Since the end of time, dogs and cats have been considered the biggest enemies, but the truth is that in many cases, dogs and cats can live happily together under the same roof and can even become best buddies.
If you are planning on adding a new pet to your home and want it to be as safe as possible, it is vital to consider whether the pets will get along together, and especially if one of them will not hurt or potentially kill the other.
So, how to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats before placing your pets in obvious danger?
The truth is that while both cats and dogs can be loving companions, they not always can live together happily and safely.
Often, the reason is that the dog has not been socialized or trained properly, and its upbringing can lead to aggression towards your cat.
In any case, you should watch for such signs of aggression and address them before any incidents occur.
So, read on to find out more on how to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats and what you can do about it.
Signs that your dog is aggressive towards cats
You can tell that your pup is not ok with the cat and may pose a danger to it if it does one or more of the following:
- It barks incessantly behind the door where a cat is situated
- It shows signs of aggression such as growling and attacking when its sleeping area or food bowl is approached
- It stares at the cat threateningly
- It blocks the path of another dog or cat
- It assumes a tall and stiff position
- It growls at other pets and strangers
- It lunges at people
- It bites
- It chases cats, dog, or other animals
What can trigger a dog’s aggression towards cats
The lack of socializing and gradual introduction
By throwing a cat and dog into one living space without the proper introductions and precautions can cause chaos and can even be life-threatening for one or both of the pets.
Dogs rely on their sense of smell, and any unusual smell can cause them to feel threatened. So, you need to introduce the animals to one another by gradually:
- Using a safe, see-through barrier between the two when they first meet
- Keep the safety barrier dividing them until they seem comfortable with seeing each other
- Use positive reinforcement with praises and treats to reward your dog when it is acting friendly toward the cat
- Make sure you meet your puppy with a variety of different dogs, cats, and people from an early age so that it gets used to meeting new people and animals
Lack of behavioral and obedience training
Your dog may be displaying aggressive behavior towards cats due to the lack of proper training. The lack of behavioral training can encourage pups to follow their instinctive actions, including chasing and killing cats. Lack of behavioral and obedience training can also lead to other undesired and dangerous activities, such as disregarding rules, personal borders, and threatening behavior.
In order to ensure that your dog is properly trained, you should:
- Teach it the basic commands and use them when you notice that your dog is becoming aggravated in the presence of the cat. some of the basic commands you should use include: “no,” “stop,” or “leave it.”
- You can use positive reinforcement and treats to distract the dog from the cat and to reward its good behavior towards the cat
In most cases, aggressive behavior by dogs towards cats can be corrected with proper behavior training. This, though, requires consistency, patience, and using the right training techniques.
It is essential to train your dog’s social skills around cats, dogs, people, and other animals if you want to prevent dangerous situations and to live in harmony and love with all of your beloved pets.