Does your dog chase your cat (whether in play or aggressively)? If so, here are some tips:
One important thing you can do is designate a safe space for your cat with a baby gate. Whatever room you keep his food and litter box in is good. I have a baby gate in that doorway for mine because Marilyn loves to try to engage my cat, Tibalt in play with vocalizations and play bows, but Tibalt wants no part of it. When she is bugging him, he jumps over the baby gate and looks at her like “yeah, that’s right, leave me be!”
Desensitize your dog to the cat’s presence slowly by having him on a leash and the cat on the other side of a baby gate, then stand with your dog at a good distance from the cat and ask him to “sit” and “stay”. When he complies, reward him with praise and a treat. Then walk him away from where the cat is.
Gradually, bring him closer and closer to the gate, each time asking him to sit and stay. You will see him relax. His face will soften and his body will relax. He will learn that the cat is linked to rewards and praise and eventually learn to ignore the cat altogether.
If he tries to lunge for the cat, remove him for a training process and then repeat the exercise at a further distance from the cat, thereby lowering the intensity of the exercise. Never punish him for reacting to the cat, because this only increases his arousal level and teaches him that bad things happen when the cat is close by.
Remember to always keep your cat’s safety in mind and that even with successful training, you should separate him from the cat when you are not around to supervise. 🙂
** This training tip is offered with the assumption that your dog already knows “sit” and “stay.” If not, I urge you to seek obedience training for your pooch!