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Worried about how "cat workable" my hound actually is?


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We adopted a lovely girl, Lulu, one week ago. She is two years old and never raced. We were told she has a low prey drive, and is "cat workable." Her foster family didn't have a cat, but apparently spent some time at a family member's house who did, and while there Lulu showed interest in the cat bu backed off after being swatted, hence the "cat workable"  title. As far as prey drive, outside on walks we encounter many squirrels, and she is very interested in them, often pulling towards them, but is easily pulled away.

We have been slowly introducing the two, very safely (baby gates, leashes, muzzles, etc). Our cat is very dog-savvy--she swats, hisses, and doesn't bolt from dogs (actually moves in slow-motion, as if she thinks that makes her invisible to the dog lol). Currently Lulu is kept downstairs except at night, when she sleeps in her crate in my sister's room. My cat, while she could come downstairs safely within view (but not reachable due to baby gate placement), decides to stay safely upstairs. So our training sessions have been mostly forced, for a few minutes a couple times per day--as long as the cat decides to stay. However, I feel like we are making no progress, or if anything, moving backwards. We are using boiled chicken as treats, and for the first few sessions, Lulu was so obsessed with the chicken that she barely looked at the cat. However, now that the novelty of the boiled chicken has worn off, distracting her is becoming more difficult. She rarely looks away from the cat when we call her name, and today, after being swatted a couple times, seemed to become more interested in the cat, pulling towards her and whining slightly. After the cat leaves the room, she seems to go around looking for her for 10-20 minutes.

My family thinks this is normal, the cat is novel to her, and it has only been a week. I really want to believe this, but am becoming discouraged, for the reasons above. We are all developing a strong bond with Lulu, who is literally perfect in every other way, and just really want this to work out.

 

Does anyone have advice for helping the cat training? Or, opinions on if she sounds "workable" from the description I've given? I have read through several threads, and I guess just wanted advice/ impressions of people with a lot more experience in the topic? Thank you!

 

 

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Work really hard on leave it with Lulu.  I have a cat that I added 14 years ago to two gh,  One wanted to play with her and she was less than 2 lbs.  he had to lay down to interact with her and it took awhile.  Since then the cat has lived with nine dogs,  leave it is the most important thing in my opinion.  Anytime Lulu looks at the cat tell her to leave it and when she does give her some affection and tell her she is good. Keep a muzzle on Lulu and a leash so you can stop her if she is to interested.  It takes time and patience.

I had one foster that just was to interested and would corner the cat.  She ended up going to a home with no cats.

So it is possible and you will not know until they have spent time together and the cat gets a chance to do zoomies. 
One more tip teach Lulu to leave the squirrels outside alone too on walks.  

Good luck and it can be done,  if Lulu just can not take her eyes off the cat or tries to corner her.  Then think about your options or how to manage the household.

Best you you and your training.

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It's only been a week. so it's difficult to say.  You may be wanting things to move faster than they need to.  It can takes weeks-to-months for things to finally settle into what they might look like long term.  And then, alternatively, sometimes dogs lie on their cat tests.

It sounds like there is cause for concern from Lulu's behavior, but I wouldn't say it's completely hopeless.  Definitely contact your gruop and discuss the situation with them.  Also, do not take her behavior with outside prey animals as an indication of her "prey drive" with your indoor cat - they are two completely different things.  Indoor cats can become the pack members of even a higher prey drive greyhound as long as they are properly introduced, while any animal outside may be considered fair game.

If the cat is self isolating, I would just let things be for a while.  Keep the muzzle on your dog (she really won't mind) unless you or another human is directly supervising her.  Do not leave them alone together, unconfined, in the house.  Continue to praise and treat good behavior around the cat, and correct bad behavior - teaching the "leave it" command is a good start, and there are loads of videos on youtube on how to do so.  If Lulu needs further correction, a squirt bottle is a good tool if not overused.

Good luck and congratulations!

 

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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