Jump to content

Can A Grey Learn To Be "cat Safe"?


Guest lovnmygreys
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest lovnmygreys

So, I'm working on a plan to move my family back to Connecticut. My sister wants us to stay with her (and honestly, we'd only be able to do it if we could live with her until we got back on our feet after the cost of moving...) but she has two cats. Al is NOT cat safe. I haven't actually seen him go after a cat, but I was told by my adoption group that he was not. Can greyhounds with a high prey drive learn to tolerate a cat, or is it not worth the risk?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest OPointyDog

My sense is that for some dogs the answer is "no" - truly high prey dogs cannot live safely or be trained to live with cats or other small animals.

 

That being said, there are a lot of dogs that are in the gray area of "cat correctable" that have an interest in cats and could be trained to tolerate them.

 

You need to find out which category your dog is in, I suspect. Maybe you could retest the dog with someone knowledgeable about dog behavior and get them to help you decide? Our adoption group has a cat guru who helps with these decisions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that 25% of greys are legitimately cat-safe, 25% are very high-prey, and 50% are somewhere in between. Some dogs can be trained, but generally those are the ones who show an interest in the cat in a playful way. But if your dog has a definite history of being aggressive with cats (persistence, pacing, drooling, whining, lunging), then unfortunately, I'd say no way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Wasserbuffel

It really depends on how high his prey drive really is. Some few can never be corrected.

When my grey came home she tried to get into my poultry run. For weeks she wanted to eat the birds. Eventually I was able to get her to ignore the penned birds by rewarding her with food for ignoring them. With more work, slow introductions, and training I can now let her and the birds loose in the yard together without her trying to eat them.

 

If the dog isn't a 100% determined cat zapper, it can be done with time, patience and a lot of close supervision.

 

It also depends on the cat. A dog who is usually great around a calm cat, might have their prey instinct awakened by meeting up with a nervous, flighty cat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I am a cat tester for a few groups and I will tell you there is no such thing as a "cat safe" greyhound. There are "cat tolerant" greyhounds, but do not ever trust your hound. It is not to say that they cannot get along, but you cannot think just because for a few days your hound seems to ignore the cat that things are ok. You have to realize that when a greyhound changes environment, he/she will be off. Their interest in small moving things may be very subdued while the hound settles into the new environment. Once the hound is comfortable, then the true personality shows. Your situation depends on a few things,

1) how well does your hound handle the move

2) the personality of the cat (runner, fighter, somewhere inbetween)

3) your hound's concept of the cat as being prey or a toy, or simply something to ignore

 

If your hound came to you from a group and they said NO cats, then there is probably a pretty good reason for this. I would hope/think they tested the hound on a live cat (stuffed animals just dont work very well to determine their interest), as well as when and where they tested the hound. If you test a hound in a kennel, the hound could be worked up from getting out of the crate and you could get a false "NO Cats" because the hound is worked up. The same could be said for a hound that is afraid of shiny floors and say they tested a hound in a room with shiny floors, the hound would be preoccupied with the floor and not really care about the cat, but put that same hound in a carpeted room and different story. So it is very difficult to say if your hound can live with a cat, but I would err on the side of caution and say that since a group said NO cats, keep them separated at all times. When they can come into contact, have your hound muzzled and on a leash. As others can attest, things can happen in a blink of an eye and you cant take it back. There is a category of "cat workable" which I think the majority of hounds falls into this category. I have 3 workable hounds in my house. They each took varying degrees of training to get them to the point where we can allow them to co-mingle with minimal concern, but they all got there.

 

I do not think that a hound that has previously seen cats as prey or toys can be taught to co-habitate safely with said cat. It is not something that I would attempt. Just keep them separated and things will be fine. What I have done with fosters that cannot live with cats is to give each animal free time. Cats do much better being confined to a room than a hound does. If you have kept up with your crating of the hound, then your job will be very easy to keep the animals separated, if not, well things could be much more difficult for you and your hound.

 

 

Chad

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest lovnmygreys

Thank you for your very indepth answer Chad. My sister lives in the country so her cats have free reign. I'm pretty sure that it's not going to work out as Al hasn't been crated in quite sometime. He's usually a really laid back and relaxed guy, but his personality does change when there is a rabbit around, so I would have to assume that he will not be safe with her kitties. Thank you again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your very indepth answer Chad. My sister lives in the country so her cats have free reign. I'm pretty sure that it's not going to work out as Al hasn't been crated in quite sometime. He's usually a really laid back and relaxed guy, but his personality does change when there is a rabbit around, so I would have to assume that he will not be safe with her kitties. Thank you again!

