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> New Dog And Cats
catg274
post 3rd Dec 2015, 8:49 pm
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So, we adopted Alfie on Sunday, he is a small staffie cross between 9months -1 year old & such a cutie. He so far seems to be perfect in every way apart from he doesn‘t like our cats. We have 4 dog savvy cats who we kept away from Alfie for the first couple of days with the intention of introducing them slowly however on day 3 hubby was up the ladder getting the xmas deccys out of the loft when Alfie located Mia cat. she is the most timid of the lot err.gif She hissed & lashed out, ran under the table, Alfie followed & cornered her and got hold of her. Hubby grabbed him off her & he hadn‘t hurt her but she is traumatised so is now living in my sons bedroom refusing to come out. She never really goes outside anyway so this isn‘t really a problem. This obviously wasn‘t how we envisaged introductions going so are now treading very carefully. Fortunatley the cat flap leads into the utility room so the other cats can come in there where they are fed & have beds. The door has glass in it so we have been showing Alfie us in there stroking the cats & Bobbie our other dog in there with the cats. This morning we opened the door & let Alfie stand at the door (on lead) while I stroked the cats. Hubby kepts getting his attention and giving him a treat everytime he looked away from the cats. One of the cats likes to sleep on the veranda so have been doing the same through the patio door, everytime he stops staring at the cat and looks at us he gets a treat. In the garden he is going out on a long lead so if a cat appears we have control of him. So I guess what I‘m asking is, has anyone successfully desensitised a dog hating cat & what else should we be doing. I have ordered him a muzzle & if he‘s ok with that on plan to get a bit closer to the cats if they will allow it unsure.gif
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ceri1
post 3rd Dec 2015, 9:10 pm
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When we got beans (terrier)he wanted to eat the one cat we had at the time. At the time we hadn't heard so much about positive methods so used methods that couldnot be recommended here. As well as the recommended desensitisation. The cat also positively punished chasing by leaving claws in beans nose.
Now he is totally trusted with cats, however, petting them does make him jealous so he is unhappy. I might therefore not be petting the cats in front of Alfie?
Does Alfie definatlely hate the cat? Winston thinks our cats should want to play with him. The older ones tell him off, but the youngest lets Winston roll him about and chew on him.
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woofgang
post 3rd Dec 2015, 9:17 pm
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This is a dangerous game you are playing. What will you do if the dog kills or injures a cat? Will you keep the dog and then how will you deal with the problem? He will be much harder to rehome after he has killed or injured a cat. Did you check if he was cat friendly before you took him on?

if it was me (and I mean this politely and with concern) I would say that my existing pets have a right to live a safe and happy life, I would return the dog to the rescue you got him from and look for a cat safe dog if you want to try again.

Sorry, I am sure that is not what you want to hear. I am sure that others will be along with differing views, just keep in mind that its not the humans in this who will bear the biggest risk, its the animals.
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ceri1
post 3rd Dec 2015, 9:35 pm
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Agree you need to be careful, we see plenty of cats at the vet who have been killed or badly injured by their cohabiting dogs. Does the rescue have a behaviourist who could come out and see Alfie. How does he behave towards the cats? Does he seem predatory, stiff etc when you show him them or just interested?
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catg274
post 3rd Dec 2015, 10:09 pm
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He seems VERY interested, I am hopeful because I don‘t get the feeling that he hates them just doesn‘t know what they are & wants to chase. He wasn‘t cat tested so we knew that we were taking a risk when we got him. I think that had he wanted to kill Mia he could have done in the few seconds that he had hold of her and we also have ducks in the garden that he totally ignores but obviously they don‘t run as fast as cats. Like I say, the cats are safe, he can‘t get at them, it was hubbys mistake that he got Mia. We aren‘t going to give up on him, he was in kennels for 3 months from about 6 months old & because they said he has seperation anxiety no one wanted him, not surprising really but again, something I think he will grow out of.
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lolbeck
post 5th Dec 2015, 12:37 pm
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Does he generally get excited about thins - bar the ducks?

If I have read your post right he is still a baby - albeit a mixed up one given his start in life - but has already proved he can settle given what you said in his hello thread about not liking men. wub.gif And - if you can keep the cats safe - it is still early days.

