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Prey Drive With Small Dogs And Cats And Sa


Guest Neurobio7
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Guest Neurobio7

Hello,

I recently adopted my first greyhound from an adoption agency and was informed that he was cat safe and low prey drive. He has always seemed interested in my cat who does not have the temperment to swat at him but instead prefers to maintain distance and slowly retreat. When she jumps over the baby gate that creates a safe room for her, he would initially get up and chase her back into the bedroom. Lately he has gotten better with their interactions but I always keep him on a leash when allowing him in the cat safe room for meetings.

I recently went to a local dog park during off hours so we could run around when no other dogs were there. There was a boxer/pitbull mix and they played/danced for a minute and then hung out together very peacefully. Then a small white fluffy dog came into the large dog area off leash. I immediately put a leash on him upon seeing the small dog knowing that I had only had him three weeks and did not know him enough to entirely trust him with anything. The dog quickly approached him as we were trying to exit and without any signs of agrresion (growling, barking) he lunged at her and caught her lip. I had to pry his mouth open to release the dog's lip. There was no damage done but for a loss of a few hairs and my trust in his low prey drive status. He was then completely fixated and would not divert his gaze from the small dog. He even tried to get out of the car as we drove away to get back to the dog. I am not naive enough to think he wanted to apologize for his malfeasant (it's not his fault but my own and the other dog's owner). I am now rethinking his status with my cat knowing that he has this switch that can be triggered so easily. Everyone I know also has small dogs. After talking to the adoption agency they want to re-home him and switch dogs but I would like to be completely informed before I make such a large life decision for both of us. I put his and my cat's needs before my own and want what is best for them. I know that training does not trump prey triggers, but does not small dog safe always equal not cafe safe, or is there a complex stimulus discrimination that would allow him to live peacefully with a cat but not small dogs?

He also has pretty bad seperation anxiety and cries for ten to fifteen minutes after I leave. He has been on a very strict schedule for over a month and knows it enough that he crates himself at the appropriate times when I should leave for work. I have tried systematic desensitization (alone training) and putting an old worn shirt of mine with him in his crate. I also ignore him for ten minutes before I leave and ten minutes when I get back. I can't try flooding and just let him bark it out most times because I live in an apartment with close neighbors. We also go to a soccer field and run/race every morning before work so he is tired (he is still very athletic).

Does the not small dog safe and having a cat, as well as the seperation anxiety warrant switching dogs as the adoption agency wants? It might prevent possible future tragedy and angry neighbors but I am trying a lot at my disposal to make this work because I have become attached to him. What is best for him and the cat comes first though.

He was a modest winner at the track before an injury sidelined him. I'm not sure if that helps in trying to understand his psyche better.

 

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Guest LunaTheGreyt

Re: the S.A., does he do anything other than bark (ie: rip up bedding, urinate/defecate, drool/pant, chew on his crate)? Barking for 10-15 minutes really isn't too bad as far as S.A. goes. If you have an iPad and an iPhone, you can download a free app called Presence that allows you to set your iPad up as a webcam and you can watch it on your iPhone (it's been a great tool for me and Luna). Have you tried filling a Kong/treat ball with peanut butter/yummy things for him to work on when you leave? It didn't work for my girl with S.A., but it might for you. Same goes for leaving music/TV on for him. You might also consider letting him stay out of the crate when he's left alone (leave his muzzle on). My Luna is now on Clomicalm for her separation anxiety, and that in combination with training, is helping her relax when I leave (she would bark for hours and hours if I let her, which I can't have either due to living in an apartment). A short term solution while you're working on alone training could be to take him to a dog sitter. I found mine on care.com and she only charges me $10 for a full work day.

 

ETA: I was hesitant to mention what I just starting using for her barking that has actually worked WONDERS for us - I got her a citronella bark collar (about $35 on Amazon). The last time I left she barked a total of 3 times in a several hour period - it was miraculous. I am still addressing her anxiety with other methods, but upon watching her on my webcam, when she barked and received a puff of citronella, she actually went and laid down on her bed, something she usually would NEVER do due to her anxiety. I know opinions on bark collars vary widely, but wanted you to know that it's an option and even though I don't love that I use it, I do love that I can go for a run in the early morning without worrying about waking up my whole building.

