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Thread: Terrier Training

  1. #1

    Question Terrier Training

    I have recently acquired a retired show fox terrier. He has a lovely nature BUT I am wondering the chances of him living peacefully with our cat and horse. At first introduction to the cat he didn’t blink an eyelid, introduced them with the cat free in the house and him on a leash giving him treats for good behaviour. However he was more than a little keen in the cat when he saw him wandering past the window this morning! He behaved well around the horse on first intro also, but today I had to hold the lead back to keep him from running up to the horse. I understand it is likely because the cat was walking past rather than still but the horse was stationary.
    He is reasonably excitable- but definitely not at the top of a scale of one to ten.

    I have started some clicker training with him, but would love to hear any more advice on the situation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    What exactly was the behaviour he displayed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    Hi there

    I have a mini foxy x and he takes about 2 months to get comfortable with new pets.
    Your dog was probably feeling teased by the cat being outside...he'll get used to seeing this and soon it wont bother him.
    With the horse.... let your dog meet the horse, pick him up and let him smell and see you pat it.
    Never make a fuss when other animals are about...stay relaxed like it's no big deal and hopefully your dog will pick up the same vibes and start to relax too

  4. #4


    Horses are a worry due to the damage they can do if they get upset by a dog. I'm lucky enough to have an elderly miniature pony mare who is very tolerant but can also give a very little warning or kick - just enough to make then rethink what they're doing around her - if pushed too far by a dog. She's a great training aid.

    Maybe if you trust your horse not to get too upset you can bring him closer on a lead gradually so he sees that the horse is not as exciting as he thinks. If your horses if a bit flighty around him maybe you could introduce him to another quieter horse that would excite him. Distract him around the horse with treats or toys so that he is not allowed to become totally focused on the horse rather than you.

    If he decides the horse is dull then it will make your life much easier.

    With the cat - I think you're right. Maybe he was seeing the cat in a different context to how he does when the cat is quietly around him in the house. Hopefully he'l het used to the fact that the cat does different things and is still the same, relatively boring cat, and that what you are doing is far more interesting!

  5. #5


    Thanks for the replies. He was at first just interested in the horse (fixed on looking at him, hard to get attention), but then after getting him closer he was jumping up raring to get to the him. I’ve had the horse for 10years and his quite a good older boy, but I realise 1 kick could be all it takes for game over so I don’t want to risk it! He does however get along very well with our current dog. And our current dog, horse and cat all get along beautifully so I’m hoping the peace can be restored!

    His a 4 year old wire, and is really a sweet boy. But such a terrier! We have 5 fully fenced (wallaby proof, very dog proof) acres but are in the process of putting up a dog run, as I’m not happy leaving him alone with cat and horse yet.

    Im really hoping others have had success introducing a mature terrier with their pets, im a little worried at the moment!

  6. #6


    Ozeymum and nattylou- had a small win on the horse front today- as you advised Ozey, picked him up and let him sniff the horse- which he did and on putting him back down (still on lead of course) he wandered of to the fence! Hoping he does end up finding both cat and horse 'boring'. Although not thinking the battle over, quite sure it might be another story if he sees the horse trotting across the paddock!

  7. #7


    Hooray! Glad something worked for you. Trotting might be a bridge to cross when you get to it...

    I'll bet he's a lovely boy, I love the wires. Are you planning to desex him? I wonder if that might help a little, but he is a terrier after all!

    I'm sure he'll settle with everything, one day at a time. It's good you have your other dog there to be the constant role model.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Hawkesbury NSW


    Hi Wally,

    We have two horses. There is generally a lot of interest shown in them by the fosters for the first few days in particular. It settles very quickly, though the dogs are contained in the house yard. They can get close, though there is always a fence between them and the horses.

    I was told by a very experienced rescuer that it takes a good 6 months for a new dog to settle into a new home, and i agree with this. You will see progress each and every day. Often new challenges may surface too. There is so much for you both to learn and discover Time, patience and guidence...and lots of love

    I agree it is lovely your new boy has such a great role model in your other dog I would also recommened desexing, there are many benefits and it is a very simple procedure...

    Good luck!!


    "There is enough love and concern for animals in every community to overcome the irresposibility of the few"
    Nathan Winograd.

  9. #9


    Yes Patch (our other dog) is an absolute saint. This evening things got a little heated between cat and fox terrier in the lounge room (him still on lead), both staring stiffly each other with the occasional hiss from the cat, and Patch got in the middle- had a growl and little snap (didn’t bite, all show!) at the new addition before going up to said cat and giving him a lick! Must say I was a very proud mum of Patch - I knew she got along with the cat but to be so protective was really sweet!

    Yes- I am planning on de sexing him, however I want to make fully sure he is showing real signs of fitting in because as he had a successful showing career if the situation does not prove possible the breeders have expressed they would like him back, and would of course prefer still fertile!

    Thinking of letting him of leash on the property for a while tomorrow, cat is usually off during the day time so will just be the horse to contend with! He IS showing some signs of improvement- but still not sure if his terrier instincts can be over ridden, very much hoping they can! His such a sweet, cuddly boy.

  10. #10


    Hooray for Patch - showing the new guy how it's done.

    I hope things work out for you all.

    I can see your dilemma with desexing, but this boy has been a mature entire male for some time, so should know how to accept boundaries without getting too carried away with hormones, ie he's not a teenager any more!!!

    Time will tell. Keep us posted!

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