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Old 12-28-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 1,337,089 times
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The reason he is in the crate is because I read that he should be in there until he gets more familiar with the house and the cats. DS has taken him out several times for walks and fetch. As a matter of fact, he is with him at the park right now. I read to let him investigate the house on a leash which is what we've been doing. I'm worried about his reaction to the cats so that is why I'm afraid to let him roam. I don't want to have to keep the cats confined to a room all day either, kwim.

He is a two year old boston terrier, chihuahua mix. He knows some basic commands and is a good dog. I'm just worried about him and the cats.

If I can figure out how to post pics, I will.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,242 posts, read 13,991,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
The reason he is in the crate is because I read that he should be in there until he gets more familiar with the house and the cats. DS has taken him out several times for walks and fetch. As a matter of fact, he is with him at the park right now. I read to let him investigate the house on a leash which is what we've been doing. I'm worried about his reaction to the cats so that is why I'm afraid to let him roam. I don't want to have to keep the cats confined to a room all day either, kwim.

He is a two year old boston terrier, chihuahua mix. He knows some basic commands and is a good dog. I'm just worried about him and the cats.

If I can figure out how to post pics, I will.
No no no no no!!! He should be in there when you can't supervise - when you're asleep or not home!! Aside from that, let him interact with his new family and check out his new home. That's SO important to him!!!!

If you're worried about the cats, try tethering, but not so much crate time. Put his leash on him and keep it tied to your belt loop or on your wrist. He can't bother a cat if he's on leash and if he acts inappropriately it's easy to correct the behavior immediately.

If the cats aren't declawed, don't worry too much. Your dog is little and cats are amazing at lining out dogs that don't know their place. I had a GSD that I pulled from a shelter that thought the cats were good squeaky toys. He loved that they ran from him and it was a great game. Until he tried to play that with my cat that grew up with my mastiff. After a 182 pound mastiff, a 60 pound GSD wasn't anything to him. He reared up and gave that poor old GSD a 1-2 punch and the GSD ran and hid behind me! That was the last time he ever bothered them. He'd walk along the edges of the room if the cat was in the middle of it after that.

If you've got the dog on a leash to boot, you're safe and so are the cats. Let him out of the crate, snap on that leash and let him explore and check things out. The more he's in a crate with the cats having freedom, the more likely he is to be aggressive or overly excited.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:30 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,088,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
The reason he is in the crate is because I read that he should be in there until he gets more familiar with the house and the cats. DS has taken him out several times for walks and fetch. As a matter of fact, he is with him at the park right now. I read to let him investigate the house on a leash which is what we've been doing. I'm worried about his reaction to the cats so that is why I'm afraid to let him roam. I don't want to have to keep the cats confined to a room all day either, kwim.
NO! All wrong! Throw away whatever you read! You do have to keep the cats confined to another room at times. Letting the dog see the cats and lunge at the cats while stuck in the crate is going to cause BIG PROBLEMS. It's like you're teasing the dog. That's going to make the dog want to get at those cats more.

Keep the dog out of his crate when you're home. Let him get used to the house and the smells of the cats. Lock the cats away in a room to allow the dog to wander around the house without a leash. Then alternate and put the dog away in a bedroom while the cats have free time in the house.

Only crate him when nobody is home. I wouldn't leave his crate in an open area of the house that the cats can wander through the room while you're not home to supervise. Put the crate in your son's bedroom so the door can be closed when nobody is home to keep the cats out of the room.

After days and days of smelling each other, introduce the dog and cats with the dog on a leash. DO NOT HOLD THE CATS. You don't want the dog jealous of the cats. If the dog lunges at the cat, correct the dog with a pull of the leash and a stern no. Reward the dog when the dog doen't lunge with a treat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
He is a two year old boston terrier, chihuahua mix. He knows some basic commands and is a good dog. I'm just worried about him and the cats.
p in mind that cats are dangerous to dogs with those claws. Most likely your cats will run and hide somewhere. They'll eventually work out a relationship.

