I'm really hoping you can help me. I am a cat lover and have a 6 month old kitten/cat, we are about to move in with my partner who is a dog lover, he has 2 french pointers, mother and daughter. The mother is highly aggressive toward smaller animals, she is a rescued dog who has never fulfilled her hunting nature (we guess because of whatever was done to her when she was small, he got her when she was just 1 year old, she is now 4). She has killed and eaten/torn apart 3 cats that we know of, and the only reason why she hasn't been forced to wear a muzzle is because my partner is such a dog lover, that he probably wouldn't go for that option and none of the neighbors saw any of these incidences. I have only thought of this option today, hence why I haven't mentioned to him yet. We are due to move in with him, he keeps both dogs in a dog run at the back of the garden with a fence separating them from the garden, which means the only way out of our property is to go through the dog run, which would definitely result in the cats death. The problem is that we cannot let the cat out the front door because its solid Teak and therefore a cat flap is not a option. The house is right on a main road, so it's quite dangerous for the cat to use regularly, until she's bigger anyway.
I'm wondering the likely hood of being able to put a muzzle on the dog until she understands that she is not to go for the cat (if she killed my cat I would no longer be willing to be near her, she makes me feel uncomfortable as it is and I would be nervous of young babies being near her too, a problem for the future). I have read your website and it seems to me that you can't leave a dog with a muzzle on all day/night because it's obviously cruel, am I correct in that?
If it was up to me, we'd just move somewhere else, but that is also not an option. I find this whole situation extremely frustrating when I know that if I had an animal that was highly likely to kill one of his animals, he would expect me to get rid of it, and I probably would. He, however, has a double standard when it comes to almost everything! (Lucky me!) I refuse to live in a situation where our animals are controlling our lives, because it is just ludicrous! Also we cannot keep the cat as an indoor cat because I think that's cruel and the notion of a litter box in a house where you can't open a window for fear of the murderous dog attacking is not an option.
Obviously I'm rambling slightly, but just because I'm so frustrated by all this. My partner loves the cat as well but he is extremely stubborn and has had dogs since he was a boy. The other dog is not aggressive and I wonder if she is likely to become like her mother over time? Which would be very upsetting. The young pup (1 year old) is great, catches balls and sticks and brings them back. When you let the mother off the lead, she just runs like lightning to the nearest field with animals in it and/or to the back fence of neighbors' gardens to try and catch and kill cats. I honestly think she is not a pet at all. She's just a pain and causes endless trouble. She also barks when she can smell or sense a cat or other animal near, which happens a lot because of where we live. Is it possible to train dogs like this to be better? I've suggested giving her to a farmer but my partner says we can't because she'd kill the animals.. .which is very confusing because she won't hunt, she just lies down in protest. Basically she's crazy and makes no sense and is highly unpredictable. What are we to do?
Thank you for taking the time to read this email and any wisdom you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Ed has written an article on cats. I would not allow any dogs that show aggression to cats (or any other animals or humans) to be off leash.
In reference to a muzzle, it will not stop the unwanted. It will prevent the dog from using her mouth, but the issue will remain. During training, the muzzle is a good idea, but it's not the cure for this.
All dogs deserve training but the success will depend on the dog, the consistency and ability of the trainer The hardest part is getting the humans to change their mind set. There are training suggestions in the dog/cat article.
I think much of your issue is getting both you and your partner on the same page and unfortunately, I can't help with that.