How do I get my 3-yr old Chihuahua terrier mix dog to accept a new kitten into our home?

We adopted a rescue dog three years ago...he is a Chihuahua terrier mix. When we got him,he was fine with other dogs but aggressive with strange people. He has calmed down a lot. However, my daughter recently brought a cat into the house.....and, while the dog ignores the cat when she is caged or held by someone, the second we put her down and she moves, he attacks her. I am afraid he will really hurt her. What can we do?

Asked by Biff on Feb 9th 2011 in Socialization
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Torrie Gidget Wolfchild

I would suggest looking into some of Cesar Millan's techniques on dog behavior.

Torrie Gidget Wolfchild answered on 2/10/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Misha (R.I.P. 4/29/13)

Are you sure he is being aggressive and not trying to play? (Dog play is often too rough for kitties, and kitty play is too sharp for dogs.)

Either way, you're going to need to desensitize the dog to the kitten. Start at a a distance; you want the dog close enough to the kitten so he knows it's there, but not so close that he reacts. Also make sure he is leashed and you have control over exactly how close he is. Give him treats whenever he chooses to stay calm and relaxed. Slowly bring him closer, giving him treats for staying calm. It takes time.If at any point he looks like he's getting overly excited or starts to pull on the leash and go after the kitten, take him out of the room immediately. He wants to get to the cat, so by taking him away he is learning that he doesn't get what he wants for being aggressive.

Even once you think he's got it, please never leave the kitten and dog alone until it's big enough to take care of itself. The last thing you want is an accidental death. :

Misha (R.I.P. 4/29/13) answered on 2/10/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer