Playing too rough with the cats
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Thread: Playing too rough with the cats

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    Senior Member nikelodeon79's Avatar
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    Playing too rough with the cats

    I have a 12 week old puppy (Luna) that joined our family on January 31st. I also have two 1.5 year old cats (Ace & Bogey). Luna wants to play with the cats really bad, but she plays too rough. Ace will stand up to her occasionally, but Bogey generally just lies down and lets her bite him. She's been biting down on the backs of their necks and holding on. They don't seem overly bothered by it... they're certainly not happy, but she doesn't seem to be hurting them.

    How do I work on teaching her that they're not chew toys?

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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Playing too rough with the cats

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. If she gets too rough, I promise the cats will let her know (as long as the cat isn't declawed.). When I used to have my brother's dog, Fats, he used to take the cat's whole head in his mouth. The cat would just stand there. Seemed to kinda like it. Never did hurt them though.

    A funny story- When I went out of town, I had my then boyfriend/now husband, take care of them. He saw Fat's put the cat's head in his mouth, and about had a heart attack. He told me later that he was trying to decide whether he should tell me that the dog killed the cat or just tell me the cat ran off...He was so worried that he was left in charge and now one of my cats was dead. I guess I should have warned him, that they played like that, and the cat wouldn't be hurt.
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    Senior Member nikelodeon79's Avatar
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    Re: Playing too rough with the cats

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it too much. If she gets too rough, I promise the cats will let her know (as long as the cat isn't declawed.)
    That's the problem. *sigh* The cats are declawed. They do swat her with their paws, and sometimes she whimpers and backs off, but I'm sure it's not as efficient as it would be if they had claws.

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    Re: Playing too rough with the cats

    YOU MUST CONTROL THE DOG. The dog play can escalate into something very ugly, deadly to the cats and decidedly NOT play. Keep your dog on a leash with the cats around. When she starts too get to rough, REMOVE HER PHYSICALLY from the cats.

    Yes, you can allow the cats to control things as well they should, but this is a puppy and unless you teach him proper behavior with the cats NOW, it can easily end up with the cat or cats being hurt or killed. These cats CANNOT defend themselves. YOU MUST DO IT FOR THEM.

    Meanwhile, start this puppy in obedicence. This means classes so you can learn how to control and teach the dog how to behave. It also will help him learn self control. Don't say you "can't afford it" because what you REALLY can't afford are the vet bills if you dog hurts one of the cats.

    When your puppy will RELIABLY behave for you, even in the presence of the cats, you will still need to keep an eye on them when they are together. When the puppy gets too rough put him in a long lie down and stay.

    NEVER EVER allow the puppy (and later the dog) to be loose with the cats when you are not there to supervise. This means dog physically separated from the cats.. in a crate. This is a good rule whether or not the cats have claws.

    My dog is very very good with the cats but she is never allowed loose with them unsupervised. It is far too dangerous for the cats.

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    Senior Member nikelodeon79's Avatar
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    Re: Playing too rough with the cats

    Okay, good, that's what we've been doing (removing her physically from the cats). We follow her around, and take her away from them if she bites. If she is too rough we put her on a leash and keep her away altogether.

    We're already enrolled in puppy classes (starts next week) and she's crated when we're not there.

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    Re: Playing too rough with the cats

    Sounds like you are on the right track!

    You can also use diversion. Say her name and when she looks at you, give her a little bit of treat (I use 1/2 dime size bits of hot dog). Do this w/o the cats around until she looks at your reliably every time you say her name. Work for 5 mintues here and there thruout the day.

    Next, with your dog on leash, when she goes to pester a cat, say her name and when she looks at you (no matter how breifly), say "YES!" and immediately give her a treat.

    The object of this game is to get the dog to refocus whenever you want her to (re-orient to you), even if she is playing with the cats.

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    Senior Member nikelodeon79's Avatar
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    Re: Playing too rough with the cats

    Thank you for the tips!

    She very quickly picked up on the fact that looking at me when I say her name means she gets a treat. She actually will come to me when I say her name, now, and wait expectantly for her treat.

    But... it seems now that she is associating picking on the cat with getting a treat. She picks on the cat, and then comes expectantly to me for a treat. "Look, mom, I beat up that silly white thing again! Treat, please!"

    The name/treat thing has been invaluable, though, for getting her to stop doing naughty things (chewing on things she's not supposed to). I just say her name and she immediately stops and comes to me.

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    Re: Playing too rough with the cats

    If she bothers the cat and then runs over to you without a cue, don't reward it. Only reward the behavior you want. This is when the leash will help.

    Teach her to Lie Down. When she bothers the cat, tell her to lie down and when she does that (and is calm and does not bother the cat) reward her. Work on extending the time she lies down when asked to. This is the beginning of her 'stay' work.

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