cat killing dog


11 Years
Apr 27, 2008
Durant, Iowa
Okay, any suggestions?

My Great Dane, Gracie, has killed two cats in the past three days. I spay and neuter my barn cats, and am very attached to them. DH calls them my 'house cats who live in the barn' because they are very well cared for. This morning she killed one of my most favorite kitties, a cat who I nursed back to health after he got stomped on by one of my mules and had to have a hind leg amputated.

What can I do? I absolutely will not part with my dog. Yes, she has a high prey drive, but she is also a wonderful girl and sweet as they come to people. It's almost odd how incredibly gentle she is with humans, especially children, and yet I watched her kill a raccoon once by grabbing it by the back, and crushing its spine. Coons are tough critters, and she came away without a single scratch.

I'm not remotely adverse to using a shock collar at this point, but I'd have to be watching her 24/7 and that's simply not realistic. Is there anything I can do?

Again, please don't tell me to shoot or get rid of the dog--that's simply not going to happen. As much as I love my barn cats, this dog is family so parting with her just isn't an option.

Needless to say I'm very worried about when I start free ranging my hens--I am planning to put cattle pannels around their area so Gracie can't get to the hens, but the hens will be able to fly over or go through the pannels.

Gracie is only five, so this could be an issue for many years to come!

Can you fence in an area for Gracie to be in? We fenced our yard around the house for our dogs. They don't have any access to the barn or other pastures so they can't get to any of the other animals. The barn cats have learned not to come around the house.

So sorry to hear about your dilemma. I know how that is. I love my barn cats and need them to keep the mice and all away but also love my dogs. That was why we have fenced our whole property into different sections.
Shock collar. If used properly,you can train the dog to leave the cats alone in a very short period of time. In Florida people use shock collars to train dogs to leave the deadly toads alone.
The shock collar will teach the dog not to do it in your presense if the training is done right. Then the fact that the collar is being worn will help. But if there is "prey" that she gets to noticing, and she begins to give chase, and you're not there to push the button, that training is gone out the window as soon as she realizes the collar only works when you're there.

Once a cat killer, always a cat killer. That leaves fencing the dog up, or fencing the cats up. I'm willing to bet the dog is easier to contain than cats.

Same with the chickens... if cats are prey, chickens are like the holy grail of fun for a prey driven dog. They squawk, flap, fly, scatter when you run into their flock. I don't know a dog that can resist it, let alone a dog with a killing record.

It will most likely be the chickens that undo the shock collar training. I've got a mental picture of a hen that flew the fence, and is running up and down, squawking and wing flapping, trying to get back in (not remembering the way she got out) when the dog takes notice. Dog tests the collar, by walking towards the chicken. Stalks closer. Still no zap, since human isn't near. Goes for the final run approach, chicken panics, dog gets even more excited, still no zap... chicken caught... shock collar training just undone.

A 6ft fence, cinder blocks along the bottom or something else to prevent digging escape attempts, and prevent all access to "prey" that are supposed to be loved pets.
I am a long way from an expert but I would keep Gracie fenced in a kennel if she out there with you. Killing a
I'm sorry that you lost one of your favorite kitties. I hope that you are able to come up with a workable solution soon.
If you do not want to get rid of the dog and are attached to your cats, I would keep the dog contained unless supervised. That would be the only sure fire way I know of.
When we moved to our ranch several years ago, the seller asked if we would keep the dog that was on the ranch. He seemed like a nice dog and got along well with our other two dogs so we said we would keep him. What we didn't know was he was a cat killer. I lost one of my kitties and a stray to him in short order. We could have gotten rid of him, however I believe that most animals with time and firm training can change. He was five year old at the time.

I had to be on him like glue. He was fine with the cats until he saw them running then he would chase and attack. What was to my advantage was this dog loved me from the moment I met him and he so wanted to please me.

I started by letting him know what behavior I would not allow by using a can with rocks in it to make a loud noise to get his attention, then followed by the command AT, then a stern look. There was times where I had to chase him down and grab him firmly by the scuff of the neck to let him know I was boss. It took a few weeks to where he understood that AT meant not allowed and several more weeks of watching to make sure he understood that cats were off limits. It did work and the dog lived with us for 12 years more years and got to the point where the cats would curl up next to his belly to sleep. He ended up being a great dog for us and I would tell everyone we bought the dog and the ranch came with him.

My point is most animals can be trained but it does take work and time. While doing to training you will have to keep the dog away from the cats unless you are with her. You may either have the cats penned up or more than likely the dog until she understands what her limits are. She sure sounds like she will go after your chickens also so be real careful with her.

I have never had to use a shock collar but I know others that have with good results. Good luck. I hope it works out for you.
You can either keep her separated way from all the other animals or try a muzzle. That will keep her from being able to grab them with her mouth and that will give them more time to get away so she can not hold them down. A muzzle only makes it so she wouldn't be able to bite...but I'm sure she could do damage to a spine if she pounced or smacked something small. Good luck!
I don't believe once a cat killer always a cat killer. My uncle had a Boston Terrier and he lived to kill cats. He moved and gave the dog to family members that had cats. They introduced them and he loved "his" cats. Of course, cats that weren't "part of the family" were fair game.

Is there any way that you could introduce your dog to the cats one at a time, maybe inside the house or something so that she understands they are allowed? You may have already tried this, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It may take several introductions, but it could work.

Sorry about your cats.
Good luck with your dog.


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