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Recognising predatory aggression.

(11 Posts)
Buttholelane Fri 05-Dec-14 21:01:37

What are the signs?

I now have a diddy kitten as well as a dog, while I don't THINK she has any malicious intentions I am still abit nervous and in need of some reassurance.

My dog is a border collie, a high prey drive breed.
She loves chasing small animals but has never shown any intention of killing them.
She will recall away from chasing cats, she has got close enough before to catch birds but just carries on running straight past them.
She has met 2 adult cats before, both stationary and seemed perfectly friendly.
Stood tail wagging, mouth smiling looking at them or trying to sniff them.

With kitten, she is pretty intense.
When first introduced she stood shaking, staring intently, drooling a lot, whining a lot.
She wanted to get closer but I kept her a safe distance.
When kitten is sleeping, given the opportunity she will sit and just look at it, quite relaxed looking, sometimes she will try and put her head right beside kitten but I move her away as soon as kitten looks uncomfortable.

When kitten is moving she stares very intensely, sometimes whining and lunges forward.
Given the opportunity she will follow kitten but recall back.

When kitten first arrived, I played fetch with her, she was focused on playing so didn't really bother kitten, kitten jumped forward just as I was about to throw the toy and it looked like she went to grab the kitten.
Playing fetch today however, the kitten made a mad dash for her toy, twice,and she didn't go for kitten at all, just her toy.

The kitten did get right in her face and sniff her nose yesterday and she didn't do anything.

I guess what I am asking is, do you think she just wants to play with the kitten or do you think she wants to kill it?

The intensity sometimes unnerves me a little, I would like them to be friends.

Thoughts?

inmyshoos Fri 05-Dec-14 22:59:18

Don't have any advice I'm afraid but I have seen so many collies be so gentle with other animals. I have tried introducing mine to the guinea pig and he looks nervous and frantically licks me, avoiding looking at the guinea pig. I am never sure what the good signs/bad signs are!!

The kitten will grow quickly and most times the dog comes out worse in a cat/dog tiff!!

Let us know how in goes.

Buttholelane Sat 06-Dec-14 10:09:40

She doesn't really know how to react I think, she has got nervy at points as well, hiding her head in my arms and licking me.

She has also tried to maybe stalk, maybe herd, I can't really be sure, the kitten once.

The kitten has ran past her quite a lot this morning, she is DYING to chase her, the kitten has also come very close, I thought she was going to rub against her at one point.
Dog didn't do aything, just sat there shaking slightly.

On the plus side, she has sat nicely and calmly while I fed the kitten a treat, i can feed them a short distance from each other, at night the dog sleeps in her crate with the kittens carrier next to it, she sleeps straight away, doesn't whine or anything.
We have had (very) short moments where the dog potters around and does her own thing.

Greyhorses Sat 06-Dec-14 11:11:19

I don't really have any advice for you but wanted to join in as I'm going through the exact same right now!

I have a collie and a kitten and my collie is doing the exact same as yours. He loves to try and chase it and seems on edge all the time (whining and drooling like yours!) but he hasn't hurt it yet. Like you I'm unsure as to what to do but have been correcting him when he gets too enthusiastic about the kitten!

We do have an older cat and he does not bother that one at all, so I'm hoping once the kitten faze passes he will get bored!

I've tried toys and things which do help until the kitten does something really fun and he can't resist...hopefully he gets over it soon!

Buttholelane Sat 06-Dec-14 11:47:42

How long have you had your kitten?

Right now,I am feeling like I don't know how much more of this I can take, I have a blinding headache and a 7 month old that needs a nap with this bloody dog just sat staring angry

Am seriously considering getting a pet corrector and a muzzle..

It could be worse I suppose, we have only had her a few days and the dog does already calmly sit or lie down sometimes.
She let the kitten tap her nose (claws in) and come close to her.

Branleuse Sat 06-Dec-14 12:04:26

probably a bit of both. Its obviously not safe to leave the dog and kitten together until the dog is much more calm about it, it could kill it by accident or on purpose with the same end result.
As for wanting them to be friends. thats probably a fantasy.
Your dog has to know the cat is out of bounds. Most dog & cat friends are ones where at least the dog has been a puppy and an older cat, or puppy and kitten together.