What about lots of mental exercise and a general training class to tire out his brain and strengthen his bond with you? I am no expert but the more he wants to listen to you and please you the more chance he'll get on with the whole family. dunno.gif

I hope you find a solution that keeps you all safe and happy together. flowers.gif
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Susieh
post 5th Dec 2015, 4:32 pm
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I'd start by stairgating every possible doorway for a while (if possible with your house layout) as this means the cats will always be able to get somewhere safe quickly & Alfie will be unable to build up a full on chase if they were to find themselves in the same room unexpectedly. They will be able to see each other but risks are minimised.

My first dog was a bit keen on cats (not prey drive, just excited & wanting to chase) when I got her and a neighbour's cat adopted us so it was really important that my dog learnt quickly that chasing was not a possibility. House line on the dog at all times. Lots of positive reinforcement of calm behaviour when in sight of the cats like you've already been doing. Feeding & doing normal activities on either side of a stairgate etc so they get used to normal calm goings on & positive associations in each other's company.

Let us know how you get on!
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catg274
post 6th Dec 2015, 8:57 am
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Thanks for the replys. My feeling after this first week is that it‘s definitely do-able to get Alfie to accept the cats live here. Mia is now out of my sons bedroom & back in the utility room & office with the other cats & the cat flap. Alfie will still do the intense stare at the door when he sees a cat in there but will come away when called. He is very eager to please us & isn‘t really an overly excitable dog, more chilled out sofa lover wub.gif I do think the cat thing is a wanting to chase rather than a hatred of them. We took him in the room yesterday while one of the cats was lying on the sofa & he wasn‘t over excited just straining slightly to get to him but once he realised we had treats he happily sat on a loose lead and took a treat everytime he looked away from the cat. I do think part of this is going to be getting the cats to realise that if they don‘t run he won‘t chase & I‘m not sure how to do that other than continuing with what we are doing & hoping they catch on! I am going to get a cat calming diffuser today to see if that makes a difference to Mia who is the stressiest of the cats but funnily enough the most dog loving to dogs that haven‘t scared her half to death!
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Fever
post 6th Dec 2015, 5:06 pm
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I have always had cats, and a lot of experience with this, so I hope what I say will help. I think you have done a lot of the right things so far, and it's unfortunate that the dog got hold of the cat. I agree with you that if he'd been capable of injuring her, he would have done so there and then.

I have had to take one dog (a collie) back to rescue because she was completely obsessed by my cats, and would certainly have killed them given the chance. My latest dog is highly interested, and I am using 100% management so that he is never alone with my cat. In my experience, the most predatory dogs do not waste energy running after a cat, or getting agitated when they see a cat. They keep their powder dry, are very, very still when they see the cat and are waiting for the moment when they are close enough and you are out of the way. Be warned if your dog is doing this. If he is, you need 100% management or rehoming if you can't do the management.

On the other hand, if it is curiiosity, shown by sniffing and alertness but not stillness, I think you have a good chance of what you are doing working. I sit on the step in my kitchen with a big bowl of chicken, all the dogs in a sit below the step, and my cat higher up. Everyone gets a piece of chicken in turn, and only those with good manners get chicken. (You might need to use a stairgate initially if your puppy can't hold a sit for very long.) This worked for my lurcher who has a massive prey drive outside - he seems able to distinguish between being indoors and outdoors, and happily recognises the cat as 'one of us'. That took a long time with the chicken bowl, but we did get there.

I will just add that I don't believe dogs 'hate' cats - they either see them as prey, or as uninteresting - there's not much in between, in my experience.

So - 100% management and lots of chicken!

This post has been edited by Fever: 6th Dec 2015, 5:10 pm
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kilmousk
post 6th Dec 2015, 5:30 pm
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I don't remember Mouse wub.gif being any trouble introducing him to cats however when I got Pippa she was NOT cat friendly (was suggested she was). She snapped a lead, smashed through the kitchen door and chased the cat up onto the work surface and up the wall pinning him to the ceiling the first time she came in the house ohmy.gif This was without "knowing" there was a cat. The cat was hugely dog savvy and confident with different dogs and well able to hold his ground - for 2 years the cat refused to even come into a room if Pippa was there in any shape or form. When left inside the house together the cat had his own room which was locked not just closed. They have shared a home now for 8 years and for the last 5 I would have thought have free ranged together.

