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Thread: Puppy pushing my last nerve

  1. #1
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    Default Puppy pushing my last nerve

    Pip is still harassing the cats - she has started doing this thing, where, instead of just chasing them, she grabs them by the loose skin on their cheek/ neck and runs with them.

    I have tried putting her on a lead, but while she is leashed, she doesn't chase them, so I have nothing to correct her for. When she ignores the cats, I praise and treat, if she chases them or mouths at them, I use a squirter bottle (hard not to get the cats with this, so it's a bit of a problem). It just doesn't seem to make any impact on her.

    Last night, I discovered a bald patch on the back of one of the cats ears. I'm treating it as ringworm, with anti fungal cream, but it may be from stress, or even from her biting him - doesn't look like ringworm to me. The other cat, the smaller one, she pushes over if she catches her. So far the cats have been very tolerant, as in the run away, but I wouldn't be suprised if they give her a good clobbering - she corners them or blocks them from escaping through the kitty door.

    She is also chewing everything. I give her chew toys, kongs, treat dispensing toys - she destroys soft toys and eats squeakers, she eats the soft plastic type of squeaky toy. She finds blocks of wood in the garden and eats those.

    Today, she ate my mobile phone. She has also eaten several shoes and a bra.

    Help me, before I strangle her!!!

  2. #2
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    Do you have a crate?

    If she's crate trained (Ie doesn't mind being in the crate) then if she so much as steps towards a cat - I'd be putting her in the crate for a while. So hopefully she connects looking at cats the wrong way with loss of freedom. It's the same deal with the lead - I'd be putting her on lead the second she looks at a cat.

    She's already worked out that she can't chase the cats when she's on lead.

    Your mobile phone will also be safer if she's in a crate when you can't supervise her. Seems harsh - but not as harsh as her ending up in rescue or the pound cos you can't cope when she's naughty. She is still a puppy, so when you need a break - in the crate with something yummy appropriate to chew. My dog is pretty fond of cows hoof.

  3. #3
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    For a start don't leave things like a bra or phone etc within reach. Puppy proof the place.
    I have to keep my cat separated from the dogs at all times. They would kill her. I have never had that problem before.
    I am sure others would be able to help you more in that area but sometimes the separation has to happen. I hope you took into account a "worst case scenario" so this can be done if all else fails before getting the puppy..

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  4. #4
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    What happens if she is tied but in the same room with them so they can get away but she can't get them?

  5. #5
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    Physically attacking the cats is one occasion where I would use more serious consequences than what you are doing. I think if that were my dog, I'd grab her by the the collar as soon as she touched that cat and drag her to the laundry, push her in and close the door quickly.

    Time-out for behaviour like that is probably most effective if it's short. So they hopefully still remember why they were in there in the first place when you let them out. I usually aim for about 30 seconds, let my dog out again and repeat until she knows what she is not supposed to do. In combination with praise for doing what I want her to do, like you are already doing too.

    This is one of those situations where I would get a bit "Who the F do you think you are?" with my dog I'm afraid. No one hurts my cat!

    Whatever you do, you have to prevent her from doing it because it would be highly self-rewarding.

    As for the chewing, most of us have been there and it always comes down to the same thing: train yourself to put stuff out of reach. We weren't very good at that and lost numerous pairs of shoes and favourite kids toys. By the time we finally remembered to put such stuff away every time we left her alone, she had grown out of it.

  6. #6
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    She sleeps in a crate, but she doesn't like it - I have to coax her in every night. I wouldn't like to force her in to it as it would create a negative experience. Once I sort out the issues with the cats, I want to eliminate the crate - she is pretty much house trained, just need to teach her to let us know when she needs to go out. Also, have to train her that my bed is not her bed - can't kick her out of the bedroom until the situation with the cats is under control.

    It's not really possible in my house to separate the cats from the dog - the cats have free run of the house and garden, I'm not gonna change their routine, they have enough problems at the moment! The dog needs access to the garden for toileting and the house is pretty much open plan.

    When she is tied up in the same room as the cats, she does nothing, so I have nothing to correct.

