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I just tried that. Teagan was:

Prey: 90
Pack: 60
Fight: 75
Flight: 15
 

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Yikes, 75 on the fight drive along with a high prey and moderate pack drives!


Keef was 40 on the fight and 10 on the flight drive.
 

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Dena's scores were 65 on both prey and pack, 35 on fight, and 10 on flight.
 

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Originally Posted By: Cassidys MomYikes, 75 on the fight drive along with a high prey and moderate pack drives!


Keef was 40 on the fight and 10 on the flight drive.
Adopting her was a bit like having a bomb explode in the house...."WTH just happened??!!" I admit, I went through a period of not being scared, but perhaps....wary? of her, but I realized we couldn't live like that. I had someone come into help us, and it sounds dumb, but I did a lot of visualization. As I started to step up....not that it was smooth, but I gained more confidence, and we've got a pretty good relationship now.

It's funny though, I always thought she'd have strong pack drive, not moderate. She seems pretty rank driven to me - I don't see her as a true alpha dog, but I've always like Patricia McConnell's description of a 'testy, status-seeking dog'.

She got 15 on flight b/c she got 10 points for not standing still while being groomed (of course, she keeps flopping over onto her back and showing me her belly, but hey....I'm keeping her at 15!

But I'm going off-topic again
 

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Did you read the explanation at the bottom?

For most of what you want your dog to do, he needs to be in pack drive, such as:

come
walk on a loose leash
sit
down
stay

For most of what your dog wants to do, he is going to be in prey drive, such as:

chase the cat
follow the trail of a rabbit
retrieve a ball or stick
sniffing the grass
digging

You can readily see that those times when you want him to behave you have to convince your dog to forget about being in prey drive. Most often it is prey drive that gets dogs into trouble. The dog with high pack and low prey drive rarely even needs training. Such a dog doesn’t:

chase bicycles, cars, children or joggers
cats or other animals
roam from home
steal food
chew your possessions
doesn’t pull on the leash

In other words, he is a perfect pet.


So the higher the pack drive, the more likely they are to behave well without a lot of training, vs a dog who is more likely to blow you off and follow his/her own agenda. A dog who is very high in prey drive and very low in pack drive would NOT be easy! Keefer's pack drive is almost as high as his prey drive, so although they are both strong, he wants to do his own thing only slightly more than his desire to go along with the pack leader (me!).
 

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darnit! i just added everything up, i didn't go down any further. oops!

well, for the first month i had teagan, she refused to follow any command. i thought, how could a 5 year old dog not know sit? wow! and then one day, i told her sit, she stopped, looked at me, even cocked her head a bit, and sat. and from that day forth....like i said, we definitely have our moments, but it was sort of a watershed in training her, a 'okay, you can tell me what to do' moment.
 

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I have a 4-year-old domestic shorthair cat that my 8 month GSD pup would love to maul. The other dogs all get along with the cat. I've managed to keep them apart. I put the cat in another room when the GSD comes in the house so that the cat is not traumatized. The GSD has been a little better when he sees the cat, but I definitely don't trust him with the cat. It took my Weimaraner about 1 year to get used to the cat when the cat was a kitten 4 years ago and the Weim was an adult dog. Eventually the Weim accepted the cat. I always kept them separated and one day when the cat was outside I came home from work and the cat and the Weim were in my pool area peacefully co-existing. The cat actually went in the Weim's territory on its own and they worked it out. It took a long time.

I would recommend keeping them separated. They may never be friends but if the cats are out of sight when the dog comes in the house then that may solve your problem for the time being.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Cassidy'sMom thanks for the link to the test...

These were Max's scores

Prey 90

Pack 65

Flight 45

totl Flt 35

Now I have to ask what is the difference between flight and total flight?
 

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In the order of the test the drives are:

Prey
Pack
Fight (engage)
Flight (run away)

Totals are just the totals of each column.
 

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I'm really sorry to hear you're having such a problem between Max and your cats. I can imagine how unsettling the situation is and how upset it makes you.

