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Dogs and barn kitties...

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  • Dogs and barn kitties...

    I have 3 dogs. They have a cat in the house. They've always had cats. They get along, mostly uneventfully. until the cat attacks them. I've witnessed it, he provokes it completely. (picture: a ginger cat and a nice black labbie, walking side-by-side, suddenly the cat growls, whirls, leaps up and grabs around poor unsuspecting dog's neck, clinging like a monkey... ) Said cat also will knock things off the top of the fridge for the dogs. I'm pretty sure he's in the mafia.

    But we all sleep on the bed, said cat curling right up next to dogs, all is well. 99% of the time dogs ignore cat, or actually seem to like cat.

    The barn kitties, however, are another matter! OMG--my one dog is OBSESSED. Seriously, if he sneaks out the door, he'll spend the entire day sitting staring at the grain shed doors. (where kitties are ensconced) If he's tied and kitties are out and about, as they should be during the day... he goes nuts. I'm afraid he's going to crush his windpipe!

    They've 'met' close up, he tries to taste them. They don't run--right away--it's not that (they'll chase housecat too if he runs--I understand that part.) He's just OBSESSED.

    I feel miserable for the barn kitties because they are not out as much as they should be because of this. Last barn kitty went missing one night when said dog went through a window fan and screen while I was at work, and was out loose. I like to think kitty just was scared far, far away, since I never found anything, but of course you can extrapolate and understand my worry.

    Unfortunately I must have barn kitty (two this time--rescues, thought they might do better as a pair.) because I had cute little field mice having babies in my oats, INSIDE the trash can (?) and larger critters destroyed close to $1k of tack and blankets one year. (squirrel? chipmunk? muskrat?)

    Just would love any ideas. It's annoying and exhausting and I'm truly afraid either the dog is going to hurt himself or the kitties. The other two dogs are much more predatory about the barn cats, but not as OBSESSED as poor Eamon...
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

  • #2
    You could try a shock collar - not as nasty as it sounds, you control the voltage.*

    Whenever dog starts going whacko over barncat you tell him "NO" or whatever commnad you want and if he ignores that, you zap him.
    Most dogs catch on pretty quick that "NO!" ignored earns them a shock.

    After a while just wearing the collar should keep dog from going nuts over barncat.

    *check YouTube for some jackass (human) shocking himself in increments with one of these collars
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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    • #3
      Are your two new barn kitties still kittens? Or are they full grown?

      If you start with kittens (or young cats) could you start them off in the house with the dogs and the other cat? That way everyone would get to know them and not think it was a big deal and then you could transition them down to the barn.

      That's what we did with my kittens. They started off in our house for the first 24 hours. The second night we had them, I took them down to my tack room and locked them inside for the night. For the next 3 or 4 months they'd spend most of their days in and around the house and their nights down in the tackroom. For the next 6 months or so after that they roamed free (house, barn, wherever) all day and got locked in the tackroom at night. Now they live full time in the barn and come and go through their kitty door. They still occasionally hang out at the house with the dogs, but spend the majority of their time hunting in and around the barn.
      __________________________________
      Flying F Sport Horses
      Horses in the NW

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
        You could try a shock collar - not as nasty as it sounds, you control the voltage.*

        Whenever dog starts going whacko over barncat you tell him "NO" or whatever commnad you want and if he ignores that, you zap him.
        Most dogs catch on pretty quick that "NO!" ignored earns them a shock.

        After a while just wearing the collar should keep dog from going nuts over barncat.

        *check YouTube for some jackass (human) shocking himself in increments with one of these collars
        I would have said shock collar too. A shock collar used correctly and at the lowest possible, but effective level will work on most dogs. A good friend of mine cured her horse chasing dog in a matter of hours.

        I have seen it before. Some dogs do not tolerate cats unless they are in the house. They view it like a housemate and not a cat. You will just have to extend the boundaries and rules of your house outside. It's the same reason my Great Dane will chase squirrels and chipmunks all day long outside and is 100% trustworthy with the guinea pigs inside.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
          (picture: a ginger cat and a nice black labbie, walking side-by-side, suddenly the cat growls, whirls, leaps up and grabs around poor unsuspecting dog's neck, clinging like a monkey... ) Said cat also will knock things off the top of the fridge for the dogs. I'm pretty sure he's in the mafia.
          You are correct...all orange kitties are in the mafia. I think mine is Mob boss.

