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Obsession with cats


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Hi guys I have had my greyhound for a month now and she is absolutely obsessed with the neighbours cats. They never come in my garden but she could see them through the fence as it has gaps. She would stand and stare at them and pace up and down to the point she has worn a track in the grass. She won't come when called or even be tempted by food or playtime. I end up having to go out with the lead to drag her back in the house or I feel she would stay out forever! She will also sometimes start barking and going crazy. I have since covered the gaps with netting so she can't see them but she can clearly still smell them as now she has started digging along the fence line. She won't even go to the toilet for ages as she is so distracted. She gets plenty of exercise and playtime so she has mental stimulation. I know greys are trained to chase small furry animals and I understand her curiosity but after a month I thought she might lose interest as she can't get at them. Does anyone have any ideas on how to go about fixing this problem? She's otherwise a perfect pet but this is driving me crazy. 

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Well, your dog is definitely not cat-safe.  And I hope the cats are smart enough to stay out of her yard.  I would suggest you try a squirt bottle (or maybe a hose) and squirt her in the face when she gets too excited over the cats.  Hopefully she will lose some of the interest.  You will also need to be very diligent about checking the fence line and putting rocks or logs along it to prevent digging.

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Yes, definitely not cat safe.  But it doesn't have anything to do with training. Prey drive is a genetic trait and dogs have it in varying degrees.  Some dogs can live quite well with cats and other small animals, but some - like your dog - will not.  

Block her view and maybe try and put another barrier in addition to the fence - bushes, large rocks, even another fence - in between her and the street.  Also, be *very* careful when you are walking her outside your yard.  Even going to car rides can be problematic if she sees a small furry getting in and out.   Because of her strong reaction to cats, it's important to keep in mind if you even encounter small dogs or other small wildlife. She could have the same reaction - or not. Sometimes cats are their own problem.

As long as you've tried *really really* good treats with her - roasted chicken or liverwurst, smelly cheese, whatever is the best thing ever in her opinion - you can try some negative reinforcers since treats and toys aren't effective.

You can also try searching here for "high prey drive" here and read what others have done with their high prey drive dogs.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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