Ok…I've Had It...It's Muzzle Time
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  • Our Basenji puppy has been playing way too violently with our 4 year old cat.
    Our puppy seems to think that pulling chunks of fur out of our cat is ok. No matter what we do it just won't stop. We have purchased a baby gate but that doesn't work anymore. You see, the cat isn't that bright. He likes to play with the dog and will allow the dog to chase him and go for the throat. I know our puppy doesn't want to kill our cat but soon, very soon, the dog will get bigger and he will bite harder and our stupid cat will allow this (did I mention our cat isn't declawed! He won't even use his claws to defend himself) I will try to seperate the cat from the dog they just love to play too much and one will hop the gate to get to the other. My boyfriend and I don't understand. We have to seperate the "playing" because it is way too violent! I swear, once I pick up the cat and put him back on his perch away from the dog, he jumps right down to the floor for another round :confused:
    Solution????? I think a muzzle for the puppy when the playing becomes too rough. Any suggestions??? That was the only thing I could come up with. Making our puppy realize that anytime he bites the cat he gets muzzled.

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  • I'm having sort of the same problem, except I have two Bs chasing around the one stupid cat. There are 2 other cats in the house, and they do come over the gate into puppy territory, but if needed, they hiss, growl and swat (no claws) and the puppies don't even look twice at them now! But Embers (1 year old cat) enjoys interacting with Missi and Cooper (11 1/2 week old Bs) and when they start to get too rough, the cat just lays down in a submissive positon. Then the pups play tug-of-war with his tail, or rip clumps of fur out, and Embers just meows and sometimes runs away. We mostly have to pick him up and put him out of reach of the pups! He will sometimes jump right back down by the pups again too. I'm very interested in comments/suggestions on this situation.

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  • Beth,
    Looks like the both of us have cats who just don't mind being used as a chew toy! Hahahaha
    The one thing our puppy does which makes me chringe…he will grab the cat by the ear and pull him across the living room and the poor cat will just moan and make these god awful sounds. AAGGHHH!!!!!

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  • I would not muzzle a puppy. The pup and the cat need to be taught how to interact. muzzling isn't going to teach either one of them anything, except maybe frustration and confusion. They need to learn how to live together. My best advice is to stop this NOW, no more chasing, AT ALL.

    The puppy can be kept on leash in the house, and when the cat approaches, TEACH the dog LEAVE IT. use the leash to empower your words, and use high value treats to reward the pup when he listens. The best idea to teach the dog to LEAVE THE CAT ALONE, and never ever allow the pup to chase the cat. playing can quickly get carried away, and have tragic consequences.

    To keep the cat away from the dog, use a squirt bottle. if the cat approaches the pup to instigate things, the cat gets squirted!

    until both have learned how to interact, do not leave them alone - and always supervise ANY interaction. even silly play can result in serious harm for one of them - a claw in the eye, a bite, etc….

    Until I was certain my dog would leave both of my cats alone, I kept him crated when left alone, to be SURE no one got injured.

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  • Jessi,
    I really wish that would work…I have already tried the spray bottle and our pup will do a B-500 sprint around the whole house and then pounce the cat once again. Telling him no doesn't work because the cat will tease him. Our cat loves to run around to get the dogs attention. Heck...one time when our puppy fell asleep on the coach the cat came up to him and hit him on the head while sleeping just to mess with him! :(
    Talk about wierd!

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  • Are you sure he is really biting the cat all that hard? Cat fur comes out pretty easily and they have alot. My dominant cat tolerates a lot of mouthing from the puppies. Way more than I would have expected but if they bite down hard he will defend himself. Often times though, they just aren't biting as hard as it sometimes appears. Does the cat have actual bite marks?

    As for the muzzle, you should realize that they can use them as a weapon and though he won't be able to bite he will be able to smack the cat with it so ultimately it will not teach him to leave the cat alone. Also, if you plan to lure course Chance, you do not want to teach him that a muzzle is punishment.

    Is the cat getting enough of your attention? Could it be he is putting up with the puppy because it really wants to be with you? If a squirt bottle didn't work you can try a shake can. Put several pennies in an aluminum can and tape up the opening. When they dog is getting too rough with the cat toss the can near them to distract and break up the rough play. It works best if the dog does not see you toss the can. It helps to have several throughout the house so one is always handy when you need it.

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  • @Vanessa626:

    Jessi,
    I really wish that would work…I have already tried the spray bottle and our pup will do a B-500 sprint around the whole house and then pounce the cat once again. Telling him no doesn't work because the cat will tease him.

    it does work if you are serious about it, and follow through w/ the training. I've done it. cats are even more easily trained than dogs, so it's really not all that difficult.

    of course telling him NO isn't working - training a strong leave it, and even a down/stay is a better option than NO. (in fact, I hardly ever use the term NO w/ my own dog, instead I assign a command. Leave it. give. drop it. wait. stop.)

    there must be consequences for the cat also, don't allow the cat to pounce on the dog, or swat the dog. the cat must be kept in line also. the cat only teases the dog because YOU allow it to happen.

    If you want order in your home, it takes a leader who instills respect for all members of the pack.

    there is no quick fix for this, IMO, the only way is to teach better manners or keep them seperated.

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  • Lisa,
    I havn't tried the shake can..I'll try that tonight.
    I looked at our cat last night and he has scars on his ears and dried blood on his skull. When I said chunks of fur, I ment chunks with skin. He has bald patches on his body.

