9 month old pup and cats - Going crazy... Please please help - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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9 month old pup and cats - Going crazy... Please please help

I've read so much about introducing new dogs/puppies to existing household cats, and I'm abiding by everything but this seems to be such a painful process with Sookie. Sookie is nine months old (approx) and I've had her for about two months now and I'm exhausted with trying to get her comfortable with the cats. She lives in the living room that has a wooden door with a 2foot x 2 foot mesh panel cut into it so they can see each other. There is also a baby gate so I have the option of having the door shut with limited viewing of cats or open with just the baby gate separating them. I have 4 cats, two of whom have lived with a dog previously. If Sookie is out of the living room she is on a three foot lead. I have tried keeping her in a down/stay with Sunny (friendliest cat) around and giving them both ham, and while Sookie will ignore Sunny while she is getting ham, as soon as I stop throwing food at her for ignoring Sunny, she will try to "play" with the cat. I don't, obviously, trust her not to hurt the cat. Sometimes she seems to totally ignore them if there is an unplanned cat racing by while she is on leash, but sometimes she barks at them and whines and wriggles her butt and either looks playful/agitated. I don't think she wants to hurt them, but she did lunge at Shadow (scaredy cat) and put her mouth on her neck the way she does with the Jack Russell puppy next door when they play. I think she sees them as small dogs, but I don't trust her to do any off leash testing because she consistently pulls/lunges like she wants to play. It doesn't seem to matter how many times we do the treat/ignore while on-leash, she will inevitably get too excited and lunge at them - even when we try very short sessions. I feel like we are at a stalemate now and that things will always be like this - me too scared to try her off-leash and the cats living separately. Is there anything else I can do? Has anyone had success when it seemed hopelessly stalemated? I hate living like this! Please help - I seem to only hear horror stories of dead family cats and I'm feeling so negative right now
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 09:46 PM
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You have a great plan, now the hard part is sticking to it. You are getting there. The old saying " it is always darkest before the dawn". Your pup is 9 months, in his teenage time and acting out and of course wants to get at the cats. 4 cats is hard. I just had 1 cat (she died of old age just over a year ago) when my Sting was a pup and she liked dogs but she did spend a lot of time that first year (it took that long) down in the basement which I fixed up with her bed and toys . Fortunately Sting never wanted to go down into the basement. And the cat slept on the bed but Sting slept in his crate for a whole year so he couldn't get at the cat at night. I also never left them alone that first year. Your dog does need an outlet for his prey drive (which is what this all about) so I suggest tug, something he can bite at - and be sure he ends up winning - that satisfies the drive.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! It just seems to be taking forever - as long as the stalemate doesn't mean it is hopeless, but just moving forward at a snail's pace, I will try to stay hopeful
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