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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! As a new dog caretaker I am just joining this forum.

A little about myself. Female, college vet student, just recently moved in with my boyfriend, my friend Mary, and my BF's band mate. Said band mate (Jake) got a new dog, named Jerry, just a few days ago.

When I heard that Jerry was a 1 year old half border collie, half german shepherd, I worried a bit. Would he be too hyper? Would he chase my cats ( have one adult and one kitten)? Would he nip heels? I was even more worried when I learned that he'd spent the first year of his life unleashed, outside, living with very little attention paid to his training and socialization. On the first day, Jerry was very afraid in the car, causing him to vomit. He didn't want to come in the house- I don't think he trusted the stairs. We finally coaxed him in and he didn't want to walk on the carpet. Poor guy, everything was so new for him.

In waltzes Chica, my kitten. Who forgot to shut the door?! I wonder, quite nervous and ready to remove her quickly. But Jerry shies away from her and Chica surprisingly struts right over to him! For the rest of the evening, Jerry had a little stalker, who really wanted to meet him but Jerry continued to avoid her and dodge her attempts to approach. By the end of the first night, Jerry finally sniffed Chica and gave her a play-bow when she pawed at his nose. I think they are on the way to being good friends.

Actually, I think Jerry will be very happy here. His energy is a perfect match for our household. He walks very well, and he DOES act iffy around other dogs (pulling, barking after them) but he reacts to a gentle tug on the leash accompanied by a sharp "SHHH" sound. He'll turn and look at me all like "oh my gosh! What did I do??" and proceed to heel quite close and behave. So far I am not sure if he is house trained. He's lived all his life outside and had no accidents thus far but we have been very careful. It seems he likes to hold it for a while because he didn't pee for over 7 hours, until finally peeing for almost a minute straight outside! After the first night in his kennel, which he did quite well at (slept the whole night, no crying no accidents) he was quite happy to see me in the morning. He went on the carpet without hesitation and he even was playing around a corner with Chica! She would pop out and swat and he would jump with his butt in the air and push his nose into her. SO cute!

But then breakfast time rolls around. He likes to steal the kitty's food so he eats in his kennel. I fed him and shut the door and he was happily munching away when Chica strolled too close. He sort of lunged at her in a threatening way, obviously trying to protect his food. He didn't bark or growl or bare his teeth, but still, I am not quite sure I like that behavior. As of now the crate keeps Chica safe. I would like to know some advice about how to manage this so it does not escalate- I don't want my kitten being hurt accidently! The other day, I was able to remove his bowl from him while he ate without signs of aggression, so it isn't me that I am worried about.

Should he continue to eat in his crate or are there ways to manage this behavior so that he can eat out in the kitchen with everyone? I am also worried should some circumstance arise- for example someone forgets to remove the cat bowls and lets Jerry out of his crate, and he gets into them and perhaps guards them against the cats when they come in for a nibble. (I have been working on teaching him that the cat bowls are off limit. We are at the point where he knows he's not supposed to, but when I'm not looking the smell is just too tempting)

Any advise is appreciated!


((OH, and in case you are wondering about my older cat. He does not seem afraid, I attribute that to him not wanting to seem like a fraidy cat when little Chica is so brave. He sits from some perch on his cat tree or the couch and grumbles to himself about it. He will even enter the kitchen with Jerry in there but he's quite slinky, and he gives Jerry 'the eye' letting him know that he does not want to be approached. Jerry seems to get it, because there has not been a Nito+Jerry confrontation so far. I'm pretty sure if there way, that Jerry would get smacked :p))
 

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Welcome!!! And congrats on the new household addition. It's hard for him that everything is so new, but wonderful as now he's a member of a family and allowed in the house :)

Is it possible to feed the cats on a counter or table or high surface instead of the floor? Cats can get up high and dogs can't -so that's the simplest way to solve the problem! Simply feed them on a counter-then you don't have to remove bowls so the dog can't get to them. If you don't want them on your kitchen counter-try another counter or even on top of the washer or drier (provided they aren't running) ;)

I can see a very shy timid dog being defensive in a crate easily. A crate is a nice place for a dog-cozy and dark like a den, however it has only one entrance and if they are shy/timid and they see a threat (to them or their food) they could easily charge. I would think had the door been open he might have retreated rather then charged-and that he charged because the door was there and he felt safe enough to display like that. I hope that makes sense!!
 

