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RubyRose
December 3rd, 2003, 10:00 AM
Okay, now there was an incident this evening, where both dog and kitten, were enjoying eachothers company (as much as is possible) when I noticed, that Sasha (dog, and male) had pretty much cornered Luna (kitten) and no matter how much she hissed and clawed, Sasha didn't back off.

Should I be worried!? Cause I was, and ended up rescuing Luna, and putting her into her confines of my sister's bedroom.

I have been able to recognise, when Luna, has had enough, of Sasha, and so I've separated the two of them. Is that a good idea ... I don't want anything to happen to Luna ... but I'm not sure, if giving them both a sort of "time-out" is really helping in the long run ... as Luna cries if she locked away alone ...

♪Hazel♪
December 3rd, 2003, 11:54 AM
Hmmm.. Ive just gotten a kitten named Cubbie, and he and my dog Mitzy have been getting along alright... But as for cornering him, she does it quite a bit, and just kind of sits there and looks at him. Do you think it looked like Sasha was going to hurt Luna? Cause in Mitzy's case...Im pretty sure she just wants to have a good look at what this thing is. But, I dont know how long that will last, or for how long you've had your pets, so hmm!
Yea, if it looks like Luna was getting pretty upset, then I would think it would be a good idea to separate them for a while.

Phoenix Blue
December 3rd, 2003, 12:26 PM
Sounds like you did the right thing. It's hard to know whether the dog meant harm or not, but dogs can be very rough without even meaning to.

RubyRose
December 4th, 2003, 07:09 AM
Thanks guys. We've had Sasha (dog) for almost 9 years. (since 1995) we had a Rabbit, with him, for a while, but because they didn't really get along, we had to keep the bunny locked away (in a make shift home, we had for him in behind our bar, with a barrier separating them (sadly, though our little bunny, past away at a rip old age (2 months shy of his 10th birthday) almost a year and 2 months today ...

docdoo
December 9th, 2003, 01:43 PM
Ok dog behaviour is something I am very good at. I wonder what type of dog you have? Has it been obedience trained? And if so to what extent?

Next thing is try to remember the dogs body language at the time...if its a short haired dog could you see the muscles trembling beneath the skin? Were his eyes 'squinting' or his eyebrows kind of pursed together? Was his mouth open or closed? Was he crouched slightly (not in a play crouch but rather a rigid semi-crouched position). And lastly did you get the impression that the dog had literally zoned out any outside disturbance? Meaning was he so intent on the cat that you felt like if you spoke to you he simply would not hear?

If so these can be very real danger signs. Some breeds have a much higher prey drive than others and chances are if the kitty was taking him seriously then you should too.

If in fact this is the case then some short order training is called for. The dog absolutely HAS to understand that YOU are the Alpha.

Can you take a bowl of food from this dog or is he nippy or growly? When playing games with him does he give back the ball or run away with it?

Oh and another thought....does the dog EVER stand over the cat at a right angle? Say for example if the cat is laying on the floor sleeping or dozing does the dog ever walk over to it and stand over the cat? This is an immediate warning sign, for in 'dog speak' this is the equivalant of saying "I am the boss here NOT you".....

A bit more information would be helpful (sorry I cant help you with the cat because I really am just not very skilled with their behaviours)

Til next time,

RubyRose
December 14th, 2003, 09:31 AM
Ok dog behaviour is something I am very good at. I wonder what type of dog you have? Has it been obedience trained? And if so to what extent?

Okay, the dog we have is a Labrador x Kelpie, he's almost 9 years old, and the only training he's had are the basics with I myself taught him. We (with the cat) are trying to get him used to short, sharp commands of No! or Leave it ... which he seems to respond to because he looks our way, and sort of backs off



Next thing is try to remember the dogs body language at the time...if its a short haired dog could you see the muscles trembling beneath the skin? Were his eyes 'squinting' or his eyebrows kind of pursed together? Was his mouth open or closed? Was he crouched slightly (not in a play crouch but rather a rigid semi-crouched position). And lastly did you get the impression that the dog had literally zoned out any outside disturbance? Meaning was he so intent on the cat that you felt like if you spoke to you he simply would not hear?

Yes he's a short haired dog. His mouth is generally opened, tounge waging, happy like, or excited. He crouches in play, with the cat, but he's generally standing when the cat shows signs of having enough, by batting the dog, with her paw, claws out.
Sasha, doesn't exactly zone out, he comes when he called, and can be distracted from the cat fairly easily.



If so these can be very real danger signs. Some breeds have a much higher prey drive than others and chances are if the kitty was taking him seriously then you should too.

If in fact this is the case then some short order training is called for. The dog absolutely HAS to understand that YOU are the Alpha.

Can you take a bowl of food from this dog or is he nippy or growly? When playing games with him does he give back the ball or run away with it?

No, he absolutely won't let you take a bowl of food away until it's empty, then and only then do I try to take it away, after he's paused. I'll talk to him, and take the bowl away. I tried once when I was younger, to talk it away when he was eating, and he went to bite me. I have never tried again, since the adults around me told me that you simply don't take food away from a dog when he is eating.



