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Discussion Starter #1
So after much thought and discussion we've decided that we cannot keep our dear Brody. It absolutely breaks my heart to even write this, but our work with the cats is making absolutely no progress - in fact it's only making me realize how much this is not going to work out.

I went from hoping this excitement with the cats was just excitement, but over the last 4 days it's become clear Brody is aggressive towards cats and seems to have a very high prey drive in general. He's started to fixate and even growl at birds and squirrels outside. He tried to jump on my dining room table when I was cleaning the rat cage. He fixates on the rats more and more despite all our work with him.

Then yesterday we again worked on bringing the cat out in a carrier with Brody muzzled and leashed for precaution and he flat out tried to eat the carrier and all. I want to keep investing in the training, but with this much aggression towards the cats I think he would be best suited for a home without small animals.

I have never even thought it would be possible for me to re-home a dog...never in my wildest dreams, but it's very clear that Brody will not be able to coexist with the cats (who have been locked in their room [most of the time] for the last 3 weeks). I am truly heartbroken, but I wanted to let you all know. The more work and training we do with him the more we fall in love and if it doesn't work out it will only be harder for us and him to say goodbye.

Despite my good friends at the humane society, I cannot fathom the idea of taking him back there. We are going to post on petfinder and I will put a flier up at the vet clinic I work at. If we cannot keep him he will definitely be going to a good home!

I am truly devastated by this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Have you consulted a behaviorist about the problem?
Yeah. I've talked to a behaviorist -that I work with at my job (a fellow technician) and he gave us great pointers on introducing the animals.

We also had an awesome trainer come to our home (for a consultation) to work on this issue and some things we want to work on with Bridgette (for her CGC). He was very good with the dogs and told us that he could be stopped from chasing cats, but if he showed aggression towards we may not be able to curb it. He said that judging by the way he acted towards the rats (in their cages) he may not be suitable for a life with prey animals.

Regrettably, the behaviorist who came to our home is just out of the question (money wise) at the moment - which is upsetting in itself.

I want to give him the chance he deserves with us, but seeing him with a muzzle on (after ALL the work I've already put in!) want to kill my cat just breaks my heart. I've been taking 1-2 hours (sometimes more) a day to work with him and I've taken countless advice from these two trainers and online help...I'm at a loss.
 

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I'm so sorry this has to happen, I can feel the sadness through your post. Sometimes, we have to do what is best for everyone: humans, dogs and in this case, the cats.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm so sorry this has to happen, I can feel the sadness through your post. Sometimes, we have to do what is best for everyone: humans, dogs and in this case, the cats.
Thank you! I can't begin to tell you how absolutely terrible a pet parent I feel right now! My SO and I even discussed living apart (one (me) with the dogs and one with the cats) but that would be even harder for all of us than any other alternative!
 

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I'm sorry this is happening to you. I'm preparing to adopt a new dog and the number one thing I worry about is the dog potentially hurting my cats. I'm going to cat-test the dog before I adopt, but still... sometimes it's hard to tell.
I wanted to post to tell you that I think it's a difficult but ultimately very admirable decision you're making. I've seen so many people choose instead to go deeply into denial and even do things like blame the cats and refuse to properly ensure the cats' (and other animals') safety. I even read a thread by one person on here whose dog killed one of her cats and she still kept him and her other cats together without separating or re-homing.
Down the road, even if you were able to train this dog not to attack the other animals in your presence (a difficult enough task), you would never be able to trust him with them alone. So I think you're making a difficult but responsible choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm sorry this is happening to you. I'm preparing to adopt a new dog and the number one thing I worry about is the dog potentially hurting my cats. I'm going to cat-test the dog before I adopt, but still... sometimes it's hard to tell.
I wanted to post to tell you that I think it's a difficult but ultimately very admirable decision you're making. I've seen so many people choose instead to go deeply into denial and even do things like blame the cats and refuse to properly ensure the cats' (and other animals') safety. I even read a thread by one person on here whose dog killed one of her cats and she still kept him and her other cats together without separating or re-homing.
Down the road, even if you were able to train this dog not to attack the other animals in your presence (a difficult enough task), you would never be able to trust him with them alone. So I think you're making a difficult but responsible choice.
Thanks! It's not a decision I wanted to have to make.

We actually adopted him under the impression that he was good with cats. This only adds to the frustration. It's true you can never be sure, but it was my friend at the humane society who tried to ensure me that he had gotten on well with cats at the humane society. It turns out he had walked past some of them in carriers at petsmart without problems (when surrounded by people, dogs and other such distractions).

If we ever decided to adopt another dog (which will clearly be a long time from now) I will not be looking at any dogs that have not either lived with cats or a puppy young enough to be 100 percent socialized to the cats.

As it is Bridgette is great with the kitties, but I'd still never leave her or any dog alone with them.
 

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I am so sorry, I empathize with what you are going through. It sounds like you've given it a lot of work already. I know how hard it is to make this decision. It sounds like you've made the right one if you want the small animals to be safe in the household.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay so some good news! I hope. I went over the prices of the training packages with this new trainer/behaviorist that we loved so much. I cannot afford a training package, but that's all I looked at! He also does private sessions that are pay per session. In the long run it would be more expensive, but I can afford to do session by session for now (I am in the process of paying for my school semester at the moment! Eww!)\

So anyway I have contacted the trainer to see if we can work something out that will give us another shot at working with the cats. In extreme aggression cases he also works with remote collars which I am not a big fan of, but honestly if it will allow us to keep Brody I am pretty much willing to try anything. We'll see though because that is one of his methods, but a last resort. If I can get help through his clicker training program I will be more than thrilled!!
 

