Dogs & Cats

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by CharlieDog, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    OR, alternatively, teaching a highly driven dog that cats are not for eating. :p

    Simon is extremely interested in cats. TOO interested. He becomes fixated and obsessed with them. It's slowly getting better now that he's around them more, but he would dearly love to harass them. He hasn't hurt them, but he likes to mouth them, and poke them with his nose, and thankfully they're used to dogs and know not to run, otherwise I think he'd hurt them if he caught them.

    I do not let him do that, by the way. But he has been out in the yard and the cats like to do cat things, which is whatever they d@mn well please pretty much, so it's been a bit difficult to control every single interaction he'd had with them.

    I've been doing a combination of LAT with them, which is sort of working and sort of not. I have not found anything he'd prefer to staring at the cats through whatever barrier it is between them, nor from his obsessiveness over where they were. No food I've tried is enough to distract him except momentarily. When it does work, we have a party, but it's never for long.

    And I've been correcting him when he's inappropriate with them, rewarding when he's being appropriate. I let him sniff them, just to get over the whole curiosity thing, because I don't think he's ever actually been up close to cats before, and then reward if he turns away, looks at me, etc.

    Is there anything I'm missing? One of the cats hates him, and is immediately confrontational, so I avoid letting him even remotely close to him. The other cat couldn't care less and ignores him, and this is the cat I allow him to sniff, on my terms. If he's "bad" or unmanageable, I correct him, and then crate him and let him think about it. I may not be going about this the right way, I've never had a dog that couldn't live with cats, or at least peacefully coexist before, so this is all new to me.

    Even all the Schutzhund dogs that have paraded through here for a week or more for in home boarding were never this interested in the cats. :p
     
  2. aivzdog

    aivzdog New Member

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    I have three dogs and two cats. Two of my dogs are fine with the cats but one of my dogs gets so excited and tries to nip at the cats. Good thing cats know how to run but it would be nice to get my one dog to stop being so fixated.
     
  3. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    I wish I could help but I have the same problem with Mu and squirrels. It's slowly transitioning to cats although most of them are about her size so I don't think she'd actually do anything to them. Lol. We're doing pre-macking (as recommended by Lizzybeth I think) and using the leave it command a ton. It's.....not really working. I'm getting really frustrated to be honest.
     
  4. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Yeah, its so not working here either and the LAT game is only seeming to make him more obsessive about looking for the cats.
     
  5. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    If you find something that works you should definitely let me know. I tried to take Mu on a walk the other day and made it a block before we had to turn around. I just couldn't deal with it - my patience level is low anyway and that day was really bad. And I'm pissed because we were thisfreakingclose to having a LLW....and now it's gone. She spends the entire time at the end of the leash looking for squirrels. Sorry for the rant lol.
     
  6. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    some dogs instincts are too strong for traditional training to work and you HAVE to get pavlovian on them to get through to them. even then they may only be safe w/ your housecats but not strange cats.
     
  7. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I'd be fine if he'd just ignore our two cats. I don't care to or want to have him buddy buddy with them, but not chasing these two or putting his mouth on them is high priority. What would you suggest? I'm running out of ideas, everything is seeming to make it worse.
     
  8. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Let him close to the confrontational cat (on leash) and let the cat teach him a lesson? :p

    I'm not much help LOL
     
  9. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    Kind of along the lines of what Pops said... I adopted a dog, Sam, who was extremely aggressive with cats. He was a shelter dog and the people there said he was very interested in the cats but never did anything... guess they never really let him get nose to nose with one.

    Anyway, a combination of crating, keeping him on leash out of the crate, praise when he ignored the cats and a squirt gun when he didn't, eventually taught him to tolerate the cats (Sam hated being squirted and it was enough of a deterrent to make him stop trying to chase/kill the cats).

    Used to board our horses at that time, and usually took the dogs along since the barn owners didn't mind extra dogs around. I caught Sam going after a barn cat just as I was about to dump a water bucket. I threw it on him instead and he'd been so intent on the cat, he had no clue where the water came from. It turned out to be perfect timing, he must have associated getting drenched with chasing the cats because that was the last time he tried it.

    Sam did eventually get to the point where he'd accept the cats rubbing on him but he was never trustworthy around kittens. They were too close to rat size , I guess, (Sam was a terrier mix) because he'd fixate on them until they reached a certain size and then it was, oh... a cat...
     
  10. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    I'm in a similar situation with my new greyhound Lucy. She had never met a cat before coming to live with me, and she is at the stage where she will chase if the cat runs, and does the nose nudging and extreme sniffing thing. She is slowly getting better, but her prey drive is very high, at the moment she seems far higher than Todd (who actually killed a cat in his previous home).

    I have 2 cats, one old man who takes no crap from dogs, he stands up for himself, and a little one who runs when she is scared, so its her we are having the problems with. It really is a case of yelling NO when she looks at the cat and rewarding when she doesn't.
     
  11. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Albus HAS rearranged his nose for him, which was completely my fault. I let him out without checking the backyard first. It didn't deter him, it just made him want to hurt the cat back.

    I will definitely try a squirt bottle. I don't think he'd like that, as he hates baths :p

    The LAT is definitely not working at this point. It's only increased his fixation, at least, that's how it appears to me. He's only getting food for looking away from the cats, but it seems to have made him more determined to actually FIND them in the first place.

    I hate to say this, and I may get jumped all over for it, but I'm considering putting him in an ecollar and correcting him for his chasing.