Does the shelter where you got him have an animal behaviorist? If not, I'm sure the workers there would be happy to give you tips. They want this dog to have a happy home. They know your son. Call them. Talk to them. Let them guide you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
If I can figure out how to post pics, I will.
Can't wait to see them!
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:32 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,088,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
The more he's in a crate with the cats having freedom, the more likely he is to be aggressive or overly excited.
Exactly! The way the crate is being used is actually training him to hate cats. It's making him WANT them. It's frustrating him because he can't get them. And cats will eventually start teasing him, prancing themselves past his crate just to watch him go bonkers. The OP needs to change the way she's doing things ASAP.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:10 PM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,189,695 times
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Mrs 1885 is right, tethering is the way to go at first while he's very excited about the cat. And keep small training treats in your pocket to reward him for being calm and paying attention to you rather than the cat. Teach him "watch me" by holding a treat in front of your face and giving it to him when he makes eye contact. When he's got that, just hold a finger in front of your face with a treat in the other hand, tell him "watch me" and give it to him when he looks at you rather than the treat. This is a good way to teach him to stop focusing too much on the cat (or other things). Teach him "leave it" using 2 kinds of treats, a good one and a REALLY good one. Put the less-good one on the floor, and before he can eat it say "leave it" and give him the better treat. When he knows to leave the treat on the floor, keep practising, except with 2 treats of the same value. "Watch me" and "leave it" are 2 very good commands for him to know with the cat, and with lots of other things. Don't get discouraged, even dogs that are great with cats take work settling in with them. They need time to get over the initial excitement, and the dog and cat will eventually work out their relationship, whether it's as friends or just living in toleration of each other. Or the cat teaching the dog to stay the heck away or else!
After you get back from vacation, a basic training class would be great for you and your new dog. What did you decide to do while your gone? I guess a dog sitter won't be an option until he and the cats get settled in together better.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:57 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,736,220 times
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heres what i personally woudl do.
1: crate is in the livingroom...
whe your home and able to supervise the crate should be open. if you dont want to give him free run ofyour house yet (perfectly fine) baby gate or close doors to the rooms you dont want him in ect.

he should ONLY be closed in the crate if he cant be supervised.

i dont think id tether him..but i would put a drag line on him (a short leash, should be long enough to easily grab in an emergency but not logn enough t drag on the floor get tangled on anythign ect.
this is purely for emergencies. (ie a confrontation with the cat)
when in the crate a kong filled with kibble then "gooped up" with some low sodium penaut butter is a good time/distractor.

in terms of the cats
1: give them a safe zone, a baby gate across the door to a room the cats are allowed in...the cats can easily jump the gate but the dog cant get in.
2: teach "leave it" or "look at me" have treats on you all the time. the idea is this is going to be a re-direct.
first prime with the treats, "leave it" and treat...you want him to know when he hears those words something good is comming from YOU so hell look at you.
now when he sees a cat the moment his body tenses or eyes lock on the cat use your cue word and give him a treat the moment he looks at you.
your re-directing his attention so he knows removing his attention from the cat = good things!

by reconditioning this intensity...and refocusing his atteniton the cat has a moment to get to his safe zone.
eventually using this "leave it" or refocusing conditioning hell eventually loose interest in the cats because the HUMANS have a better reward.

cats are interesting, there new, and they RUN (self propeled squeey toy anyone!?) so you need to make YOU much more interesting...when he learns look at me or leave it or "focus" ect means stop what your doing and pay atteniton to me and youll get a treat the cat issue should die down immediatly AND its usefull in ALL other aspects of daily life.

i personally use "focus" when i want eyes on me and "leave it" when its more urgent and they need to drop whatever they have and come to me...
they know LEAVE it means NOW...where as focus is more of a redirect. there the same basic behaviour which started with the focus (or look at me), then the "leave it" was reshaped from that initial behaviour.

