Cat Chasing/Attacking

Discussion in 'Dog Training: Principle and Practice' started by buoyitsawonderfullife, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. buoyitsawonderfullife

    buoyitsawonderfullife Registered Users

    Jul 21, 2014
    Hello to all the expert Lab owners out there, hoping that you will share some training advise/troubleshooting with me.
    Our 4 1/2 month old English Yellow Lab constantly chases and attacks our 13year old neutered cat and I'm at my wits end on how to get him to stop.
    Buoy came home to us at 7weeks and has been exposed to the cat ever since. Now he is really ramping up his attacks and even though the cat has a place he can jump to and a room all to himself, he still ventures out and many times Buoy sees him and attacks him.

    I really don't know how to handle this and I am concerned he will really do some damage to the poor cat.
    Buoy is crate trained and for the most part ok behavior wise-the regular puppy teething on my arm though.

    Any help would be appreciated. I have really learned so much from these posts so I'm sure you will help me again. Thanks
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Registered Users

    Jun 6, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    Re: Cat Chasing/Attacking

    Oh dear, this certainly sounds like a dilemma. I'm sorry that I don't have any experience with this, I've only ever been a one-animal household. But I know that several of the forum members have cats, so hopefully you will get some good tips.

    Meanwhile, welcome to the forum, and if you get a chance, show us some pics of your two!
  3. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    Re: Cat Chasing/Attacking

    Hi there, it is pretty normal for new puppies to try and chase and play with the family cat. And it is good that your cat has an escape route. The important thing is to make sure all interaction between them is supervised so that the puppy is unable to engage in chasing until the puppy has learned to leave the cat in peace.

    As your pup is quite big and strong now, you'll probably need to put him on a house line when they are together, so that you can prevent chasing. You'll also need some good treats. Keep interactions short and sweet and associate the presence of the cat with the puppy getting some great food. Reward the puppy repeatedly for giving you attention - even a glance at first - whilst the cat is in the room. Using a clicker or the word good when the pup looks at you will help with this process.

    To start with, it may be simplest to have someone hold the cat and bring him into the room where you are with the pup. Treat the puppy for giving you any attention at all.

    Once you can get the puppy to look at you whilst the cat is in the room, you can gradually build up to getting him to sit for short periods of time. You can't chase a cat and sit at the same time. :) Don't try and rush this, it will probably take you a few weeks to get to this point. Little and often is the key. The novelty will wear off if he is never allowed to chase, in a few months time he and the cat will be friends, and this will all be a distant memory. So hang on in there.
  4. Jen

    Jen Registered Users

    Aug 30, 2013
    Re: Cat Chasing/Attacking

    We have always had farm cats. In fact our back yard can have two labs, a terrier cross, two cats and half a dozen chickens in it all at the same time ignoring each other. Amazing really. ::)

    Wasn't always like that though. When my old lab was young and when the two I have now were pups they would chase the cats. They do grow out of it though. They get used to them being there and with some training like Pippa has suggested they just stop chasing.

    I found if the cats didn't run they didn't get chased. Maybe if your cat can put up with your pup in the same room without running off preferably without moving pup will loose interest.

    One of the cats used to rub itself against my old labs legs. Poor dog was totally confused and just stood looking worried. ;D
  5. MadMudMob

    MadMudMob Registered Users

    Dec 6, 2013
    Re: Cat Chasing/Attacking

    [​IMG] from a teeny tiny black 5 1/2 year old Lab known as The DivaDog

    and her pet human [​IMG]
  6. npcarpenter

    npcarpenter Registered Users

    Jul 15, 2014
    Re: Cat Chasing/Attacking

    Hi! I have a 4 month old female Yellow Lab who also chases the house cats (I have 2), but learned very quickly that the barn cat does not run and will fight back (it's very funny to watch all the dogs make wide circles around Jack!). My cats used to run all the time, as soon as the puppy approached, but now they're staying put more and more, and this is helping. Running triggers the prey drive, so it's good that they've settled a bit. Still, Daisy will give chase when she's been playing a lot and is hyped up. I've been working with her on a "leave it" command, and that seems to be helping. If I can redirect her attention to me, reinforced with treats, that also helps. I don't feel like she is truly "attacking" the cats so much as just trying to get them to play like a puppy - hopeless endeavor! ;D

    I did see one of the housecats actually rub up against Daisy's chin the other day, so there is hope! That cat and my middle dog, Henry (3.5 yr old Golden mix), are actually snuggle buddies ;).
  7. Mollly

    Mollly Registered Users

    Nov 8, 2013
    Thames Valley
    Re: Cat Chasing/Attacking

    My experience with my previous 2 dogs was that our cats was sacrosanct, but every other cat on the planet was fair game.

    Being a rotten killjoy I never allowed her to chase them though.
  8. Molly the dolly

    Molly the dolly Registered Users

    May 3, 2014
    Re: Cat Chasing/Attacking

    Hi there, my puppy Molly is nearly 11 months now and we have two cats. I can really sympathise with your post. I would really try and follow Pippa's training suggestion as it is basically the approach that I have used with Molly and have had a lot of success with it. I can now get Molly to sit quietly whilst the cats walk past her but this took a lot of practise and the distracting powers of some highly tasty treats. I also used the 'wait' command when I'm feeding her and got her to sit quietly so she knows that routine so that when I ask her to sit and wait quietly she expects a nice reward for doing so- even if the cats are wondering around at the same time!

    I wouldn't say that Molly is 100% perfect around the cats as I do still have to watch her around them sometimes. One cat will stand up for himself sometimes but my siamese just cowers on the floor so I'm very vigilant in stepping in to prevent him being scared. They also have a room of their own to retreat to like yours do. That being said when she does get up close to them she only wants to lick them which the cats are not best pleased with. I normally let her get a couple of licks in (after all I figure she is only trying to be friendly) and then tell her "enough".

    Good luck and I hope things settle down soon.


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