Here is a picture of Greta. She's 9 weeks old. Has anyone had high prey drive puppies that eventually could leave cats alone? I had no idea prey drive could be so strong in a 8-9 week old puppy! Yikes!
Greta is quite a cutie! My male was a mess in his baby years, still is somewhat, lol he will be 2 in December. I have 3 cats. Yes he constantly went after them. He learned leave it and no cat. He will still chase but they won't budge out of his way and will try to give him a swipe. I probably should have let them but I was afraid the would catch his eye. It is getting better but it took a really long time. I must say though I am a bit slow at my training, 1 I was afraid he would knock my husband down, 2 we are both older and neither of us is in great physical shape. But I am determined and one day he will be exactly the way I want. I'm pretty happy lately especially since I have given him more freedom in the house while I am home. It has helped him a lot. She will learn or the cats will. LOL
What a cutie pie! Is she stalking your cat? Or does she bow and then pounce? If you have a sec, describe the behaviour and that might help us to help you!
I had some worries about Peggy's temperament when we first brought her home, but some of the best, most comforting advice I received is that they're really so malleable still at 8/9 weeks. There's (almost!) always hope.
So, Greta has been watching their every move and it's very hard to break her focus when she does this. Her tail is low and body is still. This is why I think it's more prey drive. If she was pouncing, I would think her tail would be up and wagging. It's honestly a little unnerving. I didn't realize that puppies so young would have such intense prey drive. I thought if you raised a puppy with cats and taught them to be gentle with the cats that it would all be fine when they developed their prey drive. Little did I know that it starts this young! I'm definitely feeling a little nervous and stressed about it. We've been doing a lot of redirecting and treating as soon as she looks away from the cats and all of that.
Welcome to the forum, and congrats on your new baby! This is a really great place to learn most things poodle. I used to breed rats, and my mini puppy has a high prey drive. He wouldn't let those rats be when they were out, but he did learn, finally, to be gentle and leave them alone. But it did take a while.
That is reassuring to know that it can be done. It should be interesting. Even at 9 weeks she does get better as the day goes on. But we have to start all over again the next day. Haha. But that's just babies. She will catch on eventually.
Yes! It can feel like the movie Groundhog Day at this age! Constantly starting over again.
But then ohhhh the joy when finally it sticks. ?
I think if you're feeling really apprehensive about Greta's behaviour, a well qualified trainer or behaviourist could help put your mind at ease. Sometimes just the words "That's normal" can be incredibly freeing. And sometimes behaviour is not what it appears to be.
I thought I was pretty knowledgable about dogs until I started working with a really excellent trainer. She helped me see Peggy in a new light.
AS your puppy learns the leave it command you can be incorporating that into her behavior. I had mine tethered to me much of the time and when he would go to pounce the cats I'd say leave it while giving him a tug back to me. It will get better. Mine will still at times go to pounce but now I say no cats and he walks away. And by the way I do find him and a cat sleeping side by side at times now. I've learned that poodles like to punch and play and are quite exuberant .
Welcome to PF! What a pretty puppy Greta is! Puppies and Kitties can have a love/hate relationship...........just make sure kitty has high places to escape from Greta, and I bet things will work themselves out. My Molly loves kitties and just can't figure out why they won't play with her like my son's Ragdoll does....getting swiped across the nose with kittie's sharp claws taught her to be careful !
My Norman is a standard and 6 months old and still LOVES to chase 2 of our 3 cats!! (one of which is an old lady and just doesn't let Norman bother her and stands her ground so he leaves her alone).
He is NEVER aggressive towards them ... they are too quick for him anyway. I will say that he has learned his lesson many times with them being swatted at but continues to seek them out with that nose of his. I honestly wish he didn't chase them, but when he's out to potty our cat Meowski always has Norman chase her. It's a game for them at this point to see who is faster than who!! Our cats are outside cats and so they are not around all the time so this hasn't become a big issue for us.
I am more than sure you can train your pup to not do this, but animals are very silly!
I wish you luck and congrats on the new beautiful baby!!
The intense focus you are describing is something that would concern me as well. I fostered a dog that had extreme prey drive toward our rabbit, and though I didn't keep her long enough to find out, I'm not sure she ever would have been trustworthy around him. But I didn't have her when she was young, and I'm sure that it's much easier to mold a puppy. I definitely wouldn't lose hope, and it seems like you are being very proactive with it.
My current mini is 5.5 months old and he has some issues with not leaving the rabbit alone, but his attitude is completely different. He treats the rabbit more like a playmate, and is just super annoying to him. The rabbit does sometimes get annoyed enough and go after him, which seems to be increasing his respect for bunny. But I am not really worried because it does not seem like prey drive.
I would try to increase your pup's ability to break focus on the cat. Sometimes this is with food, sometimes with toys. With the dog I fostered, I was at least able to greatly increase her ability to not focus on the rabbit while he was in his cage. But her case was extreme. Use really good treats or really nice toys, and work on the distraction. I would not let the pup focus on the cat for long because this sort of thing can become an obsession.
I had a tpoo years ago that was “raised” by my male cat. He used to carry her around by the scruff when she was too tiny to walk up stairs or get on furniture. He taught her cat language. No matter where we went cats would come up to her to say hi shocking their owners who swore their cats hated dogs. This cat would jump up on the counter and push food on the floor when she asked him. If it was fish, he had the first dibs otherwise she had first dibs on beef or chicken. There was a strong communication and bond. Maybe your new puppy will develop that bond with your cat. This dog could herd my cats.
My current minipoo loves my daughters barn cat because they play chase in the fields, they take turns. She gets along with my three elderly cats (2 have since passed away) and my daughters indoor cats but I can see she would prefer chasing more active cats.
Do make sure your cat(s) (not sure how many you have) has safe places to escape. My cats are ragdolls and almost the same size as my minipoo so we bought bar chairs to put on either side of gates because the cats could jump up on the chairs but the dog couldn’t, then they could jump over the gate to the other chair and get away. The dog could squeeze under the gate like the cats and both fit through the small pet door in my gate. I mention this because you might need to get creative to find your cat ways to escape the dog until both come to a detente.