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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5222
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My daughter's boxer killed her neighbor's cat that jumped into

Customer Question

My daughter's boxer killed her neighbor's cat that jumped into my daughter's backyard. The dog mutilated the body of the cat. The dog has shown dominance but has never bitten anyone. She has growled at my son in law when he has corrected her. They have two children the youngest being 6. Should they be concerned about keeping the dog?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.We call this predatory aggression. This is different than aggression toward people. There are some dogs with a very strong predator/prey drive. From the perspective of stopping the cat killing (or small animal killing behavior), predatory aggression is tough to change. If I were working with a dog that had a history of killing indoor cats, I would consider the prognosis poor (therefore unable to change this behavior) and the risk high for recurrence. I would not recommend getting a cat in the household. I would also warn all your neighbors.But as far as this type of behavior translating into people aggression, there is not a direct correlation. I would simply monitor and see how she reacts to people. If the growling worsens to biting, then there is a very high risk that this could progress, but remember this is a different type of aggression than small animal killing. I wish this were entirely predictable whether or not it will change but it is not. Working with her to ensure she has good obedience (and can be snapped out of any aggressive behaviors with people by reverting to her commands) is very important. It is also important to give her a job; so advanced training can be very useful.