Teaching your dog not to run after cats (chasing)

Teaching your dog to run after cats can be a daunting task. Unsuspectingly you turn the corner while walking and .. Cat! Your four-legged friend jerks off and dives after it, onto the busy road.

Chasing cats and other animals can lead to dangerous situations. It can also cause chaos indoors. Why is your dog chasing cats?

How do you unlearn this dangerous behavior?

And can you prevent the chasing?

Read all about chasing cats in this article. Damn Bruno, come here!

Contents of this article

Help, my dog ​​chases cats!

Dogs and cats are the best known rivals in the animal kingdom. That is why it is a popular sport with many dogs to run after cats. And that can be intense…

A fact that is not really appreciated by many owners. And certainly not by the cat! The pursuit can lead to unnecessary chaos, tension and accidents.

Yet Poekie and Fikkie often live peacefully on our side in our house. How is this possible?

And why do dogs actually chase cats?

Dog runs after cats indoors

Keeping cats and dogs in one house usually causes the least problems when they have grown up together . During socialization, they learn that the other must be treated as a full-fledged housemate. Therefore, animals within the dog's own area are often treated differently than those outside.

Also when chasing cats and other pets, we often see a difference in indoor and outdoor behavior in dog behavior.


A dog can chase other animals for various reasons. Some dogs see all smaller animals as toys or their prey. In young dogs or puppies, the behavior therefore often comes from playfulness or as an exercise for hunting.

Because a rabbit, bird or cat is small. And if you startle it, it quickly fades. That's nice, the puppy thinks. Again!

In addition, a dog breed may have talent for waking or herding. They prefer to have everyone from their own territory in the same place, so that they can be safely guarded. Come on, walk on!

The above two reasons often come up when the pets have grown up together. They practice with each other with natural behavior, and they play with each other!

This sounds harmless, but it can get out of hand if the owner does not lead it in the right direction.

And what about the chasing animals outdoors?

Dog chasing cats outdoors

Well-known, small animals on your own property is one thing, but outside that territory it becomes a completely different story. This is where your four-legged friend's hunting instinct comes around the corner. He sees something moving and shoots after it like an arrow from an arc.

Especially when the "prey" decides to run away. Yihaaaaa!

Terriers and hunting dogs in particular set their sights on small animals when they see something drift during the walk. Some dogs even go after bigger “prey.”

The first time this may be endearing to watch. Still it is time to intervene.

Why is this so important?

Why unlearning a dog to run after cats?

If your dog is used to running after cats, you can this often makes the owner laugh. Unfortunately, this behavior can become a major problem.

Not only the cat can end up in a dangerous situation due to the chaos. Even the owner and dog can end up under a car, when suddenly the leash is pulled strongly.

And maybe you can physically handle the dog at this moment. But what if the neighbor walks him out? Whether you are a bit weaker because of the flu?

Usually chasing is very fast. You walk around the corner and go! Gone dog…

In addition, not only cats are the victims of chasing dogs. A dog may also prefer to hunt birds, rabbits or deer.

Hunting game is prohibited by law for our dog. This can damage our ecological system. Dogs can only be used for hunting under very strict conditions.

It is therefore compulsory to walk the dog on a leash on most hiking spots.

Chasing cats unlearning

Once a dog has learned to running after cats can be difficult to unlearn. Therefore, make sure that there is one "dog-free zone" in the house where your other pets can withdraw. Even when the training has been successfully completed!

The unlearning must be done step by step, with a lot of patience and much more clarity.

It is also important that the cat does not repeatedly suffer during this unlearning. behavioral problem of the dog. This can lead to nasty confrontations and stress.

How do you do this?

Step 1: Learn to ignore the cat in sessions

In this way of unlearning, you lead it behavior of your dog in other jobs. Take a reward that is irresistible to him for this, and which he only gets during training. Make sure that you have mastered the basic commands such as "No", "Come" and "Good Day".

Leash the dog and enter the room with the cat. Make sure the cat has enough space to get out of the way and climb to safe, higher places.

Often the reaction comes when your dog sees the cat for the first time. If the dog has been in the room for a while, a sitting cat will usually no longer provoke a reaction. Only when the cat moves does the dog react again.

In this training, you distract the dog as soon as it reacts in any way to the cat. This includes:

  • Leash pulling
  • Barking
  • Tense posture
  • Panting
  • Pointing ears
  • Beeping
  • Rapprochement
  • Stick nose in the air

Use it command “No” as soon as this behavior occurs. Then correct the dog by holding your hand with the reward in front of him and then directing him away. If he follows the reward, reward him right away with the command “Okay so” and give the reward.

