy sigh....lol...they usually don't know what to make of a cat that obviously doesn't know how to play "the game" and won't run.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 01:46 PM
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Don't expect any improvement until the puppy is mature enough to figure out it will *never* catch the cat, and gives up trying. Then, slowly, the cat may well begin to investigate the dog--from a great distance, and slowly getting closer. It took a long time, but my cats now sit near my dog (the adult dog, that is). They will walk up and check out his feed bowl when he's eating. They drink out of the water bowl with him. He tried to get them to play (dropping balls in front of them), but of course they weren't interested. The trust between them is pretty cool now, and there was ZERO contact for months. It's possible, but it takes a long time.

My cats make up for the time we are missing (with a new pup in the house) by spending more time on me at night

Maureen
Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkculs View Post
Don't expect any improvement until the puppy is mature enough to figure out it will *never* catch the cat, and gives up trying. Then, slowly, the cat may well begin to investigate the dog--from a great distance, and slowly getting closer. It took a long time, but my cats now sit near my dog (the adult dog, that is). They will walk up and check out his feed bowl when he's eating. They drink out of the water bowl with him. He tried to get them to play (dropping balls in front of them), but of course they weren't interested. The trust between them is pretty cool now, and there was ZERO contact for months. It's possible, but it takes a long time.

My cats make up for the time we are missing (with a new pup in the house) by spending more time on me at night
I have to say I disagree with this. You can definitely teach a puppy to leave the cats be and/or treat them appropriately. It should better as they get older but you can see improvement for sure. Then again some dogs will never be 100% good with cats.

I would not recommend waiting it out. There are plenty of dogs that will continue to chase cats and never get tired of it. And if they don't like the cat or are too rough with it or have high prey drive if they catch it they may very well kill it. On accident or on purpose.

While it's good it worked out in your situation and I'm sure with some puppies/dogs it does work this is not something I'd leave to chance hoping it gets sorted out because I know dogs who will kill cats even having been raised with them. I know dogs who will leave the cats in their home alone but will kill any strange cats. One of those was a GSD, very sweet dog but would kill cats outside of the house in a heartbeat. So I fully advocate teaching, and teaching it young that cats are off limits and not to be chased.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 05:03 PM
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My puppy has been chasing my cats when he sees them so I started to keep the puppy on a leash and every morning I play with the cats in the same room where I have the puppy and he sits there quietly and I reward him and it has been getting better.
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