It's unpopular for a few reasons. One- the cats aren't hers. Two- do you remember what this poor young woman has gone through to date? Three- it's a dog forum, a GSD forum. I'd re-home the cats if they were mine. I realize she can't do that. We kept my cat on another floor protected by a baby gate on the stairs until my GSD was older. The cat learned, the dog learned. It took time. However, this guy may not be able to 'grow out of' what he's doing since he's so serious about it. So then, I'd put the cats in mom's bedroom with all their stuff. Keep the pup. Problem solved. Then again, I'd also be looking to move out with my pup.
Thanks for this. Honestly, its hard to rehome either, I love them all. The cats are kept on another floor and are protected by a baby gate. Actually, I have 3 floors in this house, and there is a baby gate blocking each floor. The dog stays with me a majority of the time IN my room, or out and about with me as it is. I am hoping when he is older that this may become easier to manage. And as you have said "THE CAT LEARNED". The cats need to learn, but they are NOT. Last night, the cat had an escape route to his safe haven upstairs, and could have avoided being grabbed by Berlin, but the cat went and ran into a corner in the living room. Its just so frustrating...I have moved all the cats things to the third floor, including their food, water, and litterbox. I hope this STOPS any further accidents and helps me get ahold on this situation.
Originally Posted by middleofnowhere
This is going to be unpopular: The cats were there first. The dog will kill them if he gets a chance. If he were mine: The dog goes back to the breeder unless you want to live with a segregated household - and that doesn't sound like fun.
I stated in my OP that he could potentially kill them, so I already know this.. and I also stated that I really dont want to give my dog back. I dont want a segregated house either, but I am going to at least try my hardest to make this work before I just give up my dog. I came on here to ask for advice about what to do about this situation to AVOID giving up my dog, so your post is pointless, as it offers zero advice except to GIVE UP my dog.
I'm really sorry, I hope that this can be worked out... It would so not be fair for you to lose two dogs in less then a year.
I don't have any useful advice, Ollie is similar with my cats and small dogs except his seems to be an intense herding drive, no aggression so far.
What I've been doing so far is keeping him on lead... Letting him chase just keeps rewarding the behavior which means he will keep doing it.
Maybe look into a private trainer who could come and observe and give their take? I know how devastating this sort of thing is. My golden has bitten all of my dogs and just recently snapped at one of my cats.
Do you do NILIF with Berlin?
Thank you Carrie. I cannot even fathom the thought of losing my dog. The first time was hard enough.
He is my life. I do use NILIF with Berlin.
Can the cats just live in your mom's room? Can you move out?
Moving out would be the ideal fix, but it is not possible right now, or anytime soon (maybe in about 2 years). I'm a college student and cannot afford to live on my own.
We have 4 cats and 3 dogs. Our husky has high prey drive and has nearly killed 2 of our cats. If he could get to them, he would kill all 4. We have a 2-story house, so the dogs live downstairs with access to the outside, and the cats live upstairs exclusively. So both the dogs and cats have an entire floor to themselves. It's plenty of room. The cat's food and litter boxes are upstairs with them, so they have no reason to EVER come downstairs. They also know that Paw Paw is waiting to eat them, so they're smart enough to stay upstairs. All we have up to separate them are baby gates that the dogs don't knock down or jump over, even though they could if they wanted to. Only by accident has Paw Paw gotten to the cats, and that was because our children accidentally let him upstairs and my wife or I were on him in a heartbeat. We also have a door we can close at the bottom of the stairway landing. Not sure if you have the same option, but no cat or dog can get through a closed, secured door. Haha!
I honestly don't think you can train prey drive out of a dog, but I'm no expert. It seems like a natural instinct that's there for a reason. Not sure if your dog has prey drive like my Paw Paw. He'll catch birds out of the sky. He's fast and intense! I've never seen a dog like him. But we keep him under control, because we love our cats (almost) as much as we love our dogs. Haha!
Good luck. And I'm there with you about idiotic cats. When we had the big wire dog crate still out for overnight sleeping/training for our pup Beowulf, our rescued feral cat somehow was running from the dogs and ran into the crate's open door and got herself trapped inside with all 3 dogs attacking her. They must've gotten 30+ bites on her before I could wrestle them all out and save her. Luckily for her this time, there was not a scratch and she was fine. Whew! I'm definitely a dog lover, and these cats have a soft spot in my heart, but I'd be OK with just dogs and no cats. My wife would disagree, thus a compromise is in place.
