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Newly Adopted 4 Yrs Greyhound Doensn't Get Along With Cat - Help&#


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Hello Everybody

 

I am in desperate need of advice with my newly adopted Greyhound (about 4 yrs male). I took him 2 days ago and I also have a 8 yrs old cat living in my apartment. I would like to keep the dog for good (now I have him for a couple of probation days) as he is an amazing and gentle dog but he seems to not get along so well with the cat.

 

I don't know if the dog was used for dog races and/or for hunting . The first encounter of the two I handled poorly by keeping the cat in my arms and over his head. He got very stiff and tense and started crying (he does that when he wants something badly like attention or when he sees another dog). He sniffed the cat, the cat hissed and he wanted to grab the cat.

 

After that I did some research and the following encounters were with the dog muzzled and on a leash and the cat on a leash as well, on the floor. He doesn't pay any attention to the cat if I have treats (like bacon), or if the cat is not standing too close. Once he was laying on the ground, with his back to the cat and I made the mistake of bringing the cat closer to him. The cat hissed and ran and he got on his feet quickly and became alert.

 

The last encounter (yesterday) went badly as I didn't have any more treats - he focused on the cat which was on the ground (the cat is always still and terrified when meeting him). He became tense and started crying again. He then barked and growled at the cat and the cat hissed and ran. He wanted to run after the cat but I had him by the harness.

 

I always correct him when he gets in the "cat focused mood" and say NO and try to distract his with treats. The cat is very shy and won't stand up for herself. I always try to bring the cat in the room when he is tired after going to the dog park. I don't know what to do, I would really like to keep him but I am not sure if he will ever get along with the cat.

 

I mention the fact that I live alone with my cat and now with Lordie, and I have a full time job. I keep the animals separated at the moment but I'm not sure how I should proceed from now on.

 

If you could give me an advice I would be extremely grateful.

Oh, and thank you for reading his long message.

 

Maya

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Hi, and welcome to the Grey Talk Community. :welcome2

 

This issue is a common one. My last dog actually caught my cat and shook it; fortunately I was there to save it in time and the vet said the cat was OK apart from fright and some bruising.

I'd had the dog for over a month when this happened and thought she was OK, but it all went wrong as a result of family members with little dogs visiting who chased the cat, and that sparked Angel's prey-drive.

The way I overcame it was to elevate the cat in the pack hierarchy - it was MY cat and never to be stared at let alone messed with ever again. Now this is not easy to do and it was probably only because Angel was such a nice socially-skilled dog that it worked out. Even so I would still put them safely away from each other when I had to go out, and Angel never became OK with other cats.

 

If you cannot give that kind of tough love, I feel what you need is a Grey who has been fostered with a family that already has cats and small dogs. There is no blame in sending back a dog on probabtion and waiting for the right one for you to come along. After all people like you are what make it possible to rehome Greyhounds. All I would do is make a donation to the rescue group ... view it like a 're-stocking' fee ... to help them find another home.

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Thank you JohnF for your reply. Much appreciated.

 

Lordie is the sweetest dog and I would very much like to keep him. I am not sure how to make the dog see the cat before him in the pack hierarchy. Should I hold the cat in my arms? Or just correct the dog everytime he stares at the cat?

With outside cats he has the same reaction and stays very still and I can barely get him to snap out of that state (short "no", poking, firm leash pull seem to not work). I have to pull him by the leash and move with him to get him to move and eventually detense. However, he does not chase if the cat doesn't move.

Edited by Maya
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Maya, did your adoption group not test for cat compatibility?

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Should I hold the cat in my arms? Or just correct the dog everytime he stares at the cat?>>>

I didn't because it made Angel think I had 'caught' the cat. I used a muzzle for a while and went like: Ah-Ah! NO! :angryfire whenever she was looking at the cat in a way that I deemed inappropriate. It took quite a while.

 

Anyway, given that it is such a difficult and often upredictable task, good on you for wanting to give it a go. Please see Greyhound West of England's very helpful cat introduction fact sheet here:

 

If you find you are making no progress then before giving up call in a Dog Behaviourist to assess your dog.

Remember, if the dog is young and friendly he WILL find a new home very soon.

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A truly high prey sighthound cannot be trained out of it. Outside cats will always be different from inside cats,but if he fixated on your pet cat that cat will never be safe. Greyhounds adopted from greyhound groups are tested for cat safety or not. I'm sorry you were not properly advised. There are lots of tactics if the dog is cat workable. Do you even have a greyhound muzzle? The dog should not be allowed unmuzzled around the cat and should be on leash if the cat is in the area.

