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Hello, i recently adopted a purebred Germen shepherd pup, very smart alert and full of life, all our training is going great except for he wont stop barking at my cats, Im working on focusing his attention on me with a treat and saying "enough", when the cats walk by but i cant be next to him everytime he dose this, i really think he just wants to herd them or play with them because when he barks hes learned it makes them run away really fast, I was wondering if anyone else has had to go through this and what you did to help decrease this barking, Ive also started to use a squirt gun with water to stop him, which i just started today, but any ideas or suggestions would be helpful thanks
 

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squirting him with water gun will make him afraid of the water.
the cats are egging him on by running away. He's a puppy and cats are toys to him that move, hopefully he'll grow out of it
Maybe hire a trainer they have great ideas
 

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Originally Posted By: littledmcsquirting him with water gun will make him afraid of the water.
the cats are egging him on by running away. He's a puppy and cats are toys to him that move, hopefully he'll grow out of it
Maybe hire a trainer they have great ideas
I agree 100%, hes in play mode. When he barks the cats run, he thinks thats pretty cool!! Those cats are great fun for a puppy. I expect when he gets a little older he will learn to ignor the cats. I wouldnt do the water gun either. You could try, when he starts barking at the cats put him in his crate for 15 minutes. Do it everytime. He'll equate barking to going into the crate and stop.

Shepherds are very smart by nature, it helps them to learn if things are done the same way everytime. They will settle into a very nice routine as long as they understand what the routine is. If you keep changing things around they stay confused longer because they dont know exactly what their suposed to do.
 

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I have a cat too and when our dog was 8 weeks old, she would bark too because she just wanted somebody to play with. She is now almost 8 months and the barking has stopped.
 

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okay so the water gun idea is out, He dose stay in his crate and thats when he barks when its free time i keep him on a leash so if he goes after them he can be corrected, do you think putting a blanket over the crate when he barks may help? i know this is going to take some time and he prob will grow out of it soon, getting rid of the cats is not an option they are all rescues and i love them the one was a Ferrel kitten and she can actully sit and down on command theres no way im getting rid of her, some day i would like to have my two shepherds and my cat all do a down stay next to each other would make a great pic thanks for all the advice
 

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Does he get to interact with the cats? Do they have their claws?

To me, it also sounds like frustration... like he wants to meet/play with them, but he's not being permitted to.

It helps if they have their claws, because then there's a built-in and 100% consistent consequence if he gets too rough with them, but I'd put him on leash and let him smell them (if the cats will tolerate it). If he gets too much for them, they will hiss and give a good swat, which usually corrects the behavior. You just need a leash to intervene if he gets to the point of possibly hurting one of them.

The other thing you can do is start marking and rewarding the "quiet spaces." If you get him conditioned to the clicker, you can begin marking his quiet behavior when the cats are around and reinforcing that. You may need to be really focused and observant at first to catch those quiet spaces, but they are there and can be marked and reinforced.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He has sniffed the cats a few times on leash, two of my cats have claws and my one older cat dose not (not done by me) If he dose get up to the cats he ends up acting Displaced (licking himself sniffing the floor itching) Its just the barking makes them run they have safe places to go, but like to pass through our living room ( where he stays in his crate or has most of his free time) the cats are interested and want to sniff him but the barking scares them, Im sure he just wants to play and this sort of thing takes time, i have not clicker trained, because i like to train my dogs to my voice, but it may not be a bad idea to clicker train him, i use the clicker on my older dog when we learn new things, so maybe i will give that a try thank you everyone for all the advice and to keep me away from those squirt guns
 

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Originally Posted By: nysirkgetting rid of the cats is not an option they are all rescues and i love them the one was a Ferrel kitten and she can actully sit and down on command theres no way im getting rid of her
I don't think anyone was serious about telling you to get rid of your cats. I adore cats too and couldn't live without at least one in the house. We have had two cats at two different times with Sean. Our former cat, Neeko, who has passed away was not very tolerant of Sean so they merely co-existed. But our present cat, Neely, thinks she is a dog.
Be patient, it takes time and a lot of supervision.
 
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