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How To Make Dog Calm Down Around New Cat?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Animals' started by caffeinepanda, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. caffeinepanda

    caffeinepanda Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Dec 18, 2017
    Hello! I hope I'm posting in the right place, as it's more of a dog issue than a cat one.

    So! We got a new >1 year old kitty 2 days ago, and I'm very impressed with how outgoing and inquisitive she is. She's already explored most of the house and has decided that the kitchen is her favorite haunt (dark cabinets to sleep in!). She's also particularly friendly, has warmed up to everyone, and is VERY vocal. She gives a meowed opinion about everything...

    ...which leads me to the problem. We have a 7 year old teacup chihuahua that is absolutely fanatic about this new potential friend. Almost every time the cat meows, the dog erupts into a series of excited, ear-piercing yaps and bolts to wherever said cat is. It's not fierce yapping and she definitely doesn't see her as any prey of sorts (which is good because currently the dog stands at about half the height of the cat)--when she greets the cat, she's always wagging her tail/butt/entire back half as HARD as she can. But her loud barking startles the kitty, who ends up retreating back into the kitchen. It's happened so often that I wonder if the cat will ever be able to stay in the living room (the dog's main area) for more than 2 minutes.
    The interesting thing is, the cat does not dislike the dog. When she's NOT yapping, the cat tries to headbutt the chihuahua, who doesn't know what to think and jumps back like the kitty just tried to punch her. I've seen the cat make a beeline across the room specifically to sniff noses with the dog. So, basically, they each want to be friends but they don't know how, which is, promising?? I hope?

    Without intervention, will they get used to each other? Or is there something I need to do to... help them? I just want the cat to get comfortably settled in without my loudmouth Chihuahua slowing things down.

  2. Columbine

    Columbine TCS Member Staff Member Advisor

    Feb 27, 2015
    The kitty playground
    Hi, and welcome to TCS :welcomesign::hithere:

    This all sounds incredibly positive to me - they definitely both want to make friends, but have't worked out a common language yet. They should settle down in time...and hopefully, as the cat becomes less of a novelty, your dog will be less vocal in her enthusiasm :crossfingers:

    It sounds like you might all benefit from doing a little extra training with your dog to teach her to be a little less vocal, or to quiet down when you tell her to. This is a great method for excitement-barking, and is well worth a try. I love clicker/reward based training (which I use for my dog and my pony) - it's one of the quickest training styles I've found, and can be great fun for dog and owner :) Another option for the barking is to toss your dog a toy. Dogs can't bark with their mouths full ;) My lab loves carrying her toys around, and it's a much quieter way of showing her enthusiasm :p
    neely purraised this.

  3. neely

    neely TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

    Dec 22, 2005
    I agree with Columbine that your new cat and resident dog are on their way to becoming good friends. A very good book I would recommend is called, The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia McConnell. Here's an excerpt regarding the barking issue: Barking: Please Stop.
    Basically, the NILF, (Notihng in Life is Free), dog training method is an excellent positive reinforcement. Best of luck, please post a pic or two of your kitty and teacup chihuahua. :camera:

  4. MeganLLB

    MeganLLB Accidental Ailurophile Super Cat

    Jun 29, 2017
    Pennsylvania, USA
    A tired dog is a good dog. It would also be a good idea to take your dog on a long walk everyday, or a longer walk or an extra walk if you are already doing that, or up her exercise in some way.

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