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Is my new dog going to eat our 2 cats?

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by matilda8255, Dec 12, 2002.

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  1. matilda8255

    matilda8255 Boxer Insane

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    My husband and I just adopted a 3year old Boston Terrier who was given up for adoption because the owners had a newborn and the dog allegedly is not good with small children. We have 2 cats at home 1 male and 1 female both between 2 and 3years. We have installed a kitty door in our bedroom so the cats have a "safe place" to go and they have yet to come out when the dog is around...even if he is in his crate. After everyone had everyones scent we walked the dog on a leash into the bedroom where he immediately lunged and tried to nip at the smaller of our cats. We are now at the point where he will not lunge immediately but will sit when told to sit (of course, still on the leash) around the cats but he shakes like oh mom, pleeeeaaaasseee let me at those kitties!! Oh, and I can't forget this morning, after I had left the house my husband calls to tell me that he heard a bunch of barking so he went upstairs and sure enough the dogs head was fully in the kitty door and he was barking at them with tail wagging...(one cat stood, puffed tail right in front of the kitty door while the other hid under the bed) So my questions to anyone and everyone are these:
    How do I figure out if the dog is trying to eat the cats or just trying to play with them?
    If he was not good with little kids does this mean chances are he probably won't be good with cats either?
    Should I be worried that the cats won't come out of their safe place?
    Any and all help or suggestions would be appreciated:)
     
  2. ssleighter

    ssleighter Completely Boxer Crazy

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    I'll be watching this post carefully, since we are developing some of the same issues with our Rescue boxer Ginger! She killed a rat in the back yard the other day, so now I'm wondering, if she killed the rat, will she try to kill the cats?

    She also wags her tail when she sees them and will leave them alone if they don't move, but if one runs or becomes defensive she gets really excited. At that point I separate them because I know it would only take one bite and the cat would be gone. It's tough! We also have a cat door and are installing two more this weekend. Sometimes the cats get trapped by the office or guest rooms so we are installing them on those doors so the cats have an out if they're trapped.

    I only hope that in time Ginger will ignore them totally.
     
  3. matilda8255

    matilda8255 Boxer Insane

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    misery loves company

    Thanks for your reply:) misery loves company...and let me tell you, I had no idea how stressful this could be!! we have been working on this for a month and are beginning to have serious doubts that they will ever get along. I am actually going to try to call our local spca this weekend to see if they will cat test him (I hear the spca will do this) not that it would be 100% but I feel like I would know a little more..You may want to see if your local spca does this kind of testing. After work today I am attempting another meeting (or at least going to try and get the cats out of their safe place) I will let you know how it goes....
     
  4. ssleighter

    ssleighter Completely Boxer Crazy

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    misery loves company...too true

    We've had Ginger for almost two months now, but we purposely kept the cats and her separated until her and Hammer worked out their issues and started playing great together.

    We've held Merlin on our laps and let Ginger lick him and sniff him and that goes just great, it's the chasing and cornering that bothers both Merlin and Morgan. Morgan I don't think will ever really like the dogs but she pretty much ignores Hammer. She sees Ginger though, and she's off!!

    Good luck with the cat testing! I will certainly call our local SPCA! Thanks for the tip. Let me know how it works out for you, because if I was sure she wouldn't hurt them I'd let them chase away until they grew tired of that game.
     
  5. bustermom

    bustermom Boxer Insane

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    Well, I've had Bostons for ages and I will tell you that every one has had a strong prey drive, and they can be very persistent.

    My current BT will chase anything small and furry and sees cats as fair game. :( Fortunately, we don't have any but the neighbor's cats won't come near our yard after one too many close calls.

    Remember that while they're not categorized as terriers, BT's do come from terrier ancestry and have a strong hunting instinct. Compared to our goofy boxers :D, they can be very focused and intense.

    It's hard to speculate what your BT's reaction would be if he could actually reach the cats - I'd honestly have to say it could go either way. If he's never been around them before, then they're prolly just awesome toys right now.

    You may be able to teach him to leave them alone or ignore them, but it's going to take a lot of work. Is he solid on the "leave it" or "drop it" command? Before you try closer introductions, make sure he'll reliably drop any coveted toy when told.

