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Thread: Puppy Barking/chasing Cats - Problem or Phase?

  1. #1

    Default Puppy Barking/chasing Cats - Problem or Phase?

    Hi,

    My puppy Phoenix is an 18 week old Amstaff X who I have now had for 9 weeks. Phoenix was introduced to our 4 cats pretty much as soon as she moved in. At first she was quite cautious around them ie: wouldn't get to close etc. As she grew more confident and familiar with them she has started to bark at them when they are laying around the house (I think this is mostly trying to get them to play with her because she is down on her front legs with her butt wiggling in the air) and sometimes will chase them when she first sees them, sometimes she gets up in their face licking and carrying on and just seems very excited to see them, the cats will give her a smack (no claws) when she is too in their face and yowl at her but sometimes this seems to spur her on. She hasn't bitten them or hurt them in anyway. My question is do you think that this precipitates her chasing them and not getting along with them as she gets older or do you think the longer she is with them the more she will calm down and eventually they won't be exciting anymore? If its the 1st choice, what should I do to counteract this?

    I really really don't want another dog who chases cats (Keira chases cats) and cannot get on with them as where I am currently living has cats when I move out I wont have any but that is then this is now, and I like to take her places with me like my Mum's and it will be hard if she wants to chase everyone's cats

    Just thought I would add that although this is her usual response to the cats Mum has told me that she has also seen her once just lying on the grass in the backyard with one of the cats.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Keira & Phoenix; 12-21-2010 at 03:44 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2

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    I think it sounds more like play than predatory but that said play can develope into a more predatory responce if not guided in the correct direction.
    I would encourage her to interact with the cats but when ever she gets to in their face let her know it's unwanted behavour. Some dogs all it takes is a deep no but you have to be consistant & try & catch her doing the right thing with the cats also & praise/treat her.
    I have 1 dog that is a tireless cat tormentor but when given the chance she never hurts them, it's just the fun of the chase. And to get the chase sarted she will stand bum up front down & bark a few cms from the poor sleeping cats face. Milly[the cat tormentor] will go well for ages & then she will start chasing the cats again. It is getting longer & longer between the chasing episodes. All the rest[all 7] love our cats & will even defend them but not all started out this way.
    Last edited by crazydog; 12-21-2010 at 04:05 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
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    Lacey has this same problem, but she is getting a good whack now when she goes too far with our cats, so she is learning. I would say just let the ctas sort it out, only intervene if she is harming the cats.

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    Trouble with barking and chasing is that it is self-rewarding ie the dog will do it more and more if you don't give her something else to do, because it's fun.

    And the cats don't seem to enjoy it so I'd be trying to get her to do something else. There was a Me or the Dog on telly last Saturday (channel 10 - they might have it online), that covered exactly this with a pitbull x that liked chasing and harrassing the ginger cat. They taught the dog leave it, starting with treats - ie leave the treat, get a treat (from the other hand) etc.

    So I would be stopping this behaviour and giving the dog something else to do. Otherwise you will have more barking and more cat chasing.

  5. #5

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    Yes I agree Hyacinth find her a new behavour to replace this 1 with also.
    Did the trainer on that show teach the dog to just ignore the cat in general then?
    That is probley the easist approch but I do like the relasionship between my dogs[bar Milly] & the cats but it did take some time for some of the dogs to get the hang of the cat rules.

  6. #6

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    Firstly thanks all very informative responses.

    Crazydog, were all your dogs puppies when they came to live with you or have you taught adult dogs to leave the cats alone? If so what was your technique as I would like to try it on Keira? I think Keira mostly likes the chase to be honest the sad thing is that when she was chasing one day the cat slipped in the wet and Keira crashed into the cat, both the cats back legs got broken but Keira DID NOT bite her there were NO bite marks or puntures on the cat anywhere and she was on top of it for a good 15 - 20 seconds I don't think she was intending on hurting it I think it was just fun to chase. ETA the cat lived, we had its back legs fixed she is now a happy healthy 7 grand cat But due to this incident we cannot have her running around when the cats go outside. With Phoenix I am definitely trying to re-direct when it gets too much ie lots of barking or actual chasing and if she gets past a certain point will get a quick smack on the nose.

    Thanks Hyacinth I will try to find it might be very helpful. Phoenix is learning leave it and is very food motivated so this is probably a good approach for her.

