If your Labrador won’t leave your cat alone you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why is my Labrador obsessed with my cat? Possible reasons are that it’s jealous, it’s being possessive or that it is just playing when it does it.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become easier to get it to stop.
Why your Labrador is obsessed with your cat
Below are some common causes of Labrador being obsessed with cats and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours
It is jealous
The reason why it is obsessed with the cat could also be that it is jealous of your cat. This would be more likely if it becomes more obsessed with it when you have been giving your cat more attention and if you have not been giving your Labrador as much attention lately.
In this case, it would help to give your Labrador attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. However, it would be important not to reward it when it becomes obsessed with your cat by giving it more attention when it does it.
It is being possessive
The reason that it does it might be that it is being possessive. This would be especially likely if it does it in situations such as when they are eating. It would help to feed your Labrador and your cat separately since it is a lot more likely that it would become aggressive towards your cat when it is eating.
It is just playing
It could be the case that your Labrador is just playing when it does it. This would be more likely if it does not become obsessed with it in an aggressive way.
However, even if it is just playing, it will still be helpful to train your Labrador not to do be obsessed with it using the tips below.
It gets rewarded
It could also be the case that it does it because it gets rewards when it does it. If you tend to give your Labrador things such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it is obsessed with your cat, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to get it to stop with the use of positive reinforcement training as shown below.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your Labrador has been doing it.
When your Labrador became obsessed with your cat
If your Labrador was not always obsessed with your cat, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started.
If your Labrador became obsessed with your cat suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as jealousy especially if it started doing it when you gave your cat more attention.
However, it could also be that your Labrador is being dominant if your cat has been doing things like sleep where your Labrador normally does.
The times that it is obsessed with your cat
It would also help to consider the timing of when it becomes obsessed with your cat since the timing could also have something to do with it.
If your Labrador becomes obsessed when they are both eating, it would make it more likely that your Labrador is resource guarding and it would help to feed them separately.
Whereas, if it always does it, the cause could be that it is jealous, it is due to getting rewards when it does it or that it is just playing.
The age of your Labrador
If your Labrador is still a puppy, it would make it more likely that it has not learned to leave your cat alone yet. If it is a puppy, it will be very helpful to take the time now to train it to behave the way that you want it to so that it is well behaved as an adult.
If your Labrador is older, it would be more likely to be due to a combination of expecting rewards, jealousy and being dominant.
How to stop your Labrador from being obsessed with your cat
Below are some things you can do to get your Labrador to stop doing it.
If you think that it might harm the cat or the cat does not like it, the best option would be to separate them whenever possible. This would be especially important when they are eating since Labrador can be possessive when they are eating.
Train it to be nice to the cat
To train your Labrador to leave it alone you’ll do it in three stages. First, you’ll teach it to stay, then to stay while it’s being distracted and
The video below shows you how you can train it to stay.
After you have trained it to stay while being distracted it will be time to slowly introduce the cat.
You can do this by telling your Labrador to stay and then start by just putting the cat in the same room.
Then after your Labrador maintains its attention on you, you’ll reward it for doing so. You’ll repeat this process where you get your Labrador to stay with the cat in the same room until you’re able to get it to keep its attention on you easily.
Once it’s good at doing that, you’ll continue to tell it to stay but you’ll reduce the amount of distance between your Labrador and your cat until you’re able to get your Labrador to keep
Watch the video below to see how it is done.
Train it consistently
When you are training your Labrador it is important to be consistent with the training. It is unlikely that you will be able to achieve drastic results with just one training session. However, if you are consistent with the training, you will be able to achieve better results over the course of weeks and months.
Get professional help
If you can’t get it to leave the cat alone or it is aggressive towards it, the best option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist or trainer. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador, to see why it has been doing it and how to get it to stop.