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Discussion Starter #1
I have two cats, and one toy dog. I recently got a Rottie who I was told by his last owners that he was okay with small animals, but easily corrected. He constantly chases after my cats, barks, and whines at them, and then constantly barks at my roommate's daughter's toy dog.
He's a sweet dog, but I don't want to risk him accidentally hurting my cats or the small dog.
Is there any suggestions to cure his obsession?
I've been teaching him, "Watch Me" "Sit" "Come" "Lie Down" and "Wait" and he listens, but no matter how many times I correct him (it's been about a month since we got him) he keeps doing it. My mom and her boyfriend our getting frustrated with having my cats in their room constantly, so I want to try to and get the cats to be okay with him, and him be gentle with the cats and dog. I think he just wants to play, I just don't know how to get him to tone down so that my cats don't end up never coming out ever again.
 

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The reason he keeps doing it is because he's allowed to, and because doing it is self-rewarding. Every time he does it, he feels good. The only way to stop him doing it, is to prevent him from doing it by keeping him separated when you can't supervise and on leash when you're around. Prevent him from being bad around them, and reward them any time he's good (lying or sitting quietly, ignoring them, looking at you, etc). Over time you will break the habit and he will stop doing it. Very important that he never gets to practise the unwanted behaviour though.
 

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I have Rottweilers, cats and small(er) dogs that all live harmoniously together; Clyde was raised around the cats, but Kaia & my foster, Gunnar, were adults when we brought them home.

I'd say that you need to have your boy leashed to you AT.ALL.TIME if he's bothering with the cats. I'd use incredibly high value treats (liver, hotdogs, string cheese pieces, etc) to distract him when he's focused on the cats in order to break his focus and reward the heck out of him. I think you're on the right track working on "watch me", but I do think that you could be setting him up to fail if you're trying to teach that around what you know to be a huge distraction.

I fostered a GSD last summer that actively wanted to kill my cats when he first got to us. By the end of his stay here (8-10 weeks), he was snoozing on the floor with the cats and getting his a** kicked by them as well. It took a lot of patience and a lot of food, but it was doable.

Best of luck.
 

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I would highly recommend using kikopup's "Solving Counter Surfing" and perhaps the "Leave It" video. I used these kinds of methods with two of our dogs (the third hasn't been allowed near the cats much) and the two are doing fantastic, and are often caught snuggling with one of the cats, and leave the other cat alone.
Don't forget the cats too! If you have a nervous one, or one that spazzes too much near the dogs, treat the cat for being calm as well! They can be trained, and if you incorporate working on how the cats are doing as well a the dog things can go even better and faster.

Oh, and I have a feeling that your Rottie likes small animals plenty....but not appropriately lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Today I used a method a coworker of my mom's used for her dog. I got Gonzo into his "No Pull" harness (which works brilliantly!) and put him on the leash. I took him into a room where the cats Ducki and Max were perched on a dresser. Gonzo was excited at first, but I had control over him, and remained as calm as possible, but firm.
Every time he barked at the cats I would tap his muzzle sternly and say "No". Gradually he began to quiet down and get distracted. Whenever he dismissed the cats and began to focus on something else, I would give him one of his favorite treats (which are actually his vitamins. Odd dog. Considering he won't accept hot dogs, liver, or normal treats). In just about 2-3 minutes, he began to do this more frequently and started focusing on me or something else more often.
I feel like this method is working, and that I should do 2-5 minute sessions each day for him and the cats. Would this be okay? Or would I be only feeding his behavior?
 

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1. Many vitamins can be dangerous in amounts over the recommended amount, so I wouldn't use vitamins as treats.

2. By tapping his muzzle and saying "No", you are potentially teaching the dog that the presence of cats predicts you doing mean things to him. That could make him a lot worse around the cats, though maybe only when you aren't around to save the cats.

Work on "leave it" when the cats are not around. Get it perfect, 100%, with no cats. Then add in the cats and work on it more. The likely reason he won't accept hot dogs, etc., is that they aren't high value enough when cats are around. With no cats around, they may work just fine.
 
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