Author Topic: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...  (Read 6954 times)

dohertyswissy

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So, here's the deal.  I have an 8 year old nuetered male cat named Tigger.  I rescued him (and his 6 litter mates) out of a box that some heartless, cruel person had left on the side of the road.  I placed his 6 litter mates and kept little Tiggs for myself.  He is a very, very laid back cat.  Got a spectacular attitude!  He's grown up, off and on, with other cats.  At times, I've had dogs in the house when dog-sitting and I did foster an American Eskimo for awhile.  What can I say...I'm a sucker for an animal in need!!  Anyway, enter my precious Swissy, Ranger, about 2 months ago.  At first, Ranger didn't seem too interested in Tigger.  When he'd go up to play with Tigger, Tigger would usually swat at him (never hiss or fluff his tail) and Ranger would take the hint.  Fast-forward to today.... Ranger is starting to feel his Wheaties!  About two weeks ago, he started constantly chasing the cat whenever he entered the room, unless my husband or I call a command to get his attention.  Now, he is attempting to get on furniture to get to the cat, which is something he never did before!  Of course, last night, he tried to get on the couch and the bed with the cat nowhere in sight...so, now I'm not sure if it is that he is trying to get to the cat or thinks he can get on whatever furniture he wants because the cat does...or if it is a dominant thing....those pups are sneaky!  LOL!  I've spoken with our breeder and Swissys typically do not have a strong prey drive (one reason I steered away from hounds, even though I adore them), however they were used not only as draft dogs, but herding as well.  He mentioned that I should never reprimand the cat for his actions, which I don't and that they would figure eventually figure it out.  I know that I'm tired, Tigger is tired, and I'm sure Ranger is tired.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to curb this sort of behavior?  Is this something that he'll *maybe* outgrow (he's 5 months old)?  I just wouldn't want this to escalate into something bad...although, for now it *seems* to be playful.  Any help would be SO appreciated... I need a good night's sleep!  ;)  Heather  :)   

Offline Jaimie

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2005, 03:52:00 pm »
My guess would be that Ranger is just trying to play with Tigger, does Ranger know the "leave it" command?  It works great with my Dobes.  When my dogs start to bother my cat I give them the " leave it" command and they will leave him alone.  When I got my first Dobe my cat was 10yrs.old and he tried to play with the cat constantly, I have learned that a cat is no match for a 90lb Dobe...lol.  Cats are very good at defending themselves as long as your pooch isn't really trying to harm your kitty.  I think he will grow out of it.  Does your pooch have another pooch to play with?  He may be just wanting a play buddy.  Now my kitty is 16 yrs.old and healthy as ever.

Offline coonie1970

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2005, 04:09:45 pm »
Hi. I have 2 cats. One is 7 yrs and the other is 4 yrs. The 7 yr old Molson put Judge in his place right off. Molson just stays clear of him now. My 4 yr old Bud just stares Judge down. As if to say "Just try it " It is really quite funny. The cats pretty much take care of themselves and Judge pretty much leaves them alone now. Both my cats are nuetered and both have their front claws removed. Im sure your cat will show your puppy who is boss. Mine did. Thats what is so funny a 6lb cat showing the 150lb dog that He is boss. LOL Ill have to get a picture of Bud staring at Judge and post it.
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Offline jabear

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2005, 04:23:17 pm »
Heather the image of Ranger chasing Tigger around just makes me laugh! Good luck in making them meet somewhere in the middle.  :)
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dohertyswissy

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2005, 09:44:46 am »
Thanks for all the advice guys!  Ranger does know the "leave it" command, so we are trying to use that to help curb his fascination with Tigger.  I'm glad to know that there is hope!!   :)  Trust me, it is a sight to see Ranger chasing Tiggs around and the look of confusion on puppy's face when Tigger swats and doesn't want to play with him.  He just can't imagine why anyone or animal wouldn't want to play with him!  LOL  :D  We'll keep working at it!  Thanks everyone!

Offline Carolyn

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2005, 12:40:43 pm »
I also have 2 cats. "Leave It" also works good for us. Sometimes they rub noses, the cats will walk thru the dogs legs & pet themselves. But every once in a while "the chase is on", I don't know what triggers it, but both Apache & Kiya "dog pile on the cat" (the youngest cat) or try to. Most of the time its play & Misty will find a spot they cant get her, they get bored & leave her alone. I'll step in if I don't like what I see. Out in the yard Misty runs around & they even chase her, shes a feral cat we adopted & shes freaky but tuff. I watch her turn & stand up to the dogs & they don't push her. I dont need tv I have all the entertainment I need!
Carolyn
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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2005, 02:45:48 pm »
Heather, you are dealing with an old problem.  Usually, a few well placed swats by the cat are enough to keep most dogs from bothering them, but some dogs need more than that.  What I have found that works is to bring both pets into the same room but keep them separated.  Let your dog see you petting your cat and being affectionate with it.  Then go do the same thing with your dog.  Let your dog see that you love the cat as much as you love him.  Repeat this several times and do it on a regular basis.  If he stil chases, use the "Leave it" command and be extremely stern.  Let him know that chasing the kittie is not acceptable.  It worked for us because Drake chased our cats when he was a pup but doesn't do it much any more.  Our Orange cat Kenai sometimes runs when Drake approaches him, which causes him to chase but not always.  Boo, our Bombay actually plays with Drake and let's him know when he's had enough.  I think this picture below shows their relationship and how our method seems to work.  Good luck!!!
My Newfoundland Lives My Life As Passionately As I Live His.