Oh and another thought....does the dog EVER stand over the cat at a right angle? Say for example if the cat is laying on the floor sleeping or dozing does the dog ever walk over to it and stand over the cat? This is an immediate warning sign, for in 'dog speak' this is the equivalant of saying "I am the boss here NOT you".....

A bit more information would be helpful (sorry I cant help you with the cat because I really am just not very skilled with their behaviours)

Til next time,

No I have never seen him stand over the cat, he pretty much leaves the cat alone when she is sleeping now.

docdoo
December 15th, 2003, 12:54 PM
Hi there! Im sorry I didnt get back to you sooner...I tend to forget which forums I've posted in!!!

Anyway if his body language is 'playful' (as you describe) you're probaly alright, but keep in mind that with any breed of dog play can quickly turn into 'prey'. Labs are notoriously good natured (though incredibly energetic when young!) Although with a mixed breed you never *truly* know what tendancies they will have.

Anyway he sounds like a really good dog...but (isnt there always a but :hehehehe: ) I would advise working with him on food possessiveness. Rule #1 for a dog is that YOU are in charge...you are alpha dog. If your pooch truly understands this then he would never growl at you when you take his food away, or worse yet try to nip. To do so is a direct violation of how dogs behave in a pack when they are subordinate.

At his age however I would not recommend just reaching down and taking his food...that is just an open invitation. When you have a dog that is protective over people, food, or toys they can be a time bomb. Most of these dogs never cross that line but when people do get bitten by the family dog inevitably we find that these warning signs were present. In this case if your pooch is food aggressive and displays these types of warning behaviours to YOU...then he surely doesnt see the cat as anything more than an equal.

First thing I would do is when you feed him...every time ask him to sit. Do not put the food on the floor until he has sat for you. (If you would like a bit of help on teaching him the sit command feel free to ask) ONLY after he has sat do you put the bowl down. Another very good idea is to ask him to sit and hold his dish. While he is sittng feed him single pieces of food from the dish...do this over and over and over.

Teach him to lay down as well and work with these things throughout the day...every time he does as you ask reward him...whenever he sits, or lays down or performs a command you are reinforcing your position as dominant 'dog'.

After he has learned Sit and does so on command every time then you should get his attention while he is eating. Ask him to sit (watch the body language here...if you are seeing tenseness or his muzzle twitches then he is NOT ready for this...never put yourself into a situation where you could be bitten!) Ask him to sit when he is eating...then reach down (while he's sitting) and pick up the dish, immediatly place it back down or give him a few kernels of food while hes sitting. AGAIN watch his posture...if you feel at any time that you are in danger then stop and go back.

Can you pet him while he is eating? At first you probaly wont be able to...if so then you're ahead of the game. After he sits well you can try to pet him on the back while he is eating...if you get growled at then you have probaly moved to quickly. A firm NO and then ask him to sit and take the bowl away (of course after you have worked up to this point) is in order.

Ok...to reestablish dominance with a confused pooch...Dont allow him to jump up on you...Before you let him outside (or take him for a walk) ask him to sit in front of the door...dont let him run out first. NEVER let him stand over you or children.

Well...I think that may be enough work for you right now! LOL If the dog has always gotten along with the cat you are probaly safe....however it is never too late to train a dog and there is no such thing as "You cant teach an old dog new tricks.

Feel free to PM me if you have anymore questions! Dogs and Horses are 2 animals I have worked with extensively...Wishing you good luck and remember to always make training fun with your pooch, lots of petting and rewards and some tasty tidbits will always get their attention.

Til next time,

RubyRose
December 16th, 2003, 08:38 AM
Thanks.

Not to critizise or anything, but Sasha, does know the commands, of sit, stay (sorta), laydown, and normally when the food is gone (like the other night I gave him some bacon, and he has a habit of wanting to lick and clean the plate or bowl til it's spotless) I can pat him, and he'll let me take the bowl away. I think, because I was 12 at the time, when he nipped me, I'm a little hesitant, though when I've got some spare time, I might try teaching him with food rewards and stuff, when it comes to taking his food off him.

One thing I did notice today, with both him and the cat. Was, they were playing, and he walked right over the kitten. I found it odd, because he's never done that before, and I began to wonder where it was just in play because he couldn't go around any other way, due to furniture being in the way. It only happened the once.

He tends to leave the cat alone, now, and lay down out of the way, and if the cat is out, and I tell him to lay down, or sit, or come to me, he does, so I have no real worries in that respect. I think in another 2 to 3 months, both cat and dog will be best of friends, and we shouldn't have any problems ...

Old Witch
December 16th, 2003, 01:53 PM
Docdoo is so right.........you must be alpha dog....... My rott decided when he was 15 mos. old it was all right to jump the fence......So I waited on him to try, plucked him off the fence, backed him down, and then turned my back....He was off on another try, I pulled him down again, but this time I got a snarl and a snap, an inhibited snap, but a snap nevertheless. This time I didn't let go of the scruff of the neck, and I gave a snarl and growl and kept eye contact. I got big snarls back and what I called "wild eyes" back, but I knew if I gave up, I'd lost my dog that I could trust, forever. He tried to get away, but I kept it up....finally he dropped his eyes, but I didn't, he looked back up and I was still snarling and growling and he finally turned his head and laid down......I let go....told him he was a good boy, and lets go inside and he's been my good boy ever since.

