Cats And Dog-help For Helen Question

  1. sassymomma

    sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    I'm looking for some advice. I'm on the verge of calling in a trainer, though I'm not sure if I need the help for the cat or the dog.

    I got a Labrador-retreiver on October 27th, 2017. Shamas is 5 years old. He's generally good, though he came with anxiety which he's overcoming, and he has a fairly high chase drive. He wants to be friends witht he cats, but he tends to move too quickly, and spook them. we're working on self-control, Be Nice, Leave it, Walk Away, and AH! go....all of which are applied to varying levels of inappropriate cat interactions.

    Be Nice is used for meeting, if a cat is out and about. It's the first thing. Usually, I'll have him sit, or lay down if Midnight is around, because he's on the fence about Shamas' threat level.
    Leave it, Walk Away and AH! go... are most often used with Helen, who is outright hostile.

    The cats:

    Matt-16lb boss. He's a cool cat, not bothered by anything, fast friends with Shamas, and everyone else too. The only run-in they ever had was when Matt went in Shamas' crate to steal his food.

    Midnight-feral-born..wary of dogs, seems to want to meet Shamas, but spooks easily, and moves quickly.....which triggers the chase instinct and gets Shamas in trouble. The two are TRYING to reach an agreement. Midnight is trying to decide if Shamas is as terrifying as Helen says, or as friendly as Matt says.....Shamas is TRYING to be on his best behavior, and get close enough to meet Midnight....if he'd just sit still long enough o_O

    Helen-My vicious kitten(pet name, she's 3) 9lbs of claws and fury, she's ripped Shamas' nose open 4 times now. She came out of a hoarding situation, and was un-socialised. We have provided her with her own room, litter, food supply, water source(2 gallon filtered fish tank lol) cat tower, and a bed to hide under(it's scary when the bed growls) She can come and go as she pleases through a cat door, and comes out at night, and when Shamas leaves the house. Midnight lives in with her, and she shares the room with my teen, so she has human attention too. She's sore that Shamas took her place at my feet on the bed. I'd planned to have him sleep in my daughter's room but Helen was SO vicious that I feared for his safety that first night and so brought him in my room and shut her out. She has been his nemesis since day one. Most of the time, I have a baby gate in the room, or the door shut. But occasionally, the teen who lives there will leave the door open, and Shamas' ball will roll in. That's when he gets in trouble. It seems like he's laughing at her, as she attacks him from under the bed..he'll play bow and bark. sometimes he growls, but those are the times he comes away bleeding so I think he's protesting the claws, which she's always kept razor sharp.

    Part of me thinks that I might have to rehome her. Part of me rebels against this, as when we agreed to foster and socialise her, the shelter told us her story, and made it clear that if we couldn't help her she was probably going to be put down as un-adoptable. This was not a kill shelter either...she had simply been too mean, and they didn't believe she'd settle down. Helen had a rough start, and we believed that we could tame her. She's done very well. She is making improvement even with Shamas, and is starting to come out of the room, when he leaves the house, and look at him through the screen door. a couple of times she went within a few feet of him while he was sleeping, but them=n she hissed at him and he chased her, and they went back to square one with her deciding that he was evil. It took 2 months when we brought her home before she'd leave the room. Two weeks before anyone could touch her without being bitten. I dont exect her to adjust to the dog quickly. I'm expecting a timeline of about 6 months to a year. I doubt she ever met a dog before coming to our house.

    If anyone has suggestions, I'm open to them. Shamas will probably have to do most of the work here, as Helen is fearful, and will fight if afraid.
     
  2. Rojer Ramjet

    Rojer Ramjet Well Known Member Member

    Why have an animal in your home that is vicious and anti-social?

    As a stockman, we euthanize animals that are dangerous...
     
  3. OP
    OP
    sassymomma

    sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    She’s not dangerous. She’s fearful and had a rough start to life. Her fight instinct is stronger than her flight when she feels threatened. She’s grown up with 30cats, and likely had to compete for basic resources before she was rescued from the neglect

    The shelter didn’t have the time or resources to work with her. I have both. She’s made great progress.

    If I find myself unable to socialize Helen to the dog, I will contact the shelter and have her rehoused in a dog-free home. The issue is the dog, and her inability to tolerate his presence in the house. She’s an excellent pet otherwise, after a couple of years with us.