The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 08 December, 2021

Why Are Some Dogs Afraid Of Cats

James Smith
• Thursday, 15 October, 2020
• 10 min read

Panting, whining, cowering and putting his tail between his legs are all common signs that your dog is experiencing fear. If your dog is exhibiting signs of fear in the presence of cats, he is definitely afraid and often for good reason.

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When cats sense fear, they can raise their backs with their hair standing on end all the while hissing, bearing sharp teeth and claws, and moving quickly in seemingly multiple directions. In addition, a cat scratch or bite stings and can cause infection when not properly treated.

Add in a negative experience and you have a full-blown whimpering, panting and pacing canine. Dogs tend to be afraid of and develop fears to things such as thunder, the vet, children, fireworks, and separation.

Certain large dog breeds such as the Siberian Husky, Standard Poodle, German Shorthaired Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Great Pyrenees, Border Collie, and Bernese Mountain Dog appear to have a strong family genetic component predisposing them to fear of random things. Dogs will start to develop fears, phobias, and anxieties at the onset of social maturity from one to three years of age.

Younger dogs, around the ages of eight to ten months, can develop a profound fear of unknown origin. Elderly dogs, as their decline in memory begins, can also develop fears such as separation anxiety.

As pet lovers, your instinctive reaction to a dog exhibiting fear is to console him, protect him, and assure him that he is all right. Rather, you need to teach your dog to remain calm in the presence of a cat and this can be done through a combination of desensitization and counter conditioning.

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These tools are most effective when used early on, so do not hope that the fear will pass with age but rather address it immediately. The goal is to increase time spent with the cat until the dog can exhibit the desired response of peace.

One of the best ways to ensure your dog can face the world without fears is through early exposure to social situations and different environments. If this was not a possibility, and the above suggestions for desensitization and counter conditioning are not effective, take heart and know that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

A visit to your veterinarian to eliminate possible physiological conditions that might be causing the behaviors such as thyroid disorders or an environmental trigger such as lead poisoning might be in order. It can be ‘ruff’ but address his fears head-on with early socialization, or if manifesting in an older pet, then through desensitization and counter conditioning.

Add in the fact that cats are known for not giving a hoot about others, even their human who brings them the Fancy Feast, and it makes sense why overly sweet and loving pups don’t want to get involved in a cat fight! A quick search on YouTube will bring up thousands of videos of Cats Being Jerks.” Whether they're stealing a dog's bed, staring you down as they push a vase off the counter, or unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper, cats are mischievous... and intelligent creatures.

FCC's chairman AIT Pie is resigning on January 20th Because cats have razor sharp needles sticking out of their paws, and many dogs have experienced the pain of getting clawed by them.

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Also, cats have attitude, and often are not too fond of annoying dogs (though some love them). Dogs read body language, and if the cat is giving off a “leave me alone” or “I'm going to hurt you” vibe, it would be normal for the dog to steer clear.

One of them may be displaying fearful behavior due to lack of socialization of the other species. A dog who's been scratched knows a cat has sharp things on its feet.

Written by Amy Bender Reviewed by Anna O'Brien, DVD Many dogs suffer from fears and phobias. These phobias can have a variety of causes, including a lack of early socialization OE a negative experience.

Signs of fear in dogs include cowering, trembling, drooling, barking, destructive behavior, and, in some cases, aggression. Grandee Casein/Stone/Getty Images Astraphobia, fear of thunder, is very common in dogs.

In this case, a dog may tremble slightly or you may notice flattened ears, wide eyes, and a tucked tail during a thunderstorm. Other dogs may have a more severe phobia which leads them to hide, become destructive, or even lose control of their bowels or bladder.

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They become fearful when they hear thunder, fireworks, loud music, trucks driving down the road, and so on. For some dogs, slowly getting them used to the sound of fireworks can eliminate the phobia.

Dogs with a severe fireworks' phobia may need to be treated with anti-anxiety medications or sedatives. Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety tend to exhibit destructive behavior as soon as their owners leave the house.

Other symptoms include excessive barking and housebreaking accidents when left alone. Simply by making changes to their habits before leaving the house and staying low-key when they leave and return home, dog owners can alleviate some of a dog's anxiety.

A dog's first exposure to going to the vet usually involves strange smells, being handled in new ways, being restrained, and getting vaccinations. Offer lots of praise and treats if your dog remains calm.

This fear is often due to a lack of early exposure to car rides. It's possible to overcome your dog's fear of riding in the car by using treats and praise to slowly lure your dog into the car and then working up to taking rides in small steps.

