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Dog Training/Rescue dog chasing cat

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Question
hello,
I recently took in an akita male that is 1 year old and un neutered from a acquaintance from my work. He is a great dog and doing well with my young daughter growls at her a little when she bothers him and then my older smaller dog except for a few aggression issues over toys. My main issue with him is him attacking our cat any time it moves. I have tried introducing them slowly the dog even ignores the cat as it sits as long as I am around calming him down when he first notices the cat perched. The second the cat moves he attacks dangerously knocking things down and flipping over tables anything in his path.I have tried spray bottle approach to now the only thing that works is smacking him upside the head to get him to snap out of it I know that is horrible but its the only thing that gets him out of the zone. please help I know this dog can be a difficult breed and the local humane society doesn't except his breed due to known aggression issues. I am planning on neutering him as soon as possible as well. Thank you!!

Answer
Aimee, what you're dealing with here is instinctive prey drive.  Most dogs with this level of prey drive can't live with cats.  I've done greyhound rescue for many years and we test the dogs with cats before placing them into adoptive homes.  There are certain criteria that cause them to fail the cat test.  Unable to calm or control themselves in the presence of a moving cat is one of them.  

What's more troubling to me in your message is the fact that you have a young daughter and the dog is growling at her.  This is a more dangerous situation and you need to get professional in-person help if you decide to keep this dog.

Here's where to find a reputable dog trainer in your area:
http://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer
http://positively.com/dog-training/trainersearch/
http://www.ccpdt.org/
http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx
http://iaabc.org/consultants

Please carefully consider whether it's in your family's best interest to keep this dog.

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP

Expertise

I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, www.DistinctiveDogTraining.com/resources offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.

Experience

I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Organizations
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

Education/Credentials
BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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