 

If this were me I would not keep the dog unless the alternative was returning him to a high kill shelter. There are some greyhound groups that will help with untattooed hounds. You might want to contact the Ohio Lurcher Project if you are in the US (American Lurcher Project now) -- if your dog is not a tattooed retired racer it is probably a lurcher, a mostly-greyhound mix used in parts of the US for underground racing and hunting. They have the best contacts.

Edited by PrairieProf

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

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Guest greyhound_in_LA

Hi

 

I did not get him from an adoption group. I don't know if he was indeed a race dog or used for hunting.

 

Wow! Where did you get him from?

 

Adoption groups test for cat and small dog tolerance, and the Greyhounds that test OK can go to foster homes with cats where they get more training and more living with cats until they get to go to their forever home.

 

I have a Greyhound that is "cat workable" so we are still in the process of desensitization with our cats.

 

We keep them separated by a baby gate. Coe can go look at the cats any time he wants to. I reward for calmness and for just looking. The cats can approach the gate now without Coe getting interested. Coe now lies down and naps in front of the gate while the cats are snoozing.

 

Then again, his prey drive was evaluated as below average on a scale 1-10. He clearly does not have a 10/10 for my cats. I have seen 10/10 dogs tested with cats. That's not something I could have at home.

 

 

Someone in the FB group said it took her four months.

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I have four greys. None are, or ever will be, cat safe. One we got from the pound who ended up there because of cat issues. You need to put your existing animals first so I'm with the others. You need to find a group who can take Lordie on and help you find a hound who is cat safe/ workable. The behaviour you are describing is what my high prey hound does and it has taken literally years of work to settle her.

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He doesn't pay any attention to the cat if I have treats (like bacon), or if the cat is not standing too close.

 

This piece of information makes me think that he is not so high prey that this isn't workable, but it will take a bit of commitment and effort on your part. Our group would probably consider him "cat trainable". The cat's reaction play a large role in affecting the dog's response, and with a shy cat, part of the process is giving your cat a chance to become accustomed to the dog as well. Because of this, I don't force interactions. By continuing to bring the cat to the dog, you may making the cat more scared, and a scared cat will run, which triggers the greyhound's instinct to chase. From the initial post, it seems like Lordie is triggered to grab or chase when the cat hisses or runs. So you want your cat to relax around the new dog and be less likely to show the behaviors that trigger his prey drive.

 

When I bring a new dog into the house, I let the cat decide if he wants to approach or not. The cat has access to "safe rooms" which are baby-gated off so the dogs can't enter. Most of the time I bring a new greyhound into the house, the cat doesn't enter the rooms where the dogs are for a week or two. With a calmer dog who shows no interest, the cat may venture out sooner. When the dog sees the cat through the baby gate, I monitor the response. Casual interest is ok, but I distract if I notice any intense staring and reward for the dog taking his attention off the cat. IMO, it's not an issue of hierarchy, but rewarding the dog for being calm and ignoring the cat.

 

For some reason, a small dog or cat that is in your arms becomes more interesting to other dogs, so I definitely don't recommend picking up the cat. Until you are more certain of his response, always keep him muzzled when there's any chance the cat might come into the room. And definitely continue to keep them separated when you're not home. Even with cat-safe dogs, I still do this as a safety precaution when I'm not home.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest greyhound_in_LA

 

For some reason, a small dog or cat that is in your arms becomes more interesting to other dogs, so I definitely don't recommend picking up the cat. Until you are more certain of his response, always keep him muzzled when there's any chance the cat might come into the room. And definitely continue to keep them separated when you're not home. Even with cat-safe dogs, I still do this as a safety precaution when I'm not home.

 

 

Yeah, do not pick up the cat and hold it. My husband made this mistake once. The cat freaked and scratched his arms up pretty badly, then ran off, which really bothered Coe and destroyed days of training.

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Welcome to GreyTalk. Glad you found this forum.

 

A truly high prey sighthound cannot be trained out of it. Outside cats will always be different from inside cats,but if he fixated on your pet cat that cat will never be safe. Greyhounds adopted from greyhound groups are tested for cat safety or not. I'm sorry you were not properly advised. There are lots of tactics if the dog is cat workable. Do you even have a greyhound muzzle? The dog should not be allowed unmuzzled around the cat and should be on leash if the cat is in the area.

If this were me I would not keep the dog unless the alternative was returning him to a high kill shelter. There are some greyhound groups that will help with untattooed hounds. You might want to contact the Ohio Lurcher Project if you are in the US (American Lurcher Project now) -- if your dog is not a tattooed retired racer it is probably a lurcher, a mostly-greyhound mix used in parts of the US for underground racing and hunting. They have the best contacts.

 

Do you have a secure large dog crate for the Greyhound?

