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Barking at the cat!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by lozb, Jun 14, 2010.


  1. lozb

    lozb PetForums VIP

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    So far - 4 and a half weeks into having Baxter - he's done really well with our 2 cats :D

    Millie - the youngest female cat - isn't too fazed by this 6.5 month old-all-legs-and-paws retriever, she'll not let him get too close - a hiss and a spit sorts that out.....(though, when Baxter slept in my room - which he doesn't now - I've woken up to find Millie on my pillow and Baxter by my feet!)

    Pickle - the older male cat - is totally unimpressed by Baxter and runs up to my room and hides under my bed.. (I think this is mainly because he used to be the 'man' in the house and Millie has taken to Baxter better because she's a girl.. if that makes any sense)

    Anyways - my 'problem' is that Baxter barks and barks at Millie.... probably because she's the only cat who's comfortable enough to sit in the house and not be fazed by him. I try telling him no, give him loads of praise and a small treat when he does stop but he doesn't stop for long and barks and barks.

    I should imagine his barks would translate to 'Play, play, play with me now!'... he's not aggressive when he's barking - his tail is wagging and he'll sometimes go in the puppy 'play with me' stance...

    Any other tricks to help him to kick this habit please?????
     
  2. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Vocalisation and the frenetic bouncing around is a little bit of frustration prob due to some lost in translation between cat and dog. Your puppy is being rude and such behaviour is obnoxious enough for a brief time out - just 10 seoncds on the other side of a closed door.

    Puppy barks in cats face, calmly say 'uh-oh' and immediatley remove him for a time out. Release him while quiet.

    Also important to work on cat-dog relations and cooperation: Living like cats & dogs « pawsitive dogs

    Speak-Shush training too to turn off the barking (although that will be more useful in other situations than this one. Scroll down here for that one.

    Keep interactions between cats and dog short so as to keep puppy successful. Engage him in games around the car rather than him demanding attention from them.
     
    Cat Detective likes this.
  3. lozb

    lozb PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for those links - makes for really interesting reading :) & thanks for your comments too :)

    Will give the tips a go and see how we progress.. we will make it work, one day I'll have a picture of the three of them together... honest :D
     
  4. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    a word of caution regarding the treats

    if you reward him with a treat for being quiet AFTER he has barked at the cat he may soon learn that barking at the cat eventually gets him food!! so causing another problem for you.

    a better way is to tell him NO or UH UH and then reward not barking at the cat with a game. (positive reinforcement) or taking him out of the room for time out (negative reinforcement.) if you choose the second option - do not put him in his crate for time out to prevent him associating the crate with being told off.

    the puppy will see the cat as a source of fun - a play mate. the cat may not agree. if the cat will let you, another thing you can do to teach the puppy that the cat is not a toy is to sit at the side of the crate once the puppy is settled with the cat on your knee (am sure she will enjoy the attention) and rewarding the puppy for not barking at her from the crate. you can feed tit bits to both of them (making sure each one gets suitable bits of food) talking softly and soothingly whilst you are doing this. "nice kitty" or "mmmmm yum yum" when you offer the food are good cues to use. they teach the animals to be calm around each other and food at the same time.
    gilly
     
  5. kaisa624

    kaisa624 PetForums VIP

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    Those are really good tips. We're looking to get a kitten, before we get a puppy, would this be the right way around?

    Holly's useless with cats and just barks and chases them, but we will be getting a new puppy, as Holly is now living with my OH's parents.
     
  6. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Hi Gilly, the idea of something yummy on sight of the cat *at first* is CLASSICAL CONDITIONING and looks after emotion or how the dog feels. To work with CC it doesn't matter what the dog is doing. By using D+C properly, as described in the link provided (post written by me) you will train an alternative behaviour while also looking after how the dog feels about the cat - as in not get aroused by the cats presence, not feel worried by cats presence etc.
    As described, you up criteria when working this way to eventually reward behaviour, once emotion has been looked after.
    Hope that makes sense :)
     
  7. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    yup. think i got that Anne! thanks. am always glad of another angle to come in from!! so many different ways of looking at problems...so many different ways of getting solutions!!!

    :thumbup:
    gilly
     
    #7 lucysnewmum, Jun 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  8. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    personally, i dont think there is a right or wrong way round! just make sure you set firm boundaries once the two are introduced.
     
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