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Thread: My dog suddenly attacks my cat!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Chicagoland, IL

    Unhappy My dog suddenly attacks my cat!

    Help! Just recently, my dog (a 5 year old shih tzu, lhasa apso mix) attacks my sleeping cat in the middle of the night. I've had Maggy (dog) since she was 8 weeks old and Sammy (cat) knew her as a puppy. They got along fine until just recently when if she's disturbed in the middle of the night (me moving my feet, etc. while she's on the bed), she will just attack him for no reason! He used to sleep on a hope chest at the foot of the bed, but because of this, he sleeps on the floor and still gets attacked. He is growing very skittish. Maggy weighs 10 lbs. and Sammy weighs 22 lbs. He has not hurt her yet, but I fear that his patience is growing thin, despite the fact that this is unacceptable behavior.

    I don't know why she has started doing this, nor do I know what to do to get it to stop. I've tried the firm "NO," and not moving her at night. Neither have worked. I'm afraid she's jealous of the attention he gets during the day (which isn't much as he tends to keep to himself). This is especially concerning to me as we are planning on getting a new kitten next month.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Syracuse, NY
    Hmm, very puzzling...I'm not sure what to tell you...You said you are afraid that the cat will hurt the dog? I would be more concerned that the dog will hurt the cat...

    My dog Duncan used to attack Jack, my roommate's golden retriever whenever another dog walked down the street. Not sure why, I guess it's some kind of redirection of anger or anxiety. Maybe the movement you make in the night startles Maggy and she takes it out on the cat? I would definitely try to figure out the root of the problem and stop the behavior before you bring a new animal into the picture though.

    Good luck! Maybe someone else here will be able to help you more?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    indianapolis,indiana usa
    First of all, I think I'd get the dog seen & checked over by his
    Vet. The dog might be developing a hearing problem, or some
    other illness. Would also suggest they be sleeping in separate
    rooms till this is sorted out. Good luck.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted

    Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Northern California
    You should definitely crate train Maggy and keep her in a crate to sleep, andwhen you cannot supervise the dog and cat! That can be a very dangerous situation, even though the cat is double the dogs size . . you should not tolerate it, especially with a vulnerable little kitten coming. Maggy probably thinks she is top dog, with bed privileges, and being allowed to torment poor Sammy >_< crate training AND obedience training, maybe with some Nothing In Life Is Free training would probably stop this.

    <3 Erica, Fozz n' Gonz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Salisbury Plain, UK
    AGAIN!!!!!!!....please do not resort to crate training to cope with the symptoms of a problem when you can actually solve the probem!!

    The problem here is how the dog is conflicted by the messages it receives. It is allowed to sleep in the alpha space, (the bed) you make efforts to not disturb the dog's sleep while it is in this space - very strong messages for the dog that it is considered to be an alpha (top dog, boss, in control) by you and the rest of the household. Then the cat has the audacity to challenge that staus by sleeping in the same room, at the same height and you don't do anything about it!!!! The dog is confused. If you are telling it that it is the boss, and you are by allowing it on your bed, then the dog feels it has the right to eject lesser members of the pack from the area.

    Cats and dogs are not the same and must be treated as they are - cats as cats, dogs as dogs.

    Cats do not respond to the concept that they have a leader very well, dogs do.

    To be a cat leader you have to set the rules you want the cat to live by and then ensure they are met by closing the right doors and living with set feeding times (the cat is then unable to go into rooms you do not want it in but it will continue to live it's life by it's own rules).

    The dog, however, craves and seeks out a strong leader - it is the nature of the dog to be a team player with a boss. This is what the dog needs to feel secure, relaxed and happy. Dogs do have an element of self interest, self preservation, in their make up and if they feel that the leadership on offer is unsafe, inconsistent or unfair they will take the only course of action open to them - become the leader!

    Obviously a dog cannot be a leader in a human society and that is the crux of your problem - you need to take away the way the dog is treated, it is a dog, treat it like a dog - it should know it's place in the pack. At the moment it doesn't.

    Get the dog out of the bedroom, the cat too if you can. Feed the cat at fixed times instead of on demand and make these times the same times that the dog is fed. Always feed the cat first.

    Getting the animals out of the bedroom will create havoc for a couple of days but it is well worth it.

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