 

Does your Greyhound appear to have any tattoos inside his ears?

 

Even if working with a deemed "cat-workable" Greyhound with an indoor only cat, it's safer done with the local support of an experienced Greyhound person.

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Anyway, given that it is such a difficult and often upredictable task, good on you for wanting to give it a go. Please see Greyhound West of England's very helpful cat introduction fact sheet here:

 

If you find you are making no progress then before giving up call in a Dog Behaviourist to assess your dog.

Thank you very much for sharing this. I will get on reading it.

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. Do you even have a greyhound muzzle? The dog should not be allowed unmuzzled around the cat and should be on leash if the cat is in the area.

 

If this were me I would not keep the dog unless the alternative was returning him to a high kill shelter. There are some greyhound groups that will help with untattooed hounds. You might want to contact the Ohio Lurcher Project if you are in the US (American Lurcher Project now) -- if your dog is not a tattooed retired racer it is probably a lurcher, a mostly-greyhound mix used in parts of the US for underground racing and hunting. They have the best contacts.

Thank you for your reply. I bought him a nylon muzzle (which he doens't like one bit) and he is more focused on getting the muzzle off when I put him in the same room with the cat than staring/chasing at the feline. I placed an order for a high quality leather one, hopefully he will find it more confortable and will tolerate it.

 

I will try and get him to wear the new muzzle more often, so he does not associate the muzzle with the cat.

 

There are no tattoos, I checked. I am not sure if he was used for hunting, or he was just a normal pet. He is not a lurcher, he is as greyhound as they get:)

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Wow! Where did you get him from?

 

Adoption groups test for cat and small dog tolerance, and the Greyhounds that test OK can go to foster homes with cats where they get more training and more living with cats until they get to go to their forever home.

 

I have a Greyhound that is "cat workable" so we are still in the process of desensitization with our cats.

 

We keep them separated by a baby gate. Coe can go look at the cats any time he wants to. I reward for calmness and for just looking. The cats can approach the gate now without Coe getting interested. Coe now lies down and naps in front of the gate while the cats are snoozing.

 

Then again, his prey drive was evaluated as below average on a scale 1-10. He clearly does not have a 10/10 for my cats. I have seen 10/10 dogs tested with cats. That's not something I could have at home.

 

 

Someone in the FB group said it took her four months.

 

Thank you for all the infos. I will buy a baby gate. I will also try and find someone to evaluate the dog with my cat. However, yesterday, I had an ecnounter at the petshop with another cat. This cat was very big and not scared at all of the dog. It was very calm. Lordie stared at the cat, no matter what I did to get him out of the state. He was interested in the cat. I was too scared to let him sniff the cat as the was unmuzzled. He started crying again and wanted to go after the cat. The cat ran and he would have gone after it. I am not sure however is he doens't just want to play with the cat ad he does with all the other dogs.

 

4 months seems doable for me. My cat lived with a small female poodle for 6 years and it took us 8 months to get them to be in the same room without chasing. The cat is very scared of dogs, but now the poodle chases the cat away from the room as he wants all the attention for herself, but she is not agressive at all.

Edited by Maya
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Thank your JJNg and greyhound_in_LA for your advices. I will definitely put them into practice:)


Do you have a secure large dog crate for the Greyhound?

 

Does your Greyhound appear to have any tattoos inside his ears?

 

No, I don't have a dog crate. But I will install a baby fence soon. No, no tatoos.

Edited by Maya
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A friend used a big fluffy feather duster as a training tool. She'd hold the duster in her lap like a cat and pet it. If the dog reacted she'd say uh-uh, keeping her own tone calm.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I'm guessing this person is in the UK? And if the dog isn't tattooed, he is likely never been in a crate before. It could be an epic disaster thinking he can safely be crated and left all day.

 

A nylon muzzle (if it is what I think, with a hole in the end?) will NOT prevent your dog from grabbing a cat if it really wants it. You should not be forcing the issue. Leave the cat alone--let it hide if it wants to hide. Always provide a "safe route" for the cat to run into a small space the dog cannot fit into. For example, fix your bedroom door so it will only open a couple of inches. That way if the dog looses control, the cat has somewhere to run.

 

Never, ever hold the cat in your arms and present it to your dog.

 

The relationship between household pets isn't one of "I'm higher up than you are" because one is larger than the other. They should basically see each other as family members, not as hunter and prey!

 

I would not consider this a match made in heaven, particularly since you have to, I assume, go to work every day and that leaves a LONG time for them to be unattended in the same space. If you have a bedroom you can secure the cat in, that might work. Or the dog might spend the entire day trying to get at it. You won't know until you try!

 

Good luck!


