Posted by: Taz | 2008/08/22

Need help with dog vs cats

Hi everybody

I was in tears last night!! I have two dogs and two cats (stay on a farm). The dogs and cats sleep by each other. During the week one of my friends came to me and asked if I don' t want to " adopt"  a 1 year old Jack Russel. The owners stay in a very small complex and they have to get rid of this dog. I said ok and they brought the dog 2 nights back. The thing is this dog doesn' t like my cats. She keeps barking at them. My cats doesn' t feel comfortable with this. And it hurts me so much to see how scared my cats are. They are not use to dogs barking at them!!! I tried everything!! I spray the dog with water when she barks at them. I picked her up to smell the cats. She smelled them, but starts barking as soon as I put her down. I even took her outside and left her there. If I give this dog back to her owners, they' ll have to take her to the SPCA. And she is such a lovely dog and a nice playmate for my small dog. Please, I' ll try anything!!!! I had a Foksie before, and he also had a lot of respect for my cats. Never barked at them. So I don' t believe it' s in a Jack Russel to hate cats...

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Taz

Difficult one!

My only bit of advice would be to give the cats their own space re room that the dogs do not have access to and cant come close and sniff at the door. Put a covered litter box and a Feliway diffuser in for the cats. At least they can escape to their safe haven, eat and pee there as well.

The cats may just sort the dog out if he comes to close and things may settle down after a while.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Carol | 2008/08/22

Terriers generally have a high prey drive which can make their interactions with cats problematic.

The jackie is only a year old however and can be trained , I would suggest making sure the cat has a " safe"  place and supervising carefully.

In the meantime get jackie to doggie school.

AND what WR says is spot on ... the second you see the jackie being quiet and calm .. praise and treat

Reply to Carol
Posted by: WR | 2008/08/22

Well, it doesn' t sound like the dog is agressive towards the cats, so in my opinion, give it a while. If she sees the non-reaction of the other dogs towards the cats, she will hopefully calm down. DO NOT give her ANY attention when she barks at them - not positive or negative. The moment she stops, tell her what a good girl she is, and even give her a treat.
It is not that she ' hates'  cats - she is obviously just not used to them. She' ll probably never br mates with them, but she can be taught to tolerate them.
Give it a while - and be VERY consistent with your praise/ award etc.

Good luck!

Reply to WR

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