How much to let cat ambush?

Ok, so I've had buddy for 3 weeks, he's a 10 month old Basenji/Lab mix with a great personality: no food aggression, no toy aggression, and seemingly little or no aggression for my VERY alpha cat, Cody. I think he believes cats are just smaller dogs!

He's very laid back inside, and goes 9000 mph outside (we are working on recall–-eeeesssshhhh).

I followed a lot of rules about introducing Buddy to Cody and kept B crated at all times until C stopped being a sphere of fur at his sight, then kept him on his leash at all times until C was comfortable walking up to B to sniff his tail. B has stayed pretty laid back, but is very curious about C--he does not seem at all aggressive, he seems like he just wants to play; C however is not so sure--while C is MUCH better now and never really puffs up, he will do the normal 'boxing' thing if B gets too eager or surprises C.

Cody is now confident enough (or it could be pissed enough?) to hide behind things and run at Buddy--he's not puffed up at all, and he stops short and just sniffs noses. Sometimes, B will stand his ground a bit, and just stand up and sniff back (no hackles up, no growling, etc), but usually he just backs away and finds something else to play with.

I have had both of them in the same room most of the time with no trouble (other than B whimpering/vocalizing when it seems like he'd like to play with Cody -- he'll even get the rump-up/head down play pose)

Anyway, is it normal for an alpha cat to 'charge' like this? And how much should I allow it to happen before squirting Cody the cat with the water/vinegar solution? If they are just finding their pecking order, I'm cool to let em sort it out as long as I'm close; but if this is an unhealthy dynamic that's about to explode, I want to catch it soon.

Thanks!
Jon, Buddy and Cody

PS Buddy is lying down on my left, and Cody is currently laying down on my right. This is not uncommon. I think they may actually like each other--but don't want to let my guard down and find a hurt kitty (or an injured eye on the pup).

Oh yeah, Cody is a very fit 15 lb cat–not fat at all . . . he's very fast, and very capable of knocking Buddy into tomorrow if it (God forbid) were to get rough . . . of course, Buddy is deceptively powerful for a 40 lb ten-month old, and one shake if he got C would do some damage.

Jon,
sounds to me as if Cody is asserting himself whilst the pup is young which may pay off in the future (ie he's getting in there first 😉
One of our Cats is very quick to strike out at Malaika even if she only looks at him, he probably realised that if he gives an inch she will take a mile 😃
I once had a Cat that would ambush our Dalmation, he hid behind doors and leapt out at her, he also did it to us.
You are right to always be aware of the danger though we tend not to leave Malaika uncrated with the cats when we go out, just in case.

It is almost always best to let them sort it unless blood becomes involved. 🙂

Thanks for the feedback! So it sounds ok that the cat is doing this–cool. Any other thoughts welcomed--I've read some other posts that have been helpful as well.

He does get amped up and excited when Cody is taunting him (by running quickly across the living room, etc), but he usually immediately goes to the door and whines to go out--seems like he knows that there may be better play options (ie other dogs) outside.

Now to get him to stop this vocalizing by the door when he doesn't have to 'go.' And get him to come when called (when outside). Outside = "Cone of Deafness!"
Jon

Jon, check out this site. Many years ago Mary chastised a bunch of us for our not really teaching dogs to COME. I learned one command, go get the dog. Every single time. No exception.
http://www.clickerlessons.com/index.htm

Her lessons are clear. Btw, the long coat Rottie is from my line. We nearly had a STROKE when it was born. I went up to PA to see the litter. Mary came up, fell in love… utterly in love. DQ for show but sure not for her to love and make into an obedience school mascot 🙂 She fell in love, wouldn't put it down, begged her husband and I delivered it to her in Delaware on my way back to Georgia.
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I saw that link to Mary's site on another post I put on here. . . it's working great! I also got one of those 'gentle leader' leash things that has the nose strap, and while he's fussing a little, he's doing pretty well for his first day.

Now he has this thing about not being interested in his toys, but wants to play with all of the cats toys, including the little mice that if he eats em, will clog him up . . . sheesh, I'm gonna have to put catnip on HIS toys! (kidding)

Jon

Oh yes, what a cute pix of the puppy rott! That's great that he's from Mary's pooch's line

Not sure what you mean. That is the pup from my line that Mary bought. She is DQ from coat, so spayed and on limited registration. But she is utterly loved, adored and perfect.

Oh, I just got it backwards–still a cool pup!

I agree with Debra's comment about watching your dog with the cats but letting them figure it out. I'm finding that my cats are really laying down the law with Kipawa - basically they are telling him that they were in the home first! Kipawa really does want to play with them, just run around with them. But their big running days are over, as they are 17 and 15 years of age. And, if they sit by you together, I would take that as an excellent sign of acceptance of each other.

I'm going through the same thing with Olive. My cat is almost 4 years old and like 15 lbs so he isnt afraid of olive but growls and hisses if Olive comes at him fast or make sudden movements near him. His hair never stands up, he just growls and hisses, occasionally bat at her if she doesnt get the point. So far no major risk to the cat or Olive, but I just watch them to see if anything changes since Olive is a pup and I dont know how much more she'll grow (she's a big 5 month puppy so no idea if after spaying she'll be in "normal" basenji size range).

I have a 16 year old cat who is very unfriendly with the B's, but I let them work it out. One of the dogs has gotten scars, the other's fur is too thick for that but she really wants to play with the cat who won't allow it and bats her constantly - I used to worry about the dogs hurting the cat, but no more - she has taught them how much will be put up with and how much it can hurt if they keep it up.

This just happened tonight for the 1st time. Very glad to see that the cat was the one that chose to jump up and plop down.:):):)
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