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Is this a training issue or just expected behaviour?

(19 Posts)
Doctordonowt Sat 06-Jan-18 18:19:18

I am a first time dog owner. I have an 8 year old terrier who has been with me for about 2 weeks. She is absolutely lovely but I have one issue regarding cats.

We have all glass in our living room, and there is a constant parade of cats along the garage. The dog goes wild when she set them, growling and throwing herself at the window. The cats just sit there watching her go nuts. Quite often when she see them, she will grab one of her toys and shake it vigorously.

Any experts who can give me advice.

KarmaStar Sat 06-Jan-18 18:25:03

Did the previous owners advise you if he had an issue with cats?
He could hate them or he could just be protecting his new home,or they might just be winding him up on purpose and he's taking the bait😊🐱🐕
Have you got anyway of putting up curtains or blinds?
Or putting some anti cat spray around the garage to stop them parading up and down (laughing saying 'you can't get Jr's😊)

Floralnomad Sat 06-Jan-18 18:34:14

With my dog it wouldn’t be a training issue , he’s a patterdale x , cats are his main nemesis but no training in the world will stop him getting excited about cats and anything else small and furry that’s not a dog , he’s 7 and we’ve tried .

Doctordonowt Sat 06-Jan-18 18:38:35

Sadly the previous owner died. I do have blinds but cannot keep them closed during the day. I would love to be able to prevent the cats tormenting her, but the garages have cats walking along them all the time. My neighbour has 4 plus all the others from surrounding houses.

Doctordonowt Sat 06-Jan-18 18:39:10

She’s a Patterdale too.

jellybeanlover Sat 06-Jan-18 18:44:12

Hi Doctor,
It sounds as if you are really happy with her, I have always had dogs, and this can be quite common behaviour, and I would say that at her age she will not grow out of it. You could try to train her to stay calm when the cats are around, even one or two sessions with a professional trainer might help you both. If it was me, I would just try to distract her and the behaviour wouldn’t worry me too much.

Doctordonowt Sat 06-Jan-18 18:46:23

@Florainomad do you say or do anything when she reacts. She was in a Rescue for 2 months before I adopted her, so we want to take things slowly with her. At first we just ignored her. However it seems that word has got around the cat fraternity that “there is great entertainment to be had from staring at our house”. The cats seem fascinated by her. I am just waiting for Officer Dibble to make an appearance.

Doctordonowt Sat 06-Jan-18 18:48:42

@Jellybeanlover, yes I am over the moon with her. I Have wanted a dog my whole life, and now, at 69, I have got my wish.

missbattenburg Sat 06-Jan-18 18:59:09

We have a Jack Russell and this would be entirely normal behaviour for her. We prevent it by using to frost all or part of the problem windows. Doing so stopped the barking at passing birds or cats completely.

The frosting was super, super easy to apply and looks very professional. It also doesn't cut light down at all, really.

missbattenburg Sat 06-Jan-18 19:00:09

p.s. ignoring her won't work. This behaviour is self-rewarding in that is is FUN for her to bark at them and then shake a toy - so every time she does it, she gets a little chemical buzz as a reward.

Wolfiefan Sat 06-Jan-18 19:01:50

You need to block the view of the cats somehow.

Kurkku Sat 06-Jan-18 19:48:43

The easy way out is to block her view. Don't totally count out training though, even if at her age the behaviour might be too ingrained. I agree with the previous posters though, do not ignore her going nuts at the cats as it is unlikely to stop without intervention.
I have a young (1 next week!) jack russell, with similar issues around cats since she was a small puppy. My inlaws feed a colony of feral cats and we visit them often, so we have been working hard on getting her to ignore the kitties. She's still not perfect, but much easier to manage (needs to be supervised around them but will actually stop fussing at the window/not chase a cat when being told so). She is rather soft for a terrier though.
I think it is always better to try and address the problem (rather than just blocking her view) since it may become a safety issue should she ever see a cat through an open door or window.

Floralnomad Sat 06-Jan-18 22:52:14

I just tell him to be quiet , he doesn’t throw himself at windows it’s just noise , he generally stops when told . He has improved as he only barks if they move now , if they just sit and look at him he just stares back and might whine a bit .

Lucisky Sat 06-Jan-18 23:38:49

Our jrt used to do exactly this, and the cat used to sit deliberately outside the window and roll on the ground, like some kind of floor show. He would shake and kill his toys while he watched - a sort of cat killing porn like fantasy for dogs. Actually it used to amuse me and kept him entertained, but with these types of dogs you are never going to stop it. Is the garage yours? Could you put some of those pricker strips on it? I think your only answer is to discourage the cats rather than try and block your dog's view.

CharlotteSomet1mes Sun 07-Jan-18 00:03:37

Absolutely a terrier thing! She is shaking the toy imagining it to be a juicy feline I should think grin

All you can do is distract if possible

rightsaidfrederickII Sun 07-Jan-18 00:17:38

You'll never completely cure the terrier instincts! Totally to be expected but can be vastly improved with training.

However, I have caged small furries and when PestDog entered my life we did have a few incidents where he tried to chase them. I managed to vastly reduce such incidents by
a) not allowing access while I wasn't there
b) the very second he started trying to chase them, I removed him from the room by his collar and shut him outside where he couldn't see the small furries and was getting no attention. I left him out there for a couple of minutes and let him back in. No shouting, or even words, just an unpleasant but harmless consequence and removal from the stimulus.

He still chases squirrels when we're out, but I can't remember the last time he tried to chase a pet.

Doctordonowt Sun 07-Jan-18 08:57:56

Thank you for all your replies. Stopping the cats or blocking her view are. It possible. I am going to try the distraction technique.

LilCamper Sun 07-Jan-18 11:57:38

Opaque window film will block the view and still let in the light.

joystir59 Sat 13-Jan-18 22:12:31

Our JRT lives to get cats. He spends his spare time watching the garden from the window and running outside to bark and chase cats away. And seagulls. And anyone passing in a Hi vis jacket

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