How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Cats

Your dog may display an aggressive behavior, but you will have to stop dog aggression towards cats, other dogs or humans. The dog can be trained not to pay attention to cats or to accept them and refrain from attacking them. The training is particularly important if you have a cat in the home, but it may also help your pet stay away from trouble, as cats may become aggressive as well. Dogs can also get into traffic accidents while chasing cats.

Dog Aggression Basics

It is highly important to understand a bit of dog psychology and why they become aggressive. Dogs use aggression when they feel threatened and it may also be used when the dog is scared or has experienced a trauma in the past. Alpha leader dogs may also be extremely aggressive, even towards the owners or family. A cat can be identified as a threat.

Establishing the Dominant Position

Dogs used to live in packs and they still have the pack instinct and need to have a leader. If you don't take the position of the leader, your dog will try to be the alpha leader and he will develop his aggressiveness, using it against people, other dogs or cats. You can establish yourself as the alpha leader by taking the dog to training classes and being the one who handles him, gives him commands and administers food, treats or punishments.

Behavioral Training Classes

Behavioral training classes are essential for all dogs, and this can be a way you establish your dominance over your dog. You should opt for training classes, but if you know or have trained other pets before, you can perform the training at home. The dog will learn to listen to certain commands and among the first things the dog learns is the command NO. Make sure to practice as much as the dog needs, so that he is obedient and understands your commands.

Humane Punishments

Whenever you catch your dog being aggressive against a cat, you will have to show him you don't approve of his behavior and punish him in a humane manner. A non-aggressive punishment would be to send the dog to his crate or an isolated space where he cannot play or do anything. Make sure you administer the punishment right after the dog has been aggressive with a cat, otherwise the dog will not understand why he is being punished.

Socialize the Dog with Cats

If you have cats in your household, you can socialize your dog with them, but only a few minutes at a time at first. The dog should get used to playing with the cats without actually being aggressive, but he must understand the cats are not a threat. In time, you can extend the hours the dog spends with the feline friends. However, if your dog becomes aggressive, don't forget to administer punishment until he learns how to play with felines.