Or when you are there for that matter...leashed to you at all times.
Also yes, it'd be important to figure out chasing for play vs. chasing to kill.
Dogs often get curious about the cat, they go to sniff the cat, the cat runs, the game is on.
I think this is how it started. He thinks of it as a game now, he sees a cat, boom time to play chase.
I just stated in my other post below that I *believe* it's chasing for play....after observing them. He had every chance to grab the cat and 'kill' him, right there....but he was more interested in trying to figure out the cat and get it to play with him. But, 2 months ago, I would have said he was chasing to kill, because he got the cat once (i have stated that my cat Mieko is an idiot before - he just didnt get it that walking by Berlin would mean he would be chased) and he went right for the neck and began to try to shake him! I am so glad I was RIGHT there to grab them. Berlin will even LUNGE at me if I have the cat. I used to notice how he would do the steps of "hunting" minus the final few...but lately I have not noticed that. He sees a cat - chases it. Sometimes stops at the stairs if they run up there. Smells them - he searches for them, for a while too..
The problem with having him on a leash all the time when around the house is that I am not the one who is home all day with him when i'm at work- my mother is. She will not do that, so he'd sit in a crate all day, and then i'd have a VERY hyper dog with ALOT of energy...
So for now...we've been just keeping them separated, as much as we can.
But if I were to 'tether' (hope thats the right word) him to something...what kind of leash? Just a six foot one? I know he would go crazy being tethered to something and would choke him self with his normal collar. He loves to be where everyone is...but if I had him attached to me with a 6 foot leash constantly, that would not work out. He would eventually get bored, and tired of not being able to do anything.
I do the NILIF with him, a few times a week, and one of the ones I do is tying the leash around me, forcing him to go wherever I am. I do it for about an hour. I cannot imagine doing it 24/7 though.
Any who, since my first post, I did try the desensitizing method. Very impressed. Berlin was rewarded for calm behavior and very quickly understood what I wanted from him when the cat was around. It also did help that the cat was going bonkers in his carrier - literally - he was upside down, meowing like he was being killed
Normally, that would overstimulate Berlin, and make him go bonkers (he did - for like a minute) but then he layed down and was calm. I had them two by each other for about an hour. The whole time Berlin was studying the cat so intently. I really think he just is interested in them. I hope. Anyways, I plan to do this desensitizing thing as much as I can each week, perhaps 4 days for an hour each day and hope he eventually is to the point of "I am so sick of seeing cats" and ignore them.
I also tried the prong. I put it on him, leashed him, and walked upstairs, where the cats are. Mieko is sitting in the loft, on the bed, and Berlin goes to lunge at him. He gets ONE correction. And backs off and sits down. He walks into my mothers room, where the cats always are, begins to go search for them - gets ONE correction. And stops. Later, I had him up there, in my mothers room while she was getting ready for work...the cats were under the bed. Now BEFORE, berlin would be going ballistic trying to get them, going behind her bed etc. I had him on the leash/prong, had his clicker/treats, and he was FOCUSED on ME and was listening to my commands (i wasn't correcting him with the prong - my intent with the prong is to only use it to correct the problem with the cats and pulling while walking on a leash - all his other commands he learns very well with positive reinforcement). It is a miracle. He was paying almost zero attention to the cats...and I know he could smell them. At one point he laid down and I let the leash loose, and he didn't even get up to go look for them or anything. He instead..went to walk downstairs to his crate for a nap.
I hope that what I am doing is okay, and correct, because the last thing I want to do is a) depend on the prong, b) hurt him or c) cause worse problems. He didn't yelp when I corrected him. But I did it hard enough for him to get it. I have tried this with his normal flat collar and he doesn't stop when I correct - he keeps pulling/going for the cats.
And another thing, I put the two cats blankets that they sleep on ALL the time, COVERED in their scent, into his crate....he gets so mad and walks in there and takes them out. He doesn't like kitty smell in his space!