Easy fix put on an E Collar (collar condition him first) and go to continuous Stim on high if he even starts to go after a cat. It starts with the stare and progresses from there. I would put a cat in a carrier put it in the middle of the floor any time he tries to get at the cat stim. Lots of people are going to disagree with me (not that I care) but lives are at stake here like you said.
Blitzkrieg, can I do this same method with the prong? I was planning on doing that, putting the cat (one at a time) in their carrier, and setting it FAR away from him, putting him on a leash/prong, and work with him FAR away at first, getting him to do commands for me etc, and gradually move closer (by gradually I mean days/weeks). If he would not focus on me and listen to me, he'd get corrected.
if your dog is able to focus on you in the presence of a cat then you are LUCKY and this will most likely be able to be worked through! congrats.
in the opening post it felt like every time he smelled a cat he went nutso, but i can see that isn't the case. my friend has a gsd that if he even smells cat, will start foaming at the mouth, whining, panting, pulling her down the street. it is horrible cause we live in the country and there are a ton of barn / stray cats, so he is constantly in this high level of stress.
when working with the prong and the cats, make sure you correct him for not listening to you "watch me", "sit", etc. and not for looking at the cats, or he will associate them with punishment and then he will really be out for blood.
i dont really know about how to get your parents to listen. mine never have lol. i told mine they either listen or don't bother the dogs.
ALSO reward for any avoidance / calming behaviors. if on his own he looks at a cat and then looks away (even if it isnt at you) jackpot him
Thank you for this advice. Im very happy to hear I can most likely work through this with him!
Well, he does go nutzo if no one is there to work with him like I was doing earlier. Sometimes if a cat is under the couch, and he comes upstairs, he will go crazy trying to get it. I cannot let him get to that point anymore. Glad he isnt as bad as your friends GSD. phew! And thanks, dont want him to associate the kitties with bad things, only GOOD things like GOOD treats and LOTS of praise. Thats why when I work on desensitizing, and the kitties are in my room while he is crated, he gets LOT of treats and praise when he is a good boy.
I think both need to listen to each other. Mom allowed Berlin in the home. Daughter is trying to work things out so everyone can live in peace. That may mean mom needs to be on board, too, so that Berlin's training is consistent. I'm a parent, too... but when your kids are adults living with you everyone needs to have open communication and listen to each other. Especially in a situation like this. JMO
First off it is your mothers house and your mothers cats. She doesn't have to listen to you, you have to listen to her. Are you really listening to her? I know if my kids came back home and started to tell me how to run my house they would soon be looking for a new place to live.
Words of wisdom Jag! Shepherdmom, it is my mothers house, and her cats (but I care for them so technically they are also mine...) but if she cares for the well being of the cats, and the dog (whom she LOVES) she has to help me out. When I am at work/school, she is the primary caretaker of my dog. If i set up certain limitations/rules for him, she needs to follow them so there are NO lapses in consistency. If he is going good for a month, and then one day ACCIDENTALLY is able to chase a kitty, everything is back to square one, as I have learned. I respect my mother very much, and listen to her, but for the sake of OUR animals, we have to listen to each other and help each other out to make this work! Jag, what you said is 100% what I meant, and what needs to happen. My mother loves Berlin, and would NOT want me to give him up, so we just need to work on this together.
In my limited experience with dogs and cats, the exercise you did with Berlin seems to say that you can overcome this. He's not into an uncontrollable "KILL" mindset if he can focus on you with them there. I don't know how to find a trainer that will come to your home to work on it. As far as you mom goes.. don't even get me started.
I am so happy to hear this.
I was so happy to see that the work with watch me I have been doing has really been paying off. I did this exercise again, and this time the kitty was OUT, on the cat tree...Berlin looked at him, knew he was there, but listened to my commands of come, sit, WATCH (and watched me for 10 seconds). I did about 3 repetitions of watch and then told him to come with me and we left. No uncontrollable behavior. Nothing. I am just going to practice this exercise as much as I can, and have him focus on me for longer periods of time, and as they get more comfortable, hopefully the cats will eventually walk past him etc.