          Mine was excellent at teaching my herding dog the boundaries in the house...she would hide, meow, when puppy would come she would run out ofhiding place, when puppy caught up to her she would give her a smack down! Puppy learned very quick that kitty is to be ignored, respected and is in charge of the world.

          I also figured out a few years ago that I also answer to the orange beast- a bossy little five lb. monster. Gotta love the orange kitties.

          As far as you kitty-drooling lab goes, I also know many folks that have had luck with the noise/shock collar on labs. If not, perhaps a fenced area at the farm?

          Comment


          • #6
            Sadly, SOME dogs never get the message that barn kitties are off limits.
            I have 2 dogs that I cannot ever ever allow out to the barn because if I do, they WILL kill a cat. And it's not the "pack mentality", even if they are out singly, they'll still go after a cat.

            One I adopted through the giveaways forum and she was misrepresented from the get go. The other is a JRT.

            And believe me, I've tried everything just short of killing said dogs...

            Hubby just about had a heart attack when I spent $4000. to fence in the back yard with 5 foot tall chain link, then added an electric strand along the inside. The dogs have a 1/4 acre to play in and the cats are safe.

            Good luck.
            Save lives! Adopt a pet from your local shelter.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
              You could try a shock collar - not as nasty as it sounds, you control the voltage.*

              Whenever dog starts going whacko over barncat you tell him "NO" or whatever commnad you want and if he ignores that, you zap him.
              Most dogs catch on pretty quick that "NO!" ignored earns them a shock.

              After a while just wearing the collar should keep dog from going nuts over barncat.

              *check YouTube for some jackass (human) shocking himself in increments with one of these collars
              Be very careful with use of shock collars i training bad behaviors. Done incorrectly, you could lead him to associate cat with shock in a bad way and he could start attacking the cat. My advice would be consult a dog trainer.

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              • #8
                When timed correctly, a shock collar does amazingly well. I fostered a dog for a few months last winter and used mine on him to break his obsession with the barn cats. It's a long story, but he would visit the barn with his previous owner, and was horrible with the cats (a HUGE no-no in my barn). As soon as I had him in my possession, on went the shock collar. I'd give him a little zap as soon as he started to fixate on a cat. I think he wore it for two days. After that, he was as good with them as Stella is. And even after he went to his new owner, he would come visit the barn and love on the cats.

                Another option is instead of a shock collar is to teach him to associate the cats with a good thing....this will take time, though, as you'll have to spend a few minutes several times a day to do this. Take him to where he can see the cats, and as soon as he starts to fixate, say him name or make a noise of some sort to get his attention, and as soon as he looks at you, give him a fantastic treat (or throw his favorite toy if he isn't a foodie). Do it over and over again, each time his attention goes from the cats to you, give him a reward. The theory is that he will condition him to think happy thoughts when he looks at the cats instead of "let me kill the kitties" thoughts.

                I admit to being an NPR nerd, and one of my favorite shows is "Calling All Pets". The woman who does the show (an animal behavorist) frequently tells people to use this technique in cases like this. If you google the show name, I think you'll find the website and find all sorts of archives and training tips.
                Amanda

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                • #9
                  PS- Regarding the shock collars, I find the best way to use them is to NOT make any fuss about it. Zap them and then keep your mouth shut. That way they learn that chasing the cats is unpleasant, but has nothing to do with you/gets your attention. Does that make sense??
                  Amanda

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                  • #10
                    I agree whole-heartedly with the shock collar- I would not have a dog that would go after cats malicously (sp?), but then again I'm totally a cat person and not at all a dog person......
                    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                    So you might as well have a good time"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                      PS- Regarding the shock collars, I find the best way to use them is to NOT make any fuss about it. Zap them and then keep your mouth shut. That way they learn that chasing the cats is unpleasant, but has nothing to do with you/gets your attention. Does that make sense??
                      This is where I think most people go wrong. I knew of a dog, a Boxer, who would get overly excited when people visited. He'd bark and jump on people, just crowd their space. But he was NOT aggressive about it, just TE typical "I love people!" reaction. So, his owner went the shock collar route and next thing you know, the dog becomes VERY people aggressive, went after and even bit a couple of strangers. People would come to the door and he would growl and carry on. Owners took him to my friend, an aggressive dog trainer specialist, who will not use shock collars and after he bit her for the second time, he was put down. My friend said they were following orders from another trainer, and would also use verbal commands/punishment with the collar,"No, Dog! Bad Dog!" which led the dog to believe all the chaos and the shock was related to people coming to the door, and not his reaction to the people at the door.

                      I'm sure used correctly, like any training aid, it serves a purpose. I've never used one and the training facility I go to will not allow any sort of electrical collar on the premises-if the dog has the invisible fence collar on, must be removed before entering. Too many people don't know how to use it and too often, it's done incorrectly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Equino View Post
                        This is where I think most people go wrong. I knew of a dog, a Boxer, who would get overly excited when people visited. He'd bark and jump on people, just crowd their space. But he was NOT aggressive about it, just TE typical "I love people!" reaction. So, his owner went the shock collar route and next thing you know, the dog becomes VERY people aggressive, went after and even bit a couple of strangers. People would come to the door and he would growl and carry on. Owners took him to my friend, an aggressive dog trainer specialist, who will not use shock collars and after he bit her for the second time, he was put down. My friend said they were following orders from another trainer, and would also use verbal commands/punishment with the collar,"No, Dog! Bad Dog!" which led the dog to believe all the chaos and the shock was related to people coming to the door, and not his reaction to the people at the door.

                        I'm sure used correctly, like any training aid, it serves a purpose. I've never used one and the training facility I go to will not allow any sort of electrical collar on the premises-if the dog has the invisible fence collar on, must be removed before entering. Too many people don't know how to use it and too often, it's done incorrectly.
                        Yep, exactly. It should be used so that they think the act of chasing the cat shocks them, not when mom or dad yells they get shocked. I liken it to them learning not to get under the horses' feet. They think "hmmm, when I run up behind the horse and nip at his heels, he kicks me. That's unpleasant, so I'll back off." With the shock collar and the cats they need to think "hmmm, when I chase the cat I get a rather unpleasant jolt. I think I'll just stay over here and leave it alone."

                        I have to admit, I HATE using my shocker collar, but when I can get my timing right on my deer obsessed dog, it helps a great deal. Unfortunately, she is now not only a sneak (I swear she can move in such a way that all her jingly tags don't jingle) but also apparently Houdini. She got out of the barn yesterday morning...the doors were closed. She's now in lock down.
                        Amanda

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is your dog good with basic obedience-sit/down/stay/etc? I have 7 dogs(2 JRTs)and 10 cats. The cats walk a straight line on the farm-cats rule here. I have needed to use a shock collar before to break a cat chaser, but I started with getting the basic commands very solid-outdoors as well as in the house. In the end, the dog must respect you, and look to you for direction. I know it's easier said than done...good luck.

                          Edited to add-stop that stalking behavior-give the dog another job or remove him from the area. Tying him up will only raise his frustration.

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                          • #14
                            I think where a lot of people go wrong with the shock collar is that they put it on too high of a setting. It should be at the very lowest setting that is effective. The person I knew told me that she used it in a way that if she could reach the dog and flick her to get her attention to then give a verbal command, that would be the correct setting. You don't want to use it like a taser. You just want to use to to gain their attention, when they are otherwise completely ignoring you and concentrating on something else.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Just My Style View Post
                              I think where a lot of people go wrong with the shock collar is that they put it on too high of a setting. It should be at the very lowest setting that is effective. The person I knew told me that she used it in a way that if she could reach the dog and flick her to get her attention to then give a verbal command, that would be the correct setting. You don't want to use it like a taser. You just want to use to to gain their attention, when they are otherwise completely ignoring you and concentrating on something else.
                              I agree, but this makes me laugh, and kinda sad, too. Stella only responds to it on the highest setting, and even then, I've had to zap her three times, on the highest setting, to get her to break stride while in hot pursuit of a deer. This is part of the reason I hate using it, just because Stella is so strong willed, she doesn't care...also why I'm fairly certain an electric fence will not stop her when it needs to. The foster dog I used it on just need a little zap to get his attention.
                              Amanda

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