new dog won't leave cats alone help

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SHELBY, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    okay here's the deal A friend of ours found a 3-5 month old St Bernaird. Asked us to take her and she would try to find her owners. Well she did alot of calling and the dog is really malnurished so I don't think anyone will be looking for her...
    We took her and she is a really good dog except for the fact that she likes to grab the kittens so you have to keep her on a leash when you take her out to keep her from doing this. Whenever she sees a cat she goes nuts just starts shaking and wanting to "get" them.. How do I break her of doing this... As I said she seems to listen very well otherwise.
    Any ideas would be appreciated my kids don't want to lose one of their cats if she happens to get away from one of us..
     
  2. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    a tom cat or two, will break that dog. with a couple of good swipes across the nose, I have large dogs, and that is how my barn cats, broke the dogs, of that.
     

  3. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    I had the problem with one of the dogs we had. I locked them together in a small shed or porch where the cats could get high enough to get away from the dog. Everytime the dog would go after the cats they were put in the shed together. It did take a couple of times. But they became buddies. Granted. You must have ventilation and must be a secure building so the cats cannot escape. Also the dog was a mature dog at the time.
     
  4. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    the older cats I'm not so concerned about they can get away from her it's the 12 week old kittens that she has gotten so far. when she gets one we can yell "NO" and she reluctantly will put them down but wants to take after them again... I don't know what she would actually do to them but I don't want to find out either....That is just something I don't want to have to explain to the kids
     
  5. seraphima

    seraphima Active Member

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    Dear Shelby,

    When the dog grabs a kitten, or even goes for one, grab the dog, flip her over on her back, yell "no!" and lie on her chest until she stops struggling. You have to establish dominance now, before she gets big, and do it every time until she gets it. Then you will be the boss (dominant female wolf in pack) and she will know and be secure in her place in the "pack" of your family and cat family.
     
  6. ginnie5

    ginnie5 wife,mom,taxi driver,cook Supporter

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    all I can say is good luck! I have a lab that thinks cats are his mortal enemies and it is his duty to kill them. Same thing with squirrels. I have tried everything to get him to stop this as I have two cats. We've had to rescue both of them from him at one point or another. He will listen to an extent when there is a cat around but only after you hit him over the head with something. Tried introducing him to them when he was only 8 weeks old and he hated them then. He was born on a farm too. When we went to pick him up the kennel they were in was in a barn with chickens. Which he'll also kill given half a chance. It's like when he sees a cat his brain goes into attack mode and gets stuck there. Last time I had to rescue our fixed tom from under the deck. Had a huge towel in one hand to throw over the cat (still tore me to pieces too) and a 2x4 in the other to convince the dog I meant NO. He's protective of me and the kids to strangers though so he'll stay. Just try to get in the yard with the kids if he doesn't know you!
     
  7. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    that'a funny you mentioned that ginnie5 we also have a yellow lab and she is the same way -being protective that is- but where she differes from yours is that she could care less if the kittens are there or not. when she is laying down she will let the kittens jump on her and lay on her..In fact our one tom cat will snuggle up to her and they will sleep together. Now the St B on the other hand just terrorizes them...

    Seraphima, I'm sorry but I just had to laugh. this "puppy" is bigger than some of my week old calves... I'm sure my husband will get a kick out of me trying to throw her and lay on her to get her to settle down. But if it will work maybe I will give it a try Thanks

    I thought of doing what landlord said but I don't have anywhere that I could put them to "try" it out.. I think that if one of the older cats gets into it with her she may change her mind about the whole atack the kitty issue... But then again I don't need and can't afford a big vet bill cause the cat won...
     
  8. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Whenever he shows any interest in the cat, grab the scruff of his neck, shake it and say "NO!". Saw a trainer recommend this, and it worked for my dog, who wanted to "play" with my little sisters chicken.

    edit - forgot to mention this is only for pups, like up to a year old.
     