 

I don't have much experience with his cat/dog issue, but I'd recommend keeping his muzzle on when he's interacting with cats and other dogs. Prevents him from doing any harm, and gives you a chance to see what he's actually trying to accomplish - is he actually aggressively pursuing the other animals, or is he just being overly friendly/playing too hard?

Edited by LunaTheGreyt
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Guest Neurobio7

I'm sorry but I forgot to mention that I leave the sports radio on for him and give him treats when I leave and when he goes in his crate. He has been overexcited/overstimulated before but I can snap him out of it easily. He is very responsive to a stern no but sometimes he is so fixated I can't snap him out of it and have to drag him away.

And thank you everyone on Greytalk. It has been a great resource for me.

Edited by Neurobio7
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I'm going to preface this by saying that many greys start with some prey tendencies toward cats and small dogs. And there are many owners who have done great work re-training them to be safe and appropriate. In your situation, however, I would probably take the advice of the adoption group and rehome this dog. What you are describing sounds exactly like heightened prey-drive (no forewarning, having to pry your dog away from the white fluffy, totally fixed on the cat and attempting to chase). Greys can cheat on their cat tests, and sometimes prey drive comes out after they became more comfortable and confident in your home.

 

I'm all for doing everything possible to provide training and prevent rehoming, but prey drive is a dealbreaker. It takes an experienced trainer and is very hard to reverse. I wouldn't take any chances, especially for the cat. You'll never be able to forgive yourself if your cat gets killed (spoken from experience). :(

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I've been there too unfortunately. My adoption group told me that prey drive can never reliably be trained out as it is part of the dog's personality, so if I needed my dog loose around little dogs and cats then she was not the ideal dog for me. I returned her and she was rehomed within the week, presumably to a family without those aggravating issues.

Peggy, my current Grey, was said to be small dog and tiny animal friendly and so she is to dogs of any size but not outdoor cats and bunnies, but i can handle that. It takes time to get to know your dog's ways.

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Prey drive is a deal breaker for me. I have three rabbits and I frequently foster cats and kittens. My number one priority when getting a new dog is that they be small animal safe. If they aren't Zi don't look at them and if they cheated on their original test they go back. Prey drive was the main reason that I went for a CKC puppy instead of an ex-racer for my second dog. It proved difficult to find work drive for agility combined with low prey drive.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I adopted a dog who was supposed to be both cat and small dog safe. Turned out she was neither. I didn't return her. I worked very hard; I attached her leash to my waist while she was at the other end. I did this whenever I was home. I encouraged her to do something else instead of looking at the cat and her prey drive was so strong that I also had to correct her whenever she looked at her. She was muzzled whenever I wasn't home. It took about a month and a half for her to learn to get along with the cat and they became best friends. She continued to want to eat small fuzzy dogs until she reached about 11 years old.

siggy_robinw_tbqslg.jpg
Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest Neurobio7

Thanks everyone for the valuable advice. I would have no problem going through with it but there are glimmers of hope that give me doubt about swapping. He is usually ok with the cat as long as she is in the bedroom on the other side of the baby gate. He whines occasionaly at her. When she is on the bed he is largely disinterested but when she is on the floor he gets more interested.The first thing he does when he leaves the crate is check the bedroom at the gate to make sure she is still there. It is when he hears the thump of her feet hitting the ground from jumping off of the bed or jumping over the baby gate that he gets up very fast and runs to the baby gate. We seem to be making some progress (being in the same room without looking at her) with a lot of training. Does this still sound like a problem waiting to happen or is it workable? I have no other greyhound or cat/dog prey drive experience to base my judgements/assumptions on. I have had either one or the other at any point in time.

