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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I need some help here, my dog Lola a two year old Bullmastiff which I rescued a few months ago does not get along with woodland creatures, but which dog does? She's a big girl, and an absolute sweetheart, she never barks at me, never challenges, she eats healthy, I regularly excercise her but whenever she sees a squirrel, rabbit etc. she starts a barking frenzy, I try to tell her to leave it, however she just ignores me, I have to tug on her leash constantly to get her attention after snapping my fingers and saying, "Lola, leave it, lets go, bad." I don't know if I should say "bad dog" or not. Please help me....
 

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It's hard to snap them out of it when they are get into that mood.
When my husky sees a squirrel, he changes completely. He becomes very alert, so I stop
him before he starts. He then just walk pass it.
 

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Hello, I need some help here, my dog Lola a two year old Bullmastiff which I rescued a few months ago does not get along with woodland creatures, but which dog does? She's a big girl, and an absolute sweetheart, she never barks at me, never challenges, she eats healthy, I regularly excercise her but whenever she sees a squirrel, rabbit etc. she starts a barking frenzy, I try to tell her to leave it, however she just ignores me, I have to tug on her leash constantly to get her attention after snapping my fingers and saying, "Lola, leave it, lets go, bad." I don't know if I should say "bad dog" or not. Please help me....
First, use only one command at a time; you're just going to confuse her if you start throwing in different commands before she's responded to the first one. "Leave it" is the proper command when she's fixated on something - say it once, and don't repeat it. She heard you the first time - she's just more interested in the squirrel/bird/whatever than you. Each time you repeat it without response, the less meaningful it becomes.

It's going to be hard for something as big as a mastiff, but the usual way to train is to hold the leash steady with the same tension, and praising/rewarding each time the tension slacks a bit. It's easier to time with a clicker, but with a dog as powerful as yours, you probably want both hands on the leash. You want to use a short verbal marker (like "yes") that you can give the moment she slacks in the tention.

Don't use her name during a correction; you want her name to have only positive associations, so that she always responds. 'Bad dog' is ok, though I usually try to avoid reprimands; it's usually better to train a behavior that you want than it is to reprimand a behavior that you don't, though sometimes that can be unavoidable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alright...Thank you both for your input, I was wondering whether to use a clicker or not, most experts say it's a very successful item to use while training your dog. Not only do I want her to be able to ignore them, I would like to be able to introduce her to other animals as well. Such as a kitten or another dog. I don't think a kitten is such a good idea but I would like in the next year or so to open a dog rescue and I want to be able to have dogs associate with other dogs and animals.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you. I received a lot of useful information from that website, thank you all so much. Can anyone verify if it is alright to bring a kitten into my home along with Lola?
 

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Thank you. I received a lot of useful information from that website, thank you all so much. Can anyone verify if it is alright to bring a kitten into my home along with Lola?
if she doesn't like squirrels... then that's probably a big NO, unless you're ok with cleaning kitten blood off of your walls.
 

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I introduced my Akita, Keisha, to kittens and she was a killer of small animals if she could catch them. My son wanted a kitten and well you can't have just one. You must, however understand that the kitten's life is in your hands and you can't let a mistake occur.

It took several months, using muzzles, leashing, and constant controlled introduction. They got on fine, though there was different dynamics between each cat and the dogs. It took about 3 months.

It was a lot harder introducing my current dog, Rufus, Rottie/GSD, to the same two cats, and I don't think that Rufus is a Killer in the same way. He would be more likely squash them with his paw by mistake. I think kittens would be easier with a grown dog. The male cat has gotten in some good licks on Rufus and I was worried he would get Rufus mad.

I want to say that there are plenty of dogs that I would not think about doing it with. My intent was always that we would all live free in the same house and I would have to trust the dog at some point. I wouldn't want to live in the same house if I had to worry about my dog(s) killing my cat(s).

I of course no nothing about your dog just saying it might be possible

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you, I have had a lot of responses about the kitten and Lola and even on different websites, I will take into account all the information, one fact is certain though, if i am going to do it it needs to be a watched session, so there is no "kitten blood" on the wall. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was thinking this, i just need some info on it, like before BoxMeIn gave me a useful website, I can't find anymore on it and one's that i do find don't have the right information, I would like to get her to behave with squirrels without her prey drive kicking in overdrive, where she almost pulls me over. So far, I have learned that a Clicker and Treats work best, show her she's rewarded for paying attention to me. With the kitten, I want to be able to introduce her slowly and hold the kitten to show Lola that the kitten is part of the pack. Any more useful info?
 

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I think you should get her to behave around squirrels before getting a kitten.
This bears repeating.

Any time you get a new dog it can take SEVERAL months ,if not more, just to get an idea of any behavioural issues that the dog may have. You already have a prey drive issue. Deal with that first, and that in itself may take months and that is IF you CAN get a handle on it. So, my advice to you would be not to even contemplate bringing a small animal of any kind into the house for a good, long time.

As for useful information...look up the "Look at That" game, it's in Leslie McDevitt's book/dvd "Control Unleashed". It's helped me a lot with Cracker's prey drive.

Please take this advice seriously. "Kitty blood on the wall" is only funny when it's not real...and the kitten you bring in will be real.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you Cracker I most certainly will take this advice seriously, I used the term "Kitten Blood" because the previous response had that in it. Thank you
 

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I have introduced cats and dogs many times. Before doing so you MUST have your dog under 100% complete control no matter what. You can NEVER leave the dog and cat/kitten together unsupervised. EVER.

I do not know how old your son is, but if he is too young to follow this rule, then leave the kitten out of the picture.

With 5 cats in my house, it is incumbent on me to keep those cats safe. Atka is good, but she is trained. Your dog is good but he is untrained. Since he can almost pull you over around squirrels, please, for the sake of the kitten and your son, leave the kitten out of the picture UNTIL you can control the dog.

This means control all the time.. and 100% of the time. It means your dog will recall, leave it, and go lie down on a mat no matter what is going on around him.. even if 100 squirrels run through the house (or 100 kittens/cats).
 
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