He just wants to play. All the damn time.
January 24, 2010 11:43 AM Subscribe
How do I convince my puppy to stop trying to play with the cats?
posted by Netzapper to Pets & Animals (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Our 13 week old puppy is well on his way to becoming a good dog. He walks well, is housebreaking nicely, and mostly minds us.
But he will not stop trying to play with the cats. It's clearly not aggression. Ears forward, tail down. Play bows. Little "play with me" arfs. When they express their displeasure, he lies down. He's clearly submissive to them.
But the cats are not amused. They swipe at him, and sometimes connect. We've been letting it go, because we figured that the cats would teach the dog that they weren't interested. But, the dog interprets the cats' defense as play. To the point where he actually sometimes imitates it.
The problem here is that it's impossible to get the dog to calm down for any significant period of time. Even after I've taken him for a bike ride, and he's been panting ragged and just wants to sack out, if a cat trots by, he's immediately alert and tracking them. It's crazy. Even if he's run for miles in a day, he always has more energy to go after the cats.
I've tried every type of correction I can think of. Redirection with food works only as long as the food's in his mouth--once he swallows, back to the cats. Redirection with toys doesn't work at all. Offers to play tug of war are ignored; so is fetch. Keeping him in a leash and snapping it only serves to stir him up more, until he's bounding around playing with the leash. Cesar Milan-style neck and butt pokes are totally ignored (although he usually heeds them at other times); unless we poke him especially hard, at which point we become the targets of play.
I just want to be able to watch an episode of Lie to Me without having to put the dog in his pen, or fight with him the whole time.
[Answers involving making a "cat zone" and a "dog zone" of the house are neither feasible nor welcome.]