I don't think you can know without doing some further investigation yourself. Who knows if their testing method was reliable, not to mention I've seen many dogs (including my own) become much less prey focused over time. And a reaction to animals outdoors doesn't have much to do with whether a dog can live safely with a cat indoors. I believe the actual number of truly non cat-trainable greyhounds (at least of the ones that make it into rescue) is really quite low (assuming that some of the more challenging cases are placed with folks who are knowledgeable and willing to put in the work).

 

I know greyhounds that have walked into a home with cats and never looked twice at them, and some who have taken several months to train. I trusted Neyla completely with our cat Cisco, but in a new house with a new cat, it was a whole different ballgame. Violet probably "gets it" now, but it was a lot of hard work initially for her to get it and again, I trust her completely with Cisco.

 

If it's something you seriously want to consider, I would seek out a grey/cat savvy friend who can set up a test for you. Things you'd want to look for:

-total inability to distract him when the cat is in sight

-relentless hunting for the cat once he's out of sight (make sure he's seen the cat, then shut the cat safely behind a locked door and let your grey loose - does he go sniff at the door for a bit then move on to better things or does he keep going back ot the door despite you trying to distract him)

-focus on the cat when in sight is extreme - rigid body, fixed stare, etc.

 

Those things, especially in tandem would lead me to say he's not cat-trainable. If he's distractable and gives up on the cat relatively easily, then he can learn if you're willing to put in the work and can safely keep them separated until he does.

Edited by NeylasMom

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Addie

My first Dog London is VERY cat safe. Its like they don't even exists! Logan (who we fail fostered) when we went to pick him up for fostering at Petco, he was first a little interested in the test kitty. So they asked me to walk him around the store and try again. The next time he was less interested so we took him home but were extra cautious with him. He now shows no interest in them as well. I don't want to make it sound like they can just get over being "not cat safe" I had a cat killed by a friend's dog, and it was horrible! I would test him in a safe controlled environment with the muzzle on and on a leash. Spray him in the face with a water bottle if he looks like he wants to go over to the cat and see if that makes him stop, he could be trainable. But if he ignores the water and has that "MUST KILL IT" look on his face. I'd say it would be a no go!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest june

I have two that are "cat safe" and one who with a muzzle on got a cat down while being tested. She was so fast! Kitty was OK, but not very happy. My other two after being introduced to a new small furry will settle down and leave it alone as long as we are inside. Outside all bets are off for any grey. Please remember that this is what they have been bred for for generations. Good luck.

Edited by june
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a fairly high prey greyhound (he has killed a raccoon and would definitely go after cats and gets very excited when he sees them). Even with that however, I have been able to get him very manageable around cats and other animals when I am staying with friends. I have found that he is excited when he first sees them, but after they are around for a while (with him muzzled and leashed with redirections when needed) he has no interest in them any more. They can walk right under and around him. I also have pet rabbits, and he can stand in an area with all three and not go after them. For him it is a matter of getting over the initial excitement of seeing them. At the same time, for safety sake I would never leave him unattended with them, I have seen how fast a grey can snatch something (the above mentioned raccoon). If you can keep them separated and/or crated when you aren't around to supervise I think it could be done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest maidmarcia

I wouldn't describe my greyhound as "cat safe", because he doesn't tolerate the cats or ignore them... He loves them.

 

This morning my greyhound was washing and cleaning the face of my youngest cat.

 

Even though you never know how your dog (any breed) may react when in an uncomfortable situation, I'm very confident that my boy would never hurt the cats. I've seen them claw him and jump on him and only once has he ever made a warning noise and that was only a surprise reaction due to the cat accidentally falling onto his stomach.

 

Picture evidence :D

 

IMAG0804_zpsaeae479f.jpg

 

IMG_20130407_154913_zpsf16998b1.jpg

 

IMG-20130324-WA0001_zpsf12772ac.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't read through the responses yet but yes, greyhounds absolutely can be taught to be small animal safe. All three of mine were high prey dogs who learned to live with chickens. You have to be vigilant but it's really not hard to do.

 

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

dewttrigsnowsig.jpg
Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
"The only thing better than the cutest kitty in the world is any dog." -Daniel Tosh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest WhiteWave

I think some can, some can't. I had 2 fosters that would rather kill a cat than breathe. During their cat test, even the cat knew something was up, she attacked Leroy and he almost killed her with a muzzle on and me holding the leash. He killed every cat that came in our yard and the one time he escaped, he killed a feral cat and brought it home to me. Witnesses said the cat didn't even see him coming, it was just sitting there, not even running. Henry almost went into convulsions at the sight of a cat He would drool, stare, nothing could break his focus. Any cat that hit the yard was dead. Both of them were the same way inside.

