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Chase cat


Pomeranian is Chasing Cat

Ella Mae (4yrs) and her buddy Macy Jae, photo courtesy of Carol Ruth
Photo courtesy of Veronika j uricko 
Question: Since we got our Pom Coho he constantly chases one of our cats around. He chews on her and drags her by the tail. I have tried stomping my feet and making loud noises and it doesn't seem to help.... he will go away from her but then two or three minutes later his is doing the same thing again.

How can I stop this behavior? Owner: Christine, Pomeranian: Coho 

Answer: Hi Christine. This is your Pom's instinct to chase after "prey". It's hard to believe that small toy dogs like the Pomeranian have such basic canine instinct such as chasing prey, but they certainly can.  In most cases, it is not a matter of pouncing on a cat to do any real harm, but more of a game in which one animal chases the other for satisfaction of being able to 'win'.

Your Pom is seeing your cat's tail as the "goal" of the game. From the 1st day that your Pom chased your cat, and your cat ran, this told Coho that chasing the cat was a game and catching her by the tail is his "reward" for catching her. 

Now, you must train your Pom that chasing the cat is:

1. Not a game

2. Something unacceptable that will need to life= no fun

3. Not chasing the cat = fun, rewards and life is good. 

There are several things that you can do.

We would suggest beginning in a way that gives you much more control over Coho, until he learns. Therefore, we would recommend a harness and 6 foot leash. We suggest tethering the end of the leash to you. 

In this way, he must stay within a 6 foot radius of you at all times. If he tries to lunge and go after your cat, having a harness instead of a leash will make sure that your Pom is not injured. (Most commonly we would be worried about a collapsed trachea).

Each time that the cat walks by, give Coho the command to "Sit". If Coho sits, immediately offer him a doggie treat and pats from you to show that you approve of how he remain being nice. Every know and then, you should also give Coho a nice, new dog toy when he does not chase the cat.

Any time that he tries to chase after the cat, being tethered to you will not allow him to. If he does try, do not bother reprimanding him... he will not understand. 
Pomeranian and a cat together
Some Poms get along famously with cats.
Likinia, 8 months old with cat, Walter
Photo courtesy of owner: Kyrsten
What he will understand is if you ignore him. For 5 to 10 minutes, say absolutely nothing to Coho. No treats, no patting, no words.

Within a couple of weeks, Coho should be getting the idea that chasing the cat= no fun & that not chasing the cat = pats, treats and attention from you.

Once you get to this point, you can then repeat this training...but without the leash. Be sure to be consistent. Even not implementing the training 1 time can confuse your Pom...and he will not be 100% sure about what you expect.
Within about 2 weeks of training without the leash, when the cat walks by, Coho should look up to you for expected pats, praise and a small treat. 

Once Coho really understands that he is expected to not chase the cat, you can then give a treat every other time or every 3rd time. When you do not give the treats, be sure to go a bit overboard with attention. Give bigger pats, hugs and kisses. This way, once he is trained, he will learn that getting great attention from you is a wonderful reward and he will not eat 20 treats a day!
See also:

Pomeranian flea problem - It's never fun or easy when a puppy or dog gets fleas, however it is important to react quickly and use the right products to resolve the problem.
Car seats for Pomeranians - Trauma is the leading cause of death for puppies and one of the leading causes for toy breeds dogs of any age. This includes fatal injuries received while being a passenger in a car. Learn how to choose the right seat to protect your Pomeranian.
Pomeranian eating cat food - When you have both a Pom and a cat, there are always potential issues. One that is fairly common is when the puppy or dog likes to nibble on the cat food. Read about whether or not this is safe and methods to discourage this from happening. 
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