Haha, thanks for sharing your story about PawPaw. I basically am doing what you have done, and hoping the cats have ZERO reason to leave their safe haven, except for in the evening to come downstairs when they KNOW berlin is locked in my room with me sleeping.
Originally Posted by VanBuren shepherds
I use an e-collar that gives an audible sound when my dogs go after the neighbors cats.
It distracts them just enough to where their focus is back on me.
If that doesn't work (which it works 99% of the time) the e-collar also has two settings for different intensities.
Making sure the settings are correct are very important. It needs to be set high enough to distract the dog from the heat of the moment, but not high enough to get a jerk reaction out of the dog.
I agree with Michael Ellis. Test the collar on your self before you try it on the dog. Hold it in your hand and press the buttons. After this you should have more respect for the e-collar and not reaching to push the button every-time the dog barks.
When used properly e-collars are one of the best tools available for dog trainers.
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What e-collar do you have? Brand/type/model etc.
Wow. You feel bad for smacking your dog when it got your cat? I have 4 dogs and 4 cats, if any of them looked at the cats the wrong way they would be GONE. Nope. Nuh-uh. Not allowing it.
We might be lucky cause we have streetwise cats-- dont run when the dogs approach them and stand their ground.
Get a muzzle on your dog before anything else can happen. Muzzle isn't permanent, only until you can get him trained. Have him on a leash at all times, and have something to redirect him to (bullystick, toy, bone).
Right now he is in a habit of looking for the cats and checking these spots, you need to break this habit. He goes to look for the cats? Grab that leash and make him do puppy push ups (sit down sit down sit down). He isn't listening? I don't know. I'm not into punishment but this isn't something you can mess around with because you're dealing with another animals life. A quick correction with a prong might be enough to grab his focus for a second, and then you'll have to work from there.
Please get a handle on this quickly.
Yes, I feel bad for smacking my dog even though he had the cat in his mouth, because hitting an animal is not okay to me. He wouldnt even look at me afterward, I would NEVER want to do anything to ever ruin our bond. On the other hand, I need to get a handle on this situation and make sure this NEVER happens again. I have been working on his focus on me, and its been improving. He will not be able to "look" for them anymore, he will be strictly focusing on me from now on.
Until you can train him to leave the cats alone you absolutely need to keep him tethered to you at all times and keep him crated at least a couple of hours every single day while you are home so that the poor cats can spend time with your family without fearing for their lives.
My mother works overnights, so she is always up at night. The cats spend time with her at night when me and Berlin go into my room. PLease dont think they are shunned to a room and get no attention. I also go and spend time with them every day as well.
Also, please remember my dog is only 7 months old. He is a puppy still, and is in going through the phase I have been warned about..Not sure if it has ANYTHING to do with the situation, but he is still young, and he was attacked by the female cat a few weeks ago.
Well, I am going to try and work more diligently with the prong/desensitizing methods, and having Berlin focus on me while the cats are around, before I try an e-collar. I have moved all the cats stuff upstairs, to reduce any chances of them coming into contact with each other when the situation isnt controlled. This morning, I had the prong on Berlin, and grabbed some bits of hotdog, and walked in the cat room. The cats were under the bed, and I called Berlin to me. He knows he isnt allowed in there uninvited, so he hesitated. He came to me though, I commanded him to sit in front of me, and he did, and asked for a watch me. He focused on ME despite the fact the cat was literally two feet away. I did another watch me, and walked out of the room and he followed. So, I do believe there is SOME HOPE for this situation, because he did IGNORE the cat and focused on me. He will be wearing the prong any time he is not in my room. That way, he can get corrected for this behavior immediately if anything occurs. I am going to work really hard and diligently on desensitizing them to each other, and I know I have a LONG road ahead of me. But ultimately, I would hate to give either of them up. So for now, they will be COMPLETELY separated, unless I bring them together in a controlled situation, and I will work from there. If all else fails, I will try an e-collar and a trainer at my house, as a last resort. This is extremely stressful to me, as an animal lover. I was in tears last night, because of the situation, because of the poor cats, because I smacked my dog, because I would be DEVASTATED if I had to give up my dog. I have tried so hard to make this work, but I need to try harder, and I need to have the OTHER people in this household follow the same rules because lapses in consistency when I am not home is where the problems arise from. Thanks so much for the advice.