Sergeant is my 9 week old yellow lab whose chase instinct is alive and well. I have 2 cats who live outside (except in the coldest of winter temperatures) who were both strays my grandmother took in and fed... now 6-7 years later. Neither one will really let us hold them since my grandmother passed away, so getting everyone together for a meeting doesn't seem like a viable option. One cat is truly a 'fraidy-cat' and does what she can to avoid us when she sees me with the pup (My now five year old has kept her on the run for the better part of 3.5 years). The other cat had been de-clawed before she was taken in, but seems have no real problem facing up to Sergeant (he is always on-leash) and takes great pleasure in torturing him.
No-No has been dying to get into the house since the dog arrived (I suppose curiosity of the cat!) and managed to do so this morning. He did pretty well with my trying to calm him (he was still on-leash as we had just come in from "potty") and I took him out around the side of the house while my daughter got the cat out.
Anyhow, my request is for suggestions in teaching Sergeant that these cats are here to stay. The cats are usually at the front door (they are fed there so I can keep an eye out so other neighborhood cats do not eat their food-there are currently 2 additional cats lurking around that I try very hard to keep out of my cats' food). Sergeant mainly does his exiting/entering through the back door (though No-No has come around when she knows we are out there). But as we walk the yard (about 1/2 acre) and approach the front, he gets into the 'chase mode'. When he lunges, I stop until he is calm... but often we only get 1 or 2 steps before stopping again. It makes the last 1/3 of the walk VERY LONG to get back inside.
He will eventually have a fenced space in the backyard... through which I am sure No-No will torture him.
A declawed cat should be living inside, not outside.
That was my grandmother's doing and No-No has lasted for these 6-7 years (it is front claws only)
Originally Posted by kaytris
Having said that, basic obedience training (focussing on 'watch me ' and "leave it") will go a long way in curbing the instinct to chase.
We have already started 'leave it' (since he's nipping at our clothes and electrical wires) and he is doing pretty well with his response to 'leave it'. Outside with so many smells/distractions, how do you get their attention/teach 'watch me'? (I do realize we start inside in controlled environment)
doesn't matter who declawed the cat, and doesn't matter that 'she's lasted this long". A declawed cat has difficulty climbing, and is missing her primary means of defense from stray dogs or other animals, even the human kind.
ALL cats benefit from being inside, but its a must for the declawed ones. If she has difficulty acclimatizing to the inside life, buy or build her a safe 'cat run'.
As for the training, start in low distraction areas, and once you've got a 90-95% response rate, start slowly adding more difficult distractions.
I have been reading some posts on clicker training and have been thinking that might be a good way to go with Sergeant. He really is learning things very well and perhaps a clicker would really allow him 'get it'.
While I have information on clicker training, I do not know where to find a clicker (and I live in a small town--so I have limited access to BIG stores other than on the internet). Where is the best/easiest place to get clicker?
Today we had a bit of success on the porch facing one of the cats... Sergeant didn't go into full attack mode, and I was able to get him to sit. We have been working on 'leaving it' as well. So with him sitting, I was actually able to give him a couple of treats at the same time as I gave the cat treats. Once he had calmed down, he was ready to investigate/play with the cat, but she would have no part of that!
It will take persistence and patience, but I am sure he will eventually get it...
That's great! It does take time for them to get used to each other. AFter a month or so Leonidas will at least give our cats a little space and then just sniff them before he all out chases them across the yard. Hope it continues to go well for you...