Last edited by foxywench; 12-28-2011 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,139 posts, read 8,666,921 times
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Smile The crate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faworki1947 View Post
Let him out of the crate! He isn't just to look at you know!.. really let him run in the living rtoom if your in there with him already . .. If you have his crate in the forever spot let the door be open .. he will CHOOSE to go in there when he is needing a less stressful spot to rest .. .. eventually you wont have to keep a door on the crate .. ..
As for the cats .. if he is a puppy dont worry so much, the cats will teach him proper cat manners .. a few swats on the nose and he will learn ..
So what sort of dog did you get .. make age and all the extras you can share about him .. Oh and Pictures please ! LOL we all love puppy pictures ..
Our dogs were all crate trained. We kept them only in the crate when it was quiet time or night time. They really trained fast (more time with us - we would keep the door open and it was so cute when one of them would just go into the crate to sleep! (all Shelties BTW)

We just had fun with all of them. They're my babies, my buddies, my BFFs!!
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
153 posts, read 793,509 times
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Quote:
Exactly! The way the crate is being used is actually training him to hate cats. It's making him WANT them. It's frustrating him because he can't get them. And cats will eventually start teasing him, prancing themselves past his crate just to watch him go bonkers. The OP needs to change the way she's doing things ASAP.
This is simply not true. Dogs don't hate anything, they react to something stimulating. Crating the dog in the house is not "making him hate the cats". This is a dog that is either curious, already has a high prey drive and/or is reactive. It's better for him to be crated or leashed to keep the cats safe until he is trained. It's also perfectly reasonable to expect a dog to be calm in a crate while there are cats around, and that should be one of the goals.

I have to say to the OP, you are doing everything RIGHT. I've been training dogs professionally for over a decade and I always tell people to routinely crate their dogs for a few hours while they're at home. This makes it a lot easier for you to establish rules and training, prevent bad habits, and create structure.

You don't have to interact with him while he's in there, in fact it's best if you ignore him. The crate is for quiet time, not for attention. Give him a chewy and then go about your business. If he barks, ignore him. Only quiet dogs get let out.

The worst thing you can do is to let the dog just roam the house right away and I'm so glad to read you haven't done that. Good job! This gives the dog no structure whatsoever and basically tells him the house is a free for all. Do whatever you like. This is how people end up with dogs that counter surf, pee on the carpet, chase the cats, and claim the sofa. They unclip the leash and let fluffy do whatever he wants and the end result is a dog who does just that.

My basic routine for a new dog is to keep them about 50/50 between the crate and being out with me on a leash (in the house). The dog is only ever doing one of those two things for the first month.

Crate or leash.
(this is of course not including potty breaks and walks. This is regarding house time only and the dog should always be getting enough exercise, which it sounds like he is)

Him being leashed when out of the crate will also give you a way to keep him from fixating on the cats.

I make sure all my interactions with the dog have a purpose.

He is doing a down stay at my feet while I'm at the computer, or he is having a training session, being fed, learning to lie on his "place", etc. etc. I don't interact with the dog just for snuggles and cookies, he must earn his affection through training.

If I can't be actively "with" the dog, he is crated even if I'm home.

After the first month, the dog lets me know when he is ready for more freedom. If he's responding well to my commands, then he can start dragging his leash around the house and not be attached to me. A few weeks later, he may have his leash taken off and be given free roam of the house. IF he earns it.

At this point I've built up close to two months of good behavior habits and obedience practice, the dog and I communicate effectively and he is earning my trust.

To allow a new dog total freedom is only asking for trouble. I think it's wonderful that the OP has been reading and researching what to do and is following the advice he's been finding! Keep up the good work, you will have a well trained dog at the end.

Last edited by CoffeeAddict; 12-29-2011 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,736,220 times
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wow 2 months without so much as a comforting touch?!

I do agree with restricting acess ect and NILF training, but not showing any true affection and making him "EARN" love..lord id hate to be your dog...or your kid.
they dont need to EARN love, theyneed to earn trust, earn respect, but LOVE?! sorry...also been training dogs for a long time (and wild animals,large eotic carnivores ect) and denying snuggle time and essentially ignroing an animal unless your working it is a good way to build up a disconect...TOUCH is very important in the animal world, communal grooming, nuzzles ect...its communication they understand.

i think ill stick to my snuggles because i want them method...
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
153 posts, read 793,509 times
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I pet them plenty, after they sit, or down, or do something I ask. It's not about never giving affection, petting and praise is important, it's about making sure that affection isn't always free.

It's not going to kill the dog to sit first before you give him snuggles. In fact most dogs thrive on routine and structure, and training is just another way to provide that.

It will however, bother a lot of people quite a bit to have to stop, take two seconds and ask for a command first before they pet the dog. The humans are the ones that usually have a problem with it.
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