It is important to equally reward any tendency towards neglect or relaxation.

Continue until you get it right. goes. Reward the dog immediately, leave the cat alone and take the dog to another part of the house. After a few hours you can try another session.

Step 2: Ignoring the cat at home.

The sessions are going well, and your dog understands that he should look at you as soon as he cat sees? And do you successfully stop him every time he approaches the cat? Then you are ready for the next step.

Keep the dog on a long lead in the house. As soon as he responds to the cat, use the command “No” and correct with the leash briefly, so that the dog turns your way.

In the leash correction, use the command “Come” and seduce the dog with the reward.

Is your dog responding well to the leash correction? Then you can try it separately. If he does run after the cat, make sure you are right on his heels and use the command “No”.

It must be crystal clear that your dog has made the wrong choice and that you are here disagree. Put the dog in his crate for a few minutes and then train on a leash.

Step 3: Ignore the cat outdoors

Don't have a cat at home? Then you can practice the long line on the reaction to cats outdoors.

Keep your dog on a leash and correct it immediately with "No" when he responds to a cat. You immediately turn away from the cat and seduce the dog with its irresistible reward.

In the beginning, your dog can wriggle to respond to the cat. The most important thing here is to keep on tiring. This teaches your dog to focus on you much more easily than on the cat.

Have you tried it outside and did it go wrong? Use the command "No" and immediately get your dog back. Let him sit in front of you for two minutes while he looks at you.

This will get him back to roll call, then start again. Has your dog become busy with the situation? Then let him walk neatly next to you before you walk on.

What is the most important thing in chasing cats off?

When chasing the cats off, the most important thing is that your dog is one of may no longer do the training. By this we mean: never again.

If you are away from home, keep the animals separate from each other. If the behavior takes place when you are not there to correct it, you will have two learned situations for your dog.

When you are there, he has learned that the cat should not be chased. But if you are not there, it will not be corrected. And then it is allowed!


What if my cat hates the dog?

By chasing the cat has built up negative experiences with your dog. Because of this, he will react rather annoyingly to the presence of the dog. That is why it is important to train your cat as well.

Fortunately, this is less complicated than it seems. As soon as your dog starts to respond well to the training and focuses on the reward, you also reward the cat with a treat.

It is important that you make sure that the dog does not interfere with this. Is distracting your dog okay? Then reward the cat and immediately distract the dog when he responds to this.

Preventing the chasing of cats

Prevention is better than cure, an important rule that applies to all behavioral problems. But can you prevent this chasing? And should this necessarily be from puppy?

You can teach all dogs everything, eventually. However, it takes much more effort and time in one situation than in another. That is why a good, clear start is very important.

And by this we do not necessarily mean: from puppy. As soon as your dog comes to your house, rules apply. For puppies, adult dogs and seniors.

When the dog comes to your house, he has to get used to a new way of life. The three main pillars for a good learning environment are peace, cleanliness and regularity. Not only for us, but also for our pets!

Make sure your dog gets enough rest to process everything. Give him his own things, good food, clean water and a hygienic environment to keep him in balance. In addition, take a certain regularity, from getting up, to feeding time until the moment of walking.

Predictability gives a dog a rest.

From this learning environment, your dog easily picks up the applicable rules. The most obvious is to adjust it right from the start. Otherwise you just cause confusion.

It was allowed yesterday, so why not anymore?

Be guiding in contact with your other pets. They have to find out for themselves how they feel about each other, but there are strict rules of contact.

So: do not chase, do not hurt each other and stay off each other's things. This ensures that every animal can feel at ease in the house.

When unlearning is unsuccessful

Not every dog ​​decides immediately upon entering to hunt the cat. Sometimes this behavior suddenly rears its head after several months or even years. It is important that you intervene immediately.

But unlearning can be difficult and some dogs have a soft spot for this.

Are you unable to prevent or unlearn that your dog is running after cats? Take a good look at his daily schedule.

Is your dog often bored? Is he getting enough exercise? Or is there something in his background that makes him hunt a lot?

Try to figure out your dog's needs as well as possible. Keep him busy, both physically and mentally. This is good for his health, but also for that of the cat!

Can't you work it out together? Then ask a behavioral therapist for help. You will have to train step by step, with clarity and stamina.

Therefore it is always good to ask for guidance.

Good luck!

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