Dogs and cats are cute and great for family pets. But they are also bickering each other (sometimes or always). You will not know if they are just playing or your dog is showing his aggressive behavior. If he does, how to stop a dog from being aggressive towards cats will be a difficult task that you’ll need to solve.
If you are a pet parent or consider bringing new cats to your home, you will need to prepare to minimize and then stop your dog attacking cats. Actually, you can make your two fur friends live in harmony if you use practical obedience training. But first, you have to know the reasons why your dog is aggressive towards your cat and notice possible signs for this behavior.
Why are dogs suddenly aggressive towards cats?
The first crucial things before finding ways on how to stop a dog from being aggressive towards cats is to figure out the reasons for your dog suddenly aggressive towards cats. Although there are many different causes of this issue, here are some of the most common ones.
One of the possible reasons your dog shows aggressive behavior to cats is that he is being ill or in pain. It could be internal injuries, fractures, etc. And during this time, your pup can have a little warning.
Anxiety or fear
If you notice that your pooch poses some anxiety signs before the attack, this is probably the reason why your canine is surly.
There are lots of signs of anxiety in your dog, including hiding, a tucked tail, wriggling, groaning, shivering, etc. Sometimes, your pup can avoid eye contact with you or even vandalizing the furniture in your home. If you leave him properly untreated, this anxiety can intensify into aggression in certain situations.
Besides, you can observe some of the most popular reasons why your dog feels fear or anxiety. For example, he has been through a hard time, life changes, or has been abused before, which leads to separation anxiety.
If your dog has high possessiveness, there is a possibility that he will be aggressive towards cats. Especially when he feels like his food, bed, attention, or other important things are threatened by cats, he will be snapped.
In regards to your dog’s things such as shelter, toys, food, etc., it would be best if you keep his subjects away from your cats’ ones. By doing this, your dog knows that he has his own space and respect.
You can put your dog’s bed in a room that your cats can’t go into. When it comes to food, you can feed dogs and cats at different times and make sure that your cats don’t approach when your pooch is having his meal.
Another extremely common reason for your dog’s aggressive behavior toward cats is that he is jealous. This will happen when you show more care, attention, and love towards your cats. Your canine will feel that you are more affectionate towards cats than him and start being offensive.
As you may all know, dogs’ instinct is to hunt smaller things or animals. They also tend to be protective of their owner. Therefore, the appearance of a new cat without a proper introduction can lead to aggression in dogs.
How to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats?
Before applying any training or discipline techniques, you should know possible signs for your dog aggressive towards cat. Although there are different signals showing your dog’s aggressive behavior, here are some of the most common and easy-to-identify symptoms.
- Your dog chases cats for no reason. If you don’t pay attention to this behavior, it can turn into nipping or clawing.
- Your dog bites cats while they are playing together. You will need to discriminate between playing or kidding and aggression.
- Your dog will walk away or stop eating right after cats are close to him. You can hear his warning growl or bark.
- Your dog doesn’t want to play, share his toys or bed with cats anymore. This will develop into a fight soon.
Don’t underestimate these aggressive behaviors in your dogs. There is a high potential for these to build up more dangerous actions such as biting. More importantly, if this situation happens continuously, it can impact on your cat’s attitude and behavior.
How to stop dog aggression towards cats?
When you notice all or some of the above signs, it’s time you should find appropriate ways on how to stop a dog from being aggressive towards cats. Among various ways, obedience training is considered the most effective manner. However, this technique is only efficient only if your dog thinks of you as a boss. If not, find anyone in your family who has authority, or you can also shell out for an expert to train your canine.
Regarding this obedience training, the most powerful form is the “Leave it” rule. You can start by looking at the following detailed process.
- Use a leash. This can help you control your dog’s movement better while training. Make sure you don’t hold it too tight.
- Have some treats available as a reward. This will encourage and motivate your dog to be more obedient.
- Teach your dog directive with his favorite toy. You can put the toy he likes near him. Once he starts to approach the toy and have aggressive signs, you will say “Leave it”. Simultaneously, use the treats you have prepared to distract your pooch.
- When your dog reaches your treats, he passes the first test. You can recompense them with another meal. And remember to repeat this procedure for one or two weeks.
- Now, it’s time to bring in your cat. Instead of the dog’s toy, you bring the cat near to your canine. If he attacks the feline, you pull the leash on his neck and say “Leave it”. If he stops and turns back to you, give him a treat as a reward. Next time, try to use the same directive without a leash. If your dog returns, recompense him for listening to you.
You can click here to see effective ways to train your dog to leave your cat alone.
There are still lots of effective methods to teach your dog love your cat. For example, introduce your canine to your feline in a proper way, or use positive reinforcement techniques. Don’t use harsh words or violence to stop your dog aggression towards cats. Reproving or hitting only makes things worse.
Besides, you can prepare a safe place for your cat and separate it from your dogs. Allow your pup to go into the cat’s room so that he will be soon accustomed to the feline’s scent. Also feed both separately. Make sure your dog can’t approach the cat while eating.
Lastly, if you already use those methods with your pooch, he is still aggressive towards your cats, you may need to talk to a professional dog trainer. He or she will help you at first, and you can gradually apply his techniques to teach your dog.
All in all, dogs and cats can get along
I know when it comes to methods on how to stop a dog from being aggressive towards cats, it is not an easy task. However, it is your responsibility to help them get along. You may not want your feline to be injured just because of your jealous or aggressive dog.
It might take some time, but in return, you will see your dog’s improvement, and one day your pooch and cat will live in harmony.