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Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 15586
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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Have 12 yr nervous Birman female cat. Recently fostering a

Customer Question

Have 12 yr nervous Birman female cat. Recently fostering a 4 yr (?) male ***** ***** (found by my labrador) NOT micro chipped, no ID, N ONE has come forward to claim him. Traumatised when found, far too fearful etc. to go to dog warden environment. GOOD with me, loving and no problem handling him ... if I am not present becomes fearful and can bite/snap. Gets on fine with my dog HOWEVER, how can I ever get my CAT and him to accept one another ???? NOT going well so far. She is an indoor cat but now can't stroll into garden or be in the sitting room area indoors (keep communicating door to hall closed so she continues to come downstairs to her food & litter tray area). Feel he cannot be rehomed with his nervous/fear problems (general thoughts are he may have been a farm dog) and I would be happy to give him a permanent home IF I CAN SOLVE THE CAT/DOG PROBLEM. Would appreciate ANY advice you could possibly give me please.
Moyra.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello Moyra,
I'm Shantal and I'm a moderator for this topic.
We have been working with the Experts to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit.
I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still need assistance from one of the Experts.
Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question?
Thank you,
Shantal
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I am sorry to hear about your problems with your Jack Russel, and your cat.
I suspect you have not gotten an answer before now because it is not an answer you want to hear, and experts do not like to give bad news.
Jack Russels, by nature and by breeding are dogs that chase and worry other animals. They were bred to chase and kill rats, and it is not unusual for this natural behavior to extend to cats, other small dogs, basically anything with fur. I had a ***** ***** so I am familiar with them.
Add to that the trauma that this lost dog may have suffered.
If I were going to keep the new dog, I would have to accept the nature of these terriers and know that the situation between Kerry and the new Jack Russel may never get better. Eventually the Jack may accept his new home and learn to tell the cat he lives with from other cats, and start to leave Kerry alone, but there is no guarantee of this.
You can't fight Mother Nature! Your new Jack is hard wired to chase things with four legs and fur, and cannot be changed any more than my herding breed will stop trying to heard me, my husband, the cats. We humans have spent centuries creating these breeds, and that cannot be undone.
Putting your Jack through basic obedience, rewarding him for sitting and giving you attention (and ignoring Kerry) is where I would begin. But if Kerry runs, the dog will chase. Having perches for Kerry to sit up high in each room and look down on the dog will give Kerry a sense of safety. Cat trees, shelves on the walls, high window sills all would help.
Tough problem, and you are so kind to take in this dog.
Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions.
Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 15586
Experience: Veterinarian for more than 30 years
Rebecca and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the great rating! How is it going with Kerry?
Rebecca
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thankyou for your in depth reply. NOTED !!! I will battle onward, bearing in mind all your information & advice.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
You are welcome! Jack Russels are a challenge, and a joy.
Rebecca
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rebecca. May I ask whether ***** *****s have a split personality ? ie. little Benji is sweetness & light during day - excessive play & rushing in & out of garden, thru cottage & back around garden MANY times at full pelt until he collapses panting on floor (??) THEN SLEEPS a fair amount. HOWEVER, come late evening when FOXES are about (my garden is long & backs onto fields, much wildlife out there) he goes frantic indoors & when out for his last visit prior to bedtime TAKES OFF into the night. Can understand how he became lost & possibly that is why I think he was tied up where he was before. Unfortunately my next door neighbour cannot get his broken fence panels replaced until Oct so it is a nightmare how Benji can just go straight thru sheep wire on my side of fence. Late at night he will not return to house so I trudge down to the fields to find him .... there he sits in the moonlight & rolls over on his back when I appear beside him ??. He appears subdued and I carry him home ! I just hope that my neighbours think it is a FOX barking when he starts barking in the distance !!? So Rebecca, I will follow your advice and concentrate on simple obedience AND suceeding with training him to walk on a lead - not getting results despite treats, encouragement etc. It will all take time but WILL GET THERE EVENTUALLY !!!!! He is a very loving little dog and I will look after him. Apologies for the length of this ... you will never have time to read it. THANK YOU AGAIN.

KERRY the cat is just keeping a low profile & at present seems content with her domain upstairs ... as long as HE doesn't try going upstairs !!

