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Hello, I am new to this forum and have a 1 1/2 year old mini golden doodle who is very active and strong willed. I also have a cat that she likes to chase and no matter what I do I cannot get her to stop. She has had some training. When she was younger we had a trainer come in for her chasing the cat and the trainer suggested a shock collar. Then my puppy pulls really bad on a leash and the trainer suggested a prong collar. So we have been using that. I took her to a new groomer and the groomer said she is leash reactive. She was good when she was on the grooming table but when she was put on the leash and on the floor she started reacting to the other dogs on the tables. When I take her for a walk she likes to go after moving objects (cars, people running/walking by, other animals, people on bikes, etc.) And then when she was about close to a year old she started to have a bit of toy aggression (not all toys - just like bones filled with peanut butter. And when the cat gets close to her food or toys she growls and goes to whatever the cat gets close to. The other day she went to a new groomer and she came home very tired and somewhat stressed from it and I put her food down and sat by her and she started to eat her food and I put my hand down by her and she growled at me (the cat was sitting in front of her as well) and that's the first time she had ever done that. So, I know I am going on and on but I guess I would like some suggestions on what to do. Thanks so much.
 

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The first suggestions are to get rid of the shock collar and the prong collar. That could well be why she is leash aggressive, she associates the leash with the pain. There is no need for these tools in training.

I suggest the next thing is to look into resource guarding. The growling at the cat, the peanut butter toys and growling at you when you put your hand near her food, indicates she is concerned that it might be taken or eaten. That’s a normal instinct, animals are hard wired not to share food as their survival could depend on it, but your first step needs to be making her feel more secure around food so this doesn’t drift into guarding behaviours with other things. So put her food down and leave her alone - not you, not the cat, nobody. The food is hers and she needs to be able to eat it in peace.

We have an information thread here on resource guarding that you will find helpful, and I strongly recommend the book ‘Mine!‘ by Jean Donaldson.


I will let others take over with the dog / cat relationship, I don’t have a cat AND I do have a terrier, so I’m not well placed to advise - @LMMB? Again though, there is information here -


Regarding pulling, all animals have an instinct to pull against restraints, but a prong collar is not the answer. Good leash manners need training, not tools and especially not aversive tools. We have some great resources here -


For chasing vehicles, my suggestion would be to get her focus on you. It may be that chasing things is more fun, so you need to be yet more fun than that; or it may be teenage sillies but either way, teaching her to focus on you will help a lot. So, on the basis that engaging with you is the foundation to all the training you will do with her (you can’t even begin to train if your dog isn’t engaged with you and her attention isn’t on you) I recommend you start rewarding all engagement with you. If she looks at you, mark that with a sound like ‘yes’ or ’good girl’ or a clicker if you use one, and reward. That starts reinforcing your position as the source of all good things. And should result in her checking in with you more. Then, start working on a ‘watch me’ that you can use to get her focus when she is tempted to chase things. Start by holding a treat near your eyes. When your dog looks at the treat, and by extension, you; mark with your sound marker and reward with the treat. Then, move on to holding your hand near your eyes and a treat in your other hand. When your dog looks at your face, mark and reward from your other hand. From there, move on to pointing to your face and rewarding the look, then you can start putting a verbal cue to it, like ‘watch me’ or whatever else you choose. Do all the training somewhere without distractions like in your home.

When this is reliable you can start using it outside when your dog would like to chase, this will change her focus to you instead. You would probably find it easier when the vehicles etc are at a distance and work up to doing it with them closer.
 

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When she was younger we had a trainer come in for her chasing the cat and the trainer suggested a shock collar. Then my puppy pulls really bad on a leash and the trainer suggested a prong collar. So we have been using that.
This reminds me of a pet peeve of mine, western medicine! You go to a doctor for one thing and they give you some sort of drug to treat that one thing...but it causes some side effect. Which, when you tell your doctor, they too often treat this new thing as totally unrelated to the first thing or the drug given for that. And on and on and on...

