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Thread: Training Strategy Question

  1. #1
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    Default Training Strategy Question

    I've started clicker training my dog. For the most part teaching the commands is pretty straightforward.

    But I get a bit stuck when it comes to training her out of unwanted behaviours. And especially when it comes to teaching her not to chase the cats. I know I am supposed to let her know what she should do instead of chasing them when they run. But I just cannot come up with anything. I don't want to make her sit every time they run past for example. That probably would just strengthen the sit cue, but not give her any message about the not chasing part.

    Is the idea that I should wait until she stays put when they run and then enforce that behaviour? I just think that I could be waiting a very long time for that to occur...

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    As usual, thinking out loud made me think of the answer myself. I just took her outside on the lead and then clicked whenever she relaxed as the cats ran past. Duh!

    The first try nearly put my back out though as she launched forward not realising she was attached to the lead!

  3. #3
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    the other thing you can do is get the cat into a crate / cage, put your dog on lead, take her to the crate and teach her leave it.

    you say leave it, leave it, leave it etc until she looks away, you click then reward.
    once she is good at that then try the leave it command when the cat is out just laying around then you try the leave it when the cats are running.

    good luck
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland

  4. #4
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    Hi Beloz

    I do a variation of that. Definitely have the dog on lead. I now point cats out to my dog and reward if she stays calm and relaxed with me. Ie "Look, a cat", "good dog" + treat or "oops". Mostly we get good dog now.

    I think the neighbour's cat might be a lost cause though. And cats in my back yard are fair game for chasing.

    I've yet to introduce my dog to my brother's new cat. Who is used to being like the face hugging creature from Alien with his dog. Amazingly tolerant for a chook killing staffy.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your replies.

    The dog's fine with the cats when they are relaxed. They all sleep on my bed together (I know!). The cats are fine with her too. Even the more timid one will come rub herself against the dog's legs when she comes in. It's only as soon as they get some speed up that the dog will chase them. And occasionally when she is bored, she'll try pounce on them to make them run too.

    These cats (about 7mo now, I think) have been in foster care since they were tiny kittens, I believe. And they obviously grew up with dogs. The male will play with the dog, lying on a chair while she tries to mouth him and pushing her away with his paws (no claws!).

    So fortunately it's not too big a problem, but still, chasing family members is not on!

    I'm only fostering these cats, but I will be very sad when they leave and so will the dog. But I bought a house in a suburb where it is illegal to let your cats wander outside, so I cannot keep them. I cannot cope with indoor cats.

  6. #6
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    My dog was fine with cats till that bastard ginger ninga moved in next door. Sits on the fence goading Bernie, swishing his tail just out of reach. Till Bernie worked out, if he runs at the fence he can knock the cat off!
    It has on occasions landed on our side of the fence. At which point Bernie goes in for the kill, and comes out crying and the loser, every time.
    Hates this cat, not other cats, but this one, hates it.

  7. #7
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    Well
    I think it is not only about chasing CATS, but chasing in general. The hunting impulse is really strong and my dog, that did not chase anything, has been shown by the minischnauzer and now gives me the task to do something about it.
    It is tricky, indeed as it is a strong impulse.
    Whatever it takes, the earlier you keep on top of it, the better it is.
    Don't give up!

    You write
    That probably would just strengthen the sit cue, but not give her any message about the not chasing part.

    I think a strong sit cue is great, because it interrupts the unwanted behaviour. And (I think) there is good chance, that she will "forget" about chasing after time.
    Because she does not get the thrill anymore, because she is sitting following yr command. I would be happy if I had achieved this. We seem to have worked successfully on chasing kangaroos BUT sadly Schubert now takes on cars.... and that is dangerous. And I start again.
    Last edited by Marley; 08-22-2011 at 07:29 AM.
    There are no paths, paths are made by walking
    www.rightnowyoga.blogspot.com
    2 Schnauzers, 1 mini girl 13 months, 1 standard boy 19 months.

  8. #8

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    My cat taunts my dog into chasing it.

    They wrestle and play, chase each other around and have a ball doing it. My cat certainly isn't scared and my dog doesn't want to kill the cat. Frankly if the cats aren't scared and your dog isn't chasing to catch but chasing to run then I don't see the problem.....

  9. #9
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    My old dog had a very, very strong prey drive. Sighthound... Never managed to train her out of chasing kangaroos.

    This one is more herding dog than hunting dog, I think, so it will hopefully be a bit easier. I actually walked her up to a kangaroo the other day, on the lead of course. Praising her every time she focused on me. She just seemed curious and didn't seem inclined to chase. Though it might have been the first time she saw a roo, so early days.

    With the cats, I just have to spend more time on it, which is hard as there are so many other things I want to teach her too.

    She is going so well with the clicker training, which should make it a whole lot easier though. As soon as the clicker and the treat bag come out, she is now totally focused on me.

    But now we have another problem, which is that one of the cats will often not run, but instead lie down and then they have a bit of a play fight. Only, there is nothing "play" about the cats claws and now the dog's face is covered in scratches. It feels all knobbly but I cannot see anything because of the fur. I'm going to have to take her to the vet, I think...

  10. #10
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    cat claws are usually covered in nasty bacterias. And usually whatever they scratch gets lovely pussy infections. Erm pun not not quite intended.

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