I second those who encouraged you to increase the amount of NILIF you use. I would do it to the point of not even allowing him to eat from a bowl - he has to work for every single bit of food he gets. That means you put his food in a bowl, then set it on the table and ask him to sit. When he sits, he gets a small handful of food. Then you ask for another behavior, and another, until the food is all gone. I would also not allow him on furniture, insist that he stay behind you when going through doorways, etc. I have a list of "rules" that you can think about (www.kippsdogs.com/tips.html - go to pack hierarchy). For a dog with such a high prey drive, I'd suggest ALL the rules until you get things worked out more.

And I'd also recommend some hard exercise. Walking on leash is not enough. I don't know how much actual hard exercise Max gets, but he should probably get several sessions every day of chasing a ball or stick or whatever (running hard to get it, returning, throwing again) until his tongue is hanging out the side of his mouth and he's showing obvious signs of being tired. Ideally this is done off-leash so that he can truly run, but if you don't have an area for that you could put a long (say 50') line on him and just be sure not to throw outside the length of the line.

I suggest you read the section on my website on desensitizing. I think Max is over the top in his reactions and desensitizing as a purely positive method would take a long time. You would probably have more success in using a combination of positive reinforcement (for non-reactivity) and negative reinforcement (as per the crittering protocol in Lou Castle's information) with the shock collar. You have to find a point in Max where he stops reacting and starts thinking, and that may very well take something beyond positive reinforcement. I'm not big on suggesting that someone use a shock collar, but I'm also a realist. When it comes to a situation that may be life or death for one of your cats, it is probably kinder to consider the low level stimulation shock collar training.

I, too, agonized about using a shock collar on my dog a few years ago. I did NOT want to use it, but we had a problem with zooming off and reactions to moose (which are tremendously common up here). Moose can kill a dog easily. I didn't want my dog to be dead, and I chose to use a combination of positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement (with the shock collar) - and it has been effective. I don't use the collar for other training. It was purely to deal with a dog with a very independent mind and a particular problem. You are not a bad person in any way for considering this in order to try to save your cats and your sanity in living with a dog with such a high prey drive. I respect that you don't want to use the collar and that you are concerned for your dog's well-being. I think that's the way it should be and that collars that provide shock should never be used lightly. But in the right situations there are reasons to use these tools, and this is likely one of those situations.

When you follow the protocol of finding the lowest working level of stimulation for your dog, you will probably find that it isn't as painful as you think it will be. I'm not going to sugar-coat it and say it's not uncomfortable, irritating and yes, even painful at times, but the training teaches the dog that they have the power to stop this from happening. And you'll probably find that when Max gets worked up, he may not even feel that stimulation - which is one of the reasons why you go through a specific set of exercises designed to teach the dog to not react to the animals at a distance and then gradually work in closer.

Hopefully the collar you bought has a lot of stimulation levels so that you can use the lowest possible. Mine has 100 levels and they go up in very small increments of stimulation so I can be pretty precise in finding the working level.

In all honesty, it's very possible that Max will never be trustworthy around your cats even with training. His prey drive is part of his genetic personality and while he may learn control to a great extent, you will probably never want to leave him in a situation where he has access to cats when you're not around. It just isn't worth the possibility of losing a cat. So that's something that you will want to keep in mind. You have a decade or more ahead of you where you will have to keep your animals separated. That's a difficult situation.

Best of luck to you and whatever you choose to do. Please read through all the information you can in regards to the shock collars and take what works for you. In regards to Lou, he and I have had our go-arounds but I would suggest really reading his information and understanding the concept of low level stimulation. It's not the old style of "turn up the dial and make 'em yelp" that used to be used. And if you can find someone with experience in low level stimulation and desensitization/crittering, that would be even better. Having a professional there to help you through this would be a big relief for you.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Melanie, I already do make Max sit and wait for his food. We have also hand fed him since day one. Not actually in our hand, but we hold the bowl. It was suggested by the breeder to ensure he did not develop any food aggression. Once he sits and waits a couple minutes we let him eat a bit then take the bowl away, place it on the table in front of him, and he has to sit and wait until I place the bowl in front of him again. We usually have 3 "waits" for one meal. I started doing this part on my own because he is a gulper. We lost a dog to bloat and I am petrified of it happening to another one. That is also another reason why we hand feed him.