2 years ago I rehomed Sapphire the ex working lurcher who was definately not cat friendly! While I had said that I would never subject a cat to that stress in their home again Ollie Cat primarily lived outside and I had prior warning this time. Sapphire was crated the first evening home when the cat came in. He walked up to the bars of the crate to be greeted by a barking irate lurcher and sat down and stared at her in disgust before walking off as only an arrogant cat like creature can. The following day Ollie Cat decided he would live inside now thank you very much and he has and him and Sapphire share beds and bowls.

Outside the house I have no doubt that any cat's life would be in danger and I wouldnt be able to introduce another cat inside the house while Pippa is alive; technically I know how to do it and she is much more biddeable now but it would be dangerous and unfair on all. Sapphire would be much easier. I think the cats reaction speaks volumes - he knew that Pippa would kill him and nothing would have stopped her. Sapphire was always cat workeable but I took a very high risk though calculated and that first night the cat's reaction showed me that he knew she was ok.

I do believe that almost all dogs are cat workeable however that doesnt mean that they should live with cats. Pippa shouldn't have!

It sounds like Alfie is doing really well as are the cats and yourselves.
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catg274
post 6th Dec 2015, 9:14 pm
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Thanks guys, a few success stories is what I needed! I think we will do ok, I don‘t think it will be a quick thing, just something that will happen over time. We are lucky in that the cats can have access to outside and a couple of rooms that can be shut off so that everyone can chill out. He seems reasonably happy if we take him into a room where one of the cats are lying still so just need to work on the chasing part when a cat runs, which we will continue to do wub.gif
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catg274
post 6th Dec 2015, 9:56 pm
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Triple post lol.gif

This post has been edited by catg274: 6th Dec 2015, 9:57 pm
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Dalsmum
post 7th Dec 2015, 4:44 pm
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the cat's reaction showed me that he knew she was ok.

I think this is very true.

When I only had my to retrievers the neighbourhood cats would repeatedly come into the garden despite teh retrievers chasing them.

However, once my dalmatian arrived he chased a cat once and it didn't return. They used to jump up onto the 6 foot fence and creep along it watching the garden all the time. If the back door opened the jumped down and ran off.

They seemed to sense that the retrievers had no serious intentions but that he had.

I knew when new cats arrived in the neighbourhood as they were the only ones who would venture into the garden, until the first time he chased them.
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Betsyboo
post 7th Dec 2015, 8:12 pm
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QUOTE(woofgang @ 3rd Dec 2015, 9:17 pm) *

This is a dangerous game you are playing. What will you do if the dog kills or injures a cat? Will you keep the dog and then how will you deal with the problem? He will be much harder to rehome after he has killed or injured a cat. Did you check if he was cat friendly before you took him on?

if it was me (and I mean this politely and with concern) I would say that my existing pets have a right to live a safe and happy life, I would return the dog to the rescue you got him from and look for a cat safe dog if you want to try again.

Sorry, I am sure that is not what you want to hear. I am sure that others will be along with differing views, just keep in mind that its not the humans in this who will bear the biggest risk, its the animals.

I totally agree with this. We adopted a dog from a reputable rescue who shall remain nameless. We were told he was absolutely cat friendly - wrong!!! He was a danger to both my cats & as they were here first (10 years first!) this wasn't acceptable. This was not a risk I was willing to take & with a heavy heart we returned him. It's unfair to expect your cats to live a life where they are restricted to certain rooms. As Woofgang said, only my opinion, but not a risk I would be willing to take sadly.
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catg274
post 7th Dec 2015, 10:59 pm
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QUOTE(Betsyboo @ 7th Dec 2015, 8:12 pm) *

I totally agree with this. We adopted a dog from a reputable rescue who shall remain nameless. We were told he was absolutely cat friendly - wrong!!! He was a danger to both my cats & as they were here first (10 years first!) this wasn't acceptable. This was not a risk I was willing to take & with a heavy heart we returned him. It's unfair to expect your cats to live a life where they are restricted to certain rooms. As Woofgang said, only my opinion, but not a risk I would be willing to take sadly.

We aren‘t planning on them living a life restricted to certain rooms, just slowly getting him used to them & them to him.
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