Schutzhund training and cats? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Schutzhund training and cats?

Total greenie here, but very interested in getting my 4 month old involved in Schutz/IPO...I understand that developing prey drive is one of the main priorities for now, but am I killing his prey drive by constantly telling him not to chase the cats? One of the cats steers well clear, but the other cat (a fellow male) is a total antagonist. He doesn't go out of his way to chase the male cat, but when the cat is "starting sh!t" so-to-say, he very gleefully plays back with him. It starts harmlessly enough with some playful wrestling/rolling around but it always progresses to the cat sprinting to the nearest chair or table to entice the pup to chase after him. Is correcting this behavior going to interfere in his prey drive with other things such as ball/firsbee? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 06:19 PM
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I have five cats and I also spend lots of time telling mine to leave it. When she was evaluated for schutzhund she did fine and made it. I remember thinking that if a cat was in the middle of the field it would have been more fun for her

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 06:41 PM
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If a dog has prey drive, it will be a bit hard to squash. My dogs live with 2 cats and after 6 years, still will chase them if they get the chance. I would let your puppy know that he is not to chase your cats(and good luck with that!)....it won't bother his prey drive on the field.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by FirstTimeGSD View Post
Total greenie here, but very interested in getting my 4 month old involved in Schutz/IPO...I understand that developing prey drive is one of the main priorities for now, but am I killing his prey drive by constantly telling him not to chase the cats? One of the cats steers well clear, but the other cat (a fellow male) is a total antagonist. He doesn't go out of his way to chase the male cat, but when the cat is "starting sh!t" so-to-say, he very gleefully plays back with him. It starts harmlessly enough with some playful wrestling/rolling around but it always progresses to the cat sprinting to the nearest chair or table to entice the pup to chase after him. Is correcting this behavior going to interfere in his prey drive with other things such as ball/firsbee? Thanks in advance!
I had 2 cats when Dooney was a pup- the male cat used to always egg her on as well!!! I would tell Dooney to leave it and would put her in a down and the dang cat would come and rub up against her and try to get her to chase him. When I told her to leave it and she came to me I would also give her a treat- this way there was also a "positive" to leaving the cat alone. It has definitely not killed her prey drive

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 08:50 AM
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Well I think your cats might enjoy some Schutzhund training too! They have pretty high prey drive them selves! . When my pup was young I had a flirt pole that I worked him with and the cat was always getting in the way as he jumped and chased the tug with the dog!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:51 PM
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Schutzhund training and cats?-2012-05-31_12-43-35_294.jpg

Schutzhund training and cats?-100e0191.jpg

NEVER let your Schutzhund dog play with cats! It will ruin them!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 09:32 PM
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I've got a 20 month old dog that's working towards his Sch1, has good prey drive, and did want to chase our 2 cats - desperately - when he was a younger pup. Now he has absolutely no problems with them. He sees them as small dogs, I think...he keeps dropping his ball/tug etc in front of them, trying to tempt them to play. After doing this for the last year, you'd think he'd get the idea that they're not interested.

All we did was work very carefully to convince him that a) the cat's aren't toys. Nor are the deer, rabbit etc we always get in our yard. The only things he's allowed to direct his prey drive on are his toys, and only when we're playing with him actively. He's not allowed to get into prey drive on his own - if we see him trying to "self satisfy", we take away the item he's chosen as his new toy. It sounds a little cold, but if you want to do schutzhund it makes a big difference....and he gets lots of play time (as well as other exercise) with us each day, so he's by no means deprived.

It can be done, it's all in how you do it. At first, we just corrected him for any attempt to chase or otherwise interact with the cats (just a verbal correction for us, he was easy to teach this way). Once he was VERY clear that the cats were something he had to "***** foot around" (pun intended), we allowed him to sniff at them very gently, but not follow them around the house. Now we're comfortable enough that he can run up to them, drop a ball, and sit there looking like an idiot while he ignores them. He doesn't attempt to chase them (nor do they run from him like they used to), but if he did, that's be absolutely NOT COOL, and he knows it. We don't have to remind him often, but we've tried to always be clear, so that helps, I think.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 11:09 PM
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I had 3 cats but am now down to two (lost my oldest this summer ) and both my dogs are fine with them. Both trained in schH and my youngest still does. My youngest will give chase to the cats if they run but with a verbal "leave it" or call out of her name she redirects her attention. I ALWAYS give my cats nice places to 'escape' too, like a climber or tall book case, etc.. I also have a room dedicated to just the cats with a babygate in the doorway so the dogs can't get in. They probably could jump the gate but have never tried. Training/boundaries are a wonderful thing - even in crazy schH trained dogs.

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