ignore the cats? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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ignore the cats?

We have 2 and it would be great if she would actually ignore them. I don't think she wants to eat them, but at least one of them thinks so. I know I may be hoping for too much, but, I know it is possible to have a dog that cares less about cats (I had one and he was a Shepherd mix).

So, any advice in this area?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 09:08 AM
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Re: ignore the cats?

Leave It...and alot of work.

Jax suddenly started going nuts are some cats. Not all of them...just the ones that move!!!

she'll lunge right at them, taking my shoulder in the process. so I redirect her attention, and work her in a circle closer and closer to the cats until she doesn't even look at them.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 01:50 PM
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Re: ignore the cats?

My girl won't pull me that hard, not that she doesn't want to..

But anything small and moving and she turns from a sweet calm soft natured girl into a focused obsession of prey drive.

Cats and squirrels especially. I dunno if she would kill a cat, but I'm not likely to give her an opportunity to find out.

I'm at a loss as to try to curb it, or control it really. She's pretty much totally deaf in that state.

I've got her to the point she's a lot better on leash. she's still 100% focused and will lunge if the squirrel dashes 6-10 feet away (which they do) but other than that she just stares with obsessed intensity and keeps moving without pulling. If I dropped the leash it would be game on I'm sure.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 02:16 PM
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Re: ignore the cats?

I am in the same boat. My Drake and my cat Muffins DRIVE ME FLIPPIN CRAZY.

Constantly following the cat all over and play biting him. Muffins will make really annoying meows and bat at Drake but not enough to hurt him. Muffins is full of slobber. But, everytime I make Muffins leave the room he cames right back up as if he likes getting harrassed by Drake.

Do as a previous poster said use "Leave it" constantly. Drake does listen when I say it but it doesnt last long. I hope in the long run it will work.

Good luck!


Drake-1 year old GSD- Birthday December 6th

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 05:16 PM
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Re: ignore the cats?

Please continue to work on this. I have a smallish dog (a 13", 19 lb beagle) that I take to classes. She was raised around a large GSD, a medium sized dog and is comfortable around large dogs. In fact, our trainers use her to help shy, fearful, etc dogs socialize.

But it amazes me how many big owners don't have a clue that their dogs have prey drive for small moving things, and this often extends to small dogs. There's a woman in our agility class that thinks her dog Harvey "likes" Meri. No, her dog is stalking Meri. The first time he saw her, he tried to corner her, but I body blocked him. The owner's response "oh, can they meet?" No, they can not. The instructor is aware and has tried to work with the owner, but she's clueless. (The instructor whom I know well also knows that I can handle this myself. )

Last night, we set up for a run in class, and Harvey was allowed to sprawl out right where the run started. I set Meri up way off and to the side of where the run started because she was concerned about Harvey. The owner protested "but he's being good!" Yes, but he still thinks my dog is a squirrel, and my dog intuits that.

As a large dog owner, I get it that some large dogs see little dogs as prey. As a small dog owner, I "feel" it. And it's kind of scary.

So, it's really important to keep working on this to have a well socialized dog. Your dog may not encounter a cat or squirrel in a class, but that Chi, Pom or small beagle will be running in an agility class or at the dog park. He needs to have a solid "leave it" for them too.

Physically separate your cat from your dog in the house if you can't get your dog to leave your cat alone. Take obedience classes or lessons to learn to train a rock solid leave it. And if you KNOW your dog has that sort of prey drive, keep her leashed or kenneled at all times. Dogs that chase critters can get hit by cars (or in some areas, if they trespass on other people's land and harrass their animals, they can be shot). Dogs with uncontrolled prey drives may chase larger prey and be seriously injured.

Whole Dog Journal has an article this month about getting dogs and cats to live harmoniously together. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/ If you don't subscribe already (I think every dog owner should. It's such a wonderful resource), this might be just the right time to consider it. I believe you can just buy individual articles though.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 02:10 PM
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Re: ignore the cats?

Luckily my girl doesn't see small dogs as prey, she plays with small dogs and does great with them. She'll see them as herding items yes but she herds any dog that will run of any size.

Cats and squirrels are a totally different matter.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 10:55 PM
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Re: ignore the cats?

My dog Dana (a GSD mix) started out "hating" cats (barking, yada yada yada) but ended up being indifferent to the cats in the household. The way we introduced her to the cats was to hold the cats in our laps (showing ownership) then not letting her be too pushy with them. And anytime she is overly focused on them, she got a "No!" correction. Pretty soon she figures out that she can't look at a cat "in that way", and she knows the cats are property of the humans, who are her leaders.

With my current dogs, Tuki (puppy) would start to fixate on my older dog Riku, who just wanted to walk by but Tuki would want to jump on his neck and play bite him. As soon as I see the fixation (very easy to spot of course) I correct her to snap her out of it.

I think your fastest solution would be not letting the dog fixate on the cat (correction if too interested), and handling the cat in front of the dog (right in front of it) and making sure the dog respects your space, and thereby respects the cats space.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 02:04 AM
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Re: ignore the cats?

Aloha, I have found if you can get a command into the dog (stay, down, no, heel, etc). a moment BEFORE your dog alerts to the prey, then you have a good chance at control. If you are slow and your dog locks on to the prey first, then it is almost impossible to have commands or even focus obeyed. (unless you have a well-trained dog)!

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