Can I train Ned to not chase cats? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Can I train Ned to not chase cats?

My in-laws have recently moved nearby and they have a cat. My mother-in-law wants to be able to leave the cat with me when they travel, but so far Ned's interactions with the cat have not been good. They met when he was 9 weeks old and they didn't even acknowledge each other. Then, they saw each other over the holidays when Ned was around 5 months old. He would chase after her whenever she came in view and then jump on furniture trying to get to her when she was perched up high. She wacked him in the face a few times, but she is de-clawed so I doubt it was very aversive to Ned.

This weekend, they had their first encounter in my in-laws new house. He immediately chased after her until she hid behind a chair and my husband had to restrain him while my mother-in-law carried the cat to another room and locked her in there. Ned was whining and trying to get to the cat the rest of the visit. He seems to view her the same way he views rabbits, squirrels, and prey. He has a high prey drive with small furry or feathery things. He is so sweet with kids and small dogs, but that gentleness does not translate to other species. I don't know if there is any way to change that.

My mother-in-law thinks that they just need to spend more time together, but I'm not sure that would change anything.

I would like to be able to keep the cat in the future, but I'm not sure that it would be a good idea if I would have to lock her up in a room by herself the entire time and have Ned whining about it.

Does anyone have any advice?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 04:39 PM
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My dogs do fine with my cats but have NEVER been allowed to chase them. Any dog with a high prey drive is going to chase anything that runs. If you want to kitty sit you might invest in a dog run so you can put the dog out and give the cat a break or pup the dog in a crate.

Once they have been allowed to chase it's an uphill battle. Doable but going to take a ton of work. Keep on a leash, make sure you have taught a really, really strong leave it command. Teach a really strong sit/down command so you have an alternate behavior and a diversion to the chase.
Never yell at the dog in pursuit without the training first, self defeating. I would never trust leaving this dog in the same room as the cats off leash.

So basically to answer you question, yes the dog can learn. It's up to you to provide obedience classes and get control. Keep the dog on a leash at all times you have the cat or put the pup in a crate.

BUT.... I have no idea how old this dog is or how long it's been allowed to hunt critters so keep this in mind with my suggestions. You can't fight mother nature once it's an established behavior, not completely. Practice safety of the cat first!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 02:52 AM
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You can train them but it will take some work on your part. The process will require formal obedience training as well as fetch it and leave it. (It's going to take considerably more effort than a couple of weekends and a handful of treats.)

"You own what you condone." ~ Mike Lardy
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 06:52 AM
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Yeah, of course, you can teach your dog not to chase the cat.
But firstly, I think it's necessary to keep a separate territory for the cat.
In the beginning, you can teach some simple commands to your dog to control its impulses before they have direct contact.
But seems that your dog and the cat has already met before. Then it will be more difficult to train for you, I guess.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 08:04 PM
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I think this is something that's much easier to do if it's been done right away. I was militant about making sure that Luna learned right away that the cat was off limits. She's elderly, diabetic and she was here first.

The cat being declawed is very unfortunate. The puppy would have learned a lesson when he got swatted but instead he learned that there's no repercussions for harassing the cat and chasing her is fun.

Unless you're completely committed to monitoring every interaction closely with the dog leashed for quick control, I'd ask your mom to board her somewhere while she's away for the cat's safety. She has no way to defend herself. A dog can kill a cat as fast as they shake a toy.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 10:56 PM
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I have 2 indoor and 1 outdoor cat. I am worried about this issue as well, when I bring our new boy home this fall. Our previous Golden was older when we got the cats and other dogs and there's never been an issue. So I guess the advice is to nip it right away and not allow the pup to chase the cats at all. I hope if they're in the same room that they'll get acquainted and play, unlike my two irish jack russells who just want to eat our cats!!
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