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Help! Need advice again!

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Sierra

Running- ridiculously- fast is my- favorite
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 24, '09 9:26am PST 
So, I posted here a few weeks ago about my bf's sister's dog. His grandmother took in her dog, an APBT and he was very fearful/aggressive. If it helps to read the whole story, I couldn't figure out how to link my previous post. But it is in this forum, on the second page, near the bottom titled, Help I need advice.


So, we have been on a mission to expose him to new things (safely) and begin training him with the clicker. All this is going very well, he has learned sit, lay, stay (sort of) and he is responding much quicker when I ask him to come. Here's the problem.

The other day my bf's grandmother let her cats out, then accidentally let Simon out. He attacked and killed one of the cats. Training wise, is there anything we can do?! It was quite awful; apparently he shook the cat until her neck snapped. I know this is prey drive (i think, correct me if I'm wrong) and I know my dog has it too, but she never does it with the cats, they play together safely when they are together. This is beyond my experience. (Actually, this whole situation is beyond my experience, but either we help him or he leads a lonely, fearful life with the grandmother).

In short, what do I do? Nothing? Just make sure they are never together again? I'm asking here, because I have no experience with a dog this energetic and focused and I'm just trying so hard to do the right thing for Simon. cry

Edited by author Fri Jul 24, '09 9:29am PST

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Opie CGC

Luv-A-Pittie
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 24, '09 5:13pm PST 
I'm so sorry about the cat. I could be wrong but I would doubt the dog would ever be totally safe around cats. Gradual exposure can probably get it where you could get her to leave the cats alone when your around to *remind her* if she start eyeballing them, but it's going to be a long slow process and your going to have to get advice from someone smarter then me. I'm glad you've made progress on the other issues, your doing a great thing.
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Junie

Hats not cats!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 26, '09 8:20pm PST 
Juno has issues with cats also. We actually had an incident where she got our cat and if I wouldn't have been there she probably would have killed her. Anyway...We've been working with Juno and the cat basically with distraction training. My husband will be holding the cat and I'll have some treats. Any time Juno pays any attention to the cat, I call her. As soon as she looks at me I treat her...and over and over. Eventually she is paying attention to me and not the cat. This takes a TON of patience. We are still not at the point where I would want to leave the cat down on the floor around Juno, but eventually we may get there. I can say I would never leave them alone together. Also...yes I would say this is more of a prey drive and not aggression.
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Chloe

Puppy Power
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 27, '09 11:35am PST 
I agree, you might get her to tolerate the cat's existence while you're around but since she already doesn't like cats, don't count on her playing friendly with one. My dog likes older cats but little kittens are snacks to her. I think it's something you would have had to expose her to when she was a puppy in order for her to like them. Sorry not much help here.
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Daddy

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 27, '09 12:07pm PST 
I'm so sorry for what you went through. If she's already killed a cat, I'd say never let her around cats again, I don't know if I'd even let her around them supervised, and definitely contact a professional behaviorist, this is beyond just basic, controllable prey drive. Daddy isn't excessively prey driven, but he sometimes gets a little too pushy with the cat and shows interest when my fiance's guinea pigs start squeaking up a storm, so the cat has her own room and when noone else is in the room at night Daddy sleeps in our room behind closed doors, he also gets put away behind securely closed doors when we take the birds out, just to be safe. I constantly praise him when he's acting wonderfully around them, and tell him "No" or give a correction noise "ah ah!" if he's showing a little too much interest in the guinea pigs or is being too hyper around the cat.
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Dozer

Bully Dozer
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 27, '09 2:13pm PST 
ALL dogs are prey driven at some point in their life. This dog may be so fearful or aggressive that their is no turning back. My advice is to keep this dog away from cats. PERIOD! Don't even think about trying to train him. It is probably impossible. Sorry to bust a bubble. but trying to give helpful advice.
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Daddy

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 27, '09 7:41pm PST 
Of course all dogs have prey drive, but some are more notorious than others, terriers and some working breeds tend to have higher levels of prey drive than some other breeds.
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Sierra

Running- ridiculously- fast is my- favorite
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 28, '09 5:19am PST 
Thanks for all your advice everyone. I guess we can try holding one of the cats and just doing a little exposure (maybe through the screen door?) and praising/treating him while he remains calm. Obviously, we will stress to the grandmother that they are not allowed, under any circumstances, to be together. Unfortunately, we can't be there all the time, and the grandmother is quite old, so she is beginning to go a bit. It seems like what will help the most is to continue working on his response to us and maybe having an emergency recall. I do have one question, since my dog (sierra) is an accepted part of his pack, when leaving them alone, I'm not putting her at any risk, am I? I really love this dog (simon) but we are certainly fighting an uphill battle since the grandmother really is too old for a dog that takes this kind of commitment. We'll keep trying. Thanks again!
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Daddy

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 28, '09 9:06am PST 
I wouldn't risk it, Sierra, tis better to be safe than sorry. Can the dogs be crated when there's no one there to supervise, or alternatively, the cats?
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Grady

Disc Dogs rock!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 29, '09 1:21pm PST 
In your response you say that you grandmother is possibly too old to have a dog. APBT need alot of exercise to expend energy otherwise they tend to get into trouble. As far as the cats I agree with Daddy better safe than sorry.
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