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Old 07-06-2013, 12:41 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,268,009 times
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We took in a kitten. I can hear all day about cat owner's perspective on this problem. But I really need to hear from dog owners----because it is a dog problem. I can't find anything on this in internet searches. All of the advice is the other way around----how to protect cats from dogs. I need to learn how to inspire my basset to protect himself from this kitten.

The basset adores the kitten, and wants to play with it. They have done some interacting but they haven't figured out each other's languages. Every night, the kitten starts attacking the basset. She'll hop one inch from his face while he's sleeping and spit at him. If he's a wake, she'll start with that hilarious arched back, hopping sideways around him and towards him, and spit at him just an inch away from his face.

What bothers me is my basset is horrified. His eyes will get huge and he'll move his head away in slow motion, not making eye contact but looking out of the side of his eyes at her. He is being terrorized. I don't want him to attack her. But he would only growl or bark, she'd be frightened and run off. That's not happening at all. He's not showing any indication whatsoever that he will change his submissive ways. I've tried giving him the bark command, which he knows, but he won't do it. Prior this I simply tried to reassure him via telling him it was okay. Then I realized I was sort of giving her permission, in his mind, to bully him.

As a result, I've started doing the following. When I watch her starting to stalk him, the very moment she makes her move towards him, I clap my hands together once very loudly. She startles and runs away. She has no idea that I'm the one who makes the sound. She returned three times in a row and I did this. Eventually she stopped, but I know as soon as the sun goes down today, she'll do it to him again.

How can I encourage my basset hound to respond in a manner that tells this kitten to stop. My Labrador would have had no problem whatsoever. He was that master at putting babies in their place via his warning snarls and vicious sounding non-attacks that most adult dogs do to warn children they are annoying. My basset has always been super submissive. I need some advice.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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I don't think you can change him. Especially if he's not in his physical top shape right now. Of course it could be that it's not bothering him at all. And yeah, I think you told him "it's ok" for her to do it.

I'd probably be working with the kitten, too, stopping her and redirecting her to something more fun? Like annoying moving toys and stuff
http://www.squidoo.com/toy-cats-that-purr-move-and-meow

From what I remember, cats are sorta nocturnal-ish. Have fun playing with your cat all night LOL.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Dallas
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The fact that the kitten is spitting at him shows she views your dog as some type of threat and she's being pretty brave in coming in close. I have had lots of different species of animals and always found that sitting between them, cuddling the dog in one arm and the new creature in the other and let them sniff each other and verbally reassuring them that they are both ok with the interaction. repeat often enough until they seem comfortable in each others presence. Once the kitten realizes the dog won't harm it and vice versa you won't have this problem.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
And yeah, I think you told him "it's ok" for her to do it.
Yeah, I know. I was thinking more along the lines of reassuring him that she's not a threat. I only said it a couple of times last week. He's a smart dog. He can learn otherwise. He understands that I'm trying to encourage him to not put up with it. I could tell he appreciated my hand clapping. It's clear to him now that I don't think the kitten's behavior is okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
I'd probably be working with the kitten, too, stopping her and redirecting her to something more fun? Like annoying moving toys and stuff
Toy Cats that Purr, Move, and Meow!
I've been doing that. She's like an insane tornado when the sun goes down.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
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I am not a cat person. I might try squirting the kitten with a spray bottle when she attacks the dog.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:16 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,268,009 times
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Originally Posted by aquietpath View Post
The fact that the kitten is spitting at him shows she views your dog as some type of threat and she's being pretty brave in coming in close. I have had lots of different species of animals and always found that sitting between them, cuddling the dog in one arm and the new creature in the other and let them sniff each other and verbally reassuring them that they are both ok with the interaction. repeat often enough until they seem comfortable in each others presence. Once the kitten realizes the dog won't harm it and vice versa you won't have this problem.
I'm not surprised she is so brave. She's feral. I don't think she's doing this because she perceives him as a threat though. She's doing it when he is at his least threatening---like when he's sleeping. I think she is practicing her hunting and intimidation skills---the way kittens do with each other. The difference is that he isn't giving her the proper reaction that her littermates would have given her.

We have sat between them over the past two weeks. They start playing together the best they can. Sometimes she is super sweet and she lays near the basset adoring him. They really want to be friends. They just don't know how to go about it. The basset wants to play with her. When he jumps down to play with her, she runs off. When she wants to play with him, she terrifies him.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:18 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,268,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
I am not a cat person. I might try squirting the kitten with a spray bottle when she attacks the dog.
It's okay you're not a cat person. I've already heard what they think. I need dog people to help me with the basset. It's his reaction and personality that is worrying me. Since dog people understand dogs and how dogs think and behave, I think you guys might have some ideas that will help. If it comes to a spray bottle, I might go that route. That's how we trained cats to not go on the kitchen counter and tables when I was a kid.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:22 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirl View Post
i am not a cat person. I might try squirting the kitten with a spray bottle when she attacks the dog.
correct before you dog looses an eye.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:24 PM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,193,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I'm not surprised she is so brave. She's feral. I don't think she's doing this because she perceives him as a threat though. She's doing it when he is at his least threatening---like when he's sleeping. I think she is practicing her hunting and intimidation skills---the way kittens do with each other. The difference is that he isn't giving her the proper reaction that her littermates would have given her.

We have sat between them over the past two weeks. They start playing together the best they can. Sometimes she is super sweet and she lays near the basset adoring him. They really want to be friends. They just don't know how to go about it. The basset wants to play with her. When he jumps down to play with her, she runs off. When she wants to play with him, she terrifies him.
Oh feral? Yeah, like you said, no skills from littermates etc.

Oh well, it's on the Basset. When he's in the mood.

Maybe a crazy toy that he likes too will wake him up and be interactive with her but I'm not feelin it for the late night time of day. I actually have no more clue than you on how to make a Basset liven up when he doesn't want to LOL.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: CA
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I know you are concerned about the dog, but, I'm also hoping the kitten will calm down a bit with age. Keep the kitten's claws clipped maybe would help prevent scratch "accidents".

(squirt bottle - I rescued 7 kittens a couple years ago, and used a squirt bottle just a few times, but found I only needed to pick it up to get/divert their attention - a handy cat tool.)

Also, for nighttime, maybe consider a large dog kennel for the kitten. They are large enough to put small litter box, water, bed, etc. Just so all can sleep without worry.

We had a new, VERY submissive, German short-hair, and an old 'crotchety' cat. The dog/puppy was 'fascinated!' by cats - I mean REALLY fascinated. Chased the cat into closet one day, yelped, and came out with a cat claw stuck in her nose pad. Ever since, she remained fascinated by cats, but stopped at about 3 feet away - regardless.

I think you should use some intervention (clap, squirt bottle, night kennel) while the kitten grows up a bit. And observe the dog's reactions / interactions in the meantime too. I think, with time, it will all settle out quite a bit.
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