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Barking at cats(9 Posts)
Billypup has been with us a year now and we haven’t been very proactive at trying to integrate her with the cats as it was clear the cats weren’t happy so we’ve set up dog free zones and the cats are now relaxed and happy.
However with the lighter nights they have been spending longer in the back garden and over the last week billypup has been going ballistic every time she sees them. This isn’t a new thing exactly but has got much worse this week.
Any suggestions. So far I’ve been trying to get her to calm down by getting her near me and to sit and talking to her and then distraction with treats which works to a degree but is becoming less effective. I was wondering about trying time out in the hall but up for any suggestions to stop the barking. Which I can cope with. I don’t like it but last night it was DH that was getting grumpy which is harder to cope with.
I think that’s the problem with the last 2 weeks we don’t have the curtains closed 🙄 as we get more into summer we will probably be doing more evening walks which would solve it a bit
Good luck OP. Our dog, loved his “own”cats, but he didn’t like cats he didn’t know! And squirrels sent him absolutely bonkers, made for interesting Center Parcs trips, every curtain drawn when we left the villa! 🤣
You can get adhesive opaque panels if you’re desperate. Or move furniture around?
I would definitely instill some form of negative consequence, like a time out as it seems the excitement of the cats is more reinforcing than the treat.
Then I would work on a calm ‘down’ command in the presence of the cats in the garden.
Adhesive film (e.g. purlfrost) is cheap, easy to apply and easy to remove again. I think I would be trying to manage the environment so billypup doesn't get any chance to practise this behaviour - i.e. put the film up so she cannot see them.
Alternatively, a house line so that you can prevent her physically going to a spot she can see them from.
Then focus on training/reinforcing a behaviour that is incompatible with cat-spotting. Such as lying down at the opposite end of the room. Done enough, this should become a new default in the evening. Hopefully
I do think cat spotting is the new train spotting and she went bonkers when a heron landed on our neighbours roof.
I hadn’t thought about the film stuff that’s a really good idea thank you 😊
I will start time out too.
My dog also loved her own cats and barked at any strange cats.
As there are a lot of cats here it meant she was barking and lunging every five minutes when we were on walks so we worked at it by getting her to focus on me every time we saw a cat and at the same time walking past it calmly. If she walked past without barking or lunging she got a treat.
She can now walk past ginger cats with absolutely no reaction, and usual, most other cats. Black cats took longest to get used to.
Basically, you need to get her accepting your cats and if she's hostile, the only way you can do it is by treating her when she's calm around them.
It's probably going to take quite some time though, so meanwhile, not letting her see them sounds like the easiest way to deal with it.