Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BentlyBC, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. BentlyBC Member

    Bently is a great dog. he has all the border collie traits the speed the need too herd all that. but i have one problem with him he will not leave my grams cat alone. when he sees the cat he freezes up and seems like he goes into his own little world and the look on his face says "cat! i must chase the cat! i have too get the cat!". when he gets like that i try to redirect him but he doesnt listen. and it is nearly impossible to get him away from the cat. ive gotten him to the point where he just stands there and stares at the cat. he wont go after him if me or my gram is there watching him but if he is left alone for a second he goes after the cat and i hate shutting him in the living room with me but thats the only thing i can do. i dont know what else to do. he gets along great with my grams dog and her friends dog. and he loves going to the pond and being let loose and running around with them. hes not big on water if its too deep. but he is a great dog hes a huge lovebug he loves giving hugs and he wont lick your face hell just put his face next to yours and "hug" you. and hell be two in october so i hope its not too late to train him to leave the cat alone. if any of you can help me im open to suggestions.

  2. running_dog Honored Member

    Welcome to DTA! You'll get lots of ideas and advice on here! :)

    As for cooling Bently's cat stare... cats are a really high level distraction/temptation so well done for getting him to just stand and stare while you are there. I don't know how you train but I found my control of my dog around prey animals has improved tremendously once I stopped all corrections, I don't even SAY "no" quietly. I keep him leashed and do other things with really high value rewards. I do "watch", "heel", "sit" and "down" while my dog is high. Sometimes I step between him and what he's looking at but normally I try to get even a very slight glance of his own accord. If he won't take a treat that's fine I tell him "good dog" and give him another command, eventually he's like, "I earned that treat, I'll eat it if it chokes me". Ideally this is something to work on while the cat is just outside the stare radius, and then try it a bit closer.

    Another possibility is to try to make him bored of the cat? Put him on a lead, let him go into cat-stare mode, sit down with some really great treats or toys beside you and read a book until he gets bored, and looks at you or wavers, or comes to you, then you can throw a party. Reward every time he so much as glances away from the cat.

    I do think you should be able to get Bently to accept the cat (though it might only be this cat). As a rule I can't leave my dog alone with small animals but he was 100% desensitised to all my small caged pets and never tried to get them even when left alone with them. I'm sure there will be lots of other people come along to give you loads more stare-cooling ideas :D.
  3. Anneke Honored Member

    Welcome to DTA!

    I have been thinking about this... Wondering how we got our dogs to accept our cat. Cat was already here when the dogs came along. Both of the dogs chased the cat around, Cooper hardly does it anymore, but my youngest still does.
    Now I have a cat who speaks dog. Yes I do. Balou did the nosebite to Cooper several times and that is why Cooper doesn't chase him anymore. With Jinx that doesn't work. But she is just playfull and bully-ish. She is not agressive towards the cat.
    I guess I let them figure out the relationship themselves. Most of the time they will actually play. And I make sure, the cat can get to a high place, unreachable for the dog. I never really gave it a thought, because we have always had cats and dogs.
    I don't know if your dog is going to hurt the cat, if you let him just do his chasing the cat thing? I couldn't quite make it up from your post, if he is cat agressive or just chasing the cat.
    Over here, both my dogs have taken a beating from the cat. I even had to remove a nail from Cooper's nose, once. That made the cat less attractive:D But I would not recommend letting your dog chase after the cat, if he is going to hurt the cat.
    In that case I would do, what running_dog says. Put the dog on leash and as soon as he goes into his catstare, distract him, by doing tricks or obedience exercises. And rewarding looking at you heavily. A firm no, when he looks at the cat.

    I remember my mom throwing her shoe at one of our past dogs, if he went into his grab the cat mode:D Not to hit him with the shoe, but to snap him out of it. A "friendlier" version of that, would be to have a tin can with a lid, filled with some pebbles or marbles. That will make a loud sound if you shake it. As soon as the dog looks at you, after you made the sound, reward him with high value treats. BUT don't use that, if your dog is afraid of loud noises!!!
    Squirting water at him could work.
    I'm just writing down everything that pops into my head...
    If your dog is very responsive to playing with a ball, you could try to distract him by throwing the ball into the opposit direction.
    Well that's everything I can come up with. Hope you can this under control!
  4. BentlyBC Member

    he has tried to grab the cat before and thats why i wont let him chase him. i do leash him at night when the cat is inside and its dinner time. ill keep the loud noises in mind never tried that yet but ill keep it in mind. thanks for the advice guys. its funny because the cat has beat him up but it hasnt gotten to the stage where the dog runs away crying. the cat was here before the dog. what im afriad of is him jumping on the cat or biting him. if thats happens i have to get rid of bently and i dont want that too happen.
  5. BentlyBC Member

    i got him to just stand or sit and stare by leashing him the first couple days i had him ive had him for about a week now and it took me two days to get him to do the stand stare or sit stare as of last night he just lays there and stares but tries to sneak closer lol. i kept telling him no or averting his gaze by making him look at me. i also would have my gram hold him while i held the cat in my lap and petted the cat on the couch which helped with the stand stare sit stare idea. i want too at least get him too the point where he doesnt stare so intently at the cat. an occasional glance would be fine. hes a smart dog so im hoping it doesnt take long to get him out of this phase. i also dont want him constantly leashed because i feel bad about that.
  6. running_dog Honored Member

    You've only had him a week!?! Then you are doing very well! Be patient, keep working with the leash, it is very early days, try to distract him - don't say "no" give him another job to do instead - even if it is only lying down on his bed at the other side of the room. I wouldn't pet the cat too much because it could make Bently jealous.

    I'd keep Cat V Bently sessions short too. Have you tried rewarding every movement AWAY from the cat? Try to catch him being good. Trick training while the cat is around is a good idea - it means your dog starts to concentrate on you not the cat, it gives him something else to think about and he gets huge rewards for it - rewards like hotdog sausages! He might enjoy you playing with him with a soccer ball, maybe you can even teach him to herd that instead. Really the only way I can recommend is to train and train and train other quite different things while the cat is around and never let the stare thing happen. If you can't train then the dog and cat shouldn't be in sight of each other. I know it is quite a tall order in everyday home life but if you try it you might see quite a rapid improvement. Over time, seeing the cat should trigger Bently to think that he should come to you because you are going to give him a great reward.

    In the meantime I think you are right not to underestimate the damage a dog and cat can do to each other. I haven't had a dog and cat at the same time but I do have a dog bred to kill small animals and cats are especially tempting.
  7. BentlyBC Member

    well i tried the tin can thing except i put some elbow macaroni in it and it has made drastic improvements. every time he stares at the cat i shake it he stops and either looks at me and i give him a treat or he comes to me and sits next to or in front of me i give him a treat. i think i underestimated how much of a fast learner he is. eitherthat or i talk to him and he sits right next to me watches the cat for a bit then looks at me and wags his tail thats when i say good boy ben good boy! my gram is working with him also which is helping.

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