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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My dog just moved into my roommates' house w/ me. They have 3 cats. I knew she was bad w/ cats but MAN is this difficult. So far we have just been keeping her in my room and mainly just crossing through the main area of the house so she can go outside, at least until her and their dog are more well socialized to each other. She's had 3 interactions w/ the cats so far, the first time involved her doing her "cat scream" and getting all hot and bothered while the cat was on the counter, but I had a hold of her collar and my roommate rescued the cat so she could not chase it, she looked for it frantically after it was gone. The second time was the worst, the cat was under an end table and she spotted it, screamed quite a bit and ran after it and chased it around a bit before I got a hold of her and was able to get her outside, she then frantically looked for it through the windows. This last time wasn't so bad, she did not scream, just spotted the cat and trotted after it as it ran into my roommate's room under her bed, she looked for it halfheartedly but not frantically -- could she be starting to get used to them? She has never lived w/ cats before. My family has one but he lives upstairs only and the dogs live downstairs only except when Nika came upstairs w/ me to sleep when I lived there. I should note she has never actually tried to hurt a cat, just corners them and sniffs them and makes loud noises at them, very frightening for the cat but they are not in any danger.
I would really like some ideas for what I can do to make this better. She knows many commands but COMPLETELY stops listening to me when there is a cat around, like becomes entirely deaf; so I'm at a loss for what to do. I suppose for now I could just walk her on a leash through the house so I have control over her in case she sees one of the cats. Do you all think that's the best idea? I do want her if possible to get used to living w/ them though. She will eventually have to be loose in the house. My roommate mentioned temporary baby gates (the cats do know which side is theirs), I may ask her about that but I hate to intrude on their lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should note that if I give her the command "wait" (the command I use for heel amongst a couple other things) while I am taking her outside I can keep her close to me and thus keep her from wandering the house looking for the cats but if there happens to be one RIGHT THERE (I mean there usually isn't but there might be) all hell is liable to break loose. So I'm not sure if I should keep her on a leash or not? She is generally so well behaved, she just totally looses her mind around cats. =/
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Another update: she just saw a cat while I had her on the leash as we were coming back in from a walk, she did not scream at all and just pulled some to get to it but was fairly easily corrected. Maybe she is getting used to them? Granted she was quite worn out from the walk so that could have certainly played a role in her subdued reaction ...I'm sorry to keep spamming this thread it's just that this issue is really stressing me out, I have a lot of anxiety and am very easily stressed and things relating to my dog particularly stress me out a lot. Especially because I am worried if she does not learn to get along w/ the cats my roommates will not let me keep her here, and I CANNOT be w/o my dog. I really can't.
 

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I think its hard to give advice because dogs seem to react to cats in unique ways :)

If she doesn't hurt the cats, its likely she'll adjust over time. My boy looooves to chase cats, but if they don't run he gets bored really quickly so even though he can get in their faces and be a bit overwhelming in the long run its better to just let him come face to face with them a few times so he loses interest.
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Discussion Starter #6
@Dia Counter conditioning is a great idea! I can't believe I hadn't thought of that. The only problem is she is not very food motivated and I'm not sure I can get her to take treats when she is in her cat crazed state, but I will definitely keep some on me when walking through the house and try next time we come across a cat. Thanks for the idea.

@PoppyKenna You have a good point, all dogs do react differently. For my dog I don't think intentionally letting her meet the cats face to face would be a good idea, it would only work her into an incredible frenzy. I think it would be best if she had meetings in passing w/ them and learned to ignore them.
 

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We adopted a rotty from the pound that was SO bad she would whine and salivate whenever our cats were spotted.

This was 20 years ago before modern training techniques when people didn't really "know better" and my mum tried her best to train her, herself. It was a much harder approach than is used now, but it was effective. Most effective. Lots of coaxing, building up confidence mixed with a few harsh lessons when required, but lots of love.

She went from a dog that would run away from us in the backyard and not eat for a while week when she first arrived, a dog who destroyed all her bedding for 6 months and was too afraid to use a kennel, who would drag us down the road when we eventually could get a lead on her, who wanted to eat our 2 cats.....

To a dog who didn't need a lead (ever) who would bolt to us when called without fail (ever) to the most perfect happy, well balanced family dog we could have ever hoped for. She would look at us with that "um, hello? The cat is in my face again and I don't know what to do, it's rubbing up against my face and I want it to go away" and as we never EVER gave her the opportunity to grab one of them early on, she never got the taste for carnage and we made them the top animal in the house. We would feed the cats first, pat them first, do everything with them first - so she was the bottom of the ladder..