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Does the dog have a crate? I feed all of mine in their crates so nobody can get into anybody elses space. Some dogs are just going to guard their food, its best to make it a point that whoever feeds the dog separates him. Also the idea about the cat food up higher is great! This will also keep the dog from guarding their food lol
 

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there are some things you can do to work on guarding the food bowl. i play "trading" games with my dog so that he doesn't feel he has to guard his stuff. he's really good with people, but if you read any of my posts you'll see he occasionally has an issue with one of my cats. to do the trading game, i give my dog something he likes and when he gets into it, i get his attention and "trade" him for something he likes even more. sometimes i will trade back and forth. hand feeding from the food dish will help your dog too. be careful not to reach down and "take" anything from the dog. get his attention and show him that what you have is "better" and then trade.
you can help along the intro period to other animals by giving the dog (and the cat too!seriously, i have 3 cats in my house and i have the dog and the cats line up for treat sessions, the only thing they have to do right now for a reward is to sit calmly) a lot of treats when they are around each other. that way the dog associates the cat's pressence with good stuff and is happy when she is around. you may need to toss them to the dog at first, make sure they are something that the dog really likes (i use chicken breasts that i cook and chop up into small peices) don't be afraid to go over board with this, you really want the dog to be showered with wonderful stuff whenever the cats are around.

instead of correcting your dog for reacting on the leash (this is only suppressing the behavior), you can try just simply turning around and walking away from the dog he is reacting to. once he calms down you can give him a reward for showing the behavior that you want. try to keep your eyes open for dogs that he may react to and spot them before your dog does (i have to watch out for this too b/c my dog wants to play with every other dog he sees!) i will put my dog in a sit and wait for that dog to get closer and reward my dog for being good (ie calm etc) this works with "aggressive" or fear behavior also. sort of the same principle as the cat...he will start to associate the approaching dog with really good stuff. if he starts to react, just turn around again and move back to a place where he can see the dog w/o reacting.....then reward heavily. i hope this makes sense!



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Iam simply going to echo everyone here...feed the cats up high, feed in a crate and definetly don't correct him for being afraid of other dogs :)

Congrats on your new "project".. :)



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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks guys, I am going to try these new techniques! I have roommates who do not want the cat hair on any of our surfaces so that will have to stay on the ground unfortunately. However, I limit feeding time and supervise anyways (because my kitten will eat all of my adult's food as well as her own) and then pull the food after 20 minutes. They usually eat all their soft meals, but their crunchy meal I save for a few hours and give them their leftovers as a snack later. Jerry seems very smart- he already knows his sit and down command and learns things quite easily. Must be the border collie in him, but could be the german too, since I have heard both breeds are quite smart!

I will continue to feed him in his kennel. Will it help to put some sort of cover over it while he eats to give him privacy? I will also try the trading game, and someone else at school recommended hand feeding him kibble one and one and making him "work" for it, by doing commands. We practiced his "come" command all over the house, and he loved it, judging by the way his little tail was wagging all over! He seems really eager to work with me on commands, which I really love about him, because I love training animals! He's got about 10 more tricks to learn before he catches up with Magneto, my cat!

By the way, here is a picture! (Jerry and Chica)

 

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The hand feeding is a great idea...

I cover all my dog crates...just a personal preference...

what about covering the crate and feeding the cat on top of the crate? lol

They are both adorable...I see the cat is charging its laser eyes.



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Thanks guys, I am going to try these new techniques! I have roommates who do not want the cat hair on any of our surfaces so that will have to stay on the ground unfortunately. However, I limit feeding time and supervise anyways (because my kitten will eat all of my adult's food as well as her own) and then pull the food after 20 minutes. They usually eat all their soft meals, but their crunchy meal I save for a few hours and give them their leftovers as a snack later. Jerry seems very smart- he already knows his sit and down command and learns things quite easily. Must be the border collie in him, but could be the german too, since I have heard both breeds are quite smart!

I will continue to feed him in his kennel. Will it help to put some sort of cover over it while he eats to give him privacy? I will also try the trading game, and someone else at school recommended hand feeding him kibble one and one and making him "work" for it, by doing commands. We practiced his "come" command all over the house, and he loved it, judging by the way his little tail was wagging all over! He seems really eager to work with me on commands, which I really love about him, because I love training animals! He's got about 10 more tricks to learn before he catches up with Magneto, my cat!

By the way, here is a picture! (Jerry and Chica)

awww they're cute(couldnt see your pic on teh computer i was on earlier), and standing so close to each other and letting you take a photo after only just meeting, is a good sign that they'll get along well....it's taken my cat forever to accept my dog...but they get better all the time;)



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the compliments guys! Chica is a strange kitten. I have had her since she was very very little- her mom decided she'd had enough of the whole nursing thing at age 4 weeks and abandoned Chica, her sister, and her brother. My sister now owns her brother (Kovie, they are practically twins with minor differences) and I fostered the other kitten for a while and found her a special home. Chica and Kovie have been highly socialized, they go with us everywhere, they've been to parks, stores, new houses and they've met a whole bunch of cats and dogs even. They are game for befriending almost anyone and anything. When friends bring their dogs over, Chica isn't even scared! She wants to meet them, sniff them, hide around corners and ambush them, and most of all, chase their tails.

