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Old 02-21-2013, 09:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Still having issues with the cat after 5 months...

This one is for those of you with cats and dogs.

Have you had a dog that was especially hard to train around cats?

We've had Duke for 5 months and he still goes crazy when he sees Dusty our cat. I believe it is partially our fault for not putting them together from the beginning. At first DH was afraid that Dusty would injure Duke (we got Duke at 16 weeks), but now that Duke is bigger he's afraid Duke will injure Dusty. So 5 months later Dusty is still locked up in the basement... and I understand that after being at work all day, the last thing I want to do is come home to the chaos of a dog chasing a cat around like a madman.

I know that keeping them separate is not the solution and hearing the cat cry at the basement door isn't my idea of fun. But now that we've created this monster, how do we fix it?

Our trainer suggested leashing Duke and letting the cat roam free and keeping him leashed until he stops trying to chase the cat. I'm relatively sure this will work but I feel bad leashing him in the house...

Is there another way? Besides letting them go at it - which is what I wanted to do from the beginning - and I would have but DH may end up blowing a heart valve and keeling over! lol
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have both cat & dogs. Patch (our cat) was 3 when we brought Maggie into our home. At first, Patch wanted nothing to do with Maggie but as time went on they became the best of friends. Patch would even lay on the dog bed next to Maggie (got plenty of pics of this). Now when Pheona came home, Patch was about 14 so she had no tolerance for a puppy. We got lots of practice with the "leave it" command & eventually Pheona wouldn't even look at Patch. Now Patch feels safe (if you want to call it that) to walk past Pheona. Then Murphy came home. Murphy still won't leave Patch alone. We are working with the "leave it" command again but she's way more stubborn than Pheona. Patch is declawed so it doesn't bother Murphy when she gets paw whacked. There are times when Murphy will leave Patch alone & we think yes..she's figured it out but then next thing you know, she's right back at her. I figure, sooner or later she'll get it. Now this morning my husband learned why I have been mostly closing our laundry room door. Murphy can leap right over the baby gate blocking the laundry room & she got into the room. The laundry room is where the litter box & food is kept. So now he has to learn to close the door.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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*sigh* Duke literally LOSES HIS MIND when he sees the cat. He focuses on nothing BUT the cat and not even his favourite treat or toy will break his focus. Even smacking his bum or physically redirecting his face to me works (his head moves but his eyes stay focused on the cat! lol). He is totally and completely consumed by his obsession with the cat. He literally becomes a different dog - it is so intense! I'm relatively sure he just wants to play but he's so intense that we're afraid he'll pin the cat down and hurt him (or vice-versa). Dusty is 7 years old and we've never had any other pets in the house until Duke.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If he is that intense I really recommend help from a trainer. We tried to adopt a dog that had similar intensity with cats. We figured we could train him or he would get used to our cats. Well one day that drive got out of control when my cat slapped him. He took off after her and jumped over the back of our couch to get at her. I'm relatively sure he would have killed her if he got a hold of her. She tore her 'kitty Achilles tendon' and has never been the same since. We tried training him keeping him leashed around the cat but it didn't help. We ended up having to return him. (He found a wonderful cat-free home).

So please, get professional help with this. A high intensity like that spells trouble imo.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We've had him in training for about 5 weeks. He is getting much better with his sitting and staying. I can have the cat near me and Duke will sit and stay (for the mostpart) while I pet Dusty (I am always between him and the cat) - he will stare intensely at the cat the entire time but he won't move. However, as soon as Dusty bolts, Duke is giving chase! And he gets so wound up that he will not listen!

I honestly don't think he wants to kill the cat. The few times that he got close enough he just pounds his front paws on the ground until the cat runs away and then chases him. I think he just wants to play or he would flat out attack him, no?

We're going to try the leashing but if that doesn't work we'll have to try something different! I was just looking for other suggestions. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I too have the same issues; we have 2 ragdoll cats who are also declawed (ragdolls have no defense mechanism in them) and having 2 boxers in the house it WAS a nightmare at times. Just like your Duke once their focus is on the cat or cats there is no distracting them at all due their high prey drive. We have barricaded the stairs going up with a proper metal bar black gate so that when we are home the dogs can come out from kitchen and cats are sent upstairs. BUT there are times when our one cat will venture out (he can squeeze through the metal bars) and the chase is on. One time my cat was seriously hurt and we took him to the vet with a sore front paw and thank goodness nothing broken and we took him home with pain meds; but that paw took about 2 weeks to get better (sigh) I felt so bad for my puddy cat. We signed up for MORE training and the one thing this new trainer taught us for high prey dogs was to have tin cans with a couple of pennies and marbles and then taped with duct tape and to just toss at them in their rear area, it does make quite the noise and really startles them! Although I cannot do that - I do toss in their direction onto the floor which is enough to get their attention back and I reinforce the 'leave it' or 'off' command. It is getting much better but we have learnt our lesson and do not for a moment fully trust the dogs if a cat is in the same area of our house. With that being said my daughter and her fiance have bought a house in Wasaga Beach and are moving in May and they already have a Ragdoll male and expressed they would like to get another Ragdoll - so no brainer there - they will be taking my 2 boys the plan is to bring all 3 cats in on the same day; once they are fully moved in that is. We just feel it is the best for ALL concerned. Hubby and I were just saying last night how much better the boxer boys are of late - maturing too I guess as they will be 2 in a couple of weeks. Your Duke is at that adolescence stage where you have to be really firm and stick with the training - there is never too much of that I say. good luck and stay firm with him and always keep an eye on the situation when puddy cat is in the area.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What we've been doing with Chloe, who's five months now,(and looks just like duke) is constant reprimand with the off when she was very aggressive with the cat. now or cat, Dunkin, who generally has always stood up to the puppy, and not declawed has became acustom to the daily playing now.naps in the dogs crate. Chloe's still at times a little rough, but honestly much better. It's frequent to see them playing together now. Not easy for sure. I'll leave them home together now for a couple hrs, no torn up house, and Chloe's in the recliner. Exposure and patience will pay off.
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