Cat killer

Posted by Gillydog
Jul 5, 2008
Just taken on a english springer rescue dog (bitch 4 years old) not informed
that she not only did not like cats but will kill if can only get at them and will
get into peoples gardens to get at them, in every other way this dog is wonderfull, not a problem with other dogs, people, children or my puppy, need help quickly!
Posted by Todd
Jul 14, 2008
Hi there and thanks for the post.

This is one of the hardest problems to solve and many people fail.
It is very hard to catch your dog in the act so you can reprimand them but lets go over some ideas.

Start with obedience as this is the most important issue to deal with. Work with your girl for 10 minutes twice a day in a quiet secluded area on the basic commands of sit, stay and come.
Having these under control is the easiest way to stop any problems.

Now getting a cat to walk around so you can help train her is way too far out.
But what we can try to do is use a cat cut out on the fence or on a stick to simulate a cat moving around.
So move this around. If your girl gets out of control and starts getting aggressive either barking, growling, rushing or anything she needs to be told off. You need to use a loud GRRRRR as well as a squirt with a water pistol or throwing a blanket over her.

After she gets over it ask her to sit and praise her if she responds.

Use the same process if you see that she sees a cat and gets aggressive. Another idea is to put her on a long line so that you can control her. As she gets better behaved with real cats or the cut out give her more and more line. Every few days she improves and doesn't react then give her another metre of line.

Good luck with her. This is a very frustrating problem and please feel free to get hold of me whenever you need help

Posted by gjrupert
Jul 14, 2008
Hi there, wanted to give you some hope that this "is" possible to work through. We also just rescued a dog with some pretty serious aggression issues, and was violently so with my 3 cats. We feel certain that, if he could have gotten to them, he definitely would have killed them. We 1st very strictly and consistently enforced the alpha rules, and began with basic obedience training. At the same time, we pretty much did what Todd has suggested, which is desensitized him from the cats. In our case, the cats were inside, so I put up a mesh door gate, separating the dogs from the cats. He could watch them, smell them, etc but not touch. Every time he would act violent, growl, etc at them we used the grrr & "off" command. We would make him sit until he would relax, and then praise him for his calm, relaxed behaviour. He would be so intense on them, he would shake! After about a month of this, we allowed (1) cat into his area (while he was leashed). If he acted like he was going to chase, etc. we would grrr, "off", make him sit, praising for calm behaviour. Over & over, this took almost 3 months.
Now, we all happily exist together! He may watch them, but his tail is wagging! So, good luck - it can be done & well worth the effort! P.S. THANK YOU FOR RESCUEING!!!! THEY COME WITH BAGGAGE, BUT MOST CAN BE CURED WITH DISCIPLINE & LOVE!