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Dog attacking my cats!! Help!

This is a discussion on Dog attacking my cats!! Help! within the Other Pets forums, part of the Life Beyond Horses category

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        11-23-2012, 07:53 PM
      #21
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Horsesdontlie    
    This way may seem like a fluffier way to deal with the situation but it may help if nothing else does. I like working with two extremes of reward and discouragement.

    This only works if your dog is food motivated though. I would leash your dog (this is big, the more the dog can get 'away' from you to the cat the dog wins), have a high quality treat (hot dog?) and sit in the room with a cat, when ever your dog isn't whining, staring at the cat or relaxes give a "Good" command and reward. You try and reinforce the good behavior. Every time the dog looks at you instead of the cat, reward. If the cat moves and the dog doesn't focus on the cat reward. The cat runs and the dog doesn't chase, reward. This takes time but then the dog gets more intent on looking for reward when the cat is nearby then actually chasing the cat.

    If the dog lunges towards the cat I would make a loud correction noise then do what ever it took to flip the dog onto its side/back and not let it up until given the release signal.
    I approve of this with perhaps an addition of my own?

    Teach him the "look" command, where when you tell him to look he's supposed to focus all his attention on you. My obedience class was actually learning this when my dog was killed, but I digress. Preferably do this training in an area where the cats cannot create a distraction. Doesn't matter if the dog is food or toy motivated, whatever he likes use it to your advantage. Basically you get his attention with his reward and bring it up to your eye level so his eyes follow it. As soon as he looks you in the eye, praise and reward. As you progress, draw out the eye contact little by little and add the word command. Then when he starts getting it you can move on to training it in situations with small distractions and work up to the cats.

    Our Husky loves chasing the cats...and he thinks it's all a game when they try to swat at him, but he's just too twitchy and quick for them. I've thought of holding him down while they go at him XD That'd teach the little sucker. Thankfully he hasn't hurt them. I'd do something about it, but he belongs to my brother and I have no say in his training (though if he does get truly aggressive and hurts/kills my cat I will take action, even if it means having him destroyed).
         
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        11-23-2012, 11:54 PM
      #22
    Weanling
    ,Just saw this thread. I'm a professional dog trainer w/30 yrs exp.

    My advice is to correct any behavior that is remotely interested, let alone intent. The stare. The stiffening. Don't let it even get to the stiffening, nail the stare. E collar on at least a 5 out of 10. Dog isn't allowed to even look at Kitty, much less stare. Much less approach. I'd use a muzzle until you see some recognition of Kitty=NOMB (none of my bizniss). Play close attention and zap if you see anything longer or more than cat walks in room. Dog looks at cat. Dog should immediately look away, or if laying down with head up, should drop head to floor, WITH EARS AND BODY REMAINING SOFT. Not tensed. You can use a corrective sound - EH! Or Cesar's SHHHT!

    This isn't something to ef with, and a moment's inattention can have disastrous consequences. And there are dogs who will always be catkillers no matter what you do. But I've also known confirmed catkillers learn to exist indoors with cats, though not outdoors where the temptation is far greater.

    You are looking to have your dog totally ignore Kitty. That's what you work toward.

    I think the feral cat trapping idea is a very bad one, and I hope for both cat and dog's sake you don't do it. You have no idea if wild cat will indeed fight back, how your dog will handle it, and how he will remember the experience. Even if the cat opens a can of whupass on dear dog, will he learn to leave cats alone or will he accelerate into hating with a vengeance? Not to mention how very cruel that would be to a poor wild Kitty. Good Lord

    Hope this helps. But if you still can't trust him after working at this, find him a dog-only home. Don't get your cats killed or maimed. I had a cat killed by neighborhood dogs a bit ago and it still haunts me.
    Sharpie and Muppetgirl like this.
         
        11-24-2012, 12:25 AM
      #23
    Started
    I worked in a German Shepherd rescue for years, and while they're not GSPs, they have a drive all their own, and being able to live with cats (or not) was a major issue in finding them homes. I helped rehab/reteach cat aggressive dogs as well as train cat-unfamiliar dogs.

    Lesson 1 is Thou Shalt NOT EVEN LOOK at the Cat. The dog needs to learn that 110% of the time, cats are to be ignored or the dog shall suffer wrath.

    Lesson 2 is Focus on the Human in the presence of the Cat, and good things shall appear. Meaning cheese and chicken and hot dogs and everything else wonderful when the dog looks at the human rather than the cat.

    Lesson 3 is if the cat attacks or crowds or wants to be in a particular spot, Thou Shall Yield and preferably run to the human for protection. Lesson three is advanced as it presumes the dog has learned to ignore the cat enough to safely be in the same room with a cat.

    Good luck with your boy- most dogs can be trained to live safely with 'their' cats, but with high drive dogs, it can take a lot of time and energy. I always told new homes, "When in doubt, the dog is always in the wrong. Not because it's fair (it's not) but because if the cat gets aggravated, the dog gets a scratch on the nose, but if the dog even thinks for a minute they can approach the cat, you may have a dead cat." The power differential is just too great to play with.
    Weezilla likes this.
         
        11-24-2012, 12:28 AM
      #24
    Banned
    You say you've zapped him? I resorted to training my psycho Aussie with a zap collar because she would randomly attack other dogs......in general she was highly focused and intense and needed a 'reminder' to mind me! I used it twice....she's never been aggressive with another dog again....and that was three years ago.....what I am wondering, did you have your collar set high enough? Enough to make that do stop in his tracks and quit chasing?

    In the right hands, an electric collar is a handy tool....especially when you have a chasing situation.....yeah, let's try to keep up with a GSH or an Aussie when they get overly intent on chasing something!!....Goodluck!
    Weezilla likes this.
         
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