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Old 02-01-2013, 09:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I tried the plastic basket muzzle with Kiya when I was having a problem with her & the kitten. Unfortunately it only made her worse. She did want to eat the kitten.
I found with her since she can be totally food driven, to use the best/favorite treat with a long down stay. It took almost 6 months to convince her not to bite the kitty.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We have already determined that Beth and the cats will NEVER be all free roaming at the same time, no matter how well she acts in our presence. I will keep the muzzle in mind if she reverts back t Cujo'ing. But for now, treats seems to be working...and lots of praise.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I just have to say, I'm very impressed you're working with her.
She must be your heart dog, because when we've adopted out dog-aggressive cats (usually accidentally, we didn't realize there was an issue, as we don't really have cats to test the dogs with), they usually get returned within a day or two.
I hope you can continue to work on this problem with her. If I can come up with something I'll let you know, but it'd be through research and not my own experiences, I'm sad to say! Our solution is no kitties in the house.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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cat escaped room tonight, btw. Instantly, i barked 'leave it', and she took a step back. We're still in the middle of the forest, here....but it was sure nice to glimpse the clearing!

great!
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Cat escaped room tonight, btw. Instantly, I barked 'LEAVE IT', and she took a step back.
I sure hope you gave her a SUPER DUPER PRAISE PARTY for that!! That is awesome!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I just have to say, I'm very impressed you're working with her.
She must be your heart dog, because when we've adopted out dog-aggressive cats (usually accidentally, we didn't realize there was an issue, as we don't really have cats to test the dogs with), they usually get returned within a day or two.
.
When our brand new couch took a hit (less than 24 hours in the house), I had to take a deep breath and count to 14,794,683,220. It was pretty touch and go. Then I got over myself, squared my shoulders and scolded myself for even letting my mind visit the 'disposable pet' route.

Since then she has captured everyone's heart in this family. If I could afford to, I would buy her outright from the breeder. As it stands, we have a breeding agreement. I accepted that because Beth desperately needed to get away from a kennel situation. She needed a hands-on family.... And I accepted because Beth asked me to. I asked the breeder what her intentions were for this dog and that I would be interested in her instead of a puppy.

Some here might think I'm insane when I say that the second they opened the run gate, she flew to my side, leaned her whole body against me, her head against my thigh, and looked up at my face making direct eye-contact....with those gorgeous eyes. Yes, she left a puddle by my feet, but I had no doubt that she was meant to come home with me. I was slated to take a puppy...but Bethsheba needed, and the message that her need needed to come before my want, wouldn't leave me.

All this to say, yes, she IS my heart dog. It is crazy insane. I NEVER would have put up with this for any other dog. Ever.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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So this is a topic I have a lot of experience with...currently I'm still teaching Abi not to eat our 3 cats. LOL

Muzzles are a mixed bag for me. I think they can be a very good safeguard, and I have used them with particularly predatory foster dogs. It's just a bit of insurance that, should things get out of control, they can't injure the cat.

However, I often see them used as a band-aid. What I mean is, people think that because the dog can't bite the cat, things are OK. But the dog is still growling at the cat, chasing it, agitated by it...if it physically could, it would still bite the cat. That to me is playing with dynamite. It's only a matter of time before the cat and dog get out together, and seriously it takes 2 seconds and the cat is dead when you're talking about a dog the size of the average GSD.

In fact, creating a physical barrier like a muzzle or a see-through gate (like a baby gate) but not training the dog to ignore the cat can actually make the problem worse. Frustrating a dog tends to increase the dog's drive. Seriously, this is an accepted training method--ask any working/sport trainer who to make a dog toy-crazy or increase their prey drive, and I guarantee that frustration will play a role in it. Frustration makes the vast majority of dogs want to go after it more, whether "it" is a toy, a cat or a person.

So yeah...big mixed opinions here. You sound really committed to Beth, and as long as you train her as you would without one, then I don't think muzzling as a safeguard is a bad thing, if she accepts the muzzle. But I also don't think it's going to fix anything and training is the key component there.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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.
So yeah...big mixed opinions here. You sound really committed to Beth, and as long as you train her as you would without one, then I don't think muzzling as a safeguard is a bad thing, if she accepts the muzzle. But I also don't think it's going to fix anything and training is the key component there.
This is probably the greatest reason I'm shying away from the muzzle. A false sense of security...and while I am dedicated to making absolutely certain that all animals in this house be safe, I have a family who want things to be...mmmm.....normal.
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