    Thanks again all.
    Last edited by Keira & Phoenix; 12-21-2010 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Spelling

  7. #7
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    Hi K&P

    I think with the barking/cat chasing - it's going to be all or nothing. Like being a little bit pregnant. You can't bark and chase a little bit and that's ok. Just make it no barking or chasing.

  8. #8

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    no my dogs that are good with cats[which is all but Milly] never chase & that is not what I mean about it's good to get her to interact as dogs can interact very well with cats if trained to respect the cat & no rough play either.
    Yes I have had older dogs with cat chasing habits that I have stop but not all as I have said Milly is not cured but is getting better all the time.
    Tori I stopped by letting her know when she was being too pushy[if you watch your dog you will learn the little suttle things they do just before they are about to get out of hand] & stopping it before it esculated. I would never leave her around a cat unsupervised & we did a cat training season most days. In the training season I would have the cat & Tori together in a smallish area[but the cat must be able to get away so they feel safe enough] & start with the cat in my lap. If Tori showed any unwanted behavour towards the cats I could say NO in a very firm voice if that did not work I would give her a good poke behind the shoulder[your timing has to be spot on] say NO at the same time & put her back in a sit. We just slowly worked our way up too the cat walking around the room & then the cat outside. She had killed a cat before so she did mean harm to the cat to start with. I had to be very consistant, have good timing so she knew what I was displeased about & it toke a few months.I also flooded her with different cats to desenifie her to them. She now lives with cats in harmony & even has been seen to let 1 particular cat sleep with her but I do keep an eye on her.
    This worked with Tori as she hated to displease me & was so clingy to me back then but it would not work with all dogs. Diffently worth a try though with a dog who is desperate to please.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Trouble with barking and chasing is that it is self-rewarding ie the dog will do it more and more if you don't give her something else to do, because it's fun.

    And the cats don't seem to enjoy it so I'd be trying to get her to do something else. There was a Me or the Dog on telly last Saturday (channel 10 - they might have it online), that covered exactly this with a pitbull x that liked chasing and harrassing the ginger cat. They taught the dog leave it, starting with treats - ie leave the treat, get a treat (from the other hand) etc.

    So I would be stopping this behaviour and giving the dog something else to do. Otherwise you will have more barking and more cat chasing.
    I also would teach the "leave it"......It is a great learning tool and comes in handy at so many times. Chasing is never a phase......if left it will turn into a problem.
    Sometimes the dog refuses to take notice of the treat when the object of distraction is around and you may have to be firmer. Start with the treats, but do not be afraid to be tougher. With my Annabelle, treats were ignored, once she saw something we could only get her back with a quick short check, if she then focussed we could reward. this eventually led to reward only.
    So initially if we were likely to come in contact with distractions (cats, ducks, chooks, dogs and people) we always had her on a eight foot or shorter lead. Now if I think she sees something she might react to, I say"leave it" and "heel' and we do a short obedience session, with lots of praise/treats. Even when a dog now goes for her, i just say "leave it" and we walk on. You can do it, just stop the behaviour as soon as possible and be consistent. the best is to anticipate the action and to give the "leave it" before the chase......If you are observant of your dog, you will see the dog almost think, how did she know i was going to chase

    It is best to train from puppy, but with persistence and followthrough can be taught to adults......Happy training
    Last edited by newfsie; 12-21-2010 at 08:33 PM.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    I also would teach the "leave it"......It is a great learning tool and comes in handy at so many times. Chasing is never a phase......if left it will turn into a problem.
    Sometimes the dog refuses to take notice of the treat when the object of distraction is around and you may have to be firmer. Start with the treats, but do not be afraid to be tougher. With my Annabelle, treats were ignored, once she saw something we could only get her back with a quick short check, if she then focussed we could reward. this eventually led to reward only.
    So initially if we were likely to come in contact with distractions (cats, ducks, chooks, dogs and people) we always had her on a eight foot or shorter lead. Now if I think she sees something she might react to, I say"leave it" and "heel' and we do a short obedience session, with lots of praise/treats. Even when a dog now goes for her, i just say "leave it" and we walk on. You can do it, just stop the behaviour as soon as possible and be consistent. the best is to anticipate the action and to give the "leave it" before the chase......If you are observant of your dog, you will see the dog almost think, how did she know i was going to chase

    It is best to train from puppy, but with persistence and followthrough can be taught to adults......Happy training
    So are you saying you teach the dog to ignore the cat at all times?

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