With winter here, and less time outside, Shamas is getting restless and wants to play witht he cats. Matt's OK with this, but Helen came froma hoarding situation,and ever knew dogs before coming to our house. SHe does not welcome him, and remains in her safe room when he's around. So we're walking him at Petsmart, playing fetch in the house, and putting him in the back yard to get exercise.
For Helen, we're using a dog gate in her safe room, and giving her plenty of atention and treats.
Now, the issue the last couple of days...Shamas is trying to engage the cats in play. Matt's fine- he's used to dogs. He doesn't appreciate having toys dropped on him, but he tells Shamas if he's too close and he sleeps in Shamas's bed, and greets him when he comes near.
The body language I'm trying to decypher is the Shamas VS Helen behavior.
If I go into the safe room and don't shut the door behind me(putting laundry away, talking to my daughter, who lives there), Shamas comes running over. He makes whiny growls, low barks. His weight is born on his back legs, ears back. Helen drops to her fronts, puffs and hisses. She's usually on the Cat tower, giving her high ground. To me it looks like frustration/fear.
I generally call shamas off by either saying his name or snapping my fingers(depending on level of aggression shown) and I snap at Helen too because she's the main aggressor.
Now Shamas is generally good with the cats, even Midnight, who's born Feral, and has a healthy respect for dogs. midnight is reaching a point where he can sit and allow Shamas to creep up to arms length from him, because he's learned to approach slowly, quietly, and can take my cue to sit when he's moving withing the cat's trigger zone. I try to give the cat and dog treats at the same time, to reinforce positive behavior, but with Helen there's no such thing. She's a spitfire, and I don't know that she'll ever get along with him. it's possible...it took her months to acclimate into our home, so i expect her to take months to get used to the dog....but not if they're yelling at each other every time they see each other