Dog-Cat Interraction Problem

Posted by drevilla
Sep 11, 2007
Well the fear aggressive Shih Tzu is doing much better but is now starting to get a little defensive/aggressive with one of my 4 cats... My husband does not interact with the dog much and the grey cat is my husbands cat really (they are buddies). The dog is 9-10 years old and was extremely abused before he came to live with me. He was in a foster home for about a year and I believe he was allowed anywhere and everywhere in the house.

The dog is very submissive with me (i think). He is working on his sit command and will sit and lay down and show his belly if he thinks he did something wrong etc.

Last night I fell asleep on the couch, the dog was on the floor next to me and my husband on the other couch reading. The grey cat started to come over to me (he likes to lay on your chest while you're sleeping) and the dog lunged, barked and snapped at the cat when he got close. I obviously woke up, told the dog no very loudly and layed him down on his pillow with my hand on his neck until he was very calm (didn't take more than 30 seconds). I then went and picked up the grey cat and sat with him on my lap right next to the dog to try to show him that the cat is allowed near me and is actually higher on the totem pole than the dog.

What can I do to make sure the cat and dog get along? Does the dog think he is alpha? What else can I do to show him that he is lowest on the totem pole?

He is not allowed on any furniture except his pillow and little carpet that are on the floor under the coffee table. He gets told "no" and is removed from the couches whenever he jumps up. The cats are allowed on the couches and bed though.

I have only had him for about 3 weeks and will not tolerate any fighting with the cats. The cats were there first and if I can not fix this, he will have to go back to his foster home.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Sep 14, 2007
Perhaps your dogs behavior is actually caused by fear.....he might be quite afraid of the cat, and so barks at them to protect himself. Maybe you need to spend some time showing your dog that there is nothing to be afraid of. You could try having both animals in the room (leave a door open so that the cat can escape if it needs to) and pet the cat, and while you are doing so, give the dog a treat. This should start a positive association with you showing the cats affection. of course you dont want to force the issue, but hopefully a slow series of positive reinforcement sessions will help change his attitude? Good luck!