dohertyswissy

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2005, 07:14:43 pm »
Okay....so, now I'm starting to get concerned.  We just returned from a trip to the beach and Ranger came with us.  Well, we got home about 2 hours ago, and I've witnessed Ranger actually "snap" at Tigger 3 times!  This is new.  It was just the chasing...but now snaping!!  I'm about to snap!  The snapping happens when I am giving attention to Tigger and not Ranger.  For example, I'm sitting in the recliner and Ranger is snoozing at my feet.  Tigger jumps into my lap for a little nap.  Well, Ranger immediately pops up and comes over to sniff Tigger...then he snapped at him!  I about had a heart attack.  I told him 'NO' very sternly, then put him outside to take a breather.  It scared the mess out of me!!!  I feel sorry for Tigger...it isn't fair to him after 8 years of life to be scared all the time and not receive any attention.  I love my big guy....I just can't determine what his motives are....I don't want him to get hurt either.  I was convinced that this was just a "phase"...but now I'm scared....... :-[  We have successfully tried petting them both at the same time, but eventually Ranger will go after Tigger.  We crate Ranger right now when we are out, but were hoping that we would be able to give him some "free reign" in the house after potty training.  Now I'm not so sure.... am I overreacting??? ???

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2005, 08:56:56 am »
You have to really let Ranger have it (verbally) when he goes after Tigger.  And do it right at the time of his indescretion.  Get between him and Tigger and give him a monster "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Stand over him and let him know that's absolutely unacceptable.  No physical reprimanding is necessary.  And vice versa, overly praise him when he has a positive interaction with Tigger as well.  Dogs really want to please you and if they can figure out how to get that reaction, they'll do it.  Sometimes though, it takes a lot of work.  If you want to remedy the problem, that is what you are going to do.  It hard to say that there's one way of dealing with this, every dog is different.  Sorry for the problems!  It is great when your pets get along, just give them time.
My Newfoundland Lives My Life As Passionately As I Live His.

dohertyswissy

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2005, 12:38:53 pm »
Thank you soo much for the encouragement.  I think it had just been a long weekend and I was worn out.  I know that I have to stay firm and things will work out.  Thanks again!

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2005, 02:52:53 pm »
Just be vigilant, I'm sure he'll figure things out.  I know it's really hard to discipline a young dog, they're so freakin' cute and you don't want to yell at them.  But it pays off in the end!
My Newfoundland Lives My Life As Passionately As I Live His.

dohertyswissy

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... I'm at my wits end....
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2005, 03:45:03 am »
Okay...so, I've done the monsterous, yelling, "NO!!! DON'T CHASE THE CAT."  I've gotten Ranger's attention and made him do commands to get his mind off of the cat.  I've put him outside in "time out."  Still, Ranger is bound and freaking determined to chase/harrass Tigger, the cat.  I would LOVE to be able to sit on the couch and make it through a 30 min. show w/o having to deal with this issue.

Ranger is not trying to "attack" Tigger.  He is always playful...neve r in an aggressive mode.  However, this is really starting to stress Tigger out, as well as me.

I don't know what else to do besides harsh correction, which I really, really don't want to do unless absolutely necessary.

Should I continue doing the same stuff and eventually Ranger will get over it (he's 11 months) or do we move to harsher correction methods?

Please help...I'm about to lose it over here...  :-[

Offline NoDogNow

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Re: Can't we just all get along.... the dog and the cat, I mean...
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2005, 06:50:51 am »
I can SO see the poor slobber covered kitty...Fat Cat is just trying to make sure that nobody ever slobbers all over HER, which I can totally sympathize with.

My aunt has always had both cats and dogs, and she uses a "toy" designation with them.  Kittens and puppies are first taught STOP! followed by Get a Toy to distract them from misbehaving. 

Chico (a shepherd-retriever mix) was responsible for the additional NOT A TOY command that she teaches her animals right after that--even her cats, though it takes them longer than the dogs, obviously. 

Chico would chase down and/or bring back ANYTHING--the cats, the mostly dachshund (oh, don't think it didn't piss 7 year old Captain off to be picked up out of the grass by this puppy and brought back to the door in the middle of a poo!), us kids (I was 6, and remember being almost completely picked up off my feet to be brought from the gate to the door by my belt) the garbage cans, anything he could get between his teeth and a little leverage on.  And he would pick on the cats, Cap and us kids, nipping, bowling us over with his nose, knocking us around with his paws, flopping down on top of us like the were throw pillows.  He was just playing, but at 11 months old and 70 pounds, he was big enough that it wasn't funny! 

Finally she got a wonderous idea from dealing with her 2 year old son, who was going thru his "mine" phase, and had to keep being told "That's not your toy!  THIS is your toy!"

So she started working really hard at correcting Chico really hard every time he put his mouth on something he wasn't supposed to put it on, and saying "NOT A TOY" and then giving him his ball or a rope or something, saying calmly "Here's your Toy" while playing with him for a minute.    It only took about 3 weeks to stop picking things up that he wasn't told to "get!"  It took a couple of months of using the same command with his unacceptably aggressive play behaviors towards the other animals for him to learn that they were not toys, too.   

She said it so much between saying it to the doy and saying it to her child, it was the first thing her bird learned to say  :)   Which made it REALLY funny when she got Poquito; every time the poor puppy got within 2 feet of the bird cage, Popeye would screech out "Not a Toy!  Not A Toy!"

Maybe you could try teaching Ranger that Tigger isn't a toy.  Using that one phrase for all objectionable 'play' behaviors has worked really well for my aunt.  Leave it alone is a notch up in her discipline scale--Leave It Alone means something is absolutely forbidden, and you will be IMMEDIATELY EXILED to the garage if you touch that thing.  Not a Toy means you have to stop what you're doing, but can stay in the room and play as long as you play nicely.

Sheryl, Dogless and sad