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Old 01-04-2013, 08:40 AM
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Default playing too rough with the cat

*sigh* Hudson loves playing with his cat, but unfortunately he is bigger than she is now and she does not approve of his playing.

What are good ways to keep the peace in the house?
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:45 AM
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Interrupt with some sort of verbal you will use every time (thats enough, cut it out) and get between him and the cat, then body block him (walk towards him so he backs up, use body language that indicates you are in a serious mood...be quiet, stand tall, have a tense mouth and jaw, don't smile) and stay between them until Hudson stops indicating that he still wants the cat (so sitting, walking away, looking at your face, offering calming signals, etc.). Then immediately soften your body language, say good boy in a cheerful tone, and walk away. Be ready to do it again as he'll likely try a few more times right away to see if you'll actually keep stopping him. When he stops trying to go back after you move or if he listens to the verbal before you have to go block him, go get a toy and play with him or find some other way to occupy him, he is obviously bored and in a playful mood and you need to show him what to do with those feelings. In the future try and predict when he wants to play and either play with him or, if you cant right at that time, leash or crate him with a bully stick or other chewie so he has to learn to deal with his playfulness and boredom in a cat free way. Always try to stop the play very early before Hudson becomes over aroused and has trouble controllong himself.

With my Tucker and Willie I initially wanted to allow them to play as long as Willie was willing (since he did sometimes play back ) and Tucker was being gentle so I would watch and would only interrupt when Tucker started biting down or nipping (gently but still obviously annoying and unpleasant for Willie). This ended up failing though, Tucker was not able to tell what was and was not allowed, so all play was forbidden and it worked great. There was a point when Willie could literally never touch the ground without Tucker running over to harass him, it was really upsetting to everybody because Willie started hiding and wouldn't come over to us anymore ( since tucker was always with us) but that is not a problem at all anymore, those two get along great. Occassionally tucker will still try to initiate play but he is easily stopped just be me telling him to stop ( and then he'll often run and get a toy so we can play lol).

If possible don't let them be alone together. Make places that the cat can go that Hudson cannot, especially litter box places and sleeping places.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:47 PM
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Maxy, did you 100% prevent Tucker from even approaching Willie?

Right now we're working on Milo and the cats, and so far they're doing well together (for short, supervised periods). I want him, however, the view the cats as a positive thing, so I praise him and encourage him a lot when he goes to sniff them or approach them gently. The only time he gets rough with them are if they're running around and then he'll go to mouth at them or step on them, so I usually just call him to me if he starts to chase them. It's seeming to work well, but would it be better to just praise him when the cats are around but correct him when he goes up to them?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:27 PM
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No, Tucker could approach, sniff, etc. He has very clear body language and his decision to use Willie as a toy was never prompted by anything sudden, you'd just see him approach Willie with a high wagging tail while walking tall and then he'd play bow and start bouncing around which would progress to bouncing forward and nipping, then pawing (trying to get willie to play back) and if willie tried to leave hed grab one of his front legs and pull him back. If willie didnt try to leave tucker would start barking at him to try and get him to do something. So unless I saw him approach willie with that body language i let him be. Willie and tucker have a really good relationship now, hes much more comfortable with willie than with neko.

I really didnt do a lot in the way of rewarding when they are around because there wasn't really a trigger and they were always around for the most part. Now if it were triggered by running or some other behavior from the cat i would reward the dog for staying when the cat did that thing. Like i would reward tucker for letting neko come sit with me when me on the couch because tucker would often snap over that.

Tucker does still have a cat issue, but only with neko. He goes after neko when he gets upset over something (though this is declining a lot) and goes after neko if neko tries to play or gets angry. This is not play though, i assume its some sort of predatory behavior, he has even become super in tune to neko's body language and will go after him if his tail wags hardand his ears are back. It happens so fast that i have not been able to figure out how to stop it, i have only been able to teach him to stop after neko has stopped running
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:52 PM
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thank you so much. We are doing some stuff with the Fuzzy, but will implement more of your suggestions, like the body blocking. The issue with waiting for him to indicate he doesn't want the cat is that he will switch in an instant. He'll go after the cat (in a playful way, never aggressive), I'll body block him and he'll instantly switch his attention to me, but it'll switch back to the cat as soon as he catches site of her again....puppies, lol.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:39 PM
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You might want to keep him on a leash (even if he's dragging it), as well.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:51 PM
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When Juno was a puppy she was on a leash for the most part. Rewarded for not reacting to the cat being around, reeled back over to me if she tried going after him. Yep, we were really just winging it. She learned to 100% ignore him, though.
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