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Dog suddenly snapped at cat

  1. #1

    Dog suddenly snapped at cat

    Hi everyone,
    I have a black lab mix and two cats. The past two weeks we have all been under the same roof for the first time, as my dog stayed with my grandparents for a time while we finished working on a house. During that time we accumulated two rescue cats. (A mother and daughter cat)

    The past two weeks have gone very well. The cats are a little timid around the dog, especially since he is so big and can get very excited. Equally, they are very curious about him and will get in close proximity to check him out further.
    The dog, has also acted very well around the cats, and practically ignores them and he will let the cats approach him instead of the dog approaching the cats, which is great! All will sleep in the same room, and even all on the couch together (not right next to each other..they stay spread out) but I thought this was great!

    However, last night my dog was sitting right next to me on the couch, and I could see the mom cat causitiously approaching the dog. I wasn't paying very much attention but I know she got very close to him (I think just to sniff but she could have tried to swat at him..not sure) my dog then barks and leaps off the couch and chased her a few feet and the cat ran off. This isn't the first time the cats have came close to inspect the dog, so it really took me off guard. I am scared to leave them all unmonitored now (which is what I have been doing, and it's been all fine).

    Any ideas as to why my dog would suddenly react that way? It was the first sign of aggression I have seen from him...not just to the cats but in general. He is great around other people and dogs, but this is his first time with cats. Was is he just being protective?

    Please any ideas or theories will be much appreciated!
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,918
    Hello and welcome! I wouldn't worry too much, especially if you didn't really see what set the dog off, maybe she did swipe at him. And honestly, a bark and short chase can't be labeled as aggression, sometimes it can actually be play language.

    It sounds to me like the dog is doing just fine with the two cats. You have to remember he is just another pet and he has the right and it's very natural for him to have to defend himself sometimes, even if just setting off a warning to other pets. He can't always let them dominate.

    I have a new pup with an older cat, and even though they are good friends, believe me....the dog doesn't always completely relax if the cat is nearby, as he's sometimes play stalking him.

  3. #3
    Thank you for the feedback! The cat very well could have been play stalking him. I do think he was trying to assert some dominance. The cats have been the dominant ones since day one! Typical cats

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,918
    Cats are definitely dominant, but I have no problem with that as long as they are not aggressive and mean.

    My pup is a year old now, and I still think of him as my baby. The dog has to be allowed to assert some dominance, it's only healthy and natural. You wouldn't want him to completely cower to the cats.

    My dog often will be spooked and chased by the cat, but when he turns around and the chase reverses, I know it's just good play time and bonding time. As long as neither of them seem stressed or are physically hurt by one another, all is good.

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