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Stopping your dog’s aggressive behavior is an important part of every successful training.
When we talk about the relationship between a dog and a cat, we are all aware of its complexity. Both dogs and cats can be aggressive towards each other and that can cause accidents and injury to both of the animals.
Training your dog to coexist with your cat or keep a friendly attitude towards outdoor cats will not only protect your pets from possible injuries or accidents, but it will also make your dog a lot more mature.
Basics Of Dog Aggression
In order to properly deal with the issue, we first need to identify it.
Understanding how the psychology of a dog really works is the first step towards training them to be quiet and less aggressive.
Dogs are by nature aggressive when they feel frightened or threatened. Alpha leader dogs can also become combative towards other animals because they want to feel that they have the upper hand.
Dogs have lived for centuries in packs. Every pack has a leader.
If you are very soft with your dog or if you make all of its wishes come true, then you may well be letting it have the upper hand in every situation.
This results in it showing aggressive or even violent behavior against other animals, including cats, other dogs or even humans.
Some Causes Of Aggression
Apart from the inherent nature of dogs, there are other reasons that could account for the aggressive behavior of your dogs towards a cat. Traumatic past experiences are among the most common causes of it.
Cats can be aggressive towards dogs as well. If a cat attacked your dog in the past, then it may have developed a fear and it may see them as a threat in general.
It is also possible that both your dog and your cat are competing for your attention and in the process, they become competitive towards each other.
Another common cause of a dog’s aggression is a recent illness or injury. Various medical conditions are capable of irritating your dog and making it more aggressive towards other animals. Bone fractures, arthritis, tumors, and lacerations may provoke the onset of such aggression.
When your dog displays sudden aggressive behavior, it is a good idea to notify your vegetarian before you take up other measures.
Dog owners should not give any medications to their dog to treat aggressive behavior, like downers, as this may result in serious side effects and make the whole situation a lot worse.
Cats are usually more territorial than dogs. That being said, they may be responsible for a fight with your dog over the place they consider their own property.
In order to stop such a conflict, and better yet prevent it from happening, you should make sure that each animal understands the boundaries of your house and yard. The place is not theirs and they are not the leaders of it.
By making them understand that you are the owner of the place, they will learn to behave with more obedience and not fight over their territory.
Providing your dog with a proper training is really important, particularly if you are a new pet owner without experience.
Owners could try and perform training sessions at home. During this period, you will teach your pet to be obedient and understand your commands.
Among the very first things it needs to understand is the word ”no”. Making it come to terms with what is right and wrong will help it in the future when he starts communicating with other pets, including cats and other dogs (see our article on dog-to-dog aggression).
If you discover, however, that the problem is beyond your abilities, we recommend that you seek the help of a professional dog trainer in some form. Dog trainers are experts in training dogs with similar issues and they will surely provide your dog with proper training and quick results.
If paying for the expensive services of a dog trainer is out of your budget, there is a very economic solution available.
A certified dog trainer with well over a decade of experience working with clients has created an online program and community for dog owners.
He is known as Doggy Dan, and he has figured out that dog aggression fundamentally boils down to learning how to calm your dog down so it can regain control of its emotions.
This dog aggression rehabilitation package is substantial, and it costs a tiny fraction of what you would pay for the services of a typical dog trainer.
You can alternatively read my review of Doggy Dan’s program.
Punishment and Discipline
If you catch your dog displaying aggressive behavior towards a cat, you should make it understand that you strongly disapprove of such behavior.
The use of effective punishments is an important factor in this regard. Owners should make sure that they don’t use excessive or aggressive punishment; this could only make things worse and even set off violent behavior by your dog in return.
So, what is the most effective punishment for your dog?
There are a variety of punishments you can use for your dog when it is not behaving. The most common one is to isolate your dog for a while, depriving it of its favorite toys. Alternatively, you can deprive your dog of a nice treat, like its favorite piece of food.
Owners should make sure that their dog receives the punishment exactly after it has misbehaved. That way, it will connect the punishment with its action and will gradually learn to avoid repeating it in the future.
Bring them together.
Socializing your dog with your cat or with cats that hang around the neighborhood is an effective way to ensure that they can live together in peace. However, you should proceed slowly.
In order to make your dog be around a cat without being aggressive, it first needs to understand that the cat is not a threat. Letting the cat near you and treating it with care will make the dog realize that it is just another placid animal.
Again, it is important that you proceed really slowly at first. A good trick is to let the two animals come in through two different spaces of your house that are connected through a small door. Allow them to smell each other’s scent and watch out for signs of aggression.
If you hear your dog growling, barking, snapping or snarling, then you know that it is not yet ready to be around the cat calmly. On the other hand, if you see that your dog stays quiet, open the door a bit to let the animals see each other.
Make the cat part of the household.
There is a chance that the small size of a cat makes it look like prey to your dog. This can make your dog aggressive towards it or try to hunt it down.
Making sure that the cat is part of the household and receives equal treatment in your house will make your dog accept it more easily. Dogs with a high prey drive may need to be trained in different quarters from the cat to avoid incidents.
Exercise your dog on a daily basis.
Pet owners usually fail to understand the importance of regular exercising.
Letting your dog play outside for a sufficient amount of time daily will ensure that his energy is released somewhere else. High-intensity trick training can also make your dog physically satisfied, and therefore less prone to chasing a cat.
Proper exercising will keep your dog’s mind fresh and it will make it quieter and more peaceful when it comes in contact with a cat.
Keep their food and toys separate.
Even if your dog is on good terms with your cat, you should never let them share the same feeding bowl.
A cat is capable of walking towards your dog’s bowl and grabbing some food out of it. This may result in a fight between the two of them. You can’t really expect to make your dog less protective of his food.
You should also keep an eye on your pet’s toys. The competition over those toys can also cause a fight.
Books and movies often suggest to us that cats and dogs are mortal enemies. But that is obviously not true.
These two similar but different animals can actually manage to coexist and even become friends.
Training your dog to be friendly towards cats and avoid any aggressive behaviors takes both time and energy. Peace between your dog and cats will be better achieved if you manage to prevent such violent behaviors from appearing in the first place.
In order to achieve that, dog owners are advised to start from a dog’s young age and try to make it distinguish what is right and what is wrong. Socializing your dog with other animals and human beings from a young age can also make it act friendly towards them as it grows up.
If you’re interested in learning about Doggy Dan’s exercise program for calming dogs down, go here. Doggy Dan has over a decade of experience handling dog aggression for clients, including cat aggression.