10 month old puppy chasing cats

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by orangelizzy, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. orangelizzy

    orangelizzy Registered Users

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    This is my first post on this forum, though I have been reading it very intensely since I got my puppy (my first dog) at 5 months (she was planned to be a breeding dog, but was too short).

    Long story short, the past 5 months with Naga has been wonderful and the most difficult thing I have ever done. Right from the get go, even following all the advice we could find, Naga did not socialize well with our 2 cats - I think it may have been related to COVID as the dog parks were closed at this time so limited socialization. After much private training she was doing better and able to be in the same room with them on a leash, and then we had her spayed and she turned 7.5 months and she was kept away from the cats for just over the week in recovery (cause she got too excited at times). This separation made her mad for the cats and we had to have them completely separated - cats in basement when Naga is around. Sine we have been doing private training, but she continues to have little control even a version of "look at that" and alternate training around having her less reactive and cued to go to her dog bed to movement behind the cat gate. This on top of doing lots of foundations training and fun training, daily fetch, 3 daily walks, socialization with other dogs (which she is reactive around without intense management as well).

    Sadly I am losing hope. I do plan to do whatever is necessary as far as training and effort, but this has impacted my and my husbands whole lives and also the lives of our cats (though we are doing everything we can to minimize this).

    What I am looking for is your thoughts and (hopefully) some hope that this is can be resolved.
     
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  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    In my experience, it takes a long time for a cat to become uninteresting to a young dog, but they usually get there in the en. Over the years I have had various combinations of dogs and cats, 7 cats and 5 dogs in total. They all become best buddies in the end, but it does take some time. Typically labs need patience and frequent training for well over a year before you begin to start to see signs of the sensible, family dog you are hoping for. In the mean time to just need to keep going with training and make sure the cats have a safe exit route. My current lab and 2 cats are really great pals, but it was not like that when she was younger. Hang in there.
     
  3. orangelizzy

    orangelizzy Registered Users

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    Thank you so much Edp. This was exactly what I needed to hear. I think I am on the right path, it just will be a long road. It really helped to hear your experience.
     
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  4. Jess_Bushby

    Jess_Bushby Registered Users

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    @orangelizzy we’ve got a 11 month old Lab and two cats (5years and 3 years) who are at varying stages of ‘friendship’ with one another - remember it depends on both animals: we found one of our cats took about 3 months to feel confident around the dog, whereas our more timid cat is only now just able to stare the dog down and tell him to behave when he’s wagging his tail like a nutter because he’s excited to see him! As said earlier, escape routes are key, and we’ve found using a baby gate with a cat flap really useful so the cats can control the interaction duration as they’ve got braver. We still heavily supervise but it’s slowly getting there.

    Judge your own dog with whether this would be a good technique to try, but we found our bolder cat quickly told him, animal to animal, what was and wasn’t acceptable so we did let them ‘figure it out’ whilst supervised for very short periods before we intervened (30 seconds building up) - we had no concerns for our cats safety during this so felt comfortable with it but I realise it wouldn’t suit every dog.

    Worth taking the time to get it right rather than rush it and have a less harmonious household.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Jess_Bushby

    Jess_Bushby Registered Users

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    Also, to clarify, the ‘figuring it out’ was mostly the dog looking longingly at the cat and wagging his tail, whilst the cat would hiss on occasion or swipe at him if he got too close or over sniffed him. When they see each other now our Lab will slobber all over the cats ears and the cat will ‘head bump’ him so this plus controlling the environment and their interactions worked well for us!
     
  6. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

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    It certainly varies from dog to dog and also cat to cat. Our first Lab, Ginger, was a 4 yr old rescue from a good situation who was well trained and socialized. She raised two kittens that we got at the same time. Our second Lab met one of the grown cats when she was a tiny pup, and they got along fine. I think the cat explained the rules to Tilly and they were best buddies but Tilly never had a strong prey drive. Cooper has never lived with cats and tends to bark at them. I suspect she could learn to get along with a cat, especially if it started as a small kitten, but she does chase squirrels and large birds. My first dog was a Malamute. He lived with two Siamese cats, but they basically had an armed truce, and stayed out of his way. He considered other cats as prey and would kill most any cat he came across.
     

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