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We adopted a puppy (lab-shepherd mix) as a 3 1/2 month old (now 6 mo) and have been struggling with how to train him not to chase our two cats. Our dog trainer maintains that we should make sure that he doesn't fixate on them and that we should correct him when he does, which we have done. We doesn't pay too much attention to them now, but occasionally wants to play with one of them. He wants to play with one more than the other (the one that hasn't stood up to him much). I was hoping that the cats would help "train" him by letting him know when he crosses the line and one of them has and he doesn't mess with him much. We have thought that a vibrating e-collar might be effective and quicker than verbally correcting.

Any thoughts on how to train this guy so we can have a peaceful menagerie? Thanks!
 

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Keep him on a leash so he can't practise the unwanted behaviour. When he's not fixating on them, reward him. Eventually he will realise that trying to chase the cats doesn't pay off, but not focusing on them does, because he gets a really nice treat.
 

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We have luckily had no real issues with introducing the cat to the new puppy - but largely because she has no problems smacking him down if he annoys her!

That said, we have found some things to be helpful...

- Try to make sure that they are together when the puppy is calm. If you know that he is really energetic and hyped-up, actively calm him down, even crate if necessary, until he is calmer. You should be teaching that cats = calm time. Do NOT remove the cats, focus on keeping him calmer around them.
- Give lots of praise for when they are together nicely - to the cats as well!!
- Discourage ANY chasing games in the house. No chasing balls, rolling toys, etc. Focus on tug games, finding games, training games, etc. You can still play chasing games outside, but you want to teach that chasing and running in the house is not acceptable.
- Discourage any other fixation or chasing of animals outside the house (except other dogs in the park). This means corrections if he starts to perk up and move toward birds, squirrels...any smaller animals.
- When you are playing in the house, try to play away from the cats. When you are near the cats, its time for pets, grooming, and relaxing. Again, you are trying to teach that people = playtime, cats = calm time

Good luck!
 

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Teach your pup the "leave it" cue and redirect him to something else when he's going after the cat. This is what I've done with Molly and it's worked well. The cats will tolerate her to a point so I watch their interactions very closely & tell her to "leave it" when she's getting close to going too far & I redirect her to a nearby toy. It's gotten to the point that all I have to say is "leave it" and she'll look for a re-direct toy herself, which was pretty awesome the first time it happened.
 

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I found with Miggy, in just three days, teaching him "leave it" in conjunction with his crate taught him not to chase the cat. Whenever he started fixating on her, which of course she'd fixate on him and they'd have a pretty epic stare-down before Miggy would just charge at her. She stood up for herself a few times, but usually just ran in another room which would then be a game of chase to Miggy. So if he didn't leave her alone when I said, "leave it", I would wait until he charged at her and would snatch him up and put him in a time-out. He learned quickly when he does something bad he gets a time-out. Took three days, but it's been about a month since he's even thought twice about chasing her. He's getting pretty fluent w/ "leave it" in regards to stray cats too.

That method worked just as well tweaking his housebreaking skills too.

I've used the leashing method too. It's easier to have better control of the situation.
 
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