    When our cat was a kitten we used to wrestle with him and he liked the attention. Maybee because we played with him like that as a kitten, he thinks it is playing as an adult. I dunno.

    What about the mesh muzzles rather than those huge bulky ones?
    We havn't tried using a muzzle yet. I wanted to post this on the forum asking for advice. If only I could put apple bitter on the cat…then the dog wouldn't go near him. LOL

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  • Jessi,

    I fully agree. I need to step up the training. Our pup sure does try to outwit me though :rolleyes: I need eyes in the back of my head!

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  • @Vanessa626:

    Jessi,
    I really wish that would work…I have already tried the spray bottle and our pup will do a B-500 sprint around the whole house and then pounce the cat once again. Telling him no doesn't work because the cat will tease him. Our cat loves to run around to get the dogs attention. Heck...one time when our puppy fell asleep on the coach the cat came up to him and hit him on the head while sleeping just to mess with him! :(
    Talk about wierd!

    I think Jessi meant spray the cat…not the dog. And keep the dog on a house line, teach him to "leave it" Sounds like a great plan to me.

    On the other hand...if the cat isn't objecting to the play, maybe he is enjoying it. Your pup might have a very soft mouth when playing with the cat? Might? If the cat is coming back for more...I don't think I would fret too much about it.

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  • Maybe I should just get a Super Soaker. That will get our little guys attention ;)

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  • NOW we're on the same page! yes, supersoaker. no messin' 'round! you show that kitty who's boss! I use a regular squirt bottle that has a long range so I can hit my target from the couch. I'm not even kidding you when I say this… for the first 2 mths of having my dog home, I kept the squirt bottle hooked onto my pants - like a cowgirl w/ a gun in the holster.

    I continue the squirting until the cat retreats - aiming for the paws and the tooshy! (no head squirting, that's just mean)

    ETA: training leave it take time, and if you embark on this command, be sure to use lots of different objects. I used crumpled up paper towels & tissues (hard for a B to resist!), stuffed toys, and yes, even both of my cats. practice this for 5 min at a time, a few times a day if possible. your pup will pick it up, and your cat may be able to grow some fur back.

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  • @jessi76:

    NOW we're on the same page! yes, supersoaker. no messin' 'round! you show that kitty who's boss! I use a regular squirt bottle that has a long range so I can hit my target from the couch. I'm not even kidding you when I say this… for the first 2 mths of having my dog home, I kept the squirt bottle hooked onto my pants - like a cowgirl w/ a gun in the holster.

    I continue the squirting until the cat retreats - aiming for the paws and the tooshy! (no head squirting, that's just mean)

    Hahahahahaha ROLMAO
    My boyfriend and I have even purchased a 41 inch baby gate in the hopes of keeping the pup out of the other part of the house. We should have the new gate in a day or two.

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  • I have three cats. You'll see the smallest one in one of my pics, Sugar is laying on her. You probably won't like my methods, but it worked for the cats. I only had to do this for the one cat (a ragdoll-dumb as a stump). The other cats usually take care of themselves. In fact, they won't even mess with the one cat. When the pup jumps the cat, I pulled the pup off the cat, put it on it's back and said mine. This took a bit, but it did work. They seemed to get that they can't mess with "mine". I do this for a few things that I don't want them to touch. It doesn't work all the time, and they still try to jump the cat once in a while to see if I've forgotton (don't forget they're very intelligent) but it worked for me. (except for the chickens-Shadow really,really, REALLY, liked the chickens-they're tasty)!

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  • so how is it working?

    the LEAVE IT command is great. Start with not cat objects you dont want you puppy to play with, say leave it, get the attention and give a tiny treat…

    you can also encourage this type of response while playing fetch. when the puppy brings back the toy, hold the toy until the pup releases it, say GIVE not participating in any tugging or shaking behavior which encourages the prey drive. i find that a soothing voice and looking the puppy directly in the eye does the trick. they will look away or release the toy.

    if this is hard, use a tiny treat to encourage the GOOD GIVE after the fact. Leave it is similar. i used to chase caesar around when he wanted to chase the cats....lots of LEAVE ITs and treats, but the give works as well....caesar bled the two commands together....

    give is good becuase it establishes your terms to the game and doesnt encourage that shaking behavior if you want to avoid it ( i avoid the behavior in case we have small kids in the house that pull toys from the dogs)

    leave it is good to establish your own terms....

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  • @Mantis:

    so how is it working?

    the LEAVE IT command is great. Start with not cat objects you dont want you puppy to play with, say leave it, get the attention and give a tiny treat…

    you can also encourage this type of response while playing fetch. when the puppy brings back the toy, hold the toy until the pup releases it, say GIVE not participating in any tugging or shaking behavior which encourages the prey drive. i find that a soothing voice and looking the puppy directly in the eye does the trick. they will look away or release the toy.

    if this is hard, use a tiny treat to encourage the GOOD GIVE after the fact. Leave it is similar. i used to chase caesar around when he wanted to chase the cats....lots of LEAVE ITs and treats, but the give works as well....caesar bled the two commands together....

    give is good becuase it establishes your terms to the game and doesnt encourage that shaking behavior if you want to avoid it ( i avoid the behavior in case we have small kids in the house that pull toys from the dogs)

    leave it is good to establish your own terms....

    Great post, Mantis. I totally agree, and great explanation of the training steps!

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