Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
(Should I have put this in the training forum? I thought it might be better here since I accidentally went into so much detail about other pets and stuff... sorry about all the cat stuff, but it is important because it explains my experience with pets, and my pets experience with other pets, and just what they're like in general)

So, a little bit of backstory. As a family, we got our first cat in 2007. His name was Hershey and he was amazing. Hershey was a rather small havana brown mix, almost entirely brown, fluffy, and lacked the angular havana brown face. He was 6 years old when we adopted him from the shelter, and he lived with us for another 6 years until we lost him to lung cancer. About 4 months before Hershey passed, we adopted another cat from the same shelter we had adopted Hershey, but for a quarter of the price.

In comes Shnuffy. The 10 dollar cat. When we adopted her, she was half shaven, underweight, and made strange "gurgling sounds" in her breathing. She still makes those sounds, no one knows why, but now we call them shnuffles. The shelter apparently received her as a 4 year old, nonspayed stray, but I'm pretty sure she had a family at some point. She's also small, like Hershey, and sort of has a short body.Also she's allergic to fleas, and when she gets fleas, she starts pulling her black and white fur off her flank in clumps. Turns out that's why they had to shave her. Personality wise, she's odd, but very affectionate and needy. Likes to chew on fingers and sleep under covers. She's also a bit of pig and has gotten a bit chubby, meows like a gecko and makes weird shnuffle sounds, but it's all sort of endearing. Her fur also grew back in nicely.

Okay... even more backtracking (sorry). Hershey and Shnuffy did not get along, but it wasn't too bad. They shared the house alright. Before we adopted Shnuffy, we had a dog. We adopted him from the same shelter as Hershey and Shnuffy, but he turned out to be awful. Hershey really liked him, so much that it scared the dog. Let's just call the dog Little F. We used to call him that endearingly, until he began to show his true colors. Little F was some sort of Silky Terrier mix, but was a bigger, somewhere from 20-25 pounds. After about the first week we had him he began to get hostile towards strangers, humans and other dogs. He ignored most other animals. It was awhile until he actually managed to bite a jogger. It was a bit scary that he actually knew where to go when he tried to attack someone; when he attacked men, he tried to go for the groin, when he attacked women, he went for the ankles, and when he charged other dogs, he went for the throat. I guess it was lucky that he only actually managed to bite that one jogging woman's leg. He was also especially aggressive towards children, since they were closer to his size and he thought he could take them. We couldn't bring him anywhere with us. The number of people he wasn't hostile to was growing smaller and smaller,even within our household, and it basically ended up just being my dad, Hershey, and myself. I suppose by then he decided that my little brother, and mom were beneath him in the "pack". Admittedly, we must not have been the best at training him, but it was difficult since he did not respond to treats or food. Eventually, we found a local dog behaviorist who would see him, and she said there wasn't really anything we could do, other than keep him in his own little pen, monitor him constantly, and take him out briefly on a leash to do his business. Training wouldn't do much, and it was either part of his breed, or his early upbringing or training that made him this way. Anyway, this wasn't something we could handle. We took him back to the shelter, and was informed that this was his third time being returned. So either he managed to get into the hands of a professional who could handle him, was put down, or was adopted by more uninformed families and maybe even got his wish, managed to maul a child and got put down. I don't know, and I don't really want to know.

Alright, later a couple days after Hershey passed, we adopted a kitten. (From the same shelter, again) I'll try to be brief, since of course, this is a forum about dogs, and I'll be getting to the dog soon... promise. She was the complete opposite of Hershey, and I guess that's part of the reason I picked her. She was the last of her siblings at the shelter, and was trying to bite and grab at everyone who passed her cage. The look in her little grey-blue eyes said that she was mostly doing this out of instinct and excitement,not fear or aggression. Anyway, we named her Arya (A Game of Thrones, anyone??) and brought her home. Shnuffy didn't like her very much, but Shnuffy doesn't like other animals in general. Besides, Arya wasn't exactly polite to her anyway, and would frequently attempt to play with her, much to Shnuffy's disgruntlement. Arya mellowed out quite a bit, though, and today she spends a lot of her time outdoors, but still comes in through my window, which I frequently leave cracked open for her and knows our house is her home.

Now to our current puppy. We adopted him this summer, not from the shelter we've adopted our cats from (we checked with them and they only had one dog-- a pitbull who they knew nothing about and was apparently afraid of men-- not a great sign), but we checked online and found that dog foster families were bringing their dogs to a Petsmart in our area for an adoption event. There we adopted Strider, the 6-month old parson russell terrier mix. He's been great, at first he was very nervous and shook, but now he's quite sweet and even cuddly. The only problems we have are that he doesn't like being alone, and he chases Arya. Shnuffy has already put him in his place, and seems to get some kind of rush by chasing him around, sitting on his toys, stealing his food, and just generally striking fear into his little puppy heart. However, Arya hasn't really done well in showing him she's his superior, and now he seems to see her as some kind of chew toy. When he sees her he tries to chase her and jump on her. He's started trying to paw at her, mimicking when she tries to bat at him because he seems to think it's how she plays. Of course this only furthers the miscommunication.

As for how we introduced the dog, we had part of the house baby gated off for awhile until the cats got more comfortable with him, and he established that they also live here. He also slept in his crate until he was properly house trained, but now he sleeps in my bed. Shnuffy also likes to sleep in my bed, but we've had little conflict with that since she's no longer scared of him. She even purposely clinks her claws on the wood flooring to intimidate him when she enters a room.

Any advice for how we could get Strider to show Arya more respect? Thank you anyone who has advice and actually took the time to read all this! It was longer than I thought it would be.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts