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Dogs/dog behavior


I have a female lopsa opsa dog (sorry for any spelling errors). I found a kitten and brought it home. He's clean (like he had an owner) but malnourished. I introduced them and the kitten didn't mind the dog but the dog seems to taunt the kitten by pulling his fur, nosing him up under his belly and pushing him.
Is this a playful act by the dog, trying to make him run or play? Or should we worry that the seemingly playful tugs of fur and pushing  get worse and the kitten is going to get hurt?
I don't want to punish my dog to harshly for curiosity and wanting to play. I'm isolating the kitten when I'm not home for safety and till he's stronger.
Thank you,


Hi Diana,

Your dog needs to be trained to be gentle with the kitten, just has she might need to be trained to be gentle with a young child. If you don't do this, the kitten could get hurt, or hurt your dog with her claws if she feels the need to defend herself, or she might grow up to be fearful of dogs.

Does the kitten seem to mind it when your dog tugs at her fur or gets a little rough? Though the behavior seems rough to you, if your kitten doesn't get aggressive or run away she may be seeing it as play.

Training your dog to play gently isn't hard to do. Your dog needs supervision. If you see her getting too rough, firmly tell her "no" and separate her from the kitten. You might find it helpful to keep your dog's leash on her inside the house, to make it easy to control her contact with the kitten. This would allow the kitten to have her space and to initiate contact with your dog when she feels comfortable in doing so. Be sure to praise and encourage all friendly behavior between your dog and the kitten, and instantly correct your dog for any pushy or obnoxious behavior.

Don't try to rush the two, or force them to become friends. It sounds like you're off to a great start!  It's good you're separating the two for now, but I think in time they will be good together.

You might find this article helpful:

Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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