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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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The Christmas Kitten

Any suggestions on the best way to introduce a new kitten to a 5 month old GSD? I understand the constant supervision and not allowing the dog's prey drive to kick in.

Thanks

Jerry

Lila GSD 07/16/2009

Cleo Cat 06/01/2009


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 08:17 AM
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

Try Ketchup.

My furs are not in storage, nor draped across the bed. They're peering out the kennel door just waiting to be fed.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 08:33 AM
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Re: The Christmas Kitten



http://www.leerburg.com/dog-cat.htm

I do this but add a lot of positives (I read this so long ago I can't remember if there were positives in it).

I keep the dog leashed, I would guess puppies might be a little more difficult in terms of impulse control. I praise and treat with whatever is high value to that particular dog when the dog sits, ignores, or downs near the cat, touches the cat lightly, etc. Basically I shape and teach that to be around the cat can mean excellent stuff but only when you offer these behaviors. If you have a clicker, use that for sure. I use an EH! when they stare down in an intense way (the look that is trying to will the cat to move so they can chase it) and teach the leave it for the cat.

My leave its have to be perfect and I train them positively too.

Dog on leash, putting items down that at first will be easy to leave. For a puppy that varies! Everything is interesting! Things that they are used to seeing that don't interest them. 3 in a row. Walk the dog past them saying leave it and using a treat to lure at the nose and up, to look at you when you say leave it. When they look at you, mark and treat. So the idea is not just to get them to do the leave it, but to look to you after. My eventual goal is to get them to come to me (which...is a goal!). Then do 3 more interesting objects, better treats and when they master those, up the ante to really good stuff. If they ever take a leave it item, I take it out of their mouth. They never get a leave it item. Especially if it's a kitty!

So hopefully this made sense...I overdid it with one foster dog so that she would go and sit next to the cats waiting for her treats at her new home...whoops. They got her weaned down to praise, but were happy that was the worst that she did with them.

Ack-forgot I say "nice to the kitty" to mine-that is the phrase that let's them know how they are doing...





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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 09:54 AM
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

Insure the kitten has an escape route. One thing you can do is use baby gates but raise them up so there is a 6 inch gap between the bottom the gate and the floor. Kitten can escape under but dog cannot follow. I have used this to keep dogs out of litter boxes too.
I feed the cats on a raised surface to the dogs out of the food too.

We always let our new dogs trail a leash when they come home as I have 4 adult cats. I have not bought a new cat in the house in many years but if I did we would do leashes for a few days.

I teach all the pups "NO KITTY!" with a leash and positive reinforcement. I step on the leash as I say No Kitty! and pup will look back when they get stopped by the leash. I praise and treat. Eventually they hear No KITTY! and turn for reward before they even get to the end of the leash. It becomes a cat specific leave it.

With good management, positive training and time they may well become good friends.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

Thanks Kathy and Jean for the tips...

Yes, I've read the Leerberg site recommendations but they seem to be pretty heavy handed to me. Lila is 5 months old and still very teachable with plenty of "puppy" exuberance. I don't want to dampen that because that is a treasure to be nurtured. I do, however, want to make sure that her "prey drive" is in check and that she knows the meaning of "NO KITTY". I'll adopt some of your suggestions and keep an ever vigilant eye on her while the introductions are made and the friendship/tolerance takes effect.

"Ketchup"... hahaha Lila hates ketchup.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 03:56 AM
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

I would work a lot on "leave it".

Here are a few good articles on introducing cats/dogs which mainly focus on positive interactions:

http://www.courteouscanine.com/artic...article/?id=11

http://www.cuhumane.org/topics/catdog.html

http://dogtime.com/introducing-dog-and-cat.html


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

Thanks Chicagocanine...

Great links and they reenforce what I believe about the goinjg slow and the "leave it" command.

Lila is pretty good with "NO" but far from perfect. Vigilance is called for in this situation. Fortunately, she's young at 5 months and very willing to please me (most of the time).

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 02:30 PM
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

Lila, I think Jean, Kathy, and Chicagocanine all gave you good advice. We have introduced Sean to 3 different cats since he has been a family member here. Since we had a cat before his arrival we never had a dog only house. The first cat he met, Neeko, never warmed up to him but they did learn to coexist. When Neeko passed away we didn't even think Sean would notice. How clueless were we? So we adopted a new cat, Neely, who thinks she's a dog too. We did the leash introductions as Jean pointed out but Neely had a mind of her own. Our newest kitty, Gizmo, is still a bit wary around Sean but does not hide and we are still trying to teach him that unlike Neely, Gizmo does not think he's a dog.

I think the escape route is probably one of the best suggestions plus lots and lots of supervision. Wishing you the best of luck, I'm sure they will learn to become good friends. Posting a pic of Sean and Neely for you -

Sean: Adopted July 1999
Neely: Adopted May 2005, LH Tabby/Tortie
Gizmo: Bi-color Persian 2009
Neeko: Purr-fect Persian Cat (3/91 - 1/05)

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

Well, the Christmas Kitty was adopted from the shelter on Christmas Eve day. She's about 6 to 9 months old.

So far we haven't allowed Lila and her to meet face to face but they can hear and smell each other. Lila parks herself outside of my son's bedroom door and listens and sniffs. Obviously, Lila can smell the kitty on my son and daughter and other family members. I'm staying aloof to the new addition for now since I'm Lila's #1 and I don't want any jealousy issues.

That brings me to this:

In the last two days Lila has been almost wild in the morning. (5:30 AM is morning, right?) She jumps up on me and my wife and grips my hands and wrists in her mouth tighter than normal. Thank goodness she lost the last of her razor sharp canines last week. Her grip doesn't break the skin but I have a few bruises.

Seems to me that she might be experiencing a bit of anxiety because of not getting the normal amount of attention from my son and daughter with the addition of the newbie. She's getting her full quota of attention and some extra treats from my wife and I.

Any thoughts on this?

Lila GSD 07/16/2009

Cleo Cat 06/01/2009


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 04:32 PM
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Re: The Christmas Kitten

Maybe try increasing her exercise temporarily?


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