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Boxer attacked my cat

Discussion in 'Behavioral Issues' started by Burden71, Mar 19, 2005.

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  1. Burden71

    Burden71 Boxer Pal

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    I am hoping someone can help me out.

    WE have a 3yr old female boxer that we have had for over a year. For over a year now she has coexisted with a male cat we have had for 7 yrs.

    Yesterday morning our cat came in after being out all night and was a wet furball. My wife was drying the cat off and out of no where our boxer attacked the cat. Before my wife knew it our boxer had the cat in its mouth and was shaking the cat back and forth.

    After 30 - 40 secs of this attack my wife was able to get our cat free from the boxer and out the front door.

    The whole time my wife was yelling and beating/pulling on our boxer trying to get her to stop attacking the cat.

    This was a fairly brutal attack and we havent found our cat (my guess is the cat is dead) my wife is in disbelief at the moment.

    We boarded our boxer for a few days until we can figure out what to do with her.

    We have a 10 yr old daughter and are very very concerned about this attack.

    This attack was sudden and unforseeable and our trust in our boxer is basically gone.

    My wife now has come to the realazation that if our boxer decides to attack she (or I) won't be able to stop her.

    I'm basically hoping to get some information that can help us decide what we should do with our Boxer. Has anyone else had problems with Boxers attacking there cats?

    We had another boxer for 7 years before that lived with a few different cats and never had any problems at all.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Bers

    Bers Banned

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    My guess would be that something triggered your boxer's prey instinct and she was no longer really in control of what she was doing. I've read about the same thing with large dogs who live their whole lives with small dogs, and one day they see the little one as prey for some reason and kill it. Usually when the little dog becomes frightened or hurt and begins acting in a way that the larger dogs see as prey behaviors, like screaming, flopping around, running in circles. The grabbing/shaking behavior is meant to do serious harm, not a playful thing at all, as I'm sure you're aware after this terrible event.

    However, it's important to remember that prey instinct is something very different from aggression and should not be treated as such. Even aggression directed toward animals is a completely separate thing from aggression toward humans. So I would really think long and hard before making any decision hastily, even though I can only imagine the horror and pain you and your wife must feel, and especially your feeling that a trusting element of your relationship with your dog has been lost.

    I hope you can find your cat and nurse him back to health, and I hope in the long run you can find a solution that is best for everyone involved: you, your family, your boxer and your poor kitty. I myself have three kitties and one male boxer, and have worried about just this type of thing happening. I don't think it's typical of boxers, or any other breed, just a survival instinct that is hard-wired in the dog's brain and one day comes roaring to the surface, much to the heartache and dispair of the people who love both animals. I'm sorry this happened to you. :(
     
  3. sgbtab

    sgbtab Banned

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    I am so sorry for what happened. and I hope you find your kitty cat. fighting is very scary and it is very hard to break them apart. although you did not have a fight you had a one sided attack. all I know is just because your dog attack your cat does not mean that he would attack humans. it is possible since your cat was wet that the cat could have had a scent on him from eating a small animal as a mouse and since the cat was wet he would not have smelt the same and that threw your dog off. was he ever aggressive before with the cat? or was this an isolated incident? these are questions you need to ask yourself before you do anything. how is the dog now? hope this helps. some times when this or dog fights happen we get so upset that we forget that these are animals and not humans. as humans we can decifer what is a threat and what is not. dogs can not they need there scents to help and it really is quite possible that your cat did not smell the same good luck and let us know how your cat is doing.
     
  4. adonofrio

    adonofrio Boxer Pal

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    I've had a similiarly frightening experience with an 11 year old female boxer that we rescued a few years back and who has since gone over the rainbow bridge. We got Tanya at 11 years old and one day while over my mothers house, Tanya saw my mothers cat and took a flight of stairs in 3 leaps and got the cat by the back of the neck and started violently shaking him. I was mortified and do not believe in hitting dogs, but had to hit her on the nose to make her release the cat. I was certain that if I did not hit her she would have killed the cat. Thank god the cat lived, but it was horrific. My mother was screaming and crying. I later called the previous owner who told me that he used to keep Tanya tied up on a porch in Atlantic City and as if that's not horrible enough, there was cat that used to torment Tanya and at one point the cat raked Tanya across the face and Tanya was tied up and probably quite frustrated. So I'm sure that seeing my mothers cat triggered a memory that made her react.

    Before and after this incident, Tanya was the sweatest dog to both adults and children and never showed any agressive tendancy to anybody other than cats. Since we didn't have cats , we lived fine with her, but just had to be careful and keep her on leash when visiting houses with cats.

    I'm terribly sorry to hear about your incident and I will pray that you find your cat healthy & happy. Do you know of the history of your boxer in the 2 years prior to your owning her? I'm sure she probably had a similiarly horrible memory with a cat that triggered that behavior. Since she's lived with the cat for an entire year without incident, it's possible that something about the cat being wet triggered a memory. Perhaps your boxer was had a bad memory with a squirrel or skunk or something and the wet cat being dried triggered a bad memory.

    I tend to agree with the other folks in this thread that the reaction towards the cat does not necessarily mean that the dog would be aggressive towards children. Although I completely understand your concern. Like I said Tanya was really good with kids and even sat still when my nephew (3 years old at the time) tried planting a dandelion in her ear when I wasn't looking. She didn't even growl.

    Is your boxer affectionate towards the kids and other family members or standoffish with them? Do you know if your boxer had any abuse in her past?

    I hope that you find your cat healthy and happy and that you and your family can get past this and find a solution that works for you all and your boxer.

    Regards,
    -Annette
     
  5. BeckyNC

    BeckyNC Boxer Insane

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    Good grief! I'm sorry to hear about what you've been going through. Have you considered consulting with a behaviorist? That would be the first thing I might do. Maybe I'd talk to my vet first, then a behaviorist.

    Some dogs naturally have high prey drives, but it sounds as if your girl just went nuts for some reason unknown to you.

    My girl has a very high prey drive. I adopted her through rescue, but the first woman who tried to adopt her sadly had to return her b/c she had some cats and also fed some strays and Tae went nuts on two occasions (within a week) and killed two of the strays. She goes bonkers now over cats, but we haven't had any close enounters, thank gosh, and hopefully we never will.
     
  6. Nikki C

    Nikki C Boxer Buddy

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    Our oldest cat, DJ, is the same age as Zen so they have grown up together and a part from some play fighting (play on Zen's behalf and fighting on DJ's behalf) they are okay. DJ can hold his own! We have had our adopted cat, Narni, for nearly a year and she is still unsure about Zen and he still chases her given the chance (we tell him off if he does). I have always trusted Zen with our cats (I sometimes leave him and the cats together in the house while I dash to the supermarket) and have never had any problems. But after reading the previuos threads I am now much more weary which can only be a good thing. I have noted that when I take Zen for a walk he loves to chase cats. I'm not sure as to whether he would deliberately hurt one and I hope I never get the chance to find out.
     
  7. sami

    sami Boxer Buddy

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    what a horrible experience for your wife and you. I hope you can work things out without having your dog pay for it for the rest of his life.
     
  8. courtney323

    courtney323 Energetic Moderator<br><img src="/forums/images/mo

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    Burden71 -

    Please post your Introduction, per the RULES

    :)
     
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