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Make sure the destination is a happy place, like to the dog park or for a walk, and not too far away. A dog who isn't exposed to steps as a young puppy may develop a fear of going up and down them when he encounters a stairway later in life.

It may surprise people to learn that it is fairly common for dogs to be afraid of men. Dogs that have not spent much time around men may be afraid of their deeper voices, larger builds, and even facial hair.

This can be a difficult problem to overcome because it's impossible to teach your dog to accept every possible new person. Unless you bring a puppy into a household with children, your dog may not get the opportunity to socialize with them.

While a child's intentions may be good, a dog may interpret overtures of affection as a threat. Some dogs may not understand a child's noises or jerky, uncoordinated movements, or their small size.

Some dogs develop a fear of a particular object: the vacuum cleaner, holiday decorations, a child's toy, construction equipment, and more. Very often this type of fear is not a big deal, as many objects can simply be moved out of sight.

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For instance, if your dog refuses to walk past a statue outside your apartment building or if he turns into a trembling, anxiety-stricken mess every time you need to vacuum the carpet. In this case, you may need to slowly introduce your dog to objects he is afraid of in a positive, happy manner.

But be warned: Even the fiercest of felines can lose to a terrifically excited dog who’s huge. Best not test those waters too often, lest kitty meet the one big dog who thinks he looks more like lunch than something to be feared.

This is why Animalized brings you 10 things cats are scared of, so that you can try to prevent them disturbing your furry pal. Scaring them on purpose will not only heighten this anxiety, but it will threaten their overall well-being and can weaken the bond you share with them.

It is also important to note that not all cats are equally scared by the things on this list. Even if only a few drops fall on their body, it can lead to a massive freak out.

It might seem like an odd reaction to an animal which loves to be clean, but their fear of water may have something to do with their wild ancestry. In these instances, you will need to ensure they are made to feel as comfortable as possible.

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Introduce the water slowly and reassure at every point with positive reinforcement. Maine Coon, Siamese and Bengal cats often enjoy interacting with water and may even paddle about in shallow baths when the opportunity arises.

Canines have an incredible sense of smell and it is true it is better than feline olfactory responses. They pay attention to the scents in their environment and will respond to various pheromones intensely.

These include vinegar, onions, gasoline, certain alcoholic beverages, citrus fruits and others. Some cats are so sensitive, even the lingering scent in the air can make them fearful.

This doesn't mean they don't love affection and want to spend time with their human companions. Just because they like us one day, doesn't mean we can't do things to harm this relationship.

However, if you try to grab them and hug them tightly, most cats will not see this as a sign of affection. Felines have different ways of communicating than humans, so it is important for us to learn their language and understand they will have trouble identifying our meaning.

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While we may have the ability to work out whether a stranger is a threat, there are some signs which might make us cautious. They bond with their family because they know we will provide food, water, shelter, care and, importantly, are unlikely to harm them.

They may not run away immediately, but many will stop in their tracks out of fear or apprehension. This could be due to body posture, smell or any number of reasons known only to the cat.

Like others on this list of things which scare cats, some felines are very friendly and will approach strangers without fear. In the wild, cats are often solitary animals and will need to stay alert in case predators approach at a vulnerable moment.

As cats do not quite understand all the modern conveniences of human life, there are many things in the home which can scare them with sound. Firecrackers at Halloween, vacuum cleaners, storms, horns and anything else which can create a loud unexpected noise.

It is just important to remember that cats are often at a greater constant state of fearfulness, so we need to be extra careful around them. It may not be the kind of jumping scared you see in YouTube videos.

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One of the most commons is placing a cucumber next to a cat and watching their exaggerated responses. To a cat, their size, texture, color and shape might resemble that of a natural predator such as a snake or other reptile.

In general, scaring your cat in this way is mean and can create unnecessary anxiety, so you are best advised to leave these objects in the fruit bowl where they belong. When we see balloons at a party, our initial thought might be these are colorful, fun and happy objects.

When a balloon is inflated and subject to the air currents in a room, it can move about. As with some other scary objects to cats, the balloon can provide a nasty surprise.

A cat's claws might be good at deterring a more conventional predator, but when they stick into a balloon the ensuing pop can cause quite a fright. The phrase ‘fighting like cats and dogs exists for a reason.

This is process needed to help each other realize neither is a predator, and they do not have to compete for resources as they might in the wild. Positive reinforcement and a safe environment are the best ways to help them get along without a scare.

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