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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have two cats who aren't sure about the new addition to our family. The older cat is very familiar with GSDs while the younger one was only around one when he was a kitten (happened to be when our previous dog passed and we waited a year for a new puppy). Dio is only 10 weeks old at the moment, but is completely obsessed with them. My ultimate goal is to just desensitize the puppy so all the animals can be happy.

We do not let the puppy upstairs so the cats are able to have a safe place. Dio will sit at the bottom of the stairs and just watch them! The cats come down to the first floor at some points in the day and check out the puppy, but he makes them very nervous. During their short introductions, we restrain the dog on his leash. If we let him get close to the cats, the puppy is on his best behavior, but as soon as we hold him back (don't want the cats to have a chance to take a swipe) he will sit there and bark and whine. The cats, as expected, hate this and go running. Naturally, Dio wants to chase. We've been working on redirecting Dio's attention, but the cats are just so interesting its hard!

I know Dio is just a puppy and everything is exciting, but I feel so guilty at how disruptive he is to the cats' lives. If anyone has advice or previous stories on how they worked through this situation, I'd love to hear. Thank you!!
 

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If we let him get close to the cats, the puppy is on his best behavior, but as soon as we hold him back (don't want the cats to have a chance to take a swipe) he will sit there and bark and whine. The cats, as expected, hate this and go running. Naturally, Dio wants to chase. We've been working on redirecting Dio's attention, but the cats are just so interesting its hard!
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You are creating the situation. Restraining him back creates frustration. He gets vocal and the cats run, kicking in his prey drive.

Just keep redirecting him without kicking his other drives in. Reward him anytime he's neutral or just sniffs the cats without chasing.

If he's on his best behavior when he's close to the cats, why are you restraining him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are creating the situation. Restraining him back creates frustration. He gets vocal and the cats run, kicking in his prey drive.

Just keep redirecting him without kicking his other drives in. Reward him anytime he's neutral or just sniffs the cats without chasing.

If he's on his best behavior when he's close to the cats, why are you restraining him?
I used the term restrain, but really it was more of him being kept on the leash so that if the cat decided to take off, he couldn't chase them all over the house. The entire time, he had the full length of leash and could go closer or back up as he pleased. We would only hold him back if the cat began to hiss/growl and we felt like the interaction should be over for the time being. I see how this would send him the wrong message. We will continue the redirection and see where that gets us. Thank you!
 

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How do you play with your puppy and what is his daily exercise schedule? Do you ever crate him so that the cats can peacefully enjoy their home?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How do you play with your puppy and what is his daily exercise schedule? Do you ever crate him so that the cats can peacefully enjoy their home?
We go on a walk early in the morning and late in the afternoon since it is so hot right now. If a dog friend is out, he will run and play with them in the yard, but this is only on occasions. Throughout the day he works on obedience training, plays, and naps. Most of the playing is either tug of war or fetch. He naps a fair amount and each time we put him in his crate, but the cats are still cautious. He sleeps in his crate at night, so that is when the cats are most comfortable and most active, so it works out well.
 

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Can you crate him and let him watch the cats walk around sometime during the day rather than have him out on the leash every time he sees them?
 

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Sounds like your puppy can use more exercise. Maybe try some nosework for play instead. Maybe you can arrange more play dates.
 
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