ACD's aggression toward cats


Barked: Tue Aug 17, '10 2:38pm PST 
I recently adopted a 5-7 year old ACD, and I adore him. However, I was ignorant of his breed's traits when I adopted him and the shelter assured me he'd been "cat tested" and got along exceptionally well with cats. He now studies my cat for hours, follows him everywhere, steps in front of him, and has softly growled at the cat. After researching the breed, I am very concerned, but he is showing complete submission to me. Any advice about how to help him understand the cat is not prey but a family member? I want to keep this dog at all costs, excepting the cat's life. I'm grateful for any suggestions.

Barked: Tue Dec 23, '14 11:44am PST 
I think you're misinterpreting his attempts to control the cat as "aggression." I lived with an ACD-mix and 2 cats. They have all begrudgingly tolerated one another for 3 years, but when I first adopted my dog she would jump up any time the cats went near her food bowl and body block them. I put a stop to this by just putting the food bowl out where the cats passed it a hundred times a day, and telling the dog to leave it. However, when I introduce something new to the house (a bag of groceries, the Christmas tree, whatever...) Maybelle will still chase the cats away. I've started using this to my advantage. If the cats scratch the furniture she jumps up and chases them away -- and she's learning how to do this when they get up on the counter or a table. It gives the dog a job and keeps the cats in line.

Sometimes she will nip at the cats, but she's never actually bit them or hurt them. One of my cats even calls her bluff sometimes and stands her down. As long as you can control the dog (i.e. call her away, ask her to "leave it" or sit and stay") it shouldn't have to be a problem.