Help :( new basenji & cats
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  • i just brought raleigh into my home yesterday, and he's doing great. absolutely wonderful!! except.. the cats. they're so curious about him, and just wanna sniff & meet him, but whenever they come around, he cowers as far away as possible. i think if the cats get a chance to smell him & meet him, they'll back off & he wont be so scared when he sees they're nice. how do i get them together like that, without forcing them or making them uncomfy?

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  • You can let them meet through a baby gate or crate. Or give the cats a chance to check out his scent on something he has slept on like a crate mat or blanket.

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  • I was going to post exactly what Ivoss said. That's how I entroduced my cat when I brought her in, she hung out in her crate for about 20 minutes after coming in, she felt safe and didn't make a peep. I pulled her crate pad out after about 15 minutes and let the dog check that out. You can do the same thing with the dog in the crate and letting the cats check him out.

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  • Little Raleigh is just nervious being in a new environment. Try putting the cats and Raleigh together and have some treats. Little by little pet Raleigh and praise him for being such a good boy. It may take some time. Baby gates are great! I love having one. Good luck and let us know how it is going :)

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  • V

    I'd be very careful. If you fail, and there is a confrontation between the dog, and the cats, then your hurdle will be set much much higher.

    Go slow.

    Let them be curious. Incorporate lots of praise.

    Don't worry about them being "friends". As long as they don't want to kill eachother consider yourself lucky.

    Vegas

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  • It took one of my cats about a year to "put up" with Squiggy and the other cat it took about 5mths. Now Squiggy and Violet (the one that took 5mths) snuggle up together, but Olive still just tolerates Squigs.
    Give it time and try not to give your dog the impression it is OK to be scared by petting and cooing when he is. I have read that this reinforces what he is feeling is correct to him. Just try and go about your day as if everthing is normal and eventually it will start to be.
    Good luck.
    I would rather have my dog scared of my cats than the other way around:)

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  • <_>

    Double ditto!_

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  • thanks again for all the advice; ive bought a baby gate, and he seems to be more open to seeing the cats, when he's behind it. im surprsed about what you said, christyrutherford! id have thought the comforting would be good for him, but ill try not to. i have taken his blanket form the crate he came with, and laid it over where the cats sleep, and have laid the blanket they used to sleep on over his doggy bed. the cats havent gone back to the spot i covered with his blanket, but he doesnt seem to mind their scents.

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  • @jenniferever:

    im surprsed about what you said, christyrutherford! id have thought the comforting would be good for him, but ill try not to.

    In the instructions BRAT sent out recently to potential adopters about how to treat a new adopted basenji, they said something similar to this. I was surprised, too–but it seems to make sense. I know it will be hard not to--but just keep in mind that it's for his well being--that might make it easier.

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  • @Vegas:

    Don't worry about them being "friends". As long as they don't want to kill eachother consider yourself lucky.

    Vegas

    Amen to that. When we brought our Hymi into the household, we weren't sure how our B-, Rocky, would react, even though he had been raised with cats. Thankfully, they tolerate each other but I wouldn't call them friends (even if we do occassionally catch them sleeping together…but don't tell them we saw that!)

    Proceed with caution! Best of luck!

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  • @jenniferever:

    thanks again for all the advice; ive bought a baby gate, and he seems to be more open to seeing the cats, when he's behind it. im surprsed about what you said, christyrutherford! id have thought the comforting would be good for him, but ill try not to. i have taken his blanket form the crate he came with, and laid it over where the cats sleep, and have laid the blanket they used to sleep on over his doggy bed. the cats havent gone back to the spot i covered with his blanket, but he doesnt seem to mind their scents.

    Comforting an undesired behaviour will reinforce the behaviour. Let me try to explain. If, say, during a thunderstorm your dog cowers, hides under the bed, screams, carries on, etc., and you cuddle your dog and pet him and say to him "it's okay" your dog will take that to mean that he's doing the correct thing by being afraid and the behaviour will probably excalate. However, if you work with him to desensitize him to loud noises, flashes of light, he will become used to these things and will be less likely to react in a negative fashion. Hope this helps explain why christy said that!

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  • @jenniferever:

    im surprsed about what you said, christyrutherford! id have thought the comforting would be good for him, but ill try not to.

    Thats what I think also. And it is so hard not to comfort them when they are scared. Squiggy gets "freaky" and paces when new people come over and I have to remind my self to act normal and eventually he starts to also.

    But I remember hearing this before about when you comfort an animal when it freaked out or scared you somehow make them think that their behavior is being rewarded and justified. And that by acting like everything is ok they pick up on that.
    Maybe it was a "dog whisperer" episode or something. :o

    How long have you had your B?

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  • ive had raleigh a little over a week, lol. i know – VERY SOON to be complaining about him & the cats. he's now used to them, and they're used to him. i unfortunately had to get rid of 1 cat because he was getting very aggressive with raleigh, but i was meaning to find that cat a new home before i got raleigh anyway. one thing that bugs me about raleigh is that he lunges at the cats. its kind of like an abrupt bow-- like BOOM! GOTCHA! and the cats of course hate it.

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  • @jenniferever:

    ive had raleigh a little over a week, lol. i know – VERY SOON to be complaining about him & the cats. he's now used to them, and they're used to him. i unfortunately had to get rid of 1 cat because he was getting very aggressive with raleigh, but i was meaning to find that cat a new home before i got raleigh anyway. one thing that bugs me about raleigh is that he lunges at the cats. its kind of like an abrupt bow-- like BOOM! GOTCHA! and the cats of course hate it.

    squiggy does this. He is trying to play, which the cats go hide until he is out of that mode.
    He also "fleas" the cats. But the cats like it best when he just bathes them.
    At least my B does not have to worry about cat hair :)
    I have 2 sphynx:p

    Glad to hear your group is getting along.

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