Buttholelane Sat 06-Dec-14 15:54:58

I hope your wrong but you might not be sad

Dog is currently is on time out outside, I muzzled her and let her loose, I have observed what looks a lot like stalking.
Silent, slowly approaching cat, sometimes crouched down and sometimes just walking forward, edging closer and closer.
She will move back when I ask her to.

She sat mega close to the kitten, nose to nose, then I am not quite sure what happened, I think the kitten moved slightly and she jolted forward in response, cat hissed and she attempted to chase.

Feeling really quite miserable, I started off thinking she just wanted to play/investigate.
She has never showed any killer instinct at all, she has met cats before and I really thought she would be okay.
I am very upset that it appears that she does in fact want to harm my new kitten.

They would have never been left truly unattended as dog is always crated when we go out but I was really expecting to be able to sit in the room and relax with them both doing their own thing or go and make a cup of tea after a few weeks.
I know it's early days, but based on what I have seen so far, I don't think I can ever leave them together.
I am so disappointed, even if in a few weeks they appear to like each other I don't think I will feel comfortable after witnessing what looks like stalking coupled with the fact she tried to grab her the first night she was here.

CatsClaus Sat 06-Dec-14 16:09:31

I'd not leave them alone, together, get the dog to stay with you....also good for when the little one is old enough to leave while you nip off to the kitchen/bathroom, saves any worry about them being together unsupervised

As pp have said a kitten is more vulnerable than a grown cat, so I'd imagine this will resolve as the cat grows up.

One of our GSDs gets a bit of a look in his eyes if he spots a neighbour cat, but has never done the same with any of ours

muttynutty Sat 06-Dec-14 17:01:18

Good grief you are asking a lot of both the kitten and the dog - give it time.

Your dog does not have a killer instinct - he his not sitting around planning a big murder scene BUT what he may do is react to the kitten which could easily result in death or injury to the kitten.

Initially keep the kitten in a room to settle into the house away from the dog - when you are able to supervise bring the kitten into the room with the dog. Ignore the kitten but give the dog you undivided attention, treat, strokes, chat etc. The kitten and dog can get used to each other without needing to get close or put either one in danger.

Your dog will begin to associate great things when the kitten is around, this will help to bring down the stress levels in the dog.

A collie stalking is not an aggressive position - it is what collies do - they don't go around killing sheep they just stalk or herd them around. However your dog is not a trained sheep dog and could easily feel very confused himself about what to do around the kitten . So your calm talking to him and stroking him when it is around will show him what he should do and that is chill and ignore.

Buttholelane Sat 06-Dec-14 18:04:35

Okay, I will do that thank you.

I know they stalk when herding, but I also know that some collies kill rabbits, cats etc and she is awfully small...

I wasn't sure which intention she had, stalking to try and herd or stalking to catch and kill.

Buttholelane Sun 07-Dec-14 11:19:04

I don't think I agree after all mutty sad

She is getting good at walking past the kitten on a lead, she has played fetch with the kitten bombing around as well.

I let her off lead for a bit with her muzzle on just now, we sat together, me stroking dog, then cat then dog.
The kitten ran past very close and I am sure she tried to bite her.
I am so angry and upset and guilty.
Ended up smacking her which I would never normally do and screamed at her and now she's in a corner in the hallway.
Sat in tears, I feel so bad on so many levels.

It was me who wanted the dog, my husband and ds really wanted a cat, me and oh grew up with cats but I had never had a dog and I really wanted one, so selfishly I convinced them it would be a good idea to get a puppy as we could take it for walks, ds could play with it etc and we could always get a cat later.
My husband doesn't even like dogs, he is kind to ours but given the choice he wouldn't have her.
I just feel terrible.

The kitten they wanted so badly is here and my dog just wants to kill her.

I don't feel like I can trust my dog anymore, I might be able to teach her to stay the hell away from my cat when I am here but I think the second I turn my back the kitten will be dead.
This is not what I wanted.
I knew she would be trouble at first wanting to chase and play, I knew it would take time for her to settle down around the kitten but I never thought she would actually try and kill her.

I don't know what to do now, I don't feel comfortable ever taking her muzzle off nor do I want her anywhere near the cat anymore.
I used to like it when the kitten playfully tapped her nose or went to rub against her because I thought in time they would be friends, snuggled up together, playing together.

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