  9. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    I have no doubt what my two Akitas would do to my cats....KILL...
    so I never have them in the same place at the same time...cats are
    indoor cats, so have the run of the house whenever the dogs are
    outside, which is all day in nice weather, and sometimes it is only while
    I walk them. When the dogs are inside, the cats get to "live" in
    the bathroom, including overnight.
    As the dogs are 6-7 years old, I don't see them changing...and I am
    NOT the alpha dog, so...we all live together, but the cats and dogs
    live separately.
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Think you might need to consider getting a remote control shock collar. If the dog is already this big and not obedient it really needs something to get its attention. And you need to do some major obedience training or you won't be able to live with the animal.
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think that if a five month old Saint is picking up kittens and they are still alive, he is not interested in hurting them. I'd worry more about him stepping on the kittens.

    Does this dog know "leave it", or "down"?

    I know that a lot of people would recommend training this dog with a choke chain, but the bigger he gets, the less a choker will impress him. Ditto with a shock collar. Get one of the many clicker training books that are available. He can be trained very fast with this approach, and teach him "down". When the kittens are around, put him on a down (at this stage you will need to reward him every two to ten seconds for keeping the down- he's just a puppy). The kittens are either going to run away, or gradually approach him. If they approach him, they don't really have a problem with him. Some dogs like to pick things up in their mouths. You can teach him to pick up dog things and develop a retrieve.

    A friend of mine had a cat who would, of his own accord, lie in their collie's mouth. The collie would carry the cat around. They have their own logic.
     
  12. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I also tend to think that if this dog meant business the kittens would already be dead... but who wants to risk it?

    Alpha rolling a dog of this size is, in my opinion, dangerous. If she even has a hint of dominance in her you have challenged that and it is going to become a contest of wills which you MUST win. Never put yourself in a position of having to win when your competitor is armed and you aren't! The neck shake, throwing a pop can with pennies in it (noise distraction), Bellowing and stomping your feet (likewise), are safer and probably just as effective in letting the dog know kittens are off limits.

    But I agree with some of the other posters... some cat killers are just born that way. I have a friend with a shepherd which will attack and kill in seconds any cat he comes across. No rhyme, no reason, the dog goes into prey drive and that's it.

    T
     
  13. Soap

    Soap Well-Known Member

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    Y'know, I would pay good money to see you try this on the St. Bernard "puppy"
    in a couple of months. :haha:

    You don't need to physically dominate the puppy to be the "alpha dog". :no: Most puppies respond to a loud clap and a stern loud & low "no", then a "drop it".

    St. Bernards still have some "protective" instinct and she is probably trying to keep the kittens under control. Our neighbor has a retriever puppy that will "retrieve" the family cat each times it tries to go outside. In that case the cat is older and after it gets retrieved a couple of times in a row, the older cat swats the puppy on the nose and then is left alone. Little kittens don't train puppies too well, so it is up to tell the puppy..."No" "drop it".

    soap
     
  14. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    well, the stinking pup drug my 10 year old daughter about 20 feet across the yard last night in a bee line for one of the kittens and the other 2 kids went after her also. By the time (running mind you) I got there the pup had one of the kittens in her mouth and my youngest son (8) smacked her on the nose and yelled "NO" "Drop It" and the pup did but then grabbed it again. After I got there the Kitten was dead. I have tried to grab her or jerk her collar when she tries to go after them and she will stop but the 10 year old just couldn't control her... What doesn't make any sence is the pup listens to sit, lay down, speak, shake, and is starting to respond to the name that we call her.(we've only had her a week)..She is really quite good with the exception of the cats... If my one tom cat would come around for a couple of days I bet he would break her of this He can be a mean one.. We will keep trying all suggestions thanks for your input
     
