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Originally Posted By: The_Passenger
I am going to keep the cat and keep trying to get the dogs to adjust. I have never let the cat out of my site when dogs are free, and he's always up on a shelf or the fridge or somewhere safe he likes to be. And when he gets down, I escort him and continue to order the dogs to leave it. They have chased the cat a few times but have always stopped dead in the tracks when I shout at them to leave it.
You should never let the dogs out of your sight in the house when you have other animals or small children around.

You are kinda going the right way, telling the dogs no, every single time (never do not do it) you see them even LOOK at the cat, say no. They will learn, BUT it will take months.

If they chase the cat, say NO, get the dog on the ground, lay partly on top of it for 60 seconds, let it struggle. After a month it will stop struggling, accepting that you're the boss, and will then lick your face submissively when it gets up.

You have less than 2 seconds to correct any dog action, after 2 seconds, don't even bother correcting it, as it won't know what you are talking about, its a distance memory.

I have 3 cats and one 6 month old GSD, the dog listens to me, when I say no, she stops even looking at the cat. Its almost to the point where she won't even go near a cat. I have a pet gate to the upstairs, so they always have a place of their own, half the house. This pet gate is still only a deterrent.

Black bears and raccoons outside, no thats a different matter . . .
 

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If the dogs do not know him and trust him fully yet, and he doesn't know the dogs that great either, I would NOT advise rolling them and laying on top of them.

That can end badly...

There are other ways to establish dominance, that are far safer for now. Someone that had no real knowledge about the alpharoll, shouldn't attempt it. Esp. not on an adult german shepherd that he hasn't gotten to know yet...and esp. not with another adult german shepherd running around at the same time, possibly willing to protect his brother/sister.

jimho
 

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Originally Posted By: longhairshepmomIf the dogs do not know him and trust him fully yet, and he doesn't know the dogs that great either, I would NOT advise rolling them and laying on top of them.

That can end badly...

There are other ways to establish dominance, that are far safer for now. Someone that had no real knowledge about the alpharoll, shouldn't attempt it. Esp. not on an adult german shepherd that he hasn't gotten to know yet...and esp. not with another adult german shepherd running around at the same time, possibly willing to protect his brother/sister.

jimho
I agree 100% with you on this one.

Rolling a dog that you dont fully know and esp. one that is bonded to another dog so strongly, right now its a good way to get bit, scare the dog have to death and kick in a fight or flight mode.
 

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Originally Posted By: jinj get the dog on the ground, lay partly on top of it for 60 seconds, let it struggle. After a month it will stop struggling, accepting that you're the boss, and will then lick your face submissively when it gets up.
I disagree with this! Good way to get your face bit. I do not think this is a dominance issue at all and I think it will respond to positive better than harsh correction. Harsh corrections only serve to stop a behavior at that time, they do not work to teach a new one. Overly harsh corrections over time damage your relationship they do not make you the leader in your dogs eyes but make you instead, someone to be feared. I do use correction to work on this but it is not harsh and the dogs see they have the ability to figure out how to avoid it do what works for a reward instead.

Leaders lead they do not dominate.

I have 3 GSD's and 4 cats. Knock on wood I have never had a cat injured. That said I do not leave them home alone either. When we are at work the dogs are crated or in the garage and the cats are safe in the house.

I teach all my dogs a separate comamnd for leave the cat alone. I call it "NO KITTY!!" I start with a young pup trailing a line in the house. When pup fixates on cat I fiimly and in a very deep tone tell them "NO KITTY!!" as I step on the line. They self correct and when they turn back I praise and reward with a great treat. Havoc came home as an 8 week old pup and just turned a year 2 weeks ago. I can't remember the last time he tried to chase one of the cats. It has been months.

None of my dogs care about the cats, in fact they sleep with them and groom them.

Now you have 2 and they are adults. So it is going to be harder. I would imagine they have not been around cats. My old guy, Max, came as a shelter rescue. The same method was applied to him and it worked, it just took a bit longer.

Even so I still would not trust that an accident could not happen so I don't generally leave them alone when we are out of the house for a long time.

