How To Let Your Dog Enjoy Family Time

Dear Adam,​

I adopted a​ 1 year-old female dog about a​ year ago. I have 2 cats who grew up with dogs and like dogs. When my dog first arrived,​ the​ first few days she was subdued-- being in​ a​ new surrounding - but then she wanted to​ play rough with the​ cats... which didn't set too well with them.

The cats run and she chases when we try to​ have them all in​ the​ same room together when watching TV,​ etc. I've been keeping them separate with baby gates (the dog in​ the​ kitchen and the​ cats in​ family room) and don't let the​ dog over unless both cats are outside. the​ dog ends up spending too much time in​ the​ confines of​ the​ kitchen with this method.

Is there a​ way to​ teach her that we don't want her rough-housing with the​ cats so they can all be together in​ the​ same room when I am present? the​ e-collar sounds good but so expensive. Maybe a​ less costly solution? Thanks. Enjoyed the​ book!

Willie Mae & DeAnne

Dear Willie Mae & DeAnne:

When the​ cats run,​ they are triggering your dog's prey drive. This is​ instinctive. However,​ it​ is​ also natural for a​ dog to​ defer judgement to​ his pack leader.

What this means is​ that: you​ must act like the​ pack leader.

In other words,​ if​ you​ tell you​ dog to​ lay down,​ you​ must USE the​ TECHNIQUES in​ the​ book (timing,​ consistency and motivation) to​ keep the​ dog in​ a​ down-stay.

I personally LOVE having cats around when I'm training. What could be better to​ proof your dog around?

Remember,​ your dog should stay down UNTIL you​ give him the​ "Take a​ break!" command. if​ he gets up to​ chase the​ cats,​ then you'll need to​ correct him back into the​ down position.

If he gets up again,​ it's a​ sure bet that your corrections lack motivation. (Correct more firmly. Make sure you're getting slack in​ the​ line. if​ the​ dog's body is​ moving when you​ correct him,​ then you're using muscle instead of​ technique... not good!)

You don't need an​ electronic collar. Just a​ $12 prong collar and a​ six foot leash.

Once you​ get your dog to​ hold a​ down-stay around cats using nothing more than proper timing,​ consistency and motivation,​ your friends will think you're a​ genius. or​ the​ lost love child of​ Sigmund and Roy.

Now if​ you​ can just get those darn cats trained!

That's all for now,​ folks!

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