Sorry, but as I said it's a personal sore spot...

On to doggy issues. You need another trainer! Any trainer that uses an ecollar to get a dog to leave a cat alone, is not just clueless, they're going directly against ecollar manufacturer's instructions! So as Joanne said, lose the ecollar and teach the dog that the cat is a friend.

Easier said than done, you might be thinking LOL! But it really isn't if you take it slow. First though, it requires your dog have some prior training. Once your dog has a solid "down stay" and "leave it" commands, introduction to a cat is easy.

Keep the dog on a leash as a backup, put her in a down stay and let the cat in. Remind the dog as needed using "leave it" and stay, and just let the cat be a cat. Eventually, the cat's curiosity will cause him to investigate the dog. This may take days or even weeks, but cat's at some point can't resist once they feel sure the dog won't get them.

But even if the cat does not come over to see the dog, simply coexisting in the same room without chasing will get them both used to the concept.

Eventually (but don't rush it!) you can allow the dog more freedom of movement, still leashed for safety, as long as she doesn't fixate on the cat. If she does, call her back and make her lay down again. Rinse and repeat. They'll be friends, or roommates at least, in no time.
 

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I have a lurcher, a Chi, and a kitten. Kitten likes to run, lurcher likes to chase, Chi can’t be bothered with either running or chasing. 😁

But.

That does mean the lurcher gets to chase the cat. She doesn’t. We play Chase the Treat instead, so she has that need met, and she doesn’t feel the need to chase the kitten. You could do the same with a toy, a ball & launcher etc.

I think you need to separate them and go back to Square 1. Whoever was here last has their own room, with everything they need - comfy bed, toys, quality time with you, while the other has the rest of the house (and quality time with you). You could swap them on alternate days, so that the one who was confined to one room one day, has the rest of the house the next, and vice versa.

Do NOT let them see each other at all for about a week. Meanwhile, as per the link, take an item from the cat (a bed, a collar, a toy) and give it to the dog to sniff, and vice versa.

Then open the door of the confined pet’s room - just a crack, so the can see each other and smell each other, but can’t get to each other. You could also use a fly screen or a baby gate, if preferred.

Focus on the dog, watch her body language, and praise/reward for calmness. If she makes any move towards the cat, move her away from the door, with a “let’s go”, praise and reward. Keep sessions short, but slowly build them up. And yes, keep the dog on lead for these introductions.

If you have someone available to help you, that would be ideal - have one person concentrating on the cat, while you work with your dog. You need to reward the cat for being calm/associating the dog with good things as well as the dog seeing the cat as a good thing. When the dog stops showing signs of wanting to chase the cat, and/or being calm around the cat, then you can allow them to interact freely - but again, keep sessions short and sweet and build up.

If, at any point in the reintroduction, one of the animals don’t seem happy/relaxed, or the dog stares or lunges for the cat, then go back a step or two for a couple more days.

Again, if you have someone who can be an accomplice and keep one entertained while you concentrate on the other, that would be ideal, but I had to manage it alone, so the kitten got a treat dispenser while I fed the dogs (aka the girls) treats for ignoring him.

We’re about 6wks in, and they’re interacting freely most of the time now, (Twice this afternoon, Kaylus the kitten ran straight past Milly the lurcher, and she didn’t move a muscle) but they’re still separated when I go out.

Always, always feed them separately. I feed my Lurcher in the bedroom, the cat in the living room, and the Chihuahua in the hall. They’re allowed to finish their own meals in peace, while I’m busy tidying up, replenishing water bowls, emptying the litter trays etc. Once they’re finished, their bowls are removed before they’re allowed back together.

DO get rid of the prong and the e-collars.
DO take it at the animals’ pace and try not to rush it.
DO remind yourself that it won’t be forever. ;)
DO keep the dog on a leash until you’re confident she won’t chase the cat.
DO redirect that chase instinct onto something more acceptable - such as a tennis ball.

DON’T rush it. It’s the animals that set the pace here, not us.
 
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