Liesje had great recommendations for safe zones for cats. I provide safe zones also.

Lead your dogs by correcting fairly and by showing them the right way to earn rewards.

And protect the cat. The cat will mot likely not want much to do with the dogs any time soon. So I would insure he has safe zones.
 

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I dont know where you got your info from but a cat is NOT a small type rodent. I feel sorry for your cat....nothing like replacing one animal with another
 

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Originally Posted By: KathyW
Originally Posted By: jinj get the dog on the ground, lay partly on top of it for 60 seconds, let it struggle. After a month it will stop struggling, accepting that you're the boss, and will then lick your face submissively when it gets up.
I disagree with this! Good way to get your face bit. I do not think this is a dominance issue at all and I think it will respond to positive better than harsh correction. Harsh corrections only serve to stop a behavior at that time, they do not work to teach a new one. Overly harsh corrections over time damage your relationship they do not make you the leader in your dogs eyes but make you instead, someone to be feared. I do use correction to work on this but it is not harsh and the dogs see they have the ability to figure out how to avoid it do what works for a reward instead.

Leaders lead they do not dominate.
I completely agree with this.
 

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well i have 5 indoor cats and now 4 dogs...I've added cats and dogs since the first two,

I have a room babygated off (gate higher so cats can get under it). so the cats have a safe place to go if they choose..I also babygate off my upstairs..

When I am introducing a dog /puppy to the cats,,I let the cats do their own thing while I am controlling the dog/puppy.

My male aussie at first wanted to pin/go to town on them, (but did not bite) and after two times of doing that,,we had an attitude adjustment since verbal commands were not working, and he has been fine ever since (that was 7 years ago)..(and no I didn't beat him, string him or sit on him, it just took me getting in his face and showing him the wrath of mom:))

My new puppy is pretty curious about the cats,,and the cats are pretty curious about her,,but cautious,,they certainly don't want to be chased or barked at, and I monitor there interactions very closely holding the puppy, and the cats are smart they know where the escape route is..

My advice,,work each dog individually..have a safe place your kitty can go to and the dogs can't enter..never leave alone unsupervised, reward the dog for "leaving" the kitty alone, and definately be on top of it 24/7,,if the dogs even "think" of doing anything to the cat,,if a "command" works,,make sure your timing is PRIOR to physical contact,,

Good luck !
Diane
 

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" Like I was saying, the dogs keep a wide berth with the child. They only approach him when I call them and have them sniff his feet or whatever, and even then they are super cautious"

I dunno..I wonder about why the dogs do that? Why dont they just go up to the kid looking to be petted, sticking their nose in crotches, or looking to play, etc..etc.? I mean, why are they "keeping a wide berth" from the child?

To me, the average dog who is really friendly and comfortable around people (big AND little) will just go up looking for pets and hugs and such, or trying to give kisses, etc. By you saying the dogs are giving the child a wide berth, and are being "super cautious" makes me wonder if they are TRULY comfortable around kids? Granted, it's a new house, but do they treat the adults in the home like that?

I know u say they seemed to be okay with the original owners kid. Though I dont know just how much interaction you were able to see
or if the child was even old enough for there to be interaction, as I remember u saying a baby was crying while you were at the home.

I dont know, i took one of my dogs to a rabies clinic the other day. Strange place, strange people, etc. Kids came up to her to pet her, and she went right to them, loving the attention. And she is not even all that used to kids, as i dont have them. She has met kids a couple times here and there. That's it. But she is just a good natured dog.

Also, I too feel bad for the cat. Seems kinda mean that the cat lived there for 3 years, and did nothing wrong, but was on the verge of being booted out. Espescially coming from the background that she came from. I'm glad you are going to keep her. Hopefully you can get them all to at least tolerate each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
fyi - the cat has resumed mostly normal activity. He did refuse to walk the first day, but after the "special K" pain killer kicked in, he moved around, and now he's basically back to normal, but still more tired than usual.

Let's see if I can hit all my talking points.

- The previous owners were in their 50's and never had them around kids or cats.

