my labs won't leave the poor cats alone
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Thread: my labs won't leave the poor cats alone

  1. #1
    lavenderinscence's Avatar
    lavenderinscence is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappymy labs won't leave the poor cats alone

    My yellow lab, is about 8 months old now, and my black Borador pup is about 12 weeks. They (esp. the big one) chases my 2 cats relentlessly. I have a large female maine coon and a DHS torbie. He has gotten bit, hissed at, scratched ... and it doesn't even phase him. My new pup is picking up the behavior from him ... even though the pup is only as big as the cats ... I am clicker training the pup with great results so far, but I have no idea how to stop the chasing. He gets enough exercise, I tried the squirt bottle (that only made my cat mad when she got caught in the crossfire) I tell him no, and clap my hands to interrupt his focus on the cat, but it just isn't working. please, if anyone knows any training tricks i'd love to try them. i love my cats and my labs, and my cats are being stressed out, and i don't want my dogs being yelled at. I want them to be trained well and just stop harassing my cats. any ideas?
    *Lavenderinscence



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    Sams Mom's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, it's up to the cat. The cat has to stand its ground. Sam won't chase our cats. Shadow holds her ground, but if Sam sees a cat outside she (Sam) gives chase.
    Shadow is our 20 pound cat. Sam won't pass her on the stairs.

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    I think by giving him attention when chasing the cat you are probably reinforcing the behavior. I would try leashing them and teaching them a roll over or just to lay down when they see the cat. When the cat enters the room put them in a down. When you see them stiffen to give chase, put them in a down. Praise and praise some more. By letting them chase the cat you are only teaching them that it is okay to do so and not fair to kitty. Also, make sure the cats have a high enough cat tree where they can escape the dogs when they want. I would just get them accustomed to laying down or rolling over when the cat comes in to site...this will let them know they need to stay low-key around kitty.
    "I haven't the slightest idea on how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out." - David Sedaris

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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    what is a borador

    Unfortunately this would have been easier to address with the first dog before adding a second dog as you now need to work on two dogs. DO NOT LET HTEM CHASE. you need to be one step ahead even if it means leaving leashes on them and you need to issue the command (leave it or whatever) BEFORE they take chase. You need to step in and manage. GIve the cat a safe place to escape at all times.

    You are right, this is unfair to the cats. And the fact that the dogs now have a history of chasing and doing as they please will make it much harder to stop the behaviour.

    Honestly I would recommend you have a trainer come to your home and give you hands on techniques. YOu don't need tens sessions or long term stuff, even just two will do. You need to be vigilant and IN CONTROL at all times. If this means leashing then and using baby gates to help control their movements then so be it.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    lavenderinscence's Avatar
    lavenderinscence is offline Junior Member
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    a borador is a border collie/ lab mix. I have two cat trees that go right up to the ceiling. i also have a room to my house that has a door and a window. i call it the cat room. the window stays half open and the litter boxes and stuff are in there. Fang's former owners told me he didn't chase cats. i'll try the lay down command when the cats stroll through, my older yellow lab is pretty good about following commands and the pup watches him like a hawk. thanks to all you!
    *Lavenderinscence



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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    Each cat-dog relationship is different.
    Is Fang the younger pup? It is very possible he did NOT chase their cat, but if your first dog chased cats, he would have picked it up. With one dog chasing cats it is pretty likely any new dog to the house will follow-suit unless they really really don't have prey drive. But as a puppy he is likely doing it for fun/play.

    Make sure to give the command when you have their attention and are ready to follow up and ensure they "down". the more you use a command/word without reinforcing the behaviour, the more a dog learns they do not need to listen to the word, the less value it has.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    You could also try a "watch me" command. It's something I like to do on walks when my dog is distracted. It helps a lot. You could teach them watch me - eye contact with you - and see if that is a good way to get their attention. It's much more distracting then making them do a down if they are just so excited and in to chasing the cats.
    "I haven't the slightest idea on how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out." - David Sedaris

    "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough" - Mae West

    "If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered" -EAP

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    Sams Mom's Avatar
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    Also I rubbed some cat smell onto Sam. The cats chin-rub the corner of the stove. I rubbed a bit of that on Sam. It helped the smaller cat accept Sam. Now Sam avoids her, but Little Cat loves Sam.

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Definitely make sure your cats have a safe haven from the dogs and block off if necessary. Higher baby gates with the small door in the bottom middle for the cats work wonders as dog(s) can still see kitty (and vice-a-versa) but the cats are safe or have the ability to retreat if necessary. It is your responsibility to keep everyone safe. If you need to tether puppy for a few weeks to easily correct immediately it will work. Time, consistency and patience will usually rectify the situation with most dogs. You definitely don't want the cats hurt by an over exuberant puppy or the dogs hurt by a swipe to the eyes with a sharp claw. I trim my cats nails at least weekly. I have had cats and dogs together forever with minimal issues. Maxx thought litter box snacking was fun but I was able to fix that with the bottom door baby gate. Usually my cats have NO problem making sure the dogs know who is in charge, lol! Good luck!
    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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