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Old 02-10-2013, 03:58 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gsdlover91 View Post
I am sure of this now. I am in tears over the situation that just occurred. I don't know what to do anymore, I feel like an absolute failure as a dog owner. I did everything right with introductions, and they never got along...doesnt help that my cats are complete idiots either. Ever since Berlin got scratched in the eye, he's been out for BLOOD. I have baby gates up, the cats have a 'safe haven' etc, I keep Berlin by me when he is upstairs, BUT these incidents still occur, because he literally is a psychopath when he sees/smells/knows where the cats are. They hide under the couch, and he frantically digs at the couch, whines, goes and checks all their spots that they might be in, he literally looks crazy.

Well tonight, I walk upstairs, and one of the cats must have been in the kitchen hiding....Berlin was right by me, and literally in a SPLIT SECOND he is gone, into the frontroom and has chased (and apparently cornered the cat). Well, THIS time he got the cat, and really good, I had to pry the cat from his jaws, and smack berlin on the snout to stun him so he would release the cat (I feel like a monster .....) Well I get the cat, and go to take it upstairs to the gated off area, and the OTHER cat goes running out of the room and jumps OVER the gate and literally INTO the jaws of my dog. WHAT is their problems?!! He got her, but she escaped and ran to under the couch. This all happened in about 2 minutes.

He knows THIS behavior is NOT acceptable. I seriously am at my wits end, I have tried the prong, tried to desensitize, everything, NOTHING works....

And I know tonight was my fault ultimately, for not tethering the dog to me, even though I had only planned to go upstairs for a minute....the cats never come down until we go to sleep. Even if I tether him to me, he will pull me down to chase these cats. After witnessing his behavior toward them tonight, I know he is not trying to play anymore, he wants to kill them.

Ultimately, this cannot go on like this anymore, I cannot tether an adult GSD to me forever whenever I want to go do anything in the house. I also cannot lock him in his crate and keep him away from everyone. I can't control the cats, and confine them to one room (my mothers bedroom) because their food is in the kitchen (although they do eat at night) and their litterbox is downstairs as well. They come and go as they please, but Berlin is relentless in his attempts to get them.

I am seriously afraid I am going to have to re-home him, as my mother WILL not give the cats up.

Any advice, is truly appreciated.

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.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:41 PM   #32 (permalink)
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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.

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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.

edit:
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.

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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

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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.

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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.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:12 PM   #33 (permalink)
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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
If my kids needed to come home, then of course I would be willing to take them in but I would expect them to train, raise, vet and keep control of any animals they bring with them. If op's mom had wanted a puppy, she would have gotten one, obviously she didn't. It is not fair for adult children to come home and then expect mom to follow directions on training a dog she didn't want in the first place. Mom has opened her home so daughter has a place to live now daughter has to do her very best to avoid disrupting mom's life and to not put the lives of her mom's cats at risk. It is simple common courtesy.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:22 PM   #34 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=gsdlover91;2936130]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.


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.
[QUOTE]

Honestly I wouldnt use the prong because he associates the correction with you. You want to erradicate the behavior, therefor you want the correction to be more environmental in nature. He merely learns any kind of aggression or intensity towards the cat = Stim. You can even put the cat in a carrier down in the middle of the room go hide in the next room or pretend to ignore him and stim on any kind of neg behavior. For now him avoiding the cat is good enough for your purposes.

Interesting study I once read on leerburg about training with treat vs prongs vs E collar. The goal was to prevent the dog from rushing the helper even when he was agitating at a distance and stay at the handlers side until verbally sent. This is obviously difficult for highly driven young dogs that view the decoy as prey.

Treat trained dogs rarely restrained themselves from attacking the helper.

Prong trained dogs had better success but their cortisol levels were measurably higher indicating a certain amount of stress when corrected.

E Collar trained dogs were more reliable then both above methods and their cortisol levels were measurably lower then the dogs on the prongs.

I believe the study authors felt the reason for lower cortisol levels and greater reliability was the dogs were more likely to consider the e collar correction an environmental consequence to their behavior instead of coming directly from the handler.

After he learns to leave the cat in the carrier alone, I would even release the cat while keeping him tethered on a loose lead and if he makes any move towards it stim. A running cat is much harder to resist then a stationary one.

Good luck let us know how it goes whatever you decide to do.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:24 PM   #35 (permalink)
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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.
Well all I can say is this would not happen at my house. I wouldn't agree to be caretaker while you are at work/school I flat wouldn't have the time. I have my own work and my own school and my own animals to care for. My kids could come home but they would have to find their own pet sitters or do it themselves.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:41 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I would think that a pro trainer (a good one!) should be able to convince a 7mo puppy that he cannot even look at your cats!
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Do you want /need to train him to leave them alone while you are with him OR the much more difficult job of training him to leave them alone while he is home with them without you there? (Not advised!)
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:05 PM   #38 (permalink)
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How do I find a trainer that could come to my house to help me work on this situation (AND teach my MOTHER HOW TO HANDLE IT?) My mother wont listen to me, and is frustrating me so MUCH!
From our experience, trainers usually have a facility or space that they train in, so we'd have to go to them. We hired a behaviorist and she wanted to come to our house to see the exact situation/environment that was creating the problems that needed correction. She understood that, if we met elsewhere, the problem might not be replicated exactly the same, so the solution wouldn't help when Nara was back at home acting up. I'd look for a behaviorist instead of a trainer, and you can always ask around for recommendations on who is good and who you should stay away from. People, from experience, might also know who makes house calls and who doesn't. Good luck!
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:28 PM   #39 (permalink)
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If my kids needed to come home, then of course I would be willing to take them in but I would expect them to train, raise, vet and keep control of any animals they bring with them. If op's mom had wanted a puppy, she would have gotten one, obviously she didn't. It is not fair for adult children to come home and then expect mom to follow directions on training a dog she didn't want in the first place. Mom has opened her home so daughter has a place to live now daughter has to do her very best to avoid disrupting mom's life and to not put the lives of her mom's cats at risk. It is simple common courtesy.
Different people, different rules. All we can do is suggest ways to help make things work. A far, I think there have been a lot of helpful suggestions.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:45 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Do you crate your dog when you are not there? Does he get the right amount of exercise and something to chase an fetch when being played with? You know what he can and can not put his mouth on. I know I am not a real big cat person but I don't believe it is always the dogs fault. Trainers end up training people as much if not more then the dog . A no means no, and a reward means good, I have no inbetween. I really hope you can get this worked out. How old is your dog?
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