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My 7 month old Mini boy Beau is really a good puppy in most ways. He is coming along well in his training, and is generally pretty obedient. But there is one problem that is not getting any better, he harasses my 2 senior cats Jade (13yrs) and Leo (11yrs). Now my cats are both dog savvy and have been trying to tell him off, and I don't know if Beau just doesn't understand or if he thinks they're playing with him, but my male cat Leo has had enough and is starting to scratch Beau. Leo is a large cat, about the same size as Beau, and I'm afraid that somebody is going to get really hurt. I have tried everything I can think of to put a stop to it, including actually physically stopping Beau (picking him up), getting between them, etc. I have taught him "Leave it" and he knows the command reasonably well, he just doesn't seem to be getting it when it comes to the cats. I admit I am at a loss about what to do.

Beau

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Jade
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Leo
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I would tether him to you, basically "all fun ceases because you are not listening"
My boy likes to hassle my elder dog and cat, we are in a better place now.
Plus give your cats places to get away up and over from the puppy.
Honestly IMO puppy shouldn't have full house access until he learns house rules.
 

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You could also spray water on him. Some people wouldn’t like that but it’s way better than ending up with a missing eye. And if it works, after a while, just having the bottle out after will do the trick.

Or maybe one of those honking tools that make a loud sound. Not as pleasant though.
 

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You could also spray water on him.
I’ve heard rattling a can full of pennies when he’s about to do something works, too. Try doing that, then asking for a leave it with an all-star, amazing treat in hand. It might take a while—puppies that are that age just beg for trouble, and they have, sadly, in-one-ear-out-the-other syndrome.
 

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I would advise lots of places the cats can easily get to but the puppy can't (think high spots, narrow ramps, etc, etc) plus constant supervision and redirection and a pen for when you cannot be on watch or want to play with the cats. If the cats are already dog savvy that will help, as they will avoid making the game really exciting by running. The main thing is not to let it become a habit - cats are Not Fun and to be left alone, ignoring them leads to Fun Games with a toy or a flirt pole. Teasing them means both cats and human withdraw and Fun stops. I have two cats about 6 years older than the dogs - it is hard to remember just how it was when the dogs were pups but we have managed 11 years all together with nothing worse than a bit of lost fluff and the occasionally swiped bum, although it has sometimes felt that I have had "Leave that cat ALONE!" on audio repeat for most of those years!
 
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I have 3 cats and a active standard poodle with a prey drive. He is now 2 1/2 and its ok. there re times he wants to chase the cats but has learned "no cat". The cats also have learned to only run to get to safety. LOL Now they refuse to run most times and will hold their ground. He will give a sniff find they aren't really moving and will go find something else to amuse himself. Our boxer would sleep side by side with the cats however I don't see that happening. So a firm NO is what I did along with a redirect.
 

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What Dechi and Twyla said. Luckily my spoo wasnt that persistent and learned quickly not to bug the cats she knows.cats in the distance are interesting, cats in close proximity are SCARY.

If you use a water bottle or can of coins, I would recommend trying to keep the dog from knowing it was you responsible for the surprise so the rule is "Dont pounce on the cat" not "dont pounce on the cat when the human is around" or worse, "dont pounce on the cat when the spray bottle is around". Lots of people like waving them around and threatening with them, and that's not particularly helpful. Instead, I like to set the dog up, so watch from around a door or something, spray, and disappear. If it works and is a strong deterrant, it should not need to be done more than 3-4 times in a row.
 

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Thanks for the good ideas guys. I have tried redirecting him, using his favorite toy ball, but Beau can be a stubborn little man. Luckily the cats are both very dog savvy (raised with my last 2 dogs), and they do have 2 cat trees that he doesn't bother. It is just a bit frustrating, because he knows he's being naughty. In one ear out the other totally describes Beau :sneaky:. Sometime he'll start after one of the cats, and I'll tell him "leave it", and he'll turn and look at me. More often than not he will stop what he's doing, but at least a couple of times a day it's like 3 seconds later he totally forgets and goes after them anyway. In the picture above he's giving me his "come on Mom, look how cute I am" face :). But like I said Thanks for the ideas, I will definitely try them out and see what works best for me and Beau.
 