Edited by Neurobio7
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I now have three greys. One is medium prey but workable, one has prey drive when she's with the first and one doesn't have any and boofs along through life. My one with prey drive will never ever be trusted, never allowed near any other animals without a muzzle. The second is ok sometimes, but I don't trust her either. She really just gets excited more than anything. Number three might eventually be unmuzzled but we've only had him for two days so its still early.

 

I'd be looking at whether your hound is fixating on the cat, licking his lips, staring, whining, drooling or frothing at the mouth (yes really). Does he statue or stalk it? Or is he just curious about this odd thing who lives in the same house?

 

As for the small dog, without seeing its hard to say. I can say that a friend has a dog who is small dog safe who recently grabbed a white fluffy who had charged up to him at the entry to a dog park and was apparently making a noise like a power saw while racing in laps around him. The fluffy's body was completely in his mouth, and he then looked up at his owner and said 'What do I do now?'. He dropped it and the two owners split the vet bill (apparently the fluffy is notorious for doing this to other dogs but this is the first time another dog has responded). He hasn't touched another dog since. Prey drive is sometimes workable, but sometimes not.

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Guest jimmy_dee

As far as the separation anxiety goes, I posted a thread last week about my dog's intense SA. He was much worse than what you're going through. This is my first grey too and my neighbor's (who are understanding dog people thank God) said he would not shut up all day. He destroyed his crate in matter of weeks, the baby grate in a manner of days. He's been on reconcile for about 2 weeks and all of a sudden this week he's like a new dog. Doesn't bark or scratch the door anymore. I literally don't even gate him in the kitchen anymore. And this is a dog that escaped the apartment twice.

 

As for the prey drive I can't help you. Otto was a terrible racer and I think that translates to a very low prey drive. He plays fine with dogs of all sizes and is so afraid of cats it's hysterical. He cowers in fear if we come across one on a walk. Just today we walked right past a squirrel not 15 feet away from him. His ears pricked up and he looked at it but ultimately didn't even break his stride.

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Guest DMBFiredancer

I'm all for doing everything possible to provide training and prevent rehoming, but prey drive is a dealbreaker. It takes an experienced trainer and is very hard to reverse. I wouldn't take any chances, especially for the cat. You'll never be able to forgive yourself if your cat gets killed (spoken from experience). :(

 

I agree. Prey drive would be a dealbreaker for me, too. For me, my cat came first, so her safety is #1.

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Guest Neurobio7

Hi all,

With a lot of time spent together in the past few days we have gotten to the point where he ignores her when she is still and pays attention to me. My cat is also accepting him around her instead of being afraid. It is when she makes quick movements in any direction that he quickly turns his head to see what she is doing. He is leashed so I'm not sure if this would lead to chase or just interest.

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Hi all,

With a lot of time spent together in the past few days we have gotten to the point where he ignores her when she is still and pays attention to me. My cat is also accepting him around her instead of being afraid. It is when she makes quick movements in any direction that he quickly turns his head to see what she is doing. He is leashed so I'm not sure if this would lead to chase or just interest.

That's good! Just continue to be consistent.

siggy_robinw_tbqslg.jpg
Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest Neurobio7

Thanks for the help everyone. With every step he makes with my cat he seems to take two steps back with small dogs. He now fixates on them every time and I have to pull him away. Oddly, he could care less about squirrels, but outdoor cats and small dogs trigger it. Would you ever trust him with a cat knowing he isn't safe with small dogs even though he seems ok with the cat as of now?

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They aren't really mutually exclusive. You can have a grey that's fine with cats, but not small dogs (and vice versa). A housemate is a different story too. They may accept an animal as off-limits because they're a part of their household. But outside animals of similar size and appearance are fair game. Just depends on that individual dog.

 

To answer your question, though... No, I don't think I could learn to fully trust a high prey dog with my cats, no matter how safe he seemed most of the time. It only takes one instance of aggression, and it's all over for the cat. I'd feel like I could never let my guard down. I'm a worrier, so maybe that's just me.