    I don't want to paint a bleak picture for you, but having had so many BT's, I feel obligated to advise a good deal of caution. The cats are young enough that they can probably manage to stay out of his way, and a few scratches and hisses from them may very well be enough to make him avoid them.

    You can also try holding a cat on your lap on the couch while someone else keeps the Boston on a leash and lets him sniff around you and the cat. When he looks away from it, treat and praise him. Rewarding him for ignoring the cat on a consistent and frequent basis can't hurt. Ignoring them is better than chasing them.

    Sorry so long - I guess I'm just trying to say be careful! Keep us posted on how the cat test goes - I'm curious to see what they find out. :)
     
  6. matilda8255

    matilda8255 Boxer Insane

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    Wow, thanks for the information and for making me lol, persistance, focused and intense precisely describes our BT as well as smart as a whip, I swear he ignores us on purpose sometimes...Actually, we think that our BT may have some boxer in him and my sister owns a boxer that is how I came across this board. We did try the one person hold the cat and one hold the dog, this is when he nipped and lunged at her and have not been brave enough to try again. However, our female cat did come halfway down the stairs last evening, until she saw the dog (who was leashed) and they had a huge staring contest, she then ran back upstairs. He was a good boy and did not try to lunge, and did not bark but couldn't take his eyes off her. This is partly what really concerns me, we cannot get his attention when he sees either cat, not even with treats....Well, I am going to call the SPCA tonight to see if what I read is true and see if they will do the cat testing I will keep you posted.
     
  7. matilda8255

    matilda8255 Boxer Insane

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    Wow, thanks for the information and for making me lol, persistance, focused and intense precisely describes our BT as well as smart as a whip, I swear he ignores us on purpose sometimes...Actually, we think that our BT may have some boxer in him and my sister owns a boxer that is how I came across this board. We did try the one person hold the cat and one hold the dog, this is when he nipped and lunged at her and have not been brave enough to try again. However, our female cat did come halfway down the stairs last evening, until she saw the dog (who was leashed) and they had a huge staring contest, she then ran back upstairs. He was a good boy and did n
     
  8. ssleighter

    ssleighter Completely Boxer Crazy

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    That's a great idea! We do encourage Ginger to ignore them, but I hadn't thought of treats smashicon ! We praise her and rub her of course, but haven't rewarded her with food! We are actually thinking of getting a muzzle and just letting them do their thing and see what happens. The cats are declawed (front) so I don't see any danger to Ginger in doing this. Our main fear is that she'll bite suddenly and we won't have a chance to stop it, it would only take one crunch since both of our cats are relatively small. If she hadn't killed that rat, and been so proud of herself when she did it, I wouldn't be this worried because she really acts like she likes them when she sees them. But maybe she "likes" them in a different way than we think...
     
  9. myrocky

    myrocky Boxer Insane

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    Don't let them stare at each other. You can break the stare even if you have to stand in the middle. The stare is like a challenge and if indeed the BT (I think BTs are cutie pies! :D ) is cat agressive this would not be good.

    This might be able to be worked on though, so have faith. You might have to call in some professional help :) In my expierence cat agressive dogs don't waste time sniffing or staring. They see a cat and they just go for it, lunging and growling like no tomorrow. My poor Jing is the cat tester sometimes for rescue so we have seen it first hand. She's pretty easy going, once the boxer is under control again she just goes and gets something to eat :p :p Oh, and always always have the dog leashed around the cats if you are unsure. If they go after one it is lightening quick and you want to be able to have control.
     
  10. matilda8255

    matilda8255 Boxer Insane

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    Well, that is encouraging...we haven't experienced any growling and only the initial lunge and nip...I will certainly stand in the way during the next staring contest thanks for the tip.....SSleighter, I am thinking the same exact thing...maybe he "likes" them in a different way than we think and he just really strong so any rough play could potentially really hurt the cats 12 and 15lbs. As for drop it/leave it. He is really pretty good with drop it, he will drop his favorite toy when we say drop it but is not 100%, sometimes he wants to play tug of war instead of dropping it but we are working on it (I certainly don't want him playing tug of war with one of the cats!!). As for leave it, I have just been reading on how to train a dog to leave it...I am going to work with him this weekend on it..Thanks for everyone's support and Jing, you must be one heck of a brave kitty you go kitty:D
     
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