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Sounds typical puppy! I would be really enthusiastic about rewarding him with praise and a fun game when he turns to look at you - every singe time. If possible, interrupt before he starts to advance, teaching him that cats are boring but humans will play.
 

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I wouldn't use any sort of noise maker to break up stare downs. An actual confrontation where the dog has the cat pinned, yes, but not a stare down. While a loud noise will startle and perhaps scare the puppy it will also startle and perhaps scare the cat. In my experience dogs recover from being startled quicker than cats do. Therefore you risk training the cat to run, as he will still be freaked out when the puppy is ready to start chasing again.

I'm dealing with a naughty puppy situation right now with my cat and Galen. My cat was accustomed to Snarky and Pogo. He had to be careful not to get trampled during a poodle happy dance, but they didn't chase him. Galen wants to chase. Galen has so little impulse control at his current age that he's almost completely impervious to correction. I'm mostly concentrating on preventing him from rehearsing the behavior right now.

Galen still isn't reliably housebroken, so it's not like I can give him free run of the house anyway. I have baby gates separating different parts of the house. The cat usually stays behind a baby gate when Galen is loose. Sometimes, after Galen has had a good run and is tired, I will let them visit together. Galen's reward for being quiet is to be allowed to hang out with the grownups. He gets put away when the antics start. Eventually I expect the calm moments will increase, and I will allow more visiting time. That's what happened with Pogo.
 

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I used to crate the pup while the cat was allowed to sleep nearby... the cat would not run, the pup couldn't get to the cat. Later, we had training session with the dogs on down-stays and the cat(s) strolling among the dogs. Now, they have advanced to dogs on downs, cat chasing laser. This is really a challenge for the Jack Russell as he loves lasers more than cats. Of course, big rewards are doled out after laser stays. practice quads 044.JPG
 

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My old dog chased the cats when she was a puppy so we kept her tethered for the most part (to reduce the chances that she could reinforce the behaviour) and worked on sitting and looking at me when the cats walked by. Which result in a treat/game/or getting to come up on the couch if she didn’t chase the cats. We also had a spray bottle (hidden) if she was chasing them or had them cornered when not tethered. Took a few weeks but she realized cats were not fun to chase and she wouldn’t care when they walked past. I never used the can of pennies because they would startle the cats who would then bolt making it more fun for the dog to chase. The cats also had multiple cat posts or places up high to sleep to get away from dog if they wanted.

I’m lucky in the sense that my spoo now never was super interested in chasing the cats. She tried a few times when she was a puppy and got a good swat on the nose when sniffing close at them. Now she will play bow and trying to get them to play.... one of them will play and roll around on the floor with her but when he walks away, she knows game is over (otherwise she will get swatted) 😂. When she was a puppy, she automatically would wait for the cats to finish drinking/eating (If they were snacking on her kibble when she wasn’t there or when she had walked away) so we rewarded the heck out of that and she still waits her turn by laying down and waiting.
They will sleep together now on the floor or the couch, with more often then not the cats coming to join the dog.
 

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Emma had always loved harassing the barn cats but worth no damages. She's come in with a few drops of bloods on her nose after momma had kittens but now that tre limits have been established and she's found tat Emma means no harm, just LOVES watching AMD playing ever so carefully with her kids its cool. The Tom cat that I used to let in the house slept together. She chases him in the barn but he doesn't run very far or very much. She's never actually hurt teen and seems like the less I got after her about them the interest waned faster. The kittens congre our and okay with her but are terrified of me..... and I feed them! Probably a good thing with thre coyotes thick and brave here. They've actually stated stealing Emma's toys that she's snuck outside and forgotten. Life on the ranch! V
 
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