It took 12 months of painfully repetitive training to turn her from a crazy screwed up pound dog, into wonder dog.

We found out her history from the neighbour of the house that she was seized from and she was starved by an owner who wanted to breed from her - but she was so so skinny that she never came on heat. She would chase cats and jump at them while they were on the tops of the fences - it was a food sport for her.

It's worth persisting! If we could improve her to the point where she was 110% reliable around cats and even strange cats (we could walk her off lead and if she saw one she would look at us and all we would have to say is "leave it alone" she she would continue on as if it wasn't there) remembering that these were the days when no one used leashes - it wasn't the done thing 20 years ago in Australia.

Good luck - Just condition her as much as you can. YOU need to hold the cats in front of her and make the cats the alpha animals. Feed the cat in front of her and tell her to wait if she tries to move.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We adopted a rotty from the pound that was SO bad she would whine and salivate whenever our cats were spotted.

This was 20 years ago before modern training techniques when people didn't really "know better" and my mum tried her best to train her, herself. It was a much harder approach than is used now, but it was effective. Most effective. Lots of coaxing, building up confidence mixed with a few harsh lessons when required, but lots of love.

She went from a dog that would run away from us in the backyard and not eat for a while week when she first arrived, a dog who destroyed all her bedding for 6 months and was too afraid to use a kennel, who would drag us down the road when we eventually could get a lead on her, who wanted to eat our 2 cats.....

To a dog who didn't need a lead (ever) who would bolt to us when called without fail (ever) to the most perfect happy, well balanced family dog we could have ever hoped for. She would look at us with that "um, hello? The cat is in my face again and I don't know what to do, it's rubbing up against my face and I want it to go away" and as we never EVER gave her the opportunity to grab one of them early on, she never got the taste for carnage and we made them the top animal in the house. We would feed the cats first, pat them first, do everything with them first - so she was the bottom of the ladder..

It took 12 months of painfully repetitive training to turn her from a crazy screwed up pound dog, into wonder dog.

We found out her history from the neighbour of the house that she was seized from and she was starved by an owner who wanted to breed from her - but she was so so skinny that she never came on heat. She would chase cats and jump at them while they were on the tops of the fences - it was a food sport for her.

It's worth persisting! If we could improve her to the point where she was 110% reliable around cats and even strange cats (we could walk her off lead and if she saw one she would look at us and all we would have to say is "leave it alone" she she would continue on as if it wasn't there) remembering that these were the days when no one used leashes - it wasn't the done thing 20 years ago in Australia.

Good luck - Just condition her as much as you can. YOU need to hold the cats in front of her and make the cats the alpha animals. Feed the cat in front of her and tell her to wait if she tries to move.
She has seen the cats eating, that was actually the first time she saw one, and just got worked into an incredible frenzy, but I think after a few weeks it might be okay to try that again, once she's used to them a little bit. Did you do counter conditioning w/ this dog or what?
The last couple times she saw the cats she did not scream, just jumped up to try and get them but I was able to divert her relatively easily (not verbally but physically). I hope eventually she will get to the point where I can divert her verbally. I'm not sure she will ever be to where she 100% ignores them, but to be able to correct her w/ a sharp "NO" would be nice. Like I said, w/ literally everything else she is almost the perfect dog, so very well trained and well behaved, it's just this cat issue that is her one major flaw (that and being somewhat fearful of other dogs, which was not really a problem until she was attacked many times by a dog an extremely crazy former roommate adopted and returned after two weeks simply because he decided he did not want the responsibility of a dog but that's another story. He actually lied when he returned the dog and told the shelter the dog bit him, I was LIVID. He signed that dog's death sentence).
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
thanks for the link @Dawnben! I will try what's suggested there.
I think she is getting better w/ them, today while she was harassing 2 of them one ran and she didn't even chase it at all, though that may have been because she was distracted by the other. I also after about 30 seconds got her to take up a sit while she was bothering the remaining cat that was on the table, so I could grab her and lead her away, so she is becoming more capable of listening to me when there are cats around which is good.
I'm feeling a little bit better about the situation and am thinking that in time she will get used to them, like I said I doubt she will ever ignore them completely, but I'm hoping after some months a sharp verbal correction should be all I need to get her to leave them alone.
Thanks everybody for all your help.
 
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