- I only suggested that the cat be rehomed because I believe that he would easily adapt. He's always felt like a roommate, and he behaves with new people in a way that makes me believe he'd be perfectly happy somewhere else as long as he got cuddles. If I felt he was attached, I wouldn't have considered a rehome.

- I think the dogs are cautions around the toddler because since they had no prey drive for him, they easily saw our protectiveness and ownership of him, and fully understand that he is off limits. I know none of you have been at my house and seen it, so you are skeptical, but I am just asking you to consider the idea. If you think I can get them to respect a cat, imagine how easy it was to get them to respect a human they have no prey drive for.

- I didn't call the cat a rodent, but I do believe the dogs saw it as a prey animal. The previous owners would have them chase rabbits out in the desert, so I am guessing it carried over.

- I am going to get very small, tasty treats and a prong collar and begin a regular conditioning regiment.

- The dogs won't go off alone. They follow me 100% of the time. Everywhere I go without fail. They sit in the room I am in, sleep where I sleep, never leave me side or sight. My wife isn't as used to the idea of dogs as I am, that is why she had a lapse in letting them out BEFORE putting the cat up high.

- They have never really seen children before. I can't explain their caution 100%. I have had little kids come pet them and say hi and they are just fine. I have them come lick my kids feet and they are just fine. Maybe I should take some video of them doing all these different things I talk about and post it and get some opinions. To me, it seems like I can tell when these shepherd dogs are concerned and "shepherding" and not being sly or aggressive. The previous owners lived with the dogs 24/7 and NEVER had any behavior problems, the dogs were raised VERY well and have demonstrated their high-regard for the pack leader (me). So I put some trust in the previous owners (who were dedicated, EDUCATED dog people) when they tell me what a concern gesture is, or a worry gesture, or a friendly gesture.

- I have read every post and am taking all the advice. I am gonna give the cat another week or two and then start controlling the dogs with the prong collar while they are watching the cat go about his business.



Please keep posting and helping me clarify this situation, I appreciate it alot.
 

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Quote:- I didn't call the cat a rodent, but I do believe the dogs saw it as a prey animal. The previous owners would have them chase rabbits out in the desert, so I am guessing it carried over.

You know, that would have been helpful from the beginning


Honestly, to me that makes a big bit of a difference. I think the dogs saw cat as they did rabbits and as far as they are concerned, its OK to chases small things cause they did so with previous owners.

Nothing some retraining wont fix I think. Just gonna take some time and consistancy. I think if you keep at it, you'll be able to have dogs and cats all together.

As far as the child goes, I would keep doing what you are doing and again, keep training training training to get the results of what you want. I think they see you rough housing and they want to join in in some way.


Like I said, its only been two weeks and may still take some more time to adjust and get use to some things. After all, its a whole new setting from what they are use to.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Originally Posted By: GSDolch
You know, that would have been helpful from the beginning


Honestly, to me that makes a big bit of a difference. I think the dogs saw cat as they did rabbits and as far as they are concerned, its OK to chases small things cause they did so with previous owners.

Nothing some retraining wont fix I think. Just gonna take some time and consistancy. I think if you keep at it, you'll be able to have dogs and cats all together.

As far as the child goes, I would keep doing what you are doing and again, keep training training training to get the results of what you want. I think they see you rough housing and they want to join in in some way.


Like I said, its only been two weeks and may still take some more time to adjust and get use to some things. After all, its a whole new setting from what they are use to.

The rabbit thing didn't occur to me to mention, my bad.


These dogs are as smart as any GSD, I know they have the ability to learn.

What method is the consensus on how to start a correction/reward system?

- prong collar and treats?
- nylon martingale collar and treats?
- clicker and treats?
- collar and clicker?
- kennel "flooding"
- a huge ball of cat fur tied on top of their snout for a week?

I am ready to teach these dogs. Guide me. I have plenty of books, websites, and forums on specific methods, I just want to know what you think my instruments should be.

Frankly, I have had success with a prong collar in the past, but maybe they just need a nylon choker?
 