This was an extremely dangerous thing to do, he is a rott after all, but I'd had him since he was 6 weeks and knew him well. I took a big chance, he could have killed me, but I needed a dog I could trust absolutely........I have one that I can trust with my familys lives. With all five of my dogs, I can eat out of their bowls with them, but why would I want to........Yucky!

Doc is giving good, sound advice......Every so often, my dogs get "remedial" obedience training....just as a reminder, and as good fun........

Cappy
December 17th, 2003, 07:11 PM
I have to agree, establishing dominancy from the get go is extreamly important. When we were kids our family had dogs but my parents never trained them, so the result was dogs who ran away and never listened (unless we had food). So when I grew up and decided it was time for me to get a dog, I read up on dog psycology, dog training, anything dog-related. Then I learned that when you decipline your dog, doing human things just confuses them (ie swating them for a reprimand or shoving their noses into their messes) because its not dog language. Hitting your dog is pointless because they just don't understand. So I put 2+2 and tried what dogs do.
Now, my dog is half border colie half samoyed which makes her very inteligent and very stuborn. When she was about 6 months old, she pooped in the living room. I caught her in the process and told her firmly "NO!". She basically gave me an adolecent "what'cha gonna do about it?" look straight in the eyes. :flamer:
So, I put her on her back and put my teeth to her throat(no I didn't hurt her, my teeth were just touching her throat) and I growled. Then I looked into her eyes and and she looked away. She understood that. It was dog speak. So now I have a respectful dog, who knows who the alfa is. :dontknow:

docdoo
December 23rd, 2003, 12:12 AM
I thought I'de refresh this post a bit, when I reread my post I thought it sounded perhaps a bit harsh, completely unintentional I assure you. Im afraid when I talk about dogs or horses I tend to fall into 'teacher' mode, becoming a bit rambly and 'to the point' in a manner of speaking.

In any case as Cappy and Old Witch said dogs do not speak our language, most of the things that we do confuse them terribly and they tend to just ignore it and chalk us up to 'silly creatures' LOL... Most people are quite surprised when I tell them that a dog standing over a child or its own is *not* being protective (well...unless an intruder is standing a few feet from you!) this is a dominant display, as is a dog that humps your leg etc.

As with any animal of a different species we have to learn their *language* to really get what they are trying to say. Fortunately for us, most dogs are tractable and genuinely like us. So most of the time, even with a dominance confused pooch, things go ok and we have no biting incidents.

Having said that I'll also say that a dog that growls...no matter the reason, cannot be truly predictable. I've found that (just as in humans) they tend to get a bit grumpy as they get older (cant say I blame them, aching joints etc.) I have a 8 year old boxer...he has a CD in obedience and has been trained as a 'working dog' (rudimentary skills in handicap work) Anyway this dog has gone far past the basics and is a tractable and willing dog with a heart as big as they get.

However as wonderful as he is he just growled at my 11 year old last week when he got 'too close' to his food. Mind you this dog NEVER behaves this way and understands his place in our household...nevertheless he is getting on in years and though not exactly 'old' yet he's showing his age. Apparantly he figured that he was hungry and assumed that my son was going to eat up his food. Alas, we have been refreshing dominance and this dog knows it all, its just that as they age they tend to get a bit grumpier and less tolerant than they were at 3 when they werent perhaps feeling the beginnings of arthritis etc. Anyway this story was meant to hopefully cheer you up, I was worried after reading the last post that I came off sounding a bit too 'preachy' for lack of a better word.

BTW...my Boxer is also the only dog that has ever bitten me, which brings me to the other point I wanted to make. Dogs NEVER have the right to growl or nip...UNLESS they are hurt. When doc (my boxer) was 4 he impaled his paw upon a loose bar in his crate (big reminder...always check your crates to be sure the welds havent slipped!)

Anyway to my eye it looked as though his toe was stuck between the bars somehow and so, reaching into the crate in a frenzy to save him (he was clearly in alot of pain...howling and crying terribly) I grabbed his paw and tried to pull it free. Needless to say he was literally impaled upon the bar, it had gone completely through the largest pad on the bottom on his foot, emerging between the webbing between his toes. When I pulled he clamped down, tearing my wrist such that it took 19 stitches to close it. It was a defensive bite and the only excuse I would ever give a dog for growling at me...here I was trying to help and I ended up damn near ripping the bar *through* his foot...(talk about feeling guilty)

For the record my husband arrived home minutes after the incident and we had a huge fight about who was going to the hospital first, the dog or me. I insisted I was fine (though he had nicked a vein and there was quite a bit of blood) and that my dog needed to go first! It was only after he promised me that he'd get the neighbor to rush the dog to the vet while he rushed me to the hospital (I couldnt drive because it was bleeding so profusely) that I ceded and let him take me....that when you know you love dogs maybe a bit too much LOL (though Im sure al you dog-lovers out there can relate!) :colorful:

Anyway til next time,