Dogs and Cats, again - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Dogs and Cats, again

I have a problem with my 18-week old puppy and cats. But this is a bit of a different kind of problem, that's why a new thread.

The other cat is "normal". He definitely lets the dog know where's the line. He'll take care of himself, so there's not that much to do with him. The puppy knows this very well, and doesn't run (too much) after the cat. But the other cat... I don't know what is going on in his head, but he does nothing at all when the pup chases and bites him. Sometimes, when the pup bites hard, the cat just screams, but he doesn't defend himself in any way, even though he does have his claws.

So what I decided, is that I'll not let the puppy to even approach this cat, because it always ends up in biting, and it seems that he is biting harder and harder, all the time.

There is also one additional twist in this situation. The pup loves to chase cats and bark to them, which is okay to me, but it drives my wife crazy... I want to respect her opinion, so maybe it is better that the pup stops playing around with cats completely.

I need some advice here. The puppy has been trained in a "positive" way, he hardly even knows what "NO" means. So I guess it is now time to start training "NO"? What would be the best way to do this? With leash? Note that e-collar is forbidden here in Finland.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 11:26 AM
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Leash and prong collar. Teach the dog self control and a "leave it" command when he is close to the cat. Have him sit and stay, down-stay, etc., close to the cat. Make him stay while the cat approaches. Teach him not to get excited and ramped-up when the cat is near.

Use "no" only if he gets aggressive with the cat--otherwise, teach him to control his excitement and energy by maintaining strict control of him with the leash and collar every time he comes near the cat.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 12:02 PM
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Sounds like the situation we had. GSD puppies play rough and it often looks worse then it is. We had to interrupt a few involuntary tonsil inspections with our puppy and kitten. The kitten would scream bloody murder if it got too rough for him but he almost never took evasive action. They are now best buddies and often curl up together for naps. We redirected and occassionally kennelled when the puppy couldn't control himself. Never used the leash or a prong collar.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 12:33 PM
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We have this same problem. 3 cats are "Normal". 4th cat (Bengal, 9 months old) is not-normal.. just like yours. Out & about all the time, doesnt care if the puppy has his head in her mouth. Hardly complains at all, ever. None that we have seen anyway. We have had our puppy 8 weeks now. (Not a Shep... Duck Toller - so different breed..but same rules apply probably!)

When we first got the puppy, we saw this same overly-aggressive play with our Puppy & Bengal. At first I thought, well, OK! Cat isnt complaining, so.... But it just was too hard to watch, and I didnt want to wait for the cat to finally get mad, and injure our puppy. So we started doing this instead:

When cat comes around and puppy wants to get him... We offer treats, for sits/ downs, etc. We do our best to do this as much as possible so that puppy thinks seeing cat means treats, etc. Of course, one cant do that constantly. We also carry water bottles filled with water/vinegar. Now, this is my method... not saying it will work for everyone. I have these handy. When puppy doesnt respond to me offering "treats", or even a stern "NO" or "LEAVE IT"... she gets squirted. Just on her side... not like, in her face. It wouldnt hurt her anyway - but what it does is distract her long enough to get to her to remove from the situation and start with training/treats.

We also work on our "leave it" command as much as possible.

So... 8 weeks later. It is definitely a lot improved. Puppy will still try to chase the kitty, but not as aggressively, and when she does get to the cat, it is not the "head in mouth" approach so much. She will stop, or lessen when we say "leave the cat alone". Stops much better when corrected with an "ah!" if we see her going for cat, etc.

It takes a lot of work and patience, but it pays off.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 12:44 PM
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Oh man I just got my sheppy puppy last Sat. He is 10 wks old and really calm and nice. I have 2 Norsk Skogkatts, male and female, brother and sister. Merlin is bigger in body size then the puppy but the puppy weighs almost 9 kilo and Merlin is 5,5 kilo. Molly is half his size but really spunky. They are a year old so love to play. They are playing with the puppy more and more but they seem to be able to take care of themselves, especially Merlin. He actually gets the puppy to chase him and runs under the bed. When the puppy starts getting wild I stop it right away on both ends. Cats however dont listen as well as dogs, LOL
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, so I get the impression that it is not wise to do it "hard" way... It is just frustrating to redirect with treats, over and over again because I know I could stop it for good, with one very strong correction. This is actually something I've been told to do: when the pup goes out to cats, grab from the back and basically "kick his ass" for doing that. I used to do that, it works, but I've been trying to train this puppy in a bit different way this time. Hopefully it pays off in the end .
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 06:50 AM
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Do NOT use a prong collar on an 18 week old puppy! Work on teaching him the cats are off limits. Especially since the one doesnt do anything to discourage the pup from being rough.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarkko View Post
It is just frustrating to redirect with treats, over and over again.
this! I am/was just as frustrated with my dog. treats treats treats over & over all night long... Thankfully, she's appeased with kibble right now! but I feel like I do this all night.

It is MUCH improved the last couple of weeks though, but still have to be on my toes. Time... time and patience.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 11:28 PM
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Nita just turned one last month and she is finally almost there with her leave it and the cat. She does struggle not chasing the cat though <sigh>

Our cat is a rescue and he was declawed before we got him. So when Nita pokes him with her nose, he bats at her and it really does look like he is playing back!

We do have a baby gate in the hallway and in the doorway of my craft room. This way the cat can get away from Nita if he wants, but he now sleeps on the couch and doesn't really pay much attention to the pup.

~ Dori ~

Koda: 14 yr old Samoyed
Nita: 7 yr old GSD
Ryder: 5 yr old Samoyed
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarkko View Post
.... I know I could stop it for good, with one very strong correction.
As my sister has taught me, sometimes you have got to "get their attention" with a strong correction. Doesn't mean you beat/hit them but a serious/stern correction is what it can take for a hard headed pup.

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