Struggling with different animals in the home is hard. Let me share what I think is at the core of this. For starters, I think the dog does not believe, that he is not supposed to go after the cat. What I mean by that is, that the dog does not respect you enough and will do whatever he wants. Consequences do not matter and the dog will chase after the cat. Then the cats will start to defend themselves and that can be pretty dangerous for a dog. I have seen some really nasty cat scratches.
The simple answer is your leash, prong collar or remote collar. When the dog starts going after the cat, the dog needs to be told “No”, followed by pressure from whatever training tool you use for your dog. For a dog with high prey drive, my choice would be the remote collar. Many dogs don’t care about pressure from the slip leash, especially when they release a lot of adrenaline. The prong collar should not be on a dog at all times, because they could get caught on something. The remote collar is a really great communication tool. When a dog feels discomfort, it tells the dog “I should do this less”. Understand the difference between discomfort and pain. The remote collar will not hurt your dog, but will ultimately communicate, that he is not to go after the cat. It is important to be consistent over time and then, each time the dog begins to escalate, you will see him deescalate, when he feels pressure. It is helpful to have your dog in a place /sit or place/down. When you are prepared and you stage the situation, it is likely to deescalate quickly.
One more tip: once the dog is actively avoiding the cats, it would be beneficial to feed and/or pet your dog. Make sure you are also advocating for your dog and don’t allow the cats to come over and taunt your dog.
Longoriahaus Dog Training is a dog training service in the Kingwood, Humble and Houston area. Longoriahaus Dog Training can help you raise a happy and reliable dog.