I think Chica's persistence is what won Jerry over so quickly. He's still slightly nervous of her, but definitely intrigued. Last night they were playing the cutest little game. We had a loop leash around Jerry's neck in case we needed to grab him for whatever reason (still don't fully trust him on our carpet) and it was dragging on the ground, causing Chica to chase it. Jerry in turn was playing a 'herding' game, poking her with his nose and doing a pretty typical border collie herding pose. He's very gentle with her! At one point, Chica pounced on his nose which caused him to jump back and bark at her, floofing little Chica up from head to toe. My roommate told him no, and he went straight to him looking very guilty and laid his head on his lap. Silly boy!

I have utilized a cover for his kennel, and my other cat, Nito, now eats on a table in the living room where he feels more sheltered. It's working out pretty nice for the first night we tried it, because now he can eat his dinner in peace without worrying about Jerry or Chica stealing it.

On another note- Chica keeps stealing Jerry's kennel any chance she gets! Literally, if you open the door to that kennel she'll try to get in before Jerry. Jerry seems highly amused by this, wagging his tail and circling around the kennel, pushing his muzzle up to the bars while she sticks her leg through the bars and paws at his nose. At one point they got in there together.

StormyHotWolf88- I work at a dog daycare and have seen a couple german x border mixings. Typically they have the black coat with the eye spots, as well as brown legs or white toes. Maybe they do have similar breed combos in them, but with mutts it's always hard to know for sure!


Another question- Are some dogs just not at all inclined to play with toys? My boyfriend was hoping he could get Jerry to play frisbee with him, but so far Jerry has shown little to no interest whatsoever in toys. He put his mouth on a knotted rag one, and picked up a stuffed animal and dropped it right away. He just watches frisbees and balls with no interest whatsoever. He'd much rather chase a squirrel. Since he wasn't played with much as a puppy, does this mean he'll never like to play with toys? I was hoping to teach him 'take it' 'leave it' and 'drop it' but how can I teach those skills when he won't take anything?
 

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Got some more ideas for feeding the cats-since you can't feed up high (as you said your roommates don't want fur-understandable)

I just googled 'dog proof cat feeder'

Here ya go!


Available here-http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.supercoolpets.com/pictures/dogproofcatfeeder.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.supercoolpets.com/archives/cat_food_feeders.php&usg=__x3qvhq2zcFfQp2GJztGgRB1X_Zk=&h=356&w=356&sz=32&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=uTYsOtPY1gmR3M:&tbnh=121&tbnw=121&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddog%2Bproof%2Bcat%2Bfood%2Bbowl%26hl%3Den%26um%3D1
 

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I think you could easily make one too-looks pretty simple to design :)
 

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i know, and i really like to do that sort of thing (most of my furniture is thrift store stuff that i've fixed up) you could just take an end table that already exists and add that stuff to it!!!



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I wonder the same about toys. Strider I find, even though I walk him 3-4 times a day, he becomes even more active at night and started trying to nibble my fingers to get me to wrestle him. I'm a little allergic to dogs so I break out a little if I don't wash my hands promptly. So I need to use toys to calm him but he hasn't chewed the rawhide I got him or have any interest in the ball.
 

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I wonder the same about toys. Strider I find, even though I walk him 3-4 times a day, he becomes even more active at night and started trying to nibble my fingers to get me to wrestle him. I'm a little allergic to dogs so I break out a little if I don't wash my hands promptly. So I need to use toys to calm him but he hasn't chewed the rawhide I got him or have any interest in the ball.
i'd try giving him a kong w a bit of peanut butter in it then. i have a "winding down" routine w my dog and my cat. in the evenings we have "quiet time" and clover gets a chewie, which he has to stay on his bed to keep (this is no work for him cuz that is where he likes to chew it) and the cat gets some alone time w me wo clover bugging him.....maybe this would work for you too, at a certain time, when you are done w giving him all your attention, he gets something to work on for a bit and help to mellow him out for a while.



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Kongs are great! And if you go on their website they have tons of recipes for you too-like cooking an egg and cheese in it in the microwave (take a minute I think) and that will keep him busy for a long time.

Their are also tons of enrichment/distraction type toys out now-puzzle balls and treat dispensing toys. Those might work really well for you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OOh, a kong I never even thought of that! I bet I could get him to put his mouth on a peanut better filled kong!

I hope he learns to play! So far his "play" is throwing himself on the ground at your feet to act goofy and get belly rubs. He "plays" his little herding game with Chica, pushing his nose into her fur and doing "herding moves" on her while she chases her toys. Today she has been rolling on her back to paw at him and the two of them actually did a little bit of wrestling. He was very gentle with her and mouthed her once (again I told him "no" and he stopped).

He doesn't play, but I guess I can't complain, because he isn't mouthy either!
 
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