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Kili wants to play with rabbits and kittens in the house but I don't totally trust her outside. It is totally possible that she just wants to play with the squirrels or get closer to see what they are. On the other hand I don't really want to find out.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest DMBFiredancer

It must have been bad luck for me to post in this thread, because just tonight Grace found interest in the cat for the FIRST TIME EVER. I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack. She chased her, but luckily the cat made it into her safe room.... after banging her head on the gate trying to get in so fast :(

The scariest part is that Grace did not respond to the super loud NO! I screamed at her.

It happened two more times tonight, and each time she did not respond to NO (once I even clapped very loudly.) THIS is what makes me super nervous.

 

I am really really hoping that this was a burst of energy that she didn't know what to do with, but I feel sick to my stomach now after seeing it.

 

She had been unmuzzled for the past 2 weeks (as long as I am home) and has been completely fine, but now I feel that I have to muzzle again just for my own peace of mind, especially at night.


Sorry to hijack this thread with my issue tonight...I'm just freaking out over here right now.

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Debbie, don't get too discouraged. Truman is 100% cat safe (cuddles and cleans the cat), but he also tries to chase them. Jen's boy Django does the same thing. When they get close, they just stop. It's like a game to them.

 

I would put the leash on Gracie and do some 'watch me' exercises. If you see her chase again, get a spray bottle and squirt her. That little bit of negative reinforcement will probably do the trick since she's so sensitive.

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Guest DMBFiredancer

Debbie, don't get too discouraged. Truman is 100% cat safe (cuddles and cleans the cat), but he also tries to chase them. Jen's boy Django does the same thing. When they get close, they just stop. It's like a game to them.

 

I would put the leash on Gracie and do some 'watch me' exercises. If you see her chase again, get a spray bottle and squirt her. That little bit of negative reinforcement will probably do the trick since she's so sensitive.

 

Thank you! That makes me feel better!!!!!

Does Truman ever bark or whine at the cat?

This morning with the muzzle on, Grace was just standing in one spot barking at the cat.

Last night she also whined at her.

 

One of the incidents where Grace chased Bela into her safe room, Grace stuck her head into the gate and started barking into her room, like she was still trying to get her...we have a gate like this:

51v0eRu-d3L_SY450__zps8bd78c94.jpg

Edited by DMBFiredancer
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Yes, he barks at them sometimes. He wants to play with them but doesn't understand they're cats. For you, I'd say muzzle back on and cat training. Chad (greyt_dog_lover) has a good cat training program on here if you look through his content. He would be a good resource to PM.

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Guest saucyalysoon

I have that gate and it's fabulous. They don't have to jump over it so it really helps. We used the words "no kitty" every time Breeze looked at our cats for weeks. She could care less now. Outside animals are totally different though. Keep at it!

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Guest Marsroving

Mars is cat safe but not small dog safe. This even goes for outside. A white cat can run past mars and he doesn't even look at it. A small dog five blocks away and he wants to kill. So, take it for what you will. Mars cannot be unmuzzled or grouped with small dogs but he can be fenced in with 20 cats and I would have no fear. If there are small dogs at a park we won't even go there.

 

Oh, and I even walk my cat Frisco with Mars. Everyone really gets a Kick out of it. They are brothers from another mother I tell you. They chase each other, play games, etc. until they get tuckered out and cuddle up for a snooze on Mars' big bed. Mars has even attempted to protect Frisco from other animals while we are walking. So even though they go tearing through the house together sometimes I know the only way one of them would end up hurt is if thy crashed into something.

Edited by Marsroving
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Guest Neurobio7

Hello everybody,

Thanks for advice. I decided to take Darwin to a trainer to work with him. He is a really quick learner and caught on easily. In a matter of a few days I can thow treats all around him and he won't pick them up, even when I leave the room or give him a release command. He waits to receive or get any food by hand. This kind of training has really helped with his alertness. The cat comes out and he barely perks up. It has also helped on walks with chipmunks and other animals running in front of us as well as little dogs. He barely looks up. I plan to play it safe and continue training but he is making a lot of progress. I feel with time he is gaining confidence and making progress on his SA.

DMBFiredancer- I was close to naming him Grux for Leroi or Beauford for Carter.

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