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I think so that he needs more mental stimulation. I had started playing find it with his food for 35 minutes, but didn't do it over the weekend and today.
 

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Okay, my family and I want to see where this goes. I feel uncomfortable though because I asked my mom where Sisko should be tonight and she said to tether him out in the living room. Yes, he can only go so far, but if anything happened, the cats would are more likely to both start fighting him and I don't know how a fight would end with them. Maybe nothing will happen.
 

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It sounds like you need a behaviorist. You'll need to explain the background. It's common for dynamics to change as a pet matures, and Sisko is becoming an adult, aware of his size and strength.

As everyone else has said, multi-pet households can be difficult. We enter into them with a rosy ideal, but the reality is often a great deal of maintenance, separation, and safeguards.
 

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I think being confined to the apartment because of pandemic, and the fact that Sisko doesn’t get to run free and let off steam is part of the problem. Small quarters and multiple animals and people, combined with lack of activity is not a good combination.

Hopefully life will get easier soon and things go back to normal.
 

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I think being confined to the apartment because of pandemic, and the fact that Sisko doesn’t get to run free and let off steam is part of the problem. Small quarters and multiple animals and people, combined with lack of activity is not a good combination.

Hopefully life will get easier soon and things go back to normal.
I agree here. Many of your posts indicate Sisko is a high energy handful. It's normal for any dog to want to play, and it sounds like your cats are also playful. Unfortunately, dogs and cats have different play styles. One of my friends once observed cats wag their tails when they are mad and sound like they are growling when they are happy: no wonder dogs have trouble figuring cats out.

I provide safe rooms for my cat by using baby gates with cat doors. I leave the cat door open facing away away from the room with the dog, so the cat can push it open and shoot through into another room if being chased.
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Sometimes, also, I latch the cat door to give the dog a break from the cat being an annoying pest.
 

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Good luck. So I'll preface that my dog and cat are best friends...but I never leave them alone together. Going out catsitting? Great, the dog's in her crate. Night time? Dog's in the crate while I sleep (we snuggle in bed when I'm awake and I have fallen asleep there, but I don't like risking it). She's great with the cat, adores her, they groom each other, and their communication is still improving beyond my wildest dreams; they're starting to understand a bit about what the other's attempts to play mean. They greet each other before me and the dog keeps trying to give the cat toys, which never works because the toys are the size of th cat.

I don't leave them alone. My dog is also 55 pounds; she's a boxer mix. She has a medium to high prey drive that weirdly doesn't translate to cats inside or out (bunny, squirrel-- yes, though we've trained through squirrels enough that she keeps her head; cat, totally different response). We think she was raised with them and know she lived with them in foster homes the year before I gt her and had impeccable cat manners, which was part of my "must have" list. When she was at her lowest point, incredibly stressed by constant onslaught of noise from multiple construction projects around us and her IBD acting up, she snapped at the cat a few times. It was never more than a "back off" I believe (she never chased her, did one snap and done, etc) but the thing is that even that could easily kill my cat if they made contact.

So I keep a close eye. If the cat is in the dog's space and the dog is trying to tell her to go away, the cat (mine is fairly clueless about body language in other cats, so asking her to read a dog is just not going to happen-- she sort of decided the dog was her friend and therefore all the dog's actions were friend actions all the time, which is not how things work but seems to be her classification?) will ignore it. If the dog does a growl, the cat has been known to plop down directly between her front paws for snuggles, right where the jaws are. So when they don't understand each other, I come in. I make a cheery noise, a movement, distract the dog (who's a settled middle aged and lower energy type, which helps), gentle bump to the cat, make sure to tell the dog she's being good. To me, the key point is to try to tell each their initial signals are being heard. Thanks for saying no, Storm! See, you saying no with that growl was great and it did get the cat out of your space, no need to escalate. You looking away, holding your ears back, yawning, trying to create a "nope" and more space? How about I move the cat? And everyone is being good and thank you for your signals.
They also literally sleep with each other as pillows and are so gentle, so I have a basis of friendship and my dog (thankfully) could be used for an "intro to dog body language" video-- she gives very clear signals and is very patient, so I make sure I read her signals as much as possible so that she doesn't get pushed past that point of being patient and accomodating and feel backed into a corner or forced to escalate.

The nearest behaviorist to me was over 25 miles away and I got a vacation email when the first snap happened, so I went to my vet and an experienced trainer with some behavioral training (not a full veterinary behaviorist, but something a lot better than me). We did a few consults. Since they so often want to be together and seek each other out, getting distressed if I keep them in separate rooms, I've learned to keep them under supervision or separated (crate). This was the opinion given for MY dog and MY cat in MY situation, though, so please don't take it as advice for yours when I have literally no qualifications to give any. My story is just to assure you that even the dream situation of a cat and dog who are amazing together takes care and work and professional help sometimes, so you are not remotely alone.

I guess what I'm saying is I'm sorry you're dealing with this and I know how scary and stressful it is when your 55 pound dog is going at your cat. Professional help is really the best way to go, and until you're able to work out a plan with that professional, be extra aware (try not to let it be stress, as they'll read that and may mirror it-- just an eye on them) and try to avoid letting potentially dangerous situations happen.

The other day, my cat got growled at by the dog; she'd had a rough day (IBD flare up always means I'm extra aware of everything, since Storm's already feeling lousy and it leaves her understandably on edge) and while she usually loves the cat saying hi and will sniff and start grooming her happily, totally ignoring me, she didn't want her in her face today. So she got told good girl, which has the bonus impact of usually having her lift her head to look at me and create space from the situation brewing, and the cat got quietly scooped and a toy tossed in the kitchen for her, on the other side of the apartment. About an hour later, the dog hopped off her favorite chair and curled up next to the cat on a couch, both happy as could be. It worked out for them, though I'm still cautious perhaps beyond what I strictly "need" because I'm afraid of the consequences if everything goes precisely wrong one day. A friend found her cat dead when her dog's signals got crossed while she was grabbing groceries the week I adopted Storm, which admittedly influenced my approach.

I love cowpony's idea about safe rooms and spaces if your cat (unlike mine) is the one who wants space and/or will take it; Tikvah's just terrible at the idea that her best friend very occasionally (less than once a month on average) doesn't want her to groom her head and chirp at her for a few minutes and cannot be convinced that she does in fact want th cat to do this. Cat trees can also be great if you have space for one that lets the cat be truly out of the dog's reach, which is a bit hard with a Spoo I'd imagine?


Good luck and Storm & Tikvah are rooting for Sisko & Artmis.

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