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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi am hoping someone may be able to offer some advice here. my 13 week old shih tzu puppy daisy will not stop barking at my 3 moggy's (that is when they do venture back into the house) initially when we fetched her home (12 days ago) the cats just went out and only came in when they couldnt see her. (the cats are 10,8 and 4) im not expecting miracles and know it takes time but the cats leave her alone until she is in the same rooms as them. she chases over to where they are and will bark and bark at them. the cats will also hiss and occasionally spit at her.
i have been trying to get her to stop barking at them by rewarding good behaviour (as i do all day long) when she isnt barking at them and trying to ignore the bad, which is hard as it tends to be at night in my daughters room when she is sleeping. or outside when i worry that she is annoying neighbours. i have on these occasions picked her up (without talking to her) and putting her in another room and praising when she isnt barking.
what am i doing wrong? or is it a case of perservering with them as its not been too long? thanks!
 

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Somtimes I think ignoring bad behaviour alone isn't enough - just like kids, if a kid spits at you (for example) ignoring it isn't enough as spitting has it's own rewards and the fact that someone is ignoring you doing it almost makes you win cos you got away with it. Sometimes you need to be the boss and tell your kids (and your dog) when enough is enough. You need to let your dog know that it isn't acceptable to bark like this (especially at the cats) - imagine how you will feel if she starts barking at every other dog/ cat on the street when you walk her, most probably pulling madly to get to them. She needs to know that you are boss and you don't think it is acceptable behaviour. How you do that is your choice. I'm the Cesar Milan school but others don't like that. It's your choice.
 

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I find the 'leave it' command is really good. Also time outs and having a lead you can restrain the dog with helps at times.
I have a chihuahua wo is much the same. Also 9 cats aged from 6months to 10yrs. Not a total success as 3 cats still havent appeared from the bedrrom after 8months, but as 2 of them are not house trained that is actually a bonus.
As long as the cats are confident enuf,ie-dont run when approached then the pup will learn not to bother them.
 

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Like Spid says, ignoring doesn't always work. It depends on the behaviour you're ignoring. Barking is pretty self-rewarding and she probably gets a kick out of it so you can ignore her all you like but she'll keep doing it.

Dogs do what works :)

I am NOT a Cesar fan so I wouldn't recommend any of his methods. What I would do is a combination of a) Whisking her out of the room when she barks, sharpish-like, and putting her away. Don't pick her up - keep a light house-line on her so that you can quickly grab it and remove her from the room (be careful she doesn't get it tangled on anything and never leave it on if you aren't there to supervise) b) Teaching her a "leave it" command using a clicker if you've got one (they are very handy and I recommend you learn to use one) and c) Teaching her to focus on you not the cats.

I taught my dog to ignore other dogs on walks by producing her tuggie the instant another dog came into view - now, the appearance of another dog is the cue for a game and she automatically comes to me now with an expectant look.

Teach your dog that the appearance of the cats signals games/treats, and that barking will result in her being removed from the scene double-quick.
 

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reward any quiet calm behaviour when the cats are around, start off rewarding quiet calm behaviour with the cats out the room, then let one of the cats while you distract the dog from the cats entance, reward her and tell her shes a good girl, if she notices the cat and doesnt cause a fuss reward her loads, if she does start remove the dog from the room, give her a time out and then try again. punish with time outs when the dog barks at the cats and reward any good beaviour with the cats in the room, eventually she should get the idea that barking at the cats means time out and being nice to the cats means treats/games/cuddles.
 
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