The biggest question we get asked most often is, “how to train your dog not to chase cats ?”
Let’s face it, we’ve all heard the saying “fighting like cats and dogs”, but that doesn’t mean that cats and dogs can’t live in harmony with one another!
We have all seen scenarios where your dog just won’t stop staring at your cat, and any movement that your cat does may trigger your dog into a chase!
I’m sure that’s not what you envisioned when you decided to bring your two furry companions into your lives.
When learning how to train your dog not to chase cats, we have to understand a couple things about your cute pup.
“Why does my dog chase cats”
Predator By Nature
So “why does my dog chase cats?” you ask the truth is, your dog is a predator by nature, just as his wolf ancestors are.
Although dogs no longer need to hunt for food, the behavior of “chasing” has been genetically passed down and is a “self-reinforcing behavior.”
By “self-reinforcing behavior”, we mean that the behavior of chasing does not need to be rewarded with treats or food, as the act itself is gratifying and rewarding to your dog.
Chasing is a behavior that is essentially addictive to your dog, so the more chasing your dog does, the more he wants to chase! That’s the simple answer to “why does my dog chase cats”
But have no fear! Regardless of everything I just told you, there are ways to teach your dog what to chase (a toy) and what not to chase (your cat).
5 Ways How to Train Your Dog Not To Chase Cats
1. Set your dog up to succeed:
You want to set your dog up to succeed by not allowing your pup to continue to practice the behavior you don’t want. In this case, it’s chasing your cat. Remember chasing is addicting to your dog!
2. Start Training
Training is more than a sit and a come; it’s creating crystal clear communication, so your dog understands what’s being asked, and also understands what’s right and wrong.
3. Use your dog’s food to your advantage!
Your dog’s food is one of the most important tools you have at your disposal.
Every animal has to eat, so why not use your dog’s food to your advantage by rewarding your pup for paying attention to you in the presence of the cat?
4. Use the leash
The easiest way to manage your dog is to have him on the leash while you’re teaching him what behavior is and is not acceptable.
The last thing you want is to start making progress, and have your dog practice behaviors you don’t like, thus making it a habit.
5. You can teach your dog a “leave it” command, where you teach your dog to divert his attention elsewhere.
You can check out our video on how to teach “leave it” here.
Lastly, as a rule of thumb, you never want your dog jet focused, ears perked, starting at your cat!