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So me and my wife went into the VET 4 days ago asking if he knew of anyone in the area that sold Mastiff's at a decent price (we are missionaries in Guatemala by the way). He proceeded to tell us yes but he has had a retriever in his possession for a few days that a client of his brought in, the client found this beautiful retriever living on the street. By it's filth he figured a couple months.

The retriever was very nice, about a year to a year and a half old. We check him out, the Vet said no medical conditions but he had a small infection in his left eye that would go away after giving him some cream 3 times a day there.

So great, we asked temperament and the Doc said good but he has been on the street for a while and he has been in his cage for awhile also, so it would take time to settle down.

So we took him home. He is a lovely dog, great with other's and is very obedient once he learned.

It took me about 2 or 3 days of training to get him to obey and respond and KNOW that the house is mine and I rule ha ha. We unfortunately have a very small yard in front of the house, he lives outside and is allowed inside when I let him. He has learned this quite well and will not pass the threshold until I let him.

I take him for a run every morning, I run anyways once a day or twice since I play rugby so I have to run anyways. So I started taking him running in the morning's, he loves it. And my wife takes him for a walk once or twice a day. But we both work and it is hard to do more than this.

BUT, I have known retriever's that are very calm in the past, it all depends on the owner's. If the owner's are loud and rambunctious then the dog will be, he has calmed down a lot in 4 days. He get's wild when we raise our voices.

Luckily he has learned to obey, mostly. We did find out he doesn't listen to my typical queues. Two fingers to the nose don't work with him when he get's something on his mind ha ha, the only thing we found that works when that happens in a squirt bottle of water. That helped me train him to queues of a loud or soft even SHH and he snaps to. Snapping my fingers he knows to come to me. So that helped a lot since when he get's something on his mind he wouldn't listen at all ha ha :doh:

We have him trained not to leave the living room when he's in the house unless we call him, for the most part this works, 99% of the time. So I think we've done great in 4 days with a retriever that spent who knows how long on the street and then in a cage ha ha

Now the problem, hoping someone has some experience with retriever's and cat's and can give some hints here.

He doesn't attack the cat, but he's curious of her. When he has cornered her, he just looks at her. She of course bats at him and she has claws, so it means he hasn't learned. This has only happened a couple times though.

Problem is when he first comes in the house whether he's seen her or not he has to search for her, it took us 1 hour last night of just sitting calmly and queuing him when he went to a corner to search for her, to get him to lay down and calm down. He spent that whole time going from corner to corner in the living room looking for her and us SHH and he left one corner to the next, then SHH, again. That morning he did the same thing, she wasn't in the room even.

So I figure the problem is not so much him seeing her or anything like that, she doesn't like him and that's not going to change, she's a cat. But, before him we lived next door to my parents house, they had a dog that's about 10 years old. Very calm now ha ha, but the cat just ignored him and him her after the first day.

So, how do I get this crazy dog to stop looking for her and just ignore her? Any other ideas other than just doing the queue thing ever day and every night until he get's it?

When she runs it's another story ha ha, hence I still have the water bottle next to my chair in the living room for emergency squirting reason's ha ha

Thanks for any advice.
 

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I've never dealt with a fully grown dog, or a retriever with a cat, but we've had Caeda since 8 weeks and have two cats, all I can do is give you my insight from that experience.
First off, give treats for any time that he ignores the cat. I would personally try keeping the leash on for a while. If you can set it up to walk past the cat with your dog on leash do it, and restrain him from getting to the cat, once he stops trying to get to it and looks at you, or at least ignores the cat give a treat, praise, toys, whatever works for him. It takes a LOT of (several sessions over weeks or months). You also say that he goes to find the cat as soon as you go in. Keep him on the leash, get him interested in something else.

You do have an advantage though, since it sounds like he isn't actually trying to touch the cat (yet), or be aggressive so you haven't got a bad habit of mauling the cat to deal with :)

Of course you need to do some management with the cat too. We have one cat that loves our dog, and another that hates her. It has taken about 10 months, but now the cat that hates her (and was scared of her) isn't so bad. That cat still goes out of his way to avoid the dog, but isn't so freaked out by her presence. Your cat will eventually (probably) get used to the presence of the dog, at least so long as it isn't getting accosted too bad. You do however have to make sure that the cat has somewhere to escape to, everywhere in the house, elevated shelves etc (we have a "cat shelf" covered in carpet for scratching, works great). I would highly suggest at least one room be gated off so the dog can't get in but the cat has a whole "safe room". Also watch in case the cat starts antagonizing the dog (our other cat did that for a while), that needs to be nipped in the bud since it can escalate things a lot.

I'm sure it'll eventually work out, but it takes a lot of time and management, so be patient and vigilant, try to be sure you never leave the cat and dog unattended together. It may SEEM ok, but until you are sure you need to be careful. Who knows what your dog will do if the cat lands a really solid claws-out swat to the face. I won't describe the possibilities but I'm sure you can imagine.
 

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The dog was on the streets and the cat is a novelty. Remember, even if the dog can't see the cat, he can smell the cat immediately. Give him a week or two to get more used to things, and he may calm down with your guidance.
 
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