How to repair relations between a dog and cat?

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I used to be hopeful that I could adopt the community cat I’ve been feeding. But the relationship between her and my dog has really deteriorated. How can I improve their relationship? Or is it too late? In the future, how should I introduce my dog to cats?

Background: My dog is 2 years old. We adopted her about 8 months ago. She’s a 7 pound poodle chihuahua mutt.

The story: A community cat comes onto my back porch and I feed her. When I first adopted my dog, my dog tolerated the cat. I thought their relationship would naturally get better, but after a few scratches (my dog was pushy, and the cat unyielding), my dog started to bark at the cat whenever she’d jump onto the porch’s railing. Letting my dog get scratched is probably my biggest mistake. I assumed my dog would learn to not get in the cat’s face, but instead she learned to dislike the cat. At that point, my dog wouldn’t charge the cat, just bark. But things slowly escalated. I tried to associate the cat with peanut butter kongs and lots of petting and attention. But maybe it’s too little too late.

Now when she sees the cat, even at a distance, she gets stiff. And if the cat approaches, she goes berserk. Usually, I hold my dog in one arm, and feed the cat with the other. I thought petting my dog and soothing her while I fed the cat would make her associate the cat with good things. But today, as I was extending my arm to feed the cat, my dog bit my hand, hard. She didn’t break the skin, but it’s swollen. In the 8 months I’ve had her, this is the first time she has bitten anyone. But you know what’s weird? When we are out on walks, she only shows a little interest in that same cat. And when I go to friends’ houses, she is cautious but not aggressive towards their cats. So can I remedy this?

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