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Question
Posted by: Bev | 2011/11/25

resident dog wants to eat new kitten

My female x staffie/chow quivers when she sees the new kitten through the glass door. She sits there like a vulture waiting for something to drop dead so she can feast on it! In the house she sits outside the bedroom door where the new kitten is for hours and sometimes even sniffs under the door so hard I think her lungs will explode. I don''t trust her further than I can see her. How do I introduce these two without have to pry a dead Stuart out of Tessa''s jaws?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Bev, feel for you, this can be such a worrying situation! OK, try the following and if that doesnt work (some dogs will just not accept cats), then get in a professional behaviourist to help you.

Firstly, let the kitten sleep on a blanket for one or two nights, then place the blanket in the dogs bed. This will allow the dog to get the cats scent.
It may also be an idea to get a Good Behaviour Pheromone Collar from the vet to use for a month. this collar contains the pheromones that a mom dog releases and they help to calm the dog and make it feel more secure.

1. Get the kitty used to a crate/cat box first.
2. When she is used to it, place it on a table in the middle of the room and bring in the dog with an ample suppy of really nice treats and with the dog on lead.
3. Stand a good distance away from the crate and ask your dog to 'watch' you, and as it looks at you offer a treat immediately it glances at you and praise. do this over and over until you and the treat become more important than the cat.
4. Next step is to take ONE step closer to the kitten and repeat.
5. Gradually work closer and closer to the crate. Please do this very, very slowly. When the dog is close to the crate, let it smell the kitten, say 'watch' and treat profusely.
6. Next step is to practice the above with the kitten (in the crate) in various locations around the room.
7. When all this done and dog not reacting to kitten, then start again, but this time with somebody holding the kitten on their lap and getting gradually closer as above.
8. Next step is with dog still on lead and kitten walking and jumping around.
This sounds like a lot of work, but by practising constantly throughout the day and in different situations can be achieved relatively quickly. What we are actually doing is getting the dog to relate that when the kitten is around, nice things like great treats and verbal praise abound.

During this routine, keep the kitten and dog totally seperate so that the dog relates the treats and praise to the kitten.

I would also teach the dog an excellant 'leave' cue and also and excellant recall. Given the breed this may prove rather challanging and dont hesitate to get in professional help. Have a look at www.animal-behaviour.org.za for a professional near you. Good luck, thanks Scotty

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/11/26

Hi Bev, feel for you, this can be such a worrying situation! OK, try the following and if that doesnt work (some dogs will just not accept cats), then get in a professional behaviourist to help you.

Firstly, let the kitten sleep on a blanket for one or two nights, then place the blanket in the dogs bed. This will allow the dog to get the cats scent.
It may also be an idea to get a Good Behaviour Pheromone Collar from the vet to use for a month. this collar contains the pheromones that a mom dog releases and they help to calm the dog and make it feel more secure.

1. Get the kitty used to a crate/cat box first.
2. When she is used to it, place it on a table in the middle of the room and bring in the dog with an ample suppy of really nice treats and with the dog on lead.
3. Stand a good distance away from the crate and ask your dog to 'watch' you, and as it looks at you offer a treat immediately it glances at you and praise. do this over and over until you and the treat become more important than the cat.
4. Next step is to take ONE step closer to the kitten and repeat.
5. Gradually work closer and closer to the crate. Please do this very, very slowly. When the dog is close to the crate, let it smell the kitten, say 'watch' and treat profusely.
6. Next step is to practice the above with the kitten (in the crate) in various locations around the room.
7. When all this done and dog not reacting to kitten, then start again, but this time with somebody holding the kitten on their lap and getting gradually closer as above.
8. Next step is with dog still on lead and kitten walking and jumping around.
This sounds like a lot of work, but by practising constantly throughout the day and in different situations can be achieved relatively quickly. What we are actually doing is getting the dog to relate that when the kitten is around, nice things like great treats and verbal praise abound.

During this routine, keep the kitten and dog totally seperate so that the dog relates the treats and praise to the kitten.

I would also teach the dog an excellant 'leave' cue and also and excellant recall. Given the breed this may prove rather challanging and dont hesitate to get in professional help. Have a look at www.animal-behaviour.org.za for a professional near you. Good luck, thanks Scotty

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