YES! Dogs and Cats CAN Live Together in Peace! – Cat Aggression Case Study – Philadelphia Dog Trainer – Independence Dog Training
I have met many families with pets of many different species. Dogs, cats, parrots, ferrets, rabbits, snakes…the list goes on! With a domestic menagerie in the household, usually three things could occur: 1) the animals get along swimmingly!, 2) the animals neutral and/or tend to ignore each other, or 3) COMPLETE CHAOS.
When I have dealt with dogs showing aggressive tendencies toward other dogs (specifically with dogs living in the same home), it’s always a challenge, but at times I get an advantage because sometimes I get to train all dogs involved, not just the one. Unfortunately, I am not a cat trainer, but I have discovered that training a dog out of aggression toward cats or any other family member (human or animal) is always possible!
Here in Philadelphia, I had a client named Ellen contact me about her dog, Boo, who was incessantly trying to pick fights with house cat, Nala. With some seriously scary incidents and minor injuries, it had come to a point where Boo and Nala had to be separated the majority of the time, for fear that someone could get severely hurt or worse. After many close calls, Ellen finally reached an ultimatum for herself: get Boo’s aggression trained out of him, or get Boo a new home.
Most people think that dogs and cats are born to be natural enemies. While both creatures possess their own unique mindset and outlook on life, it is actually common for both animals to be friends, or at least to coexist without anxiety and bloodshed. Even if there’s no deep affection between the two, there is a better chance for a bond to develop if there is some level of trust present at the get go.
With my dog training program, I stress the importance of building a trusting relationship not only between the animals, but also between the animals and owner. I teach the owner how to be a consistent leader that guides the dog and creates situations where the dog can learn and succeed. Reward-based dog training is a lot about setting the dog up for positive scenarios and controlling the environment, which is what Boo really needed to experience.
Once we began training, we instilled a foundation of basic obedience, recall, and focus for Boo, while taking away distractions and triggers that would direct him to failure. After making such great progress, Boo was then reintroduced to his main trigger: Nala. Now with knowing the fundamentals and finally understanding how to demonstrate impulse control and respect for boundaries, Boo and Nala were then able to learn to trust each other for the first time in eight months! A family is now staying together, and Ellen could not be happier to keep BOTH her fur babies!
If your beloved dog is exhibiting aggression to ANY family member in your home, do not hesitate to call me at 215.709.2560. Change is possible, even if it involves multiple species!