Even though I have a cat for daily practice, Dash doesn’t seem too thrilled when he sees a cat on the street. His prey drive overcomes his friendliness. Since I need him to live with a cat harmoniously, I work on the following exercises.
To successfully and safely introduce a dog and a cat you should practice similar strategies that you would as if you were introducing two dogs, in which one or both were uncomfortable.
- Manage your dog’s behavior on leash so he is NEVER allowed to chase the cat
- Slowly and systematically introduce him so the event does not result in your dog getting anxious or chasing the cat
- I strongly recommend using the marker system which I teach in basic obedience for this exercise
- Have your dog on leash
- Keep him far enough away from the cat so he is relatively calm
- AS SOON as he sees the cat, Mark and reward (say “Yes”)
- If your dog does not take the treat, use a higher value reward and/or move farther away
- Keep repeating this until your dog is calm at this distance and then move a bit closer
- If your cat moves at any point, Mark and reward AS SOON as your dog sees him move
- Try and end the session before your dog gets anxious
- If he gets anxious, move him farther away
You can also improve your chances for success by doing more training such as working on off-leash control, COME, or LEAVE IT.
I have many clients that have dogs and cats and they actually play together. Many times the cat will playfully taunt the dog and then jump out of reach each time. Your chances for success are really good if you introduce a young puppy to an older cat and start the exercises from the first greeting.
His passion, enthusiasm and love for the dog is evident in his many years of experience as well as his hunger to learn more and it is all this that has made him what he is today! He has had extensive training in the area of canine behavior and training! His studies have included 2 summers in the kennels of the New Skete Monestary, 1 year mentoring with Dr. Ian Dunbar, 1 year mentoring with Ed Frawley, and 2 years association with Michael Ellis!
He is a current Professional Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and owns and operates his own dog training business with 45+ years of professional Canine Training experience in his kitty! You are in good hands with Scott!