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

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I have been in this situation. With work, it did become a match made in heaven.

 

I kept Loca (the offending hound) attached to my waist by a very long leash whenever I was home. I praised her every time she ignored said cat and corrected her when she showed too much interest (although I understand correcting isn't used much anymore). I was able to be consistent since she was never out of sight. She has a very strong prey drive and it took about two months, but it worked. They become best friends.

 

I crated Loca when I wasn't home. She hated it but I needed to protect my cat. Eventually I was able to put the crate away and all was fine.

 

Good luck and don't give up!

Edited by robinw

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I'm going to have to come into the conversation as believing that this situation is too dangerous for the cat. The dog is showing great interest in the cat as prey or plaything, and the cat is terrified (and rightfully so since the dog could kill her in an instant). The initial introductions piqued the dog's interest (oo new toy!) and terrified the cat. The cat wants to run away when faced with the much larger, dangerous predator that wants to eat her, which only increases the dog's interest in chasing and catching her. And from the description, it sounds as if the OP is new to dog ownership, or new to dog-and-cat ownership, much less high-prey-dog-and-terrified-cat ownership.

 

Yes, with a lot of hard work and absolutely constant vigilence and secure, solid barriers between the two animals for an extended period of time so there can be absolutely NO reinforcement of the predator-prey interaction (inciting to chase on the part of the greyhound, inciting to run on the part of the cat), this might work. But the first mistake might be the last for the cat. The cat was there first, is older (slower, more prone to injuries in general and slower to heal if injured), and shouldn't have it's life put at risk for a new addition to the household that could easily harm or kill it, or be a shut in to a safe room most of the time because it's too dangerous for it to be out.

 

If you really want to make this work, it will require constant vigilence. Real barriers between the animals any time you cannot be attached to the greyhound and supervise it - NO muzzle will protect a cat from a truly determined high-prey greyhound or other dog - and constant training and reinforcing of ignoring the cat every time the grey sees the cat. If you take a good look at your life, and the amount of work it would take to ensure the safety of the cat, and can honestly say that you are willing to do all of the work it needs, it can work. But it certainly is not going to be quick, and may never happen. Others have lived with a divided household until one or the other has passed on (and they grey could live to up to 14 years old, easily, and the cat to 18 - so maybe another 10 years!).

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JJ has tremendous prey drive....and was high risk to Irwin when we got him. As Susan said, Irwin always had escape routes....and never hold and lift the cat. JJ always thought that was somehow reinforcing that the cat was his plaything.

 

He has improved tremendously over the years...but am only now beginning to leave them occasionally unmuzzled as I now have a larger house loaded with kitty hiding places.

 

I suggest you get the type of muzzle used on greyhound tracks. They allow the dog to eat, drink, vomit, etc....and yawn....I.e. Open his mouth, but protect your cat. They are totally humane

 

If for some reason you choose to re home he dog, promise us you will find a local group to help you as they know how to test and place greyhounds so this sweetie won't get bounced around too much.

 

Good luck.

Edited by mychip1

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Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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The muzzle you are describing is NOT a greyhound muzzle and should not be used. These are called basket or kennel muzzles, as you see here: http://www.gemgreyhounds.org/GEM-Store/category/muzzle/

 

They can breathe and pant and drink with them. Yes they can fuss at first but really it's just a big act. And they are used with rescued lurchers too so it doesn't matter if the dog is not a retired racer. If you have a greyhound you should have a proper muzzle for the dog's safety in any number of contexts, not just the cat.

Edited by PrairieProf

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

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Thank you for your answers. I read them all with great interest.

 

I will have a professional dog trainer come and evaluate the dog tomorrow.

 

Today was a step ahead. I muzzled the dog with the only muzzle I currently own (apparently it's so much easier when I give him something sweet) and tied his leash so that he cannot run too far. I placed him on some comfy pillows and I pet him for about 30 minutes until he almost fell asleep. I opended the door to the cat's room and the cat exited the room and made eye contact with the dog. The dog saw the cat but kept his head on the floor and remained calm. The cat and the dog looked at each other for about 3-5 minutes and the cat then moved away. The dog went back to sleep.

 

I praised the dog and gave him bacon:)

 

After a few minutes the same thing happend again only this time the cat was far more interested in the dog, and the dog would just turn his head away from the cat to find another comfortable position to sleep.

 

The cat was always 5 feet away from the dog and maintained its distance.

 

I unleashed the dog after this session,praised him and gave him treats.

 

I am beginning to have hope:)

 

PS. I just found out today that the dog shared an appartment with 5-6 cats for a day or two before I got him without showing any interest towards them. Maybe it could have been because the cats outnumbered him?

Edited by Maya
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