Dogs love to chase things, and this behavior results from their instincts. Mostly, dogs love chasing cats. We thought of sharing some practical tips to stop dogs from chasing cats.
Did you know that dogs descended from the Canis family? Dogs have a history that draws back thousands of years, and they were initially identified as hunting animals. However, over time, dogs were domesticated, and it did not take much time for them to become perfect human companions.
We no longer consider dogs as hunting or wild animals, but they still have certain characteristics they inherited from their ancestors. Dogs are undoubtedly loyal and friendly animals, but they also have assertive temperaments within them, which they inherit from birth.
Therefore although they are domesticated, they are still driven by their instincts. This is why dogs chase after small animals such as cats. If this tends to bother you, this article will help you to find some solutions.
Dogs are playful and curious animals; moreover, they have prey instinct, at least to a small extent. So it is not bizarre to see your pet dog chase after cats. Suppose your pet dog always chases cats and tries to be aggressive; if that is the case, it might worry you.
So, How to stop dogs from chasing cats? One can do several things to address this issue; they include teaching basic commands, obedience training, socialization, and rewarding good behavior. Also, drawing dog’s attention to something else before the chase would be useful.
A dog’s temperament is something they inherit from birth; therefore, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to eliminate it completely. Nevertheless, if you take the required actions, you can teach your dog to behave and reduce unacceptable behavior.
As mentioned, prey drive is a common instinct for dogs, and dogs will demonstrate their prey drive on certain occasions. Other factors can also make them chase cats, depending on the context. Keep reading this article to learn how to stop your dog from chasing after cats.
Why do dogs chase cats?
If you own a pet dog, I bet you have seen it chasing after small animals from time to time; especially if you have cats around, your dog will likely chase them.
Some dogs relatively have more prey drive compared to others; either way, more or less, every dog naturally inherits a hunting instinct. Dogs are domestic animals, yet natural hunters. Prey instinct is the key reason that thrives dogs chase cats.
Dogs that have a high prey drive see moving things as their prey. Guard dogs and watchdogs often demonstrate this behavior. So if you have a cat in your home or neighborhood, such dogs will indeed chase after cats because of the intense prey drive.
Furthermore, dogs tend to be very secure about their territory. Hence territorial dominance can also make a dog chase after cats. A dog that grows up in a home considers it as its territory.
Dogs will indicate their territorial behavior when someone enters that area, whether it is a person or another animal. Suppose a dog and a cat live under the same roof; if the dog is highly concerned about its territory, there are many chances that it will chase the cat.
Although we consider prey instinct as the primary motive for a dog to chase cats, there are multiple reasons for this behavior. As said earlier, the prey drive of the dogs varies according to the dog’s breed.
So does that mean dogs with less prey drive do not chase cats? They might not chase cats as much as dogs with high prey drive do, but there are instances where they also chase cats.
Dogs with minimal prey drive go after small animals as a fun activity and to get out of boredom. Dogs have curious minds that make them explorers, which is another reason why they love to chase cats. If your dog is bored and wants to pass its time, it will find chasing an ideal activity.
Encouraging behavior can sometimes make dogs keener to chase after cats. If your pet dog chases cats and you do not take any action to avoid this matter, that will likely encourage the dog to pursue this behavior. The sooner you act, the better you can solve the problem.
How to stop dogs from chasing cats?
If chasing is a behavior that dogs inherit naturally, how can you stop it? As mentioned, you must know that this is not something you can entirely avoid. However, you can certainly minimize this behavior, which will help dogs and cats stay in harmony.
Below you can find some easy and effective ways to stop your dog from chasing cats.
Train your dog not to chasing cats
Training is a must for your pet dog, and it helps them to shape their characteristics and good behavior. Dogs require socialization to merge with others outside the family without making a fuss.
Therefore, as a dog parent, you should train your dog from the youngest age to make the training process easier and more fruitful. Dogs can be feisty, yet they are trainable. Start the training with basic commands and familiarize the dogs with them well.
Once your dog obeys the commands, you will find it less complex to control them. If your pet dog chase after a cat, use verbal commands to stop them.
When a dog is familiar with your commands from a young age, the dog knows what it should and shouldn’t do as soon as you give the command. That way, you can avoid dogs chasing cats.
Introduce Cats with proper socialization methods
If you are planning to raise a dog and a cat simultaneously, you must pay close attention to how they get along. A proper introduction will always make it easy for both animals to connect.
Your goal should be to convince your dog that the cat is not its prey. It will take some time for these two animals to be comfortable, so take things slow and let the animals be familiar with each other’s presence.
Once the dog is aware that the cat is also a part of the family, it will not try to chase, showing predator behavior.
Redirecting dogs’ attention before start chasing cats
Another way to prevent a dog from chasing a cat is by redirecting its behavior. When a dog is about to chase a cat, you can clearly notice it. In such a case, you can redirect the dog’s behavior before they start the chase.
Draw the dog’s attention to you so they will get distracted from the cat. As said, dogs chase cats because of predator behavior and also just because they are bored.
Boredom will thrive the dog to keep themselves busy doing something, and there are fair chances that they will chase after small animals like cats. Make sure you keep the dog company when cats are around.
You can give your dog a play toy or maybe a treat. Positive reinforcement techniques help to redirect your dog’s behavior and stop them from chasing cats. However, you should also be mindful of rewarding the dog only when they show good behavior.
How to stop dogs from chasing cats on walks?
Dogs and cats cohabit with one another, but it usually requires consistent training. If the dog lacks training, it might often show its predator behavior.
Training and socialization will help a dog to be amicable with a cat, but how would they react toward cats outside the house? Dogs eventually learn how to cope with cats living in the same place, yet they can still chase cats outside the home, especially when they go for a walk.
If your dog tries chasing cats on walks, here’s what you can do to address it.
Using a collar and leash
Setting some boundaries when you take your dog outside the house is important. Using a collar and a leash helps to keep the dog in control when you take it out.
The environment outside the house seems quite different to your dog, so they will be more curious and attentive outside. So they will likely chase after cats they meet on their walks.
By the use of a collar and leash, you can keep the dog under control. Until the dog is obedient, make sure not to let them go off the collar and leash.
Reward when dog didn’t chase a cat
You can use positive reinforcement to address this concern as well. Dogs like to receive appreciation; therefore, reward them if they show good behavior.
Then the dog will get more encouraged to keep up the good behavior. If your dog attempts to chase a cat in the middle of a walk, use the commands and make it stop; if the dog obeys commands, you can give a small treat as a reward.
Final thoughts on stop dogs chasing cats
In this article, we discussed how to stop dogs from chasing cats. Dogs tend to chase cats due to their predator behavior, playful and curious characters, or even boredom.
Whatever reason motivates a dog to chase cats can be adequately mitigated if you take the right action at the right time.
Stay tuned with us for more interesting posts like this.