Strange (sort of new) behaviour re: cats, any ideas?
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Thread: Strange (sort of new) behaviour re: cats, any ideas?

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    Baloo317's Avatar
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    DefaultStrange (sort of new) behaviour re: cats, any ideas?

    Baloo grew up with two cats. Many of the regular JL'ers will remember me posting pictures of him with the cats through his puppyhood. I would re-post a couple but photobucket is being dumb right now, won't even let me login. But no matter....

    He always got along well with the cats, LOVED them, even. Kiwi would "groom" him and it was adorable to watch. When my relationship ended with my then-boyfriend, we agreed that he would take the cats and I would take the dogs, as that worked out best for both of us. It was an amicable break-up, and for awhile he would take the dogs every other weekend for a "sleep over". This died off after about a year or so as we both moved on, got busier, etc.

    Now? Baloo is totally reactive to cats. To the point where I worry that he would seriously hurt one if he ever caught it. We saw four on our morning walk and he lunges, barkbarkbarking and growling kujo-style at them. Hackles raised. This is NOT a "wanna say hi" presentation in the slightest. This is a difficult issue to train around, as we very rarely see cats, this morning was an anomaly. I can get him to sit by me, but he is still completely tense, eyes locked on kitty, growling and whining. I first noticed him being a little overly interested in cats shortly after the end of said relationship, but at that point just assumed it was a curiousity-type of interest. It has definitely progressed for the worse, and this morning was the most intense reaction I've ever seen from him.

    It is upsetting to me because this is NOT anywhere close to regular presentation for this dog. Baloo is the most happy-go-lucky goofball you have ever met. Doesn't bother sparing a second glance for squirrels, bunnies, birds (unless asked to retrieve them, lol) other dogs, people, nada. In fact, there have been times we have been charged by off-leash dogs on our walks, and I have positioned Baloo in front of Monster and Peanut and he heads them off and engages them in play, even if they were stressed upon initial approach. Whereas Peanut and Monster probably would have reacted MUCH differently and the situation could have been disastrous.

    Any ideas? I've been thinking about this a lot and I don't get why the change of heart with the kitties. He has NO reactivity issues outside of this, and he GREW UP WITH CATS!! WTH?? Seems so strange.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I am interested to see the replies to this. Maxx has grown up with my 2 kitties in the house but is reactive to those he sees on our walks. He loves OUR kitties but the ones outside he definitely reacts to much differently. My previous Lab, Ozzy, was the same way and I was unable to break this habit in 8 years.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

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    Kaylasmom's Avatar
    Kaylasmom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammyhuffman View Post
    He loves OUR kitties but the ones outside he definitely reacts to much differently.
    We have the same thing with Jake. He loves our cat and sleeps with him etc. but when he sees a cat outside even if it's our cat, it's time to chase the kitty.
    So, do you come here often?

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    joflake is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammyhuffman View Post
    I am interested to see the replies to this. Maxx has grown up with my 2 kitties in the house but is reactive to those he sees on our walks. He loves OUR kitties but the ones outside he definitely reacts to much differently. My previous Lab, Ozzy, was the same way and I was unable to break this habit in 8 years.
    This is what Willy does. Libby could care less, but Willy goes into prey mode if a strange cat comes into our yard. If it's our cats he's fine and they love all over each other. If he sees one of the strays around, he goes for it. Luckily, he listens to us call him off and he's never gotten ahold of one. I would feel so bad if he hurt one. For some reason, he knows those cats are not "ours".

    I'm not sure why Baloo would suddenly start this. I remember your pictures with the kitties. It's too bad you can't get close enough for him to sniff them and say hello. I know this is not practical, but if he got to say hi, he might think they're friends.

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    Canula2000's Avatar
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    My dogs act very different with cats they don't know. I never thought much about it. I guess I thought it was natural for them to hate cats and they tolerate our cat because she is family.

    I think I would address the lunging on the leash. Go back to basics (obedience) if he can't behave do sits and downs while out walking. Do sharp turn around heels to get his attention back on you. You might even have to use treats again to get him to focuse on you. Good luck, I know it is annoying to be out on a walk and the dog turns cujo. My rottweiler is very prey driven so we have to go back to basics every couple years. Its almost like his brain forgets he is walking with mom. hehe.

    "Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one"
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    Baloo317's Avatar
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    Hmm... I'm trying to remember if he was ever even mildly reactive to cats when we were living with them, I'm pretty sure he wasn't. Certainly not like this, ugh!
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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    blackandyellow is offline Senior Member
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    Back when I had a cat Misha got along fine with him. With Homer it was a different story because my cat never liked him. For us its been 3 years with no cats, and when we come accross cats during our walks they don´t over-react, but do act curious, raise the ears, but nothing more...

    I´ve heard many dogs don´t like other cats except their own.

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    Luvmydog2much's Avatar
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    Mine are reactive to cats on walks, etc.

    They love the house cats though.

    I think its a normal prey drive. I don't concern myself with it, especially because they know better than to try with the house cats.
    'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
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    Mine loved the "family" cat (who I lost last year) but always chased other cats out of the yard. Don't know if they would actually hurt another cat, but I wouldn't trust them.

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    I would guess that environment might have something to do with it. Before Baloo probably knew that the cats were part of the family/pack. Outside of the environ it may be a different story. Also I wonder if other animals not being fixed might have something to do with the reaction?

    My previous lab "Rocky" was a very friendly nice dog but he had the hate on for cats from day one until he passed away. He never bothered other critter of that size but Cats set him off big time.

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