How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles?

I have bred reptiles for 8 years and they are a huge part of our home. We have a reptile room so their cages are in a contained area, but Zoe can not leave them alone. The door is always closed, but my lab opens doors so sometimes always is not true,lol I don't want her feel like she can't be interested in them or check them out, but I don't want her to think they are playmates either. As a pup my lab showed little interest in them so it wasn't an issue, but Zoe wants to stick her nose in every cage.

So far I say Zoe leave it which works for two seconds, but a hundred leave its later and she is just as curious. No reptile has ever escaped, but should it happen I want her to know they are off limits.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:06 PM
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Re: How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles?

Get a strong kid/dog gate

That's the safest thing to do for the little critters for the day-to-day curiosity. Have you introduced her to them? If so, how does she react?

You can teach that they're off limits just like you would for teaching to leave the cat alone, except if will be even easier since all encounters (short of an escape) will be structured. It's harder when you have a cat roaming about the house with a playful pup in residence. There are a lot of threads on that topic.

What do you have, btw? I love reptiles.

Jessica

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles?

I keep dwarf boas, corn snakes, kings, crested geckos, and chahouas. I let her sniff them when I feed, change water, and mist and she shows zero aggression. I would say her reaction is more curious, a little scared, and playful. However, she makes my chores a real show trying to jump in when I take the lids off and whining at the door during the day when its closed. I don't want to overreact and make her feel bad, or unintentionally make them more interesting by keeping her away which is why under supervision I let her sniff and check them out. I just want a way to teach her they are for looking only and not eating,lol
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:35 PM
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Re: How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles?

Hello,

As well I have had many exotics through out the years and dogs are always curious as to what the heck they are. The only pet that I have that are good with my reptiles I have now (two green iguana's) Is my one cat. She will go in the iguana enclosure and bask in the basking spot just like the lizard does. She doesn't seem to mind sharing with the cat though.

But all my dogs have always been curious and for some reason the GSD's always want to eat them for dinner or play really rough with them. My dane was really good with them but obviously if he stepped on them they would probably be hurt pretty bad. I have one with MBD (metabolic bone disease which is like bone cancer in us) and another healthy male. Yrie is very concerned with them as well.... but he would rather "play" with them then get along. So he knows where the cage is, he will look in there, he walks in there when I go in, but I tell him out and out he goes. IMO dogs and lizards just don't get along... its like some prey drive they have. I'm sure SOME dogs do but most don't. I run a reptile forum and last year we had one of our members iguana's mutalated by his jack russel.

Just be careful and use your own judgement. Maybe installing a latch at the top of the door, or one of those chain things a hotel has.. that way they can still look inside but not get inside.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles?

That may be a good idea. My lab Henry could care less and pays them no mind at all. They are all in locked cages, but even knocking one down could be a real danger.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:54 PM
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Re: How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles?

I also taught my two the "no touch" rule regarding the small critters. I have 2 ferrets and fostered a rabbit and the dogs were too friendly (sniffing constantly, licking, mussing up their fur which the bunny didn't like, she'd bonk them on the nose for that). They could all roam around for playtime in the living room with the dogs and cats, but I always watched and gave a sharp Leave It or Ah-ah! if anyone looked too interested (in a predatory way) or tried to touch them further than just sniffing. They already knew Leave It was a command NOT to be ignored and were well trained to work under distraction, so I'm sure that probably helped a lot.

Jessica

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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Re: How do I teach Zoe to avoid my reptiles?

I keep and breed reptiles too, and also house them in locked cages in a separate room. In addition to kingsnakes, and boas I also keep and sometimes breed rattlesnakes.
None of my GSD's has ever wanted anything to do with the "snake room." They will walk right up to the threshold of the door, and go no further. Occasionally a rattler will sound off, but most times they don't. I always assumed the scent of the snakes was the deterent?
I call for my dog to come in the room when I am there, he stands at the door and WILL NOT come to me. I knew he wouldn't by the look on his face. He, like other GSD's in the past, wants nothing to do with that room.
I'm surprised your dog is so curious. I would go with the latch, or some other type of lock.
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