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Thread: Dog that kills birds - aggressive towards cats?

  1. #1

    Dog that kills birds - aggressive towards cats?

    I am looking for opinions or experience with a dog that I am potentially going to adopt from a rescue group.
    Basically I was told by the foster person that the dog regularly kills birds and ducks, and I have 2 cats. The foster has a cat but told me that the cat didn't like this dog, so she is having her cat stay with a friend while she fosters this dog (a large American bulldog).

    Should I worry that this dog will try to kill my cats? If it kills birds regularly, can I just assume that it is going to be aggressive towards any smaller animals? I was told that the dog can be tested with a cat that the rescue group has (that is fast enough to escape any dog, which is why it is often used to test new rescue dogs' reaction to cats). I'm just very scared that, even if this dog gets along with that cat, it may (given the chance or left unsupervised for a few minutes) try to kill one of my cats.
    Has anyone ever had a dog that killed birds and ducks, but showed no aggression towards cats? This dog is very people-friendly, and apparently gets along well with other bulldog-breeds (like my dog). I'm obviously seriously concerned though, and looking for advice or experience with this issue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I have not heard of a dog that has a prey instinct that differentiates between birds and cats. I'd be very wary, for your kitty's sake.

    It immediately brought to mind a former Pet of the Day story, though it was not a cat but a llama that the dog attacked out of the blue one day.

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  3. #3
    I think that my instinct is correct and that I should keep looking for a different rescue dog. I also have a hard time believing that a dog that has killed birds and a duck would actually respect other animals (other than dogs) even if they live in the same house. I just don't see it happening, considering this dog has already apparently killed more than one or two birds, and a duck.

  4. #4
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    Well I think it all depends on the dog itself. I wouldn't adopt it till you observe the dog around cats first. Sounds like he has a prey drive if hes killed birds. Everydog I know owned that killed birds would possibly kill a cat if it ran from it.. Ask the shelter if you can view the dog around one of the shelter cats or take him for a trial at your home first.
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  5. #5
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    I think you should go with your instinct and look for another dog.

    Even if the dog tolerates the ca, it has a high prey drive. This means if a cat dashes about (and what cat doesn't at some point?) the prey drive will kick in and the dog will be on the trail.

    My dogs don't catch birds. My dogs get along great with my cats. Yet the one time one cat scooted out the door into the back yard (and hence was running freely with abandon loving the game of "mom, catch me if you can) the dogs set out after her. (They were already outside.) She had the sense to dash into the garage and up on the car. Back in the house, I noticed that when the cats rush around, the dogs do trail behind barking. Why I hadn't noticed it before I can't say.

    You will need to be alert constantly if you have that particular dog in the home. Constant alert is difficult to maintain.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tikeyas_mom
    Well I think it all depends on the dog itself. I wouldn't adopt it till you observe the dog around cats first. Sounds like he has a prey drive if hes killed birds. Everydog I know owned that killed birds would possibly kill a cat if it ran from it.. Ask the shelter if you can view the dog around one of the shelter cats or take him for a trial at your home first.
    I did some reading on a bulldogbreed forum and realized that even if this dog were to do okay with my cats, I wouldn't probably feel good about taking him to the dog park. My dog loves the dog park and is extremely well-behaved. He doesn't respond to dogs that bark at him, hump him, or show any aggression. He won't even acknowledge or play with them. From what I've read, bulldogs occasionally will pick fights, and even if they don't, a poorly trained and unsupervised dog can start a fight with your bulldog, and you bulldog will probably retaliate and be blamed because he will almost always come out on top. I think I'm going to find another boxer.
    What really concerns me is the fact that my dog, a boxer mix, has caught squirrels by putting his mouth on them, but lets them go/tries to play with them. I can't ever see him killing another animal. I think I'm going to avoid the other bulldog breeds and keep looking for a boxer. That was my original goal and I feel like I should just be patient and make sure I find a dog that won't create too much stress for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    It's good you did some more research on the breed. Not every breed is suited for everyone. Be sure to check the reputation for prey drive.
    Although my older husky grew up with cats, I wouldn't trust them together unsupervised for long periods. You just never know when the cat will do something that will spark that prey drive. (And my girl is as sweet as can be, but has killed rabbits, squirrels, birds, & possums.... all from the comfort of her kennel. When they got in, they didn't get out.)

  8. #8
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    I'd aggree with everyone else.. Prey drive is prey drive.. not select animal killing.
    Bunny likes to try and get... birds, squirrels, moles (found one dead one day.. not sure where it came from..... ), bugs, etc. We've had her on-leash around cats, back when J lived with her mom who had cats. She seems curious, but we never let them touch. Shes a boxer/sheppard so I figure its sheppard prey drive.

    Eli would never kill anything I dont think. I dont think most boxers would. Unless maybe they were just all around aggressive. I'd definitely make sure the dog was ok with your cat(s) before you sign the papers. I know cats take a while to warm up, but I'd definitely try and introduce them first and see.

    I dont think you'd have much of a problem finding a boxer to rescue. Seems to be lots around here anyways.

    Good luck!
    And Im jealous... I want another Boxer... They're such great, cuddly, friendly, loyal dogs!

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  9. #9
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    hmmm I don't know my dogs all chase birds, squirrels and ducks but none hurt or bother my cats...


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  10. #10
    Wow thanks for all of the replies. I quickly decided not to adopt that dog after reading things here and on other forums. Plus the dog apparently didn't do well with its cat test they did. They didn't tell me, but I did check back to the petfinder listing the other day, and I noticed an extra line in the middle that says "He is not good with cats." They threw it in there at some point in the past week.

    The person who personally rescued and helped us adopt our dog Petey told me that she had a wonderful AmStaff that ignored cats, was good with other dogs if properly introduced, and was very friendly. Friday I took Petey to meet this dog, and it showed no interest in people at all. It was too rough with Petey at first, but after Petey had about 15 minutes, he went back to her and they played all night. Unfortunately I don't think I want a dog that

    a) has to be muzzled in my city
    b) can't ever EVER go to the dog park
    c) wouldn't really trust around my cats
    d) wouldn't trust to play with Petey for even 30 seconds unsupervised
    e) shows no interest in affection or attention from people

    I'm definitely sticking with the boxer rescue group. Someone should be contacting me this week, and hopefully I can finally find the right dog. It actually took me until today to realize I don't want the AmStaff because it obviously isn't a good match. Is it obvious that I want to save every rescue dog? haha. Thanks for the replies though.

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