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I couldn't decide if this should be in the behavior section, or training section, so I decided since it's training we need to do, I'd post here... so here it goes.

We adopted our dog Rocky (pointer mix) from the pound about two months ago. I have no idea who (in their right mind) would give up a dog like this -- he's super sweet, great with our kids, great with other dogs and super friendly towards strangers. Anyway, right from the start he knew some of his basic commands, sit, down, fetch, drop, etc. However, as the days have progressed he's become obsessed with chasing our three cats. We tried to socialize them early, and he greeted each one seperately, but his reaction to them has gotten worse instead of better. We've tried treats (getting him to look at us and the treat instead of the cats as they squeak by), etc. but he won't quit chasing them. So my first question is: how are we supposed to get him to ignore the cats? Second question: we can't get him to stay, and I have no idea how to do this properly appearantly or I wouldn't have to ask that question :p When someone comes over he bolts out the door and runs pell-mell throughout the neighborhood, and I'm afraid he'll either get hit by a car, or someone will take him because he is so friendly. Third question: He's destroyed his second bed already in his kennel when we put him in there, how do we get him to stop? Fourth question: he's constantly after the kids' toys, and has ruined several, is there a way to teach him what is off limits? He's just over a year, so I know he's still in the puppy phase and needs to chew. We've provided all sorts of tantalizing dog-toys and treats, but he still goes for the kids' stuff.

I feel so DUMB with this dog. I grew up around dogs all my life, but this is the first dog I've drawn a blank on. Not to mention, it's my first time with positive training, so I'm a little lost.
 

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QUOTE=maloreej222;519405]first question is: how are we supposed to get him to ignore the cats?
The cats belong to you and are not his toys. He doesn't get to chase them (unless they tease/taunt him...which cats will do). You stop the chase by stepping between the dog and the cat. Make the dog take a small step backward....he got the message. [/quote]
Second question: we can't get him to stay, and I have no idea how to do this
You teach him to go to a rug or mat whenever the door is about to be opened. You teach the stay (I recommend a down stay) by standing toe-to-toe. You work on time first....10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, etc. berfore you work on distance. Same tactic...3', 5', 8' but, you decrease the time when you start working on distance. The alternative is to keep a leash by the door and clip it on before the door opens.
Third question: He's destroyed his second bed already in his kennel when we put him in there, how do we get him to stop?
He really doesn't need a bed and some dogs will even destroy the 'indestrucible' ones. You can certainly try a bed later when he gets older.
Fourth question: he's constantly after the kids' toys, and has ruined several, is there a way to teach him what is off limits?
This is really a management issue instead of a training issue. Not allowing access to the kids toys is the simple solution. Closing the door to the kids room and/or putting the toys up is easier than the training.
 

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Thanks for the reply posting, and I'm glad you brought up some of the points you did -- I should have clarified more of our situation.

The cats do tease the dog, which is why I asked how to train him to just ignore them. As far as stepping in between, he just mows you down if you're in the way, and all the stop commands in the world don't apply when he sees the cats. Making him step backward is interesting, I'll keep trying it out to see if it gets the message through to him. He isn't a stupid dog (I'm just a dumb owner :p ). Seriously though, I've tried all sorts of tactics, which many may find funny (like allowing both the cats and dog to sniff one anothers' back end) -- we've tried managing him with the leash on and off, by allowing them to smell each other, by offering treats when both parties lay down next to each other, etc. But as soon as the cats run, his instincts set in and he's at a dead run after them, whining all the way. He also drools when he sees them:rolleyes:

Anyway, the other answers to my questions were good. I really like the mat idea. And the leash -- he's always on one when he goes outside for the very reason that he takes off after whatever looks interesting -- people, squirrels, other dogs, other cats, etc. The times he's gotten away without one on were unexpected family guests who didn't knock...

The bedding, yeah, here's me humanizing our dog (probably my biggest problem). I thought we'd get in trouble for not having him on a bed since someone else might think it was cruel, and I felt bad for him too. Since he was a shelter dog, my natural feelings were to spoil him with a cushy bed. Since I know it isn't cruel now, I may pull out the shredded bed and toss it until we can train him to be comfortable in his kennel in any situation.

The toy question I'm still wondering about. My kids are small (my oldest just turned five, I have a two year old, and my youngest is 8 months), and picking up is fine, for about five minutes until everything gets drug out again. As for shutting a door, I use a baby gate, which works great for the time being, but the dog still manages to get ahold of things. Rocky has also figured out how to pull the lid off the stuffed toy chest and help himself. Are you sure there isn't a technique I could use to train him to stay out of their space and away from their toys all together?
 

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What are some ways you socialize your dog(s)?

I'm thinking about doggy daycare one day a week, maybe two. We also have a dog park nearby. And I'll sign us up for obedience classes every saturday.

Has anyone ever tried doggy daycare? Was it worth the money? Jager's vet offers one for 13 dollars a day with a morning and afternoon outing--I hope its a walk or some playtime and not just a potty break--I'll have to call and ask, and I can pay an extra 11 dollars for 15 minutes of playtime or prepay 85.00 for 10 playtime sessions. Doggy daycare isn't cheap, but it would clear my conscience some if it was good for him. I feel guilty for being gone most of the day, I'd only be able to see him for about 30-45 minutes during lunch.
 

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The kids toys are a real saftey issue....they're not made for dogs and they can be ingested causing blockage which usually means surgery...big expense. The training is not quick or foolproof even with extensive work. I use magnetic locks on the kitchen sink/household items and garbage.
The dog/cat situation isn't easy. I had to chase them around for a month letting the dogs know the cat is off limits. They get along great now. I haven't tried to stop the cat from ambushing/taunting the dogs as they all seem to enjoy that little game.
 

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What are some ways you socialize your dog(s)?

I'm thinking about doggy daycare one day a week, maybe two. We also have a dog park nearby. And I'll sign us up for obedience classes every saturday.

Has anyone ever tried doggy daycare? Was it worth the money? Jager's vet offers one for 13 dollars a day with a morning and afternoon outing--I hope its a walk or some playtime and not just a potty break--I'll have to call and ask, and I can pay an extra 11 dollars for 15 minutes of playtime or prepay 85.00 for 10 playtime sessions. Doggy daycare isn't cheap, but it would clear my conscience some if it was good for him. I feel guilty for being gone most of the day, I'd only be able to see him for about 30-45 minutes during lunch.
I had my girls in doggy day care for 4 days a week for 3 months when I was working an insane amount of hours and my hubby was in a different state. It was awesome, they played with other dogs or fetch with one of the workers all day long. The way that most doggy daycares have outing times, that was how they had nap time in the kennels. I think it was $30 a day for my two dogs (15 bucks per dog). Honestly though, I probably wouldn't have payed it if the daycare was just going to let them out twice a day. . .well I guess I would have had to . . .but I wouldn't have liked it!:D

I would shop around and see if you can't find something more like a camp bow wow (I've heard good things, but never been myself) where the playtime to kennel time ratio is skewed in the other direction. I lived in Baton Rouge, LA when I was doing doggy day care and I know here in Lincoln, NE there is a camp bow wow that I think is similiar from what I've heard.
 
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