  15. themckendry

    themckendry New Member

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    Hi Sheila. I've worked with dogs proffessionally so I hope I can help. First I suggest you get the book "Dog Talk" by John Ross and Barbra McKinney. They really Know alot and have a good method for leash breaking a dog so they don't pull. Don't worry it's not hard or cruel but since she out weighs your kids this is a grown-up's job. Once she is leash trained (shouldn't take too long) get a cotton 6 foot leash and put her collor through the hand loop,then back on her and clip the snap to your belt. This does 2 things; 1) Sets you up as Alpha as she has too take you're lead, 2) Now she can't be doing bad because you are always there to stop her. Next really work her on "DOWN". This should be easy. Since she's always right there you can practice. ex, doing dishes "DOWN", answer the phone "DOWN", starts to pull "DOWN" Every time she looks at a cat down her. She can't attack anything while she's lying down and attached to you. Do this for at least a week AFTER you think you can stop. Then you don't have to keep it clipped to you but still let her drag it and a long line when she's outside. !!!Keep her on a line ALWAYS until you've owned her a year AND she will drop like a rock at your command NO EXCUSES!!! I know she's a big dog and this seems like alot of work but she'll only grow bigger and you don't want a dog that size (or any size) who only listens when she feels like it. Alot of people will say it's too much work, but I think it's less work to do intense training and have a dog I can trust than worry about this for 12- 15 years.

    P.S. If she "knows" sit or down or drop-it but doesn't do it EVERY time without hesitation then all she "knows" is that she can do whatever she wants and will keep her happy home as long as she humors you every now and then!
    Not my dog! And soon not your's either. Best of luck!
     
  16. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the above post. It will drive you nuts, but it's sure effective. The guy who teaches obedience at our club took on a two year old doberman/shepherd/? mix who had been in a no-kill shelter since he had his eyes open, and although sweet, was WILD. The goal was to make this animal adoptable in 6 weeks. And that's how he did it. If the dog wasn't hooked to him or his wife, it was in a crate. This one wanted to attack other dogs. At the end of 6 weeks, he met the goal, living in the house without jumping on the counter or table, getting in the garbage, etc, and going on walks without challenging other dogs or lunging on the leash. Now that dog has a good home. If an obedience training group is nearby, recommend enrolling.
     
  17. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    We had to give the pup to a friend.. Pup attacked our 4 year old yellow lab. :eek: and it wasn't playing. Grabbed the lab by the top of the neck and shook her and left a tooth hole under her chin. Lab is fine (very tramatized). Wouldn't go around that pup for the rest of the day.. Anyway we thought we would give her another chance and she tried it 2 more times throughout the day. So I Can;t keep her... Sadie (Lab) is my dog and wouldn't trade her for anything. She is a very good watch dog and with DH going to be going out of town soon I'm not going to risk losing her to some stray pup ...
     
  18. torade

    torade Well-Known Member

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    I doubt you had a purebred St.B. Maybe a mix or a very badly bred one.
    Well bred pure St.Bs are very well known for not going after other animals. They are even protective of the other family pets/animals. They were bred by monks to protect themselfs, belongings and the small animals the monks owned. They make great farm dogs.
    jfyi
     
  19. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

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    When I married DH 8 years ago, I had NO IDEA that one could actually TRAIN dogs to behave. My entire life, dogs ruled me!

    The one thing that he's taught me is that CONSISTANCY IS CRUCIAL. I used to get too frustrated when the two Aussie pups (that came with the marriage :) ) would not listen to me but seemed to only listen to dh, he kept reminding me of the above. He also told me to be stern and the "boss".

    Eventually it worked. Of course they know Momma is the sweet one, but I still do not let up until they listen. We now have a 14 yr old Doberman (fostering her for now until she dies) that used to run after the kitties. Not any more. YOu CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

    Oh, another thing....DH taught me to growl at the dogs, and sometimes to bite their ears or snout. I know it sounds strange, and I used to laugh at it, but it works. And looking them in the eye too. YOU are THEIR alpha.

    I'm amazed at myself sometimes. I had to be trained as well!

    To me, just like kids........discipline is love!! :D