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I wish I had some advice. My dogs and cats all get along pretty well, Jackson will bark at the cats to get them to play but they hiss at him and go about their business.
 

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Whatever the method you choose, it should positively reward the dog. I think that you should experiment with a few of the methods to see what's best for you. I would start with the clicker and treats first with the dog on a lead, that way you have full control, and one dog at a time. If that doesn't work, then you could try the prong. JMO.
 

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I differ from GSDOwner's suggestion slightly.

You want to control a drive here with the desire to chase the cats. And you said you have had success with the prong.

I would tell you to start with what you know and have been successful with. Put the prong to use now and add the clicker and treats, but start with these on basic obedience steps first and migrate to use with getting control of the dogs' "need for speed" in relation to the cats under control. Whatever you do try not to use strong corrections with the prong on however-lean on the positive when the cats are in the picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Well, its been 3 months.

The dogs STILL fixate on the cat. They've had training, examples, hours and hours of "sniffing" under the door.

They just can't calm down. I've been right on top of the male dog when he took a snap at the cat, and instantly grabbed his muzzle and said no. Doesn't affect him. He stops for a second, and then tries it again.

The dogs have been 100% well mannered with all people and my 3 year old toddler, and they defer to me and look to me as leader fully. I can Alpha roll both of them on command, sometimes the male knows I am mad and he'll roll on his own.

If they skitter across the floor towards the laundry room where the cat is, I can just say "dogs..." and they come back to me, they know they aren't supposed to be there. But we've been doing it for months now, and basically unless I am actively commanding them to stand down, they just go after the cat.

I really don't know. They REALLY want this cat.
 

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I have been following this thread closely as I have a similar problem with Max and my 2 cats. Max wants to chase the cats, period. It is really the only problem we have had with Max that we have been unable to conquer yet.

It has been pretty quiet around here because for the summer, Max has been basically outside with me or DH all the time during the day. We do as much as we can to tire him out so when he comes in at dinner time, he is tired enough to relax. The cats have made their own routine, they roam the house during the day and at night sleep in my room.

Well, obviously this is not a fix just a much needed reprieve. Weather is turning cooler and soon we will be inside most of the time. So I just started again with Max on his prong collar on leash. The cats are petrified of him and will not come into the room. We have to keep Max entertained, carry the cats in one at a time (at different times) trying to get them used to being in the same room with each other. Cats run off right away. If we attempt to hold one they scratch their way out. We tried the caging the cats and one of my cats fights like heck to NOT be caged because Max rolled her inside the cage once and she has not forgotten.

As of right now we have only one solution that works. We got an ecollar. Max is never in the house without it on. IF a cat comes into view his normal routine is to knock down a gate and attempt to go after them. DH has only used the zap control a few times. I never have. What I do is as soon as he stares at the gate, it usually means a cat is sitting up on the stairs. I tell him NO. If he does not back off I hit the sound button and he will back off without having to be zapped. It is not a solution by any means but until we find one that works, we are using it.

The odd thing is the dog can be on leash in the kitchen with one of us AND the cat less then 3 feet away sitting in a window and Max will sit there fine UNTIL the cat moves in the slightest way. Once that happens he attempts to get into that frenzy and he is corrected with the sound or a tug on his regular collar.

I have done the towel thing, sharing the same towel with both cats and Max. It did not prevent any of his bad behavior. Neither of my cats trust Max (and with good reason as both of them at one time or another have been mauled by him, although no broken skin or wounds). It has been several months since anything has happened but that is because Max is basically with me, DD or DH outside or sitting in the LR and the cats are upstairs. They have chosen to just live in another part of the house away from him. Max is only allowed off leash in the living room and foyer areas. The cats have the rest of the house.

I have made up my mind though that these are the last 2 cats that I will have as long as we have Max which be for the rest of his life. It makes me sad but I can't ever bring another cat into this situation. I will never be able to trust him with them and he is always going to have to be crated at night. My old lab and GSD were fine with the cats and could be trusted to run free in the house with the cats as well. I miss all that harmony
 
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