 

Then I had dogs who would kill a cat outdoors, but fine indoors with them. Then dogs like Ronon who could care less. He will run and play with cats in the yard.

 

I personally would muzzle and keep her away from the cats for their safety. Especially if it just going to be short term.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I am a cat tester for a few groups and I will tell you there is no such thing as a "cat safe" greyhound.

 

 

I know I'm not the only Greyhound/cat owner who disagrees with you.

 

I think anyone who has seen my pictures of Mr. Bigglesworth and George would agree--I have a cat safe dog.


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Greyt_dog_lover

 

I know I'm not the only Greyhound/cat owner who disagrees with you.

 

I think anyone who has seen my pictures of Mr. Bigglesworth and George would agree--I have a cat safe dog.

 

I hope I am wrong, but I don't think so. One of my hounds is the sweetest thing in the world with my two cats, but he is a certified cat zapper (outside he has zapped two). He has lived for years with my cats and has never so much as had a cross look at them. They can jump on him, climb over him, you name it, he ignores them. Put him outside and its over for poor little kitty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I hope I am wrong, but I don't think so. One of my hounds is the sweetest thing in the world with my two cats, but he is a certified cat zapper (outside he has zapped two). He has lived for years with my cats and has never so much as had a cross look at them. They can jump on him, climb over him, you name it, he ignores them. Put him outside and its over for poor little kitty.

 

This seems like a straw man (straw kitty?) to me. Everyone talking about "cat safe" is ALWAYS talking about indoors anyway. I think all of us who have even the most minimal greyhound education know that outside is different.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

This seems like a straw man (straw kitty?) to me. Everyone talking about "cat safe" is ALWAYS talking about indoors anyway. I think all of us who have even the most minimal greyhound education know that outside is different.

 

Exactly Beth.

 

Outside animals ARE fair game. Dogs seem to understand that an animal living in the house is part of the pack. I expect if a cat ran past George outside it might not even register with him that it was a cat. We do not have many free roaming cats where I live, and he would not expect it. Nor would I expect him to leave it alone. Anyone who lets their cat outside in the world we presently live in is foolish, particularly when you learn what the livespan differences are between indoor only, and indoor/outdoor cats.


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I hope I am wrong, but I don't think so. One of my hounds is the sweetest thing in the world with my two cats, but he is a certified cat zapper (outside he has zapped two). He has lived for years with my cats and has never so much as had a cross look at them. They can jump on him, climb over him, you name it, he ignores them. Put him outside and its over for poor little kitty.

I can think of one adopter off the top of my head whose greyhounds intermingled with their cats in their yard all of the time. Is that rare? Sure. Would I ever recommend an adopter do it? Absolutely not. Did we adopt an additional dog to him knowing that he did this? Yes, because we knew they understood the ramifications of moving too quickly and we also understood we needed to select a dog from our pool with zero prey drive.

 

Over the years I've fostered a lot of greyhounds and had many more come through my house as guests and there have been quite a few who have required ZERO training with the cat. I always took the usual precautions, but with some dogs it's very clear from the moment that they walk in that they have zero interest and aren't ever going to. A number of them probably could have existed peacefully with cats outside with the proper training. GTers do it with chickens and ducks, I don't really see that cats need to be any different.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Greyt_dog_lover

quote from OP

"my sister lives in the country and her cats have free reign"

 

Sounds to me like she may not be talking about "indoor" cats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correct, but if the dog isn't going to be off lead outside, then that's sort of irrelevant. It sounded more to me like she brought it up because the cats can't be contained in the house, which means they would need to be more creative about keeping the kitties safe until they felt he was okay with them by using a leash/tether (for training) or separating him behind a closed door or using an x-pen or baby gates when they're not home.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Wasserbuffel

 

 

I do not think that a hound that has previously seen cats as prey or toys can be taught to co-habitate safely with said cat.

 

My grey most definitely saw the ducks and chickens as prey at first. The tried to get in the pen at first. Once she was used to them and stopped trying to get in the pen, I moved up to letting them out in the yard while I had the dog leashed (collar & harness for extra security) and muzzled. She lunged more than a few times, but eventually learned not to. Next I moved up to letting her sniff one I was holding, she tried to taste the rooster's wing, but stopped when I corrected her. She gave chase to one hen that accidentally got out one day while I was still working on desensitizing her. I was thankfully able to call her off with the VOG.

 

I worked for two years with her before trusting her off leash while the birds are out. I waited another year to let her out without the muzzle. I'm fairly confident she would have been trustworthy after just one year, but as I'm really fond of my birds excessive caution is better than a dead duck.

 

It can be done, just not with every dog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...