At what point do we think about a behaviourist re: dog and cats.

(10 Posts)
TooOldForThisWhoCares Wed 12-Sep-18 07:56:52

We've had our 9 month old rescue for almost 9 weeks. We have 2 cats. We were told the dog had both lived with cats in the past and also showed no interest in cats while out and about when she was with the fosterer. However we have reached a point with our own cats where I'm worried it's never going to improve. We have stair gates up all over the house and the cats are basically living in the kitchen. They sleep on the table and the cat flap gives them access to outside. They are eating well and are affectionate and apparently stress free in there.

Initially the dog was on a lead in the kitchen and barked a little at the cats etc. Was encouraged away, given treats for ignoring etc. Cats just ran when they saw her. Then they started staying in the room more(always on the table) dog was allowed loose, and at first she sniffed about happily, distracted by treats if the cats caught her attention. Then one of the cats dared to move and jumped down. Of course dog ran at cat, cat ran. She has managed to chase them a few times now (I know this is bad and I am determined to not let it happen again) I've noticed she's also started chasing squirrels etc on walks more. When she's chased the cats she's not shown aggression, when she catches up to them, she doesn't bite or even mouth, so far. But now she's ignoring in the kitchen mostly but still at times, barking when she notices them or they move and jumping up at thrm. If she's on the lead she lunges towards them when she does this barking (tail often wagging but not always).

The cats HAD started showing signs of wanting to come into other parts of the house more but that's now gone back a step. They are scared cats, not relaxed cats who would just brazen it out and saunter past. They will always run. The dog, I fear, now sees them as something to chase. I feel awful and am already deep in "adolescent puppy blues" as it is. Should we get a behaviourist in? Or is 8 weeks still early days? I think I read someone on here saying it took 6 months for her dog and cats to get comfortable. Sorry this is so long, I feel very sad for my poor cats. Dog is staff cross, not sure with what possibly some kind of terrier (even worse I know, in terms of cat situation).

OP’s posts: |
Ginorchoc Wed 12-Sep-18 08:09:11

I’ve got a dog and 3 cats, dog is 18 months old now and chased the cats. 2 cats stop dead and that stops the chase and the cats have control over it. One headbutts the dog and they are very affectionate, the other death stares her down. The 3 cat I’ve never managed to get them to live in harmony and don’t believe ever will, they tend to avoid each other. Cats are 7 years old, all sisters (long story) so you might need to give it more time, I distract the dog with treats when the 3rd cat is walking around. I found separating them made it worse as they didn’t learn to live together, although cats can always outsmart the dog.

TooOldForThisWhoCares Wed 12-Sep-18 09:04:58

The cats aren't sisters but were rescued together and are quite close, probably closer since dog appeared. They are never going to be the "staring down" types. It's all just got on top of me today and I feel like whole thing was a huge mistake.

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BiteyShark Wed 12-Sep-18 09:33:27

Can you contact one anyway just to give you some support on things to do so you feel like you have a plan.

Maybe not even a behaviourist but a trainer that will come and observe 1-1 and devise a training plan.

Hoppinggreen Wed 12-Sep-18 10:02:40

Our dog is 2 now and if one of the cats shoots past him he sometimes chases it briefly. They don’t seem to mind and if he catches up to one he just stops dead and they look at each other and that’s it
It took a while until the cats knew they were safe around him and 9 weeks is really early so I don’t think you have a problem at this stage.
The cats started largely ignoring the dog when he had been her around 4 or 5 months and going wherever they wanted, one of them even sometimes rubs against him - he looks very embarrassed when she does !

TooOldForThisWhoCares Wed 12-Sep-18 11:27:02

Ok so I shouldn't be panicking too much at 9 weeks in? We go to dogs trust training classes, I could ask them for more advice or if they do one to one training.

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CMOTDibbler Wed 12-Sep-18 12:29:13

9 weeks is massively early tbh. Keep on rewarding dog for ignoring them and it will be OK in the end

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TooOldForThisWhoCares Wed 12-Sep-18 14:20:05

It is really isn't it? I wish I could just chill the hell out a bit more.

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Wolfiefan Wed 12-Sep-18 14:21:55

We introduced a giant sighthound pup to cats. It took weeks and weeks!
The Blue Cross has great advice on this. Also a longline is your friend.

CMOTDibbler Wed 12-Sep-18 14:35:20

I know, but it's totally normal. My dogs have always lived with cats without being an issue after they learnt, but introducing a new cat has taken months to stop ddog2 shouting at her

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