My Dog Chases My Cat. How Do I Stop Him


Well-known member
Mar 13, 2014
New Hampshire
Be sure your dog’s exercise regimen is regular and very exhausting. Exercise can often solve a great many issues right off the bat!

There is some inherent reward in the chase behavior, so the more your dog does it, the more well-versed he will become. This can become very serious, so being consistent in redirection and correction of this behavior before it starts over the next few weeks will really be important.As for the chasing episodes, he needs to be redirected as soon as the behavior starts and ideally as soon as he starts to get aroused, whines or makes any indication that the chase is about to begin.

The faster you can cut him off and redirect his behavior, the more successful you will be long term. Teach yourself to watch for him staring. As soon as he keys into one of the cats and is staring in their direction, call his name or clap your hands. When he looks at you or turns around, praise and reward him. He needs to be taught that another behavior will be more successful for him at the same time he learns that you are not allowing him to practice the behavior you don’t like (chasing).

That said, I would also correct him if he gets fully into chase mode because you were not able to catch him in time to redirect him first. If he takes off chasing, you need to be right after him, using your voice as a correction tool. I want him to be immediately aware he has made a bad choice in chasing the kitty because Mom is very upset.

When you catch him, without emotion, put him into a room by himself or into his crate for a few minutes. You don’t need to hold a long grudge against him, but he needs to know that his chasing behavior has a serious consequence. Not only will you not allow it, he will have some time alone if and when he partakes.

If you have done any obedience work with him, use your recall (come, here, etc.) to work on calling him off. You may want to review his recall in contexts easier than cat-chasing at first so you can build a reinforcement history for coming when called. That way, you are likely to be more successful when he is otherwise distracted. This practice will help you outdoors as well with his daily recalls or off-leash behavior.

If you ever taught him a reliable “leave it” command, you can use that in this instance as well. Realistically, this takes lots of practice. He should be practicing lots of “leave its” in other contexts to help him understand what is expected of him so he has the best chance for success with the cat situation.

Always reward calm behavior in the presence of the cats. Any time they walk in and your dog is calm, reward like crazy with tasty tiny treats. This will help him make a nice, positive association with the presence of the cats. It will also help him learn to look to you when the cats are around rather than making his own choices about how best to deal with the cats!


New member
Apr 10, 2015
Very informative article Linda. Thanks for sharing.