We are introducing a new regular feature on SlimDoggy.com. It’s called “Dear Labby” and is a dog-oriented version of the famous advice column with a similar name.
Why are we doing this column?
We have become the de facto ‘dog experts’ for friends and family, and now, to many of our readers. I guess that is what happens when you have had dogs your whole life, experienced all sorts of health and behavior issues and have a business that revolves around dogs. We get asked a lot of questions about dog behavior, health, nutrition and exercise.
We are certainly not veterinarians, but we do have lots of experience and good research skills – meaning we know how to sort the reliable information from the junk in Google. We also have this great Blogger community to tap into to provide additional expert advice and insight to our readers relative to their questions.
All these factors lead us to the idea of sharing some of the questions we get, providing our thoughts and opening up our comments section for others to provide their thoughts and ideas to the community. This will be an ongoing feature and we are happy to entertain questions from our readers as well as their insights & advice, so please join in with your suggestions to the reader questions (in the comments) and please feel free to submit your question here or use the form at the bottom of the page.
Now on to Dear Labby:
Dear Labby, We have a wonderful dog named Kylie. She is a six year old Akita/Shepherd mix. She’s a sweet dog, friendly and well-behaved. So why am I writing? Kylie chases all of the rodents in our yard, squirrels, rabbits, etc. Sometimes she catches them and kills them. The other night, she cornered our neighbors cat and there was quite a battle. The cat ended up with a hefty vet bill and Kylie was pretty scratched up. I’m wondering what, if anything I should be doing about this. We haven’t done anything about her chasing the rodents, and to her the cat is probably just another thing to chase, but I really don’t want her chasing and potentially harming a cat. What should I do?
We’ve never had an issue with one of our dogs going for a cat, at least not that I know of. Tino was notorious for stalking
most anything that came into the yard – rabbits, squirrels, possums, raccoons and his favorite, lizards. The prey drive in some dogs is instinctual and difficult, if not impossible for them to overcome. Akitas are BEAR hunters, so I’m sure Kylie’s prey drive is pretty advanced. What I’m not sure of is what it will take to change that behavior. You should start by slowly weaning her away from the behavior you don’t want through desensitization – harder to do if you don’t HAVE a cat and have to try and work with a friends cat, but an important step. You should also work with her on the “leave it” command. This is a useful command to get your dog to leave behind something that they really want. We just started working with Jack on it in the hopes of getting him away from the coyote poop he craves.
Here’s a few interesting articles and videos that might also help:
We open your question to our readers for their advice on this. Do you have a dog who chases cats? What have you done about it? Please provide your advice to DogCatSpat in our comments:
To submit a question to Dear Labby, simply use our contact us page.