    I will try chucking her in the laundry when she does it - my biggest problem will be trying to catch her - she is fast and slippery - when she doesn't want to be caught, it's near impossible, with out coaxing/ bribing, which would defy the point.

    She usually doesn't chew things - except her own stuff, she destroys all that, but I guess she is starting a new phase - jolly good!

    Oh, just a side note - when I said I was gonna strangle her, it was a joke - and also I would never send her to be rehomed - I would exhaust any other options before I would even consider this, she came from rescue, I will do everything in my power to see that she doesn't go back there. With the exeption of the issues with the cats she is a good dog, she is gentle with the guinea pigs and ignores the bird. I guess that the fact that she is a chihuahua X is good - at least she is too little to do any harm.

  7. #7
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    I always thought that crates shouldn't be used for punishment anyway?

    Best solution to manage cats and cat-obsessed dogs together is using baby gates! I used mine a lot with Banjo when she was younger and still occasionally put it back in the bedroom doorway when we are minding other people's dogs. (I also use it for little foster kittens that are too young to jump over, but that's another story) An adult cat has no problem jumping over them.

    If you're having trouble catching your dog when you need to (always more of an issue with little dogs) let her drag a lead behind her. You can get an extra short one if you prefer or just tie a bit of rope to her collar. That way, if she tries to dodge you, you just put your foot on the lead. Also better to use the lead to take her to the laundry because I now realise she is too small to lead by the collar! I personally find picking a dog up to put them in time-out somewhat takes away from the effect, especially because - knowing myself - it is harder to hide your anger from them that way. It's tough love and should be as unemotional as possible to make the message clear. If that makes sense. Consistency is the key. Even if she doesn't seem to care the first times you do it, if you keep it up, she will eventually realise that the reward of bullying the cat is not worth the consequences and do what you want her to to stay out of time-out.

    Also in general, if you want to catch your dog without the lead trick, you have to be sneaky about it. Only look at them out of the corner of your eye and approach them calmly and casually and as if you're actually on your way to somewhere else! Still very hard with a dog that small though, because you have to bend down so far.

  8. #8
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    Asrais - it's ok to vent in here. It's probably good to state up front you feel like doing but you never would. I understand the frustration tho. NAUGHTY DOG.

    Mine decided to harrass a jogger today because she was wearing a hoodie that was flapping around her head like a mad seagull trying to eat her. And I couldn't persuade evil hound to come with me instead until after she'd checked that the mad seagull was only human. Fortunately the human didn't freak out like some do. I don't think she noticed with the wind, flapping and mp3 player.

    I was not happy. Dog spent rest of walk on lead.

    Crate should not be used as punishment. It should be used when ever you need a break. I used mine when my dog was a puppy and I needed to do the washing up, cook with hot water, or go out and do shopping and wouldn't be able to leave her in the car. I was quite jealous of parents who can take their kids into the shops with them. But parents can't lock their kids in a small cage and leave them home either.

    Crate training involves rewarding dog for going in crate, and staying in crate with lots of high value toys or treats. And make the training a game. Ie you go in, you get roo chew - to eat inside the crate. If dog is still not that keen - there hasn't been enough reward for being in there. Maybe feed dinner in the crate too. Mine gets part of her dinner in a bob a lot in the crate. Must video that - it's extremely funny to watch.

    And never let the dog out when it's barking. Just cover the crate up, and only let her out when you can get to the crate door and open it without her barking.

  9. #9
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    She is a brat to catch - I still have issues with getting her harness on - if she cops on what I intend, she will play chase with me and it turns into a game.

    I will try the short lead/ rope and see if that helps. And a baby gate, I will see if I can find any on ebay, although, I may have to diy something, because she'll probably just squeeze through the bars.

  10. #10
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    My 4mo foster kittens couldn't even squeeze through the bars of the baby gate, so I doubt your pup could! You can often find them quite cheap in the classifieds.

    I used the lead trick with the JRTx I minded who was completely cat obsessed. Worked really well. To the point where eventually he would be on his best behaviour when he realised he had the lead clipped on, even if it wasn't attached to anything or anyone.

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