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Moyra,
I don't think this is split personality, just normal ***** *****! Going after wildlife is pretty normal for the breed, and many types of wildlife are more active at dusk.
Dogs get into routines and habits, so going after the foxes and other wildlife at the same time each evening would also be kind of normal. It may even be part of his routine to wait for you to come and get him.
Can you keep him in at the time he goes after the foxes? Take him for a long leash walk and them keep him indoors?
One trick to learning how to walk on a lead is to get some spray cheese or peanut butter, and a wooden spoon. You leash him, say Heel, and walk with the food held right in front of him to get him to walk with you, allowing him to get a little of the cheese or peanut butter occasionally. It is called "luring", but is a legitimate training technique.
Let me know how he is doing and if I can answer anything else.
Rebecca
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the bonus!!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Rebecca,

I did reply to your 4/9/14 but fear it went into the ether as I do not see it posted ... computers are NOT my speciality ! Situation is slowly improving. Have been training JR to walk on a lead (didn't know anything about a lead/walks) plus 'other issues' and now making good progress ie. over the fields on harness and long extending lead, having a great time. Doesn't know about Car travel and fearful of Puppy Crate, despite doing all the things one does to convince it is "his home" ... he's not falling for that one ! Now have a seat belt for him & taking it slowly. MEANWHILE Kerry the cat remains upstairs in her domain & EVENTUALLY the situation will improve. He KNOWS he must not chase her but the strong terrier instinct is there. He also knows he is not allowed into the hall area area (where her food/litter tray is in an annexe) but did so yesterday & pursued her partway up the stairs. CAT appears very relaxed and happy upstairs so hopefully situation will settledown.

Many thanks again for all your help.

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the update, Moyra.
Hope things continue to improve.
Rebecca
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rebecca,

Slow progess with CAT problem but at least she seems happy enough in her domain upstairs !!! Will let you know WHEN situation resolved !!!!!!

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Thanks; keep me updated!
Rebecca
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Rebecca

An update but, as my question is now re. BENJI the ***** ***** (have given up on CAT problem and she keeps to her domain upstairs !! Plenty of purring & seems happy), please advise me how to pay for additional information from you ! Specifically wish to ask you as know you have EXPERIENCE of JRs !! Benji is doing well, bounding over fields on harness/extending lead, now travelling by car (seat belt) to stay at my sister's at w/e, still very nervous of strangers. The growling, snappy behaviour is calming down, as is his excessive chasing round & round in garden/in house/then out again into the garden. Round & round he chases until exhausted. My Vet says possibly stress related & will decrease as he feels more secure & result of his castration op hopefully makes him more calm. Now coming to point of WHY this further communication (??) :-

Walking over fields (twice daily) we encounter a FEW dogs, usually they are off the lead, as is my labrador. Most of the time all goes well but BENJI can SOMETIMES produce really bad behaviour ... it is a random occurence and he totally ignores any commands as he leaps around on the end of a SHORT lead. He furiously paws the ground in a war dance, continually barking. He did get to a friend's German Pointer 6 month old puppy some days ago managing to bite her twice. Perhaps it was a 'guarding' or jealousy thing ie. was OK with puppy until I approached. reeling in the lead. DON'T KNOW !!!!

Would appreciate any ADVICE PLEASE as to WHAT I can do ?????

Kind regards

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Moyra,
Teaching a dog to walk on lead and not be reactive to other dogs is a tough one. Terriers that are on high alert, looking for "danger" or prey or other things to react to are particularly tough. Being on lead may make him feel more vulnerable, and make him even more reactive.
I would start with heeling. Walk him on a leash, teaching him to be paying his attention to you, would be the first step. This needs to be done out of the presence of other dogs. Working with a trainer might be best. One trick I learned going to class with my dog is to carry spray cheese, and a wooden spoon, and as I say Heel or With Me, hold the spoon in front of him.
The idea is for him to walk at your side not in front, on a loose leash, paying attention to you. Learning Watch Me would be another important command: look at me whenever I say Watch Me (for a treat; sometimes literally holding the treat on your nose or between your eyes is necessary to start to teach Watch Me).
Then, work with someone, who has a relatively nonreactive dog. Walk toward each other with the dogs on leashes, and start saying Watch Me or Heel as you get closer. If he starts to pay more attention to the other dog than you, back off to the point where the attention is on you. Gradually work up to passing the other dog, with his attention on you, then to stopping and "chatting" with the other dog's owner, keeping Benji's attention on you.
This is best done with a trainer, who can supply the other dog when you are ready for that step.
You can pay for this additional information either by rating this answer again, or by paying for Additional Services. If you accept an Additional Services offer, we can then exchange email addresses and communicate directly.
Let me know what else I can help with.
Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 15586
Experience: Veterinarian for more than 30 years
Rebecca and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

THANK YOU Rebecca ... tis a long road to well trained dog !!! Your good advice (from what I can recall from when Jet the labrador was a puppy ??) worked well , possibly because labradors are SO interested in FOOD. The terrier breed perhaps prefer to go find their own and Benji is not that interested. Seems strange when used to greed of labrador breed ! ! HOWEVER, will PERSEVERE along the lines you recommend

& Report to you later !

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Yes, have a food motivated dog is easier to train. Terriers are more difficult to train, because of their constantly being on the alert for prey and"danger" and anything that might be of interest. They are challenging!
Let me know if there is anything else.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
thanks for the great rating!
Rebecca
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the bonus!
Rebecca
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Rebecca - any advice welcome re. PROBLEM (Benji, JR) :- