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Hello,

 

I am new to this board and wondered if you might be able to help me.

 

I have a 4 year old Border Collie/ Beagle mix who was rescued. We also have a 7 year old Saint Bernard. Three months ago we took in a stray (not feral) cat who had been hit by a car near where I work. Her recuperation has been long and complex but she is on the mend and we might like to permanently add her to our family. She has so far been separated from the dogs in order for her to heal and to take the introductions slowly. The dogs are very aware of her presence and are more than accustomed to her scent and more and more are able to observe her from one side of a gate.

 

Our BC mix who we adore, as you can imagine is overly interested and exhibiting a high prey drive. She is more than enthusiastic about squirrels as well. Our dogs have not lived with cats before and will chase if given the chance. Our Saint Bernard will lose interest quickly and I am fairly confident he can be socialized with a family cat. I am not so confident about our BC mix. I have taken things very slowly but worry about any one of them being injured. This sweet cat will never be able to run, climb or jump as well as a cat without her injuries but other than that she is a typical cat. She can jump, run and climb but just isn't as agile as she once was. She is about 2 and is calm in the presence/view of dogs, and it appears will attempt to stand her ground with our BC but will run at the sight of our Saint. Little does she know he is a big baby. She is a social cat and would enjoy the company.

 

Our BC will skip dinner if allowed and lay outside the cats door. When the cat vocalizes on the other side she will go a little crazy. They can sit very near each other with me in between but I have to hold our BC and sometimes she licks her chops. The cat really wants to get close but has learned to be more cautious. She really wants to have a buddy. We may not be the best home for her and I am prepared to find her another permanent home if this cannot work for all involved. I don't want our BC to be hyper focused all the time, or want the cat to be stressed and afraid or permanently confined to her own space. I am willing to separate them when we are away from the house, but would like for them to be able to live safely when we are there.

 

Any insight would be appreciated.

 

Thank you

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Hi there ~

 

I have a 7 month old pup who is mesmerized by our cats, but fortunately they raised her, so she's learned to respect a quick paw upside the head.

 

However, that said ... I honestly don't know if you could ever truly break the level of fixation you're talking about, and trust the dog not to just react some day, without thinking. BC's have incredibly high drive, as you know, and Beagles are bred to be hunting dogs. They were originally rabbit hunters, so their prey drive can be quite high. Thus, you're working against a double heritage of reacting to movement.

 

The chop-licking sounds to me like stress, like she's too keyed up for comfort. I'm sure you could train her, with lots of patience and consistency from the whole family, to be quiet around the cat when humans are present. But a Beagle/BC cross with her level of fixation? I would never trust around the cat, unsupervised, and I don't know that you could ever end that fixation totally. Not because she's vicious or means ill, but because she could simply react by instinct to something as simple as the cat hopping down off a chair. Given that Kitty is handicapped, I'd be more concerned than usual.

 

I'm not saying it can't be done ... I'm just saying be very, very careful. It could take a level of training that average pet owners just don't know. I don't know of any easy solutions. I hope someone else does.

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Hi Gloria,

 

Thank you so much for the reply. I am not surprised, and have come to pretty much the same conclusion. They did end up face to face one time and the cat did swipe at her and she backed off and then the cat ran. I wish we had raised her with a cat. I just want to source any info I can to be sure we can't make it work. This is a very sweet and playful cat but finding her a good home will not be easy because of her injury. Although to look at her you would never know. She is just a bit klutzy :rolleyes: and not as confident when jumping. Thank you again for your reply.

 

 

 

 

Hi there ~

 

I have a 7 month old pup who is mesmerized by our cats, but fortunately they raised her, so she's learned to respect a quick paw upside the head.

 

However, that said ... I honestly don't know if you could ever truly break the level of fixation you're talking about, and trust the dog not to just react some day, without thinking. BC's have incredibly high drive, as you know, and Beagles are bred to be hunting dogs. They were originally rabbit hunters, so their prey drive can be quite high. Thus, you're working against a double heritage of reacting to movement.

 

The chop-licking sounds to me like stress, like she's too keyed up for comfort. I'm sure you could train her, with lots of patience and consistency from the whole family, to be quiet around the cat when humans are present. But a Beagle/BC cross with her level of fixation? I would never trust around the cat, unsupervised, and I don't know that you could ever end that fixation totally. Not because she's vicious or means ill, but because she could simply react by instinct to something as simple as the cat hopping down off a chair. Given that Kitty is handicapped, I'd be more concerned than usual.

 

I'm not saying it can't be done ... I'm just saying be very, very careful. It could take a level of training that average pet owners just don't know. I don't know of any easy solutions. I hope someone else does.

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Cerbie, our 6 mo/old border/lab mix, is learning the ropes from our 3 y/o female rescue cat. Unfortunately, she was declawed by her former owner and she has nothing but a set of powder puffs and her teeth with which to teach her new “student”. So far, Cerbie’s interaction with her has been pure play and we haven’t had to break up anything too nasty.

The interaction usually goes thus: Cerbie gets a wild hair and starts following Esme trying to sniff her butt. Being a proper kitty, Esme takes umbrage, wheels around, hisses and plants a couple of quick, but ineffective jabs on his nose. If we haven’t intervened yet, Cerbie will often push it, for which he gets a bite. After this, Esme usually heads for higher ground. A few times we’ve caught Cerbie mouthing her (in play mode), but we’ve also found them sitting side by side looking out the back arcadia door in quiet contemplation at the tasty cactus wrens hopping on our patio. Esme no longer avoids Cerbie and will often walk right past him in close quarters without a thought. We have the “luxury” of having a relatively small home with an open floor plan so the rumbles are usually within easy reaction time.

All in all, if it doesn’t get any better than this, we’re still OK.

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I think the general consensus here is that you have to have a really serious moment with the dog if the dog tries to prey on the cat. Like really get up in the dog's face and make it totally clear that it is *NOT* acceptable. I think the term others on the board use is give the dog a "COME TO JESUS" moment (don't touch the dog, just immediately get into her space, wave arms in her face and be visibly upset yelling no, etc.) If you do this right, and your dog is well trained, and respects your rules, the dog can learn not to chase the cat.

 

I have a very high prey drive (squirrel obsessed) BC that I rescued at about 3 years old. She lived outside all her life before we got her and I suspect she even worked cattle (though she clearly wasn't well vetted, or cared for, by her previous owners because she was so sick when animal control workers picked her up as a stray). When we first introduced her to our cats, she had lots of parasites and heartworm symptoms, and she was scared to death of being in a house for the first time, so she didn't go after them. But the cats, being dog savvy, decided this dog needed to learn who was boss and actually double teamed her almost immediately, swarming her and popping her on the nose (not what I expected to happen). I swooped in and picked up the dog, and from that point on, for a while, she respected their space. Eventually though she got used to them and started wanting to chase them. Also she wanted to try to help me control their movements or go after them when I picked them up in front of her. (She has a resource guarding thing, like she is jealous of them when they get attention from me.) I tried an all-positive approach for a while, but it continued to escalate until I tried the COME TO JESUS technique followed by clapping at her or stomping in her direction every time she went after a cat (she's scared of clapping and clicking noises). Now when I pick up a cat she will come to sit on the opposite side of me and wait to get pet too, and she is very respectful of the cats' movements, so we have a happy household, where all three can lay together on the bed, and she doesn't chase the cats unless my one younger cat instigates a "game" (the youngest cat is small but very brazen and thinks dogs are fun to play cat and mouse with). When that happens, both the dog and the cat get time-out. (Sort of like a no horseplay in the house rule.)

 

If I were you, if you are going to try to introduce the dog and the cat, I would wait until the cat is completely healed (as well as the cat will be anyway). Then I would do something like this: start with tethering both dogs to tether spots firmly affixed to the far side of the room's wall, forcing them to watch the cat in the room with them with you, without allowing physical contact. Like while I was watching TV I would just pet the cat and make the dogs down on the other side of the room while watching them closely out of the corner of your eye. If a dog exhibited signs of prey drive or pulled on the tether I would tell them no, or whatever they respect as a non-physical deterrent. If a dog laid calmly on the other side of the room and listened to your down without looking at the cat (relaxing), I'd throw him a treat and praise him and make lots of eye contact. You could use a relax cue also to help the process along (mine is "Settle"). In this way you might be able to teach the dogs to ignore the cat. If the other dog is doing it right but the BC isn't, the BC might see him being treated and figure it out. After a few weeks of this kind of behavior mod, once the dogs were reliably ignoring the cat and relaxed in his presence, I might start allowing one dog at a time to be loose in a room with the cat, with the dog dragging a leash at all times and being very vigilant. I'd have the cat up in a place where the dog can't reach the first time (probably holding the cat myself) and very slowly increase interaction from there, only allowing it when I had absolute faith that the dog would be respectful and not consider the cat prey. It might or might not work, but at least doing it like this would allow you to see how dogs and cat would interact without endangering the cat. If at any time a dog seemed to be flunking out instead of progressing, I'd start trying to rehome the cat. The idea would be never to let the dogs and cat interact until the dogs no longer considered the cat prey, and to make the process safe for the cat at all times.

 

Honestly though, you might even consider consulting a veterinary behaviorist about this. Some of them do in-home consultations for an hourly fee. It's hard, like you noted yourself, because of the BC/beagle's instincts and the cat's handicaps. Oh and if either of your dogs has fear aggression or an unstable temperament, it complicates the issue, because the more aversive aspects of the process above (esp. the COME TO JESUS thing) could trigger aggression in a fear aggressive dog.

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Thank you so much. Our BC mix is an otherwise sweet, well tempered, and balanced dog. I have thought of hiring someone and will probably do this soon. Thanks again for the help. I would love to see them sitting together on the bed enjoying the view out the window :rolleyes:

 

 

 

I think the general consensus here is that you have to have a really serious moment with the dog if the dog tries to prey on the cat. Like really get up in the dog's face and make it totally clear that it is *NOT* acceptable. I think the term others on the board use is give the dog a "COME TO JESUS" moment (don't touch the dog, just immediately get into her space, wave arms in her face and be visibly upset yelling no, etc.) If you do this right, and your dog is well trained, and respects your rules, the dog can learn not to chase the cat.

 

I have a very high prey drive (squirrel obsessed) BC that I rescued at about 3 years old. She lived outside all her life before we got her and I suspect she even worked cattle (though she clearly wasn't well vetted, or cared for, by her previous owners because she was so sick when animal control workers picked her up as a stray). When we first introduced her to our cats, she had lots of parasites and heartworm symptoms, and she was scared to death of being in a house for the first time, so she didn't go after them. But the cats, being dog savvy, decided this dog needed to learn who was boss and actually double teamed her almost immediately, swarming her and popping her on the nose (not what I expected to happen). I swooped in and picked up the dog, and from that point on, for a while, she respected their space. Eventually though she got used to them and started wanting to chase them. Also she wanted to try to help me control their movements or go after them when I picked them up in front of her. (She has a resource guarding thing, like she is jealous of them when they get attention from me.) I tried an all-positive approach for a while, but it continued to escalate until I tried the COME TO JESUS technique followed by clapping at her or stomping in her direction every time she went after a cat (she's scared of clapping and clicking noises). Now when I pick up a cat she will come to sit on the opposite side of me and wait to get pet too, and she is very respectful of the cats' movements, so we have a happy household, where all three can lay together on the bed, and she doesn't chase the cats unless my one younger cat instigates a "game" (the youngest cat is small but very brazen and thinks dogs are fun to play cat and mouse with). When that happens, both the dog and the cat get time-out. (Sort of like a no horseplay in the house rule.)

 

If I were you, if you are going to try to introduce the dog and the cat, I would wait until the cat is completely healed (as well as the cat will be anyway). Then I would do something like this: start with tethering both dogs to tether spots firmly affixed to the far side of the room's wall, forcing them to watch the cat in the room with them with you, without allowing physical contact. Like while I was watching TV I would just pet the cat and make the dogs down on the other side of the room while watching them closely out of the corner of your eye. If a dog exhibited signs of prey drive or pulled on the tether I would tell them no, or whatever they respect as a non-physical deterrent. If a dog laid calmly on the other side of the room and listened to your down without looking at the cat (relaxing), I'd throw him a treat and praise him and make lots of eye contact. You could use a relax cue also to help the process along (mine is "Settle"). In this way you might be able to teach the dogs to ignore the cat. If the other dog is doing it right but the BC isn't, the BC might see him being treated and figure it out. After a few weeks of this kind of behavior mod, once the dogs were reliably ignoring the cat and relaxed in his presence, I might start allowing one dog at a time to be loose in a room with the cat, with the dog dragging a leash at all times and being very vigilant. I'd have the cat up in a place where the dog can't reach the first time (probably holding the cat myself) and very slowly increase interaction from there, only allowing it when I had absolute faith that the dog would be respectful and not consider the cat prey. It might or might not work, but at least doing it like this would allow you to see how dogs and cat would interact without endangering the cat. If at any time a dog seemed to be flunking out instead of progressing, I'd start trying to rehome the cat. The idea would be never to let the dogs and cat interact until the dogs no longer considered the cat prey, and to make the process safe for the cat at all times.

 

Honestly though, you might even consider consulting a veterinary behaviorist about this. Some of them do in-home consultations for an hourly fee. It's hard, like you noted yourself, because of the BC/beagle's instincts and the cat's handicaps. Oh and if either of your dogs has fear aggression or an unstable temperament, it complicates the issue, because the more aversive aspects of the process above (esp. the COME TO JESUS thing) could trigger aggression in a fear aggressive dog.

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I do think most dog-cat relationships can be made to work. There are some dogs that you will never be able to trust, but most will back off through training (whether that be positive by you, negative by you, or negative by the cat). I currently have 5 bcs and 5 cats that are all trustworthy with each other.

 

If the cat will stand its ground and not run away, this tends to difuse the situation & the dog generally learns that its no fun to bother the cat. If it runs away, it tends to bring out the chase mode in the dog. So, I think the more you can do to make the cat healthy and confident, the better you will be. This will take some time because of two things - the cat is still healing & you are introducing the cat to the dog's home rather than the other way around.

 

I think what you are doing with having them able to see each other is good, but you can't let the dog watch the cat & get excited on the other side. He is watching the cat & thinking about chasing the cat. So, either through positive or negative means (or some combination), you need to be able to control his attention. It would be your goal to be able to divert the dog's attention with a word. If you don't think you can do this, a behaviorist should be able to help.

 

Then I would introduce the dog into the cat's space & hope that the cat is confident enough to stands it ground.

 

Even though the cat seems afraid of the St Bernard, it doesn't sound like he needs to be. Maybe it would be a good thing to introduce this dog into the cat's space so the cat can gain confidence with a dog that will not bother him. If the cat has his own room for now, I would just go in there with the dog & have the dog relax. Eventually, the cat will come out to investigate & learn that all is ok.

 

Be confident that you can make this work if you are willing to put in some time. Its just a question of whether you have the time & whether it is worth it to you.

 

Good Luck, Gail

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Hi Gail,

 

Thank you. It is very worth it to me. I adore my dogs and this cat. I forgot to mention that we have a foster dog who does fine with the cat, and who the cat is calm with. I think she has lived with dogs before.

 

Good advice. I may have been mistaken to allow my BC to stare through the gate. I have made her leave her watch at the door many times but I am afraid it may take some startle to get her to respond and I hate to do that. I realize it is not cruel but so far she has always responded to completely positive training. She is of course very smart but this is a very different behavior and new to me. I am learning a lot and know that it will take a lot of time. We have been working on it for three months, but have only been able to really focus on it for about the last month when the cat was well enough to fully participate.

 

I hesitate to take the dogs into her space because it is the one place she can feel completely secure, but I also understand it is the one place she is more likely to stand her ground, and the one place she knows where to go to get to safety. Found her on the top bunk yesterday. She couldn't figure out how to get down. The temperature dropped dramatically in the last few days and I think her perch by the window became too cold so she jumped to the top bunk from the top of her "condo" which is next to the window. I was surprised to see her there. She is a character.

 

Thanks again. It is nice to have some encouragement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do think most dog-cat relationships can be made to work. There are some dogs that you will never be able to trust, but most will back off through training (whether that be positive by you, negative by you, or negative by the cat). I currently have 5 bcs and 5 cats that are all trustworthy with each other.

 

If the cat will stand its ground and not run away, this tends to difuse the situation & the dog generally learns that its no fun to bother the cat. If it runs away, it tends to bring out the chase mode in the dog. So, I think the more you can do to make the cat healthy and confident, the better you will be. This will take some time because of two things - the cat is still healing & you are introducing the cat to the dog's home rather than the other way around.

 

I think what you are doing with having them able to see each other is good, but you can't let the dog watch the cat & get excited on the other side. He is watching the cat & thinking about chasing the cat. So, either through positive or negative means (or some combination), you need to be able to control his attention. It would be your goal to be able to divert the dog's attention with a word. If you don't think you can do this, a behaviorist should be able to help.

 

Then I would introduce the dog into the cat's space & hope that the cat is confident enough to stands it ground.

 

Even though the cat seems afraid of the St Bernard, it doesn't sound like he needs to be. Maybe it would be a good thing to introduce this dog into the cat's space so the cat can gain confidence with a dog that will not bother him. If the cat has his own room for now, I would just go in there with the dog & have the dog relax. Eventually, the cat will come out to investigate & learn that all is ok.

 

Be confident that you can make this work if you are willing to put in some time. Its just a question of whether you have the time & whether it is worth it to you.

 

Good Luck, Gail

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When I decided to get a cat, I was nervous about integrating a kitten into my household as I had a 5 year old Lurcher bitch who had never been exposed to a cat up close. Grace had a very strong chase reflex, and lots of prey drive - as you might expect from a dog who was the product of a mating between a Greyhound & a Border Collie.

 

So anyway - bottom line - I began the introduction the first evening the kitten arrived, and using operant conditioning - I began by giving Grace a steady stream of little pencil-eraser sized bits of cheese for being in the same room with said kitten. If the kitten came closer she got more cheese bits and lots of happy patter. This worked fabulously because every time she started to get that "gotta chase" look, complete with bug eyes and trembling, I would redirect her with a "sit" or a "down" for which she was lavishly praised and "cheesed." In about 24 hours and she was very enthusiastic about the kitten - no shaking, no trying to spook the kitten into fleeing, no bug-eyes. She spent most of her time either waiting for the kitten (his name is Mugen) to approach, at which she licked her chops (at me, not the kitten) or alternately walking to wherever Mugen was and returning to me with more chop-licking. I didn't have a clicker, but her "marker" word has always been "Oji," and as soon as I saw her make close and gentle contact with Mugen, I say "Oji" and she came to me for a treat. When she was too boisterous in her approach I'd say "Too baaaad." And she got no cheese. She very quickly learned that anything she did which caused Mugen to put up his back or startle, rated a "too bad." For instance, play bows were ok if they weren't too abrupt, nuzzling was ok as long as Mugen was tails-up and purring.

 

They soon became fast friends and even went so far as to eat leftovers out of the same bowl.

 

post-10533-1270074052_thumb.jpg

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Guest echoica

put a handful of pennies in an empty pop can and tape the top up. any time the dog goes near the cat in obvious prey mode give it 3-4 really hard shakes with a loud, mean 'ehhhhhhhhhh' or 'ahhhhhhhhhhh'. you have to be quick on your toes...so, for the first while have the can around you at all times. you need to shake it BEFORE the dog makes contact with the cat. never correct the cat for swatting the dog...and don't use the pop can with pennies for anything else. your dog will get it quickly. i did this with my dogs and i tell you the dogs sure learned to respect the cats quick. all you see around here now is a slow approach and cuddling amongst the beasts :rolleyes:

 

17048_441686730117_795000117_10650488_2575211_n.jpg

 

i did not read the whole thread...but i really like geonni's approach as well. it's a bit more positive than mine lol (ps; my brindle dog in the pic is also a lurcher - bc x greyhound)

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They soon became fast friends and even went so far as to eat leftovers out of the same bowl.

 

That's how you know it's truly worked! :rolleyes: My Vala will let the cats eat out of her food bowl too now. :D

 

I really like Geonni's approach too -- better than mine, which is more negative than I'd like, all I had to do for my Vala to snap her out of that mode was clap or snap when she went toward them or say eh, and I did reward them for being good with one another too, once the chasing stopped, forgot to mention that -- as long as you can keep the cat safe the whole time (in your arms?). And I'd have the dog drag a leash at first too to give you extra control.

 

But Geonni's approach reminds me I should be rewarding them all more for gentle contact. Note to self: buy more American cheese slices. My remaining problem I think is a very boisterous cat who enjoys taunting the dog.

 

P.S. echoica, you have a beautiful furfamily!

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echoica -

 

You have a Maine Coon Cat. They are so awesome! They can handle anything with their good nature.

 

And yes, Grace was on a clothesline just to be on the safe side. But I never needed it. Also, I live in a one-room place, so I was always able to monitor closely.

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Guest echoica
echoica -

 

You have a Maine Coon Cat. They are so awesome! They can handle anything with their good nature.

 

And yes, Grace was on a clothesline just to be on the safe side. But I never needed it. Also, I live in a one-room place, so I was always able to monitor closely.

 

he truly lives up to the name of 'gentle giant'...i have never met a more sooky cat in my life...and it helps he thinks he is one of the dogs tehehe

 

casey - "oh yeah, sure cat...just dig your claws into my back. enjoy!!"; riley - PURRRRRRRRRR, KNEAD, PURRRRRRR, KNEAD :rolleyes:

26122_10150163152695118_795000117_11593925_1746755_n.jpg

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he truly lives up to the name of 'gentle giant'...i have never met a more sooky cat in my life...and it helps he thinks he is one of the dogs tehehe

 

casey - "oh yeah, sure cat...just dig your claws into my back. enjoy!!"; riley - PURRRRRRRRRR, KNEAD, PURRRRRRR, KNEAD :rolleyes:

26122_10150163152695118_795000117_11593925_1746755_n.jpg

 

Mugen isn't a Maine Coon, but he has a similar nature. You picture brought back happy memories...

post-10533-1270087472_thumb.jpg

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Hello all,

 

I would prefer to work with the positive reinforcement and treats for sure. I don't mind startling her a bit but she can be very sensitive. I have tried bacon, peanut butter, apples which she loves and nothing gets her attention. Tonight I actually put the peanut butter in her mouth just to change her focus and she didn't even eat it. It just sat in her mouth.

 

Funny thing happened tonight. I had the dogs downstairs on one side of the gate and the cat upstairs on the other side. As usual we sat on the stairs and all "talked" about the situation. No one fussed or barked or anything. Bella the BC mix did quiver. I was able to get her to look at me a few times which is progress. I was downstairs for awhile and then went upstairs again. The cat had jumped up on the balcony which looks over the downstairs. Startled me. It is a very narrow ledge. Bella was just staring up at her but not freaking out.

 

I will keep working at it and please the more feedback the better.

 

I loved the pictures. Our dogs and cats growing up always got along and I don't remember ever having to introduce them. We had a beagle mix when I brought home my cat and they were fast friends. Maybe I am being too cautious but I have nursed this cat back from very serious injuries. I also heard a terrible story about a dog losing his eye so I am a bit skittish about all this. Really don't want anyone to get hurt.

 

Thank you again

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I may have been mistaken to allow my BC to stare through the gate. I have made her leave her watch at the door many times but I am afraid it may take some startle to get her to respond and I hate to do that. I realize it is not cruel but so far she has always responded to completely positive training.

 

 

I'm glad to see you've getting more positive responses! :D That's great.

 

Yes, I think allowing your girl to fixate was a no-no, because it allows her to build on that fixation. Remember, BCs are learning even when we're not teaching them. :rolleyes:

 

The pennies in a can - or as I use, pebbles in a plastic water bottle - may be a harmless and affective option, if required. I'm with you, I dislike being harsh on my dogs. My girl (8 mos) Gael is *so* easily upset, but when she locks into something, it really takes a moment of "HEY, YOU!" to break her concentration.

 

So, sometimes just asking a dog to stop isn't enough. Sometimes it takes a real bark of authority from you, something startling and pointed enough to really make them snap to attention. After all, if an older dog wants a pup to stop doing something, they're just going to turn their head and give a "YARP!" that makes even us jump. All you'd be doing is borrowing on the dogs' own form of communication, by using a sudden noise to end an undesirable behavior.

 

The point you really want to make is that stalking, staring, nipping or any other form of prey-play towards the cat is absolutely verbotten. It's only negative training for that split second, and you can follow up with a "Good leave it" or whatever, once she's given way and stopped. Startling the dog won't hurt her any more than if an older dog snapped at her but didn't bite. It's a language she understands.

 

Best of luck to you!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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You are right to worry about you dog losing an eye. It does happen. Sugarfoot and Mugen have really boisterous wrestling and boxing matches on a daily basis. For that reason I trim Mugen's nails blunt on a regular basis. He's an indoor cat so he doesn't need them.

Of course, they are good friends so I don't have to worry about Sugar hurting him. If she gets a bit rough Mugen makes a special sort of quacking sound and they "go to their respective corners until the bell rings for the next round."

Sometimes when I see them clinched and Mugen paws over Sugar's eyes I cringe a little, but they never do any harm to each other.

post-10533-1270139773_thumb.jpgpost-10533-1270139833_thumb.jpg

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Guest echoica
You are right to worry about you dog losing an eye. It does happen. Sugarfoot and Mugen have really boisterous wrestling and boxing matches on a daily basis. For that reason I trim Mugen's nails blunt on a regular basis. He's an indoor cat so he doesn't need them.

Of course, they are good friends so I don't have to worry about Sugar hurting him. If she gets a bit rough Mugen makes a special sort of quacking sound and they "go to their respective corners until the bell rings for the next round."

Sometimes when I see them clinched and Mugen paws over Sugar's eyes I cringe a little, but they never do any harm to each other.

attachment=6551:Karate_Cat.jpg]attachment=6552:Conversation_1.jpg]

 

LOL @ the first pic! KARATE KICK from kung-fu kitty!!!! :rolleyes:

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I love the pictures. They give me inspiration. Our BC mix could use a playmate at home. She and our Saint Bernard play but it is not sustained for long. Bella needs a sparring partner who wants to play her games.

 

I have not tried to trim Hope's nails yet, which is great advice. She can get feisty:) The vet did do it earlier and I may take her in for a "pawicure" She needs to get micro chipped now too.

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I know - they would be so cute together if I can just figure out how to do this :rolleyes:

Just a thought since we had a puppy/cat situation come up this evening. Cat (Lady) is 19 years old and knows only that dogs rank far, far below her in the household. Puppy (Star) is now almost 7 months old and we've had her for almost 4 of those months. Star would love to play with Lady, when she sees her, and is very interested in her, but not aggressive. At first, when in the same room together, I've held Star and told her "gentle", then petted Lady. Once I was sure Star wouldn't chase Lady or try to bite her, I quit holding her. Then, Star pushed her luck with Lady a little and got a few swats (and Lady has her claws). I didn't really care for this; I don't want Star thinking that cats are bad, but of course I let Lady set the rules for that encounter. So, I went back to supervised (meaning Star is on a leash or I'm holding her collar) interaction.

 

Lady spends most of her time in the gated off area of the house (bedrooms, living room, dining room, etc) and most of that time is spent sleeping on my bed. Tonight, I brought Star into my room with my daughter to read stories. Star leaped onto the bed (a first) and Lady was on the bed as well. Well, Star was so pleased to be up there that she laid between us on her back for tummy scratches and ignored the cat. I also ignored the cat and we went about doing our thing and scratching her tummy. As soon as she showed interest in the cat, I got her attention back on me and started rubbing her tummy or scratching her ears again. It worked pretty well for awhile, but just as we were about done with the story, she started getting too interested in Lady so I made Star get off the bed.

 

Thinking back on it, I think this is the approach I will continue to use--keep her attention on me or a toy in the presence of Lady. Hopefully the end result for star is, "Cats are boring". I do know there are times when making a big deal over something makes it...a big deal.

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