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Old 12-29-2012, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Prong Collar and Cats/Walking

Berlin and the cats are a MAJOR problem. He knows chasing them is unacceptable. Every. single. time. he does it I (try to) redirect him, tell him NO etc. Nothing works. He cannot snap out of whatever he is in when he sees cat run, smells them etc. They get under the couch now, and he frantically digs on the couch to get them, paces around it, whines, barks. He knows ALL their hiding spots. If he gets ONE glimpse of one he turns into some crazy dog pacing the house checking all their spots whining. And he IGNORES me. The cats have a safe spot. The whole upstairs. It is baby-gated to keep him out (but he knows how TO CLIMB OVER IT NOW!!! ) So he can sometimes get to them. So now they are sometimes locked into my moms room, where they have been hiding most of the time since I got Berlin. I miss my cats being around, and I want them to be able to walk the house when Berlin and I are out. I never EVER EVER leave Berlin out of his crate when I am not home and I NEVER will. But when I am home, and Ber is out, I want to see my cats and not have my dog go into hunt mode. So, I emailed the breeder and she recommended a prong collar to put on him with a leash and walk him in the house and when he goes to chase the cats, to give him a correction. What do you guys think?? I had asked the trainer as well and she says it could back fire bc he might learn: that I cause the discomfort, that when he sees cats, he gets hurt, when im not home he can go after cats, but when I am he can't. I dont know what to do. I would only have the prong on him if I am there to supervise and have him on a leash so he can be corrected. Will this help???? Also, he pulls on the leash and is getting very strong, is the prong good to help learn to heel and walk nicely next to me?? I am not sure how I feel about the prong, if it can correct his issues, and not HURT him, I would like to use it. But I want to make sure I am using it right first.

Also....what is collar wise?? I have seen it in a thread about prongs.

Another thing I am doing with the cats is desensitizing him to them. I am going to crate him and crate them in their carrier, and set it about 10 feet away from him. And they can get used to seeing each other, smelling each other etc. Gradually I will move their carrier closer and reward Berlin for behaving in their presence. Eventually I would like to have the cat in the room with me and Berlin (crated) and reward him for good behavior, and then have him and the cat both free in the room, and reward him for good behavior. I am going to rub the cats scent all over Berlins blanket, and rub Bers scent all over the kitties blankets. I HOPE THIS ALL HELPS!! I just want my babies to get along!!
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I emailed the breeder and she recommended a prong collar to put on him with a leash and walk him in the house and when he goes to chase the cats, to give him a correction.
I doubt, with extreme focus (read: obsession) like your dog is getting, that a correction from a prong would work.

Redirection with a clicker may help, with increased desensitization.

Watch some Youtube vids on that for doing it correctly.

However, you have to reach him before the "zone out" he's going into.
Work with him before he gets to that point.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I doubt, with extreme focus (read: obsession) like your dog is getting, that a correction from a prong would work.

Redirection with a clicker may help, with increased desensitization.

Watch some Youtube vids on that for doing it correctly.

However, you have to reach him before the "zone out" he's going into.
Work with him before he gets to that point.
It's so hard to get to him before he zones out because he smells/sees/finds the cats before I do. And it doesn't matter what I have, what I do, he doesn't respond to the clicker...nothing. I think with the desensitizing/reward thing I am going to try, I am going to reward him with a high value treat such as boiled chicken...so he understands that being good around cats is GOOD, and he will be highly rewarded. I will check out youtube and see what I can find. And I will see if I can try and catch him before his zone out.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When you find out, please let me know.

This is the only negative I have regarding Hans.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds exactly like mine when she was small. Lots and lots of redirection(sometimes that doesn't work but it gets a little better). My golden chased them when he was younger, but stopped at about a year old. The GSD is 16 months and she still does it everyday. But I have to say that lots of times the cats start it. She sleeps, eats, and plays with the cats and never has she hurt them or tried to. The cats do not hide from her and they walk right past her all day long. Last week the GSD and the black cat were playing and the cat decided he had enough, well he cornered her and she(GSD) was put in her place.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is he being agressive with the cats or just being an idiot? Lakota can be an idiot when our older cat comes in the house she follows her and won't leave her alone. Now I have another problem the young cat goes after the older cat causing the dogs to get rilled up. When I had an issue with Kiya and the kitten it took almost 6 months to work it out.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"Collar wise" can apply to any kind of training collar, and just means that the dog will obey when they're wearing it because they know they could be corrected, vs when they're not wearing it, and consequently, know they can get away with stuff.

ETA: Are your cats and dog loose in the house together when you're not around to supervise? If so, I would stop that immediately. No matter what method of training you do, he should not have the opportunity to go after your cats when you're not there.

Last edited by Cassidy's Mom; 12-29-2012 at 07:22 PM. Reason: added another thought....
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ETA: Are your cats and dog loose in the house together when you're not around to supervise? If so, I would stop that immediately. No matter what method of training you do, he should not have the opportunity to go after your cats when you're not there.
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.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
"Collar wise" can apply to any kind of training collar, and just means that the dog will obey when they're wearing it because they know they could be corrected, vs when they're not wearing it, and consequently, know they can get away with stuff.

ETA: Are your cats and dog loose in the house together when you're not around to supervise? If so, I would stop that immediately. No matter what method of training you do, he should not have the opportunity to go after your cats when you're not there.
Thanks for explaining collar wise. How do you get them to not do that?

Berlin is ALWAYS crated when I am not home. When he is out he is always supervised and with me. I am almost sure he would hurt (dare I say kill, but accidentally by playing too rough) them if I wasn't there. I don't think he is seriously trying to kill them, I think he wants to play with them. One day I observed what he did when he cornered my Siamese, Mieko (I was literally right there to intervene incase). Ber tried to nip at him, like he does to me, or my other dog, to initiate play. Of course the cat got mad, hissed, growled and swatted Berlin....and Berlin became confused, started barking, because he didn't understand. lol! Berlin just doesn't understand that his mouth is capable of doing serious damage!!

My cats ARE scared of him. I don't want that. It makes me really sad that my cats are scared to come down and greet me. I want them to not be scared of Berlin, and I want him to not feel the need to chase them when he spots them, or search for them frantically.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
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!
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Last edited by gsdlover91; 12-29-2012 at 10:40 PM.
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