We used to play a lot of fetch with him while he was on his training leash but one day a motorcycle went by and Max was off like a rocket. He did not make it to the motorcycle but DID run right into the road. Now I am afraid of letting him loose to fetch and only do it if I have someone else out there with me so we can catch him if he takes off. He is far from 100% on his recall, actually his recall sucks and is another thing we have been working hard on.

I have not seen the collar, I refuse to look at it. DH said it has 10 settings. So it is obviously not the one you have.

I did go out and get Max a muzzle tonight. He hates it of course but that is expected. I am not going to bring the cats into the room with him for a couple of days. I want to have him wear the muzzle for awhile each day before I bring in my kitties and then I will use Leo and crate him. He hates being crated so tonight I put the crate with a very soft baby blanky in it on my bed where Leo likes to hang out and left the door open on it. I put in one of his favorite catnip toys and left the room. I went up awhile ago and Leo was sleeping in the crate! I was pretty happy when I saw that. So I will do that for a couple of days before I attempt to close the door on it. That freaks him out. I just think Sasha has been traumatized enough with the crate situation and Max and will see if I can get anywhere with Leo. Of course he is the PITA that loves to tease Max. Can you say instigator??? That is Leo!
 

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Hi Maxismom. Why not take the e-collar out, and try the settings on you. Start at the lowest level and stop when you want to. You may just be afraid of the unknown. Also, since DH already bought the collar, you should read up on how to use it, and try to get DH educated too, as he may (I'm guessing probably, as they are not cheap) go ahead and use it without your approval so you want to do your best that if it gets used, it gets used correctly. (see Lou Castle's crittering protocol for the cat problem)
Time-outs don't make much impression on a hyper dog. There is too much of time lag between behaviour and consequence. If you're going with negative consequences, it has to be one that 'ends' the behaviour (dog doesn't do it again, or at least not immediately). A negative consequence is defined by the dogs behaviour. I'm seconding Melanie's advice. Read over what she tells you about desensitizing and getting Max to the point where he stops reacting and starts thinking--an e-collar used correctly would be appropriate. If you go that route, you'll also achieve off-leash obedience and be able to give Max plenty of exercise.
I've been through these circumstances exactly. I was determined to train Dynamo purely positively. Then I used 'time-outs', then a squirt gun--none of which made any impression at all on her. The prong collar did, an e-collar would of. Just saying this because I've been there, I really have. I remember going to bed a 7pm and crying every night because I loved Dynamo but I loved my cats too and I knew they were in danger. Dynamo also chased an ATV once (got to clock her speed on that incident).
If you are not using negative consequences, do make sure Max doesn't practice his prey-drive on the cats. That means, the minute he begins to get exited (the "look") remove him from the situation. Don't put him back in that situation. If you are doing things purely positively you MUST find something that excites/interests your dog more than the cats. Sorry, I can't think of anything, this is the point where I find other tools.
PS. I never leave my dogs alone with cats, even if I think its okay. Sooner or later, it happens by accident, though, and you want to be sure that when that day rolls around, the dogs attitude to the cat is friendly or neutral.

see how relaxed they all are. Dynamo is the one on the floor. I've lost the pic I've had of her sharing her beanbag chair with the cats.
 

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Any progress?

LandosMom
 

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I am not a professional trainer and will probably have everyone on my case for this but I have worked with so so many dogs over so so many years. I have used an electric collar after having been taught how by a trainer. It was not awful, it saved the life of my dog by changing his behavior and focusing him. AND I was not associated in any way with the tingling sensation he got as I was not the one inflicting anything on him other than the NO before the zap. Actually my baby (who is full grown and big) only needed a very low setting and one or two lessons but then again all dogs are different. Used correctly it worked for me.
 
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