    He does it on lead, if he's off in the backyard, he doesn't drag a lead, but he's got a tab I keep on him, corrections with a prong don't stop him, correcting him by yelling no or leave it doesn't even slow him at this point. And I'm beginning to fear he's going to seriously injure one of them. Even a strong correction for putting his mouth on the cat doesn't stop him from trying to go back to the cat. I can't herd the cats, they come and go as they please, so if I'm bringing him through the kitchen, and the cat comes wandering in, he's already on high alert, and seeing the cat is enough to make him forget he had to go to the bathroom, get water, etc

    Getting rid of the cats or the dog is obviously not an option :p The cats are my moms, and we're living here until we get a house closed on, but once we do, we won't have cats, but right now, I've got to figure out some way to keep him from obsessing over them.
     
  12. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    I have no idea what Simon is like but this is what has been working (with decent success) with Stryker. Her intent is never to harm, she play bows at the poor cats as they height seek!

    My cats are pretty stationary most of the time so it works pretty well but I practice call offs with high value rewards (food/toys/play) in multiple sessions. We practice self control exercises (not LAT for the reasons you've discovered) only reinforcing for actively avoiding the cats. And when she gets overwhelmed, I feel no shame in giving her a time-out in her crate. She earned herself one tonight after chasing a cat off the furniture. If I have to I verbally interrupt the chase but tonight she ran INTO me trying to chase the cat so I grabbed and crated.

    Difference? Her intent is play, overzealous play.

    Good luck!
     
  13. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I'm not sure what Simon's intent is. He's not really acting like he wants to play, but he also hasn't broken skin or done more than rough them mouthily when he's gotten close enough to the few times he has.

    It seems like food has no power over him like cats do :p I am upping the ante tomorrow with baked tuna treats and hotdogs, I've been using pepperoni, zukes salmon, real grilled chicken, the chicken he loves, but only for a few seconds. The pepperoni he likes, the zukes he likes, but it doesn't seem like enough to break him off of watching them. I've been working with him on watching them through the glass doors, and if he gets over threshold, he does immediately go to his crate. I haven't messed around with that at all, because the cats are more important than hurting his feelings :p

    He comes out after a time out usually twenty minutes or so later, but it seems like that hasn't phased him at all.

    The bad part is that these two have no sense of self preservation around dogs. One probably thinks he IS a dog. So they don't height seek at all. :p
     
  14. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    Absolutely.

    We had an appointment on Saturday that just made my blood boil. Prey driven JRT left loose with feline friend while owner was gone. JRT has puncture wounds and corneal scratches. Cat is dead.

    *headdesk*
     
  15. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Well we adopted Brie as a kitten after having all three dogs. Mira was fine but needed to understand that "gentle" took on a new level of meaning with a cat. Kim and Webster were happy to see that I had brought home a meal on wheels. I'm not sure they actually wanted to kill Brie but they were definitely instantly going into stalk/chase mode, and they've both taken out small animals before, so let's say I had reason to be concerned.

    Basically they had no interaction with the cat at all unless it was directly supervised by me with my undivided attention. We played a lot of LAT, a lot of your good old classical conditioning/desensitization. First, just rewarding for being in the vicinity of the cat without constantly searching for her, then looking at the cat (you let them fixate at all and you already lost -- gotta be quick), then progressively closer, then relaxing in the more distant presence of the cat, then closer...etc.

    It took Kim about three weeks. It took Webster about three months. They all freely mingle around the house now with no issue, and the Sunspot Kids (Kim, Webster, Brie) will often be found relaxing together on the run with the best sun in the house. They are separated when we are gone.

    If we brought in a new cat I'm sure we'd have to do the same thing all over again, though hopefully it would be accelerated...
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Good lord. I believe it though.

    Ozzy would more than likely kill a stray cat if he caught it. He ignores our two, even will play with them sometimes, but "ours" and "not ours" are definitely separate in his mind. Not ours is fair game to him.
     
  17. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    I really can't help with anything other than to say... maybe it gets better? LOL

    I only say this because you have just described Trent to a T. High prey drive, very inquisitive, shoves his nose where it doesn't belong, no idea what his intentions are, it certainly isn't to hurt, it may be out of a desire to play, but his mannerisms are still different...

    The cat fascinated him for the longest time. We really just practiced tons of recalling, LAT, impulse control, staying in one spot while the cat is zipping around the room, etc. Had him on leash for the first few days for certain periods, just in case. He really did get better, with just consistent corrections (verbal) when he tried to chase the cat and rewards when he was called away from the cat or ignored her. And now the family's brought a new baby kitten home and he's been a sweet, gentle guy.
     
  18. Specsy

    Specsy Owned by Rottweilers

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    I would also LOVE to get advice out of this... Bella has SUPER high prey drive, and it is probably her ONLY drive (no food drive, play drive, ball drive etc). If the thing (in this instance a cat) is COMPLETELY still, doesn't even blink, then Bella is ok just sniffs, licks, pants, whatever. If the thing moves even EVER so slightly BOOM it becomes exciting and edible.

    I have another dog... doesn't care about things moving around or walking or whatever, but as soon as it runs. BOOM chase, kill.
     
  19. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    an accident of this type is what turned my old red dog Jack into a cat killer.
     
  20. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    have you tried the can of pennies? everytime he gets too interested you call his name give a firm NO then throw the can of pennies in his general area then call his name & give a firm NO.
    if that doesn't do the trick you may need to get truly pavlovian w/ aversion training. you may have to be willing to go to a shock collar, hotshot or a spray bottle of pepper vinegar. can you make yourself inflict a little discomfort for the overall good?
     

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