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Just remember once you give your dog up it is out of your control, it could be a happy life for your dog or a horrible one. I made that mistake once never again!
 

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Just remember once you give your dog up it is out of your control, it could be a happy life for your dog or a horrible one. I made that mistake once never again!
That's probably my biggest fear. My two friends at the humane society assured me he'd find a "good" home if I brought him back...but that could mean anything. My idea of a "good home" for a dog is a lot better than some peoples! I'd much rather attempt to find responsible pet parents myself.

We're definitely going to try some private sessions with this trainer first. I just feel like giving him the best chance to succeed is the best option. I just feel like I am giving up on him if I don't try everything.

I think I need to try and stay positive. The worst thought is that I am putting a lot of time and effort into his training - if it doesn't work out after all the time spent, it's going to be harder for me to say goodbye (and for him to adjust to a new place). It feels like a no win situation sometimes, but he is worth working at it!
 

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Good luck with the training. If it doesn't work out at least you will know you tried everything. Your cats deserve to have a safe home just as much as the dogs do. Both my dogs took awhile to get them to stop going after the cats, but they weren't as bad as it sounds like Brody is. They would mostly only chase them if they ran. Good luck!
 

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I would be interested to know how the E Collar works out for you in this case. Sometimes they can do the opposite and INCREASE the aggression.

Quite honestly, if the aggreession cannot be stopped, you might want to re think the rehoming. If it were me I would be concerned for other prey animals. Even if you did adopt him out to a home with no small animals, what if a cat came thru his yard?

I am not trying to make this more difficult for you. I am just adding that in there.

Quite honestly, while not a fan of E Collars I can say this might be one of those Life And Death things. If the dog cannot be trained, it may be his end. If the E Collar prevents that, then it would seem to me the better choice.

No one need agree. Just another slant on the issue.
 

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I know with my dog it used to be any time he would see a cat he would try to run after it, on the leash and flip himself backwards. We don't have cats at home but there are several that live outside accross the street and now when he sees them moving he'll just stop and watch, no pulling on the leash or anything. i did some clicker training with him outside to try to get him to not go after the moving cats and I guess it's worked some. We don't get too close though because I don't want the kitties to end up being lunch. :eek: If they're not moving, be it laying down or just standing there, he doesn't even glance over at them anymore.

I wonder if darkmoon would have any pointers for you. I know she had worked with nubs for several months to tolerate the ferrets. she put up a picture thread about it. I had asked her what she thought nubs would do if she never did training with him and she said he would have most likely snapped at them and killed them. The thread is titled Nubs and Mickey and it's in the picture forum (I'm not sure how to link it). Anyways, maybe she would have some pointers.
 

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I would be interested to know how the E Collar works out for you in this case. Sometimes they can do the opposite and INCREASE the aggression.

Quite honestly, if the aggreession cannot be stopped, you might want to re think the rehoming. If it were me I would be concerned for other prey animals. Even if you did adopt him out to a home with no small animals, what if a cat came thru his yard?

I am not trying to make this more difficult for you. I am just adding that in there.

Quite honestly, while not a fan of E Collars I can say this might be one of those Life And Death things. If the dog cannot be trained, it may be his end. If the E Collar prevents that, then it would seem to me the better choice.

No one need agree. Just another slant on the issue.
An e-collar used improperly on a bird dog will actually cause the dog to blink the birds.(not what you want on a bird dog) What this means is you would plant a bird turn dog loose and walk him into the bird area, the dog smells the bird and instead of pointing bird he immediately leaves the area.

The same could be done with cats, with some dogs(not all)just as there were dogs so tough that you could have fried them for an hour and they would still root a bird out. I'm sure there are dogs with cats, jumping up on tables, chewing slippers etc etc etc that a collar would not phase.

All that being said if it was a life or death program it could be worth trying. It's not for the faint of heart though. I'm not advising anybody to do it. Were he my dog I would not have a problem if it was dog's last option.
 

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I feel everything happens for a reason. There is a reason why this dog came home with you originally. Maybe it was just to get him out of the pound and into the hands of finding him the right home. Just a "foster" so to say.

Don't be too hard on yourself. You gave him the best life he's had so far. If a behaviorist is not affordable at this time, don't hesitate to find him a new home. IOW, don't spend your money on a behaviorist. Food and shelter come first.
 

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Hello,

I'm going to give you my advice, which is probably (as usual) not going to be popular on this forum.

From what you've said, I think that you're a fairly dog saavy person. I know you love this dog. I saw how excited you were to bring him home. I have no doubt that if there was a way to keep him, that you will make a way.

HOwever, please don't let people guilt you into making a bad decision for both yourself, your home, and the dog.

If you know in your heart of hearts that this is not going to work out, do your best to rehome the dog.

If you're worried about a good home for him, just act as a foster home until he finds his true home.

Sometimes things just don't work out. If you have the money to afford a behaviorist/trainer and it's not going to cause you and your own family to go hungry, then by all means go for it.

But, if you are going to end up missing meals or bills to hire this expensive trainer, then I'd rehome the dog in a heart beat. People must come before dogs as cold as that may sound.

I guess I just want you to do what is best for you. Whatever that is. Ultimately, whatever is best for you is also best for the dog as well.
 

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I don't believe in trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Some dogs just aren't a good fit for some homes. Nothing personal against you, the dog or your home but sometimes that's just the way it is.

I've seen people jump through hoops to keep a dog that was clearly not a good match and I never understood it. Especially when it puts the life of another pet in danger. So...don't feel bad. You tried and now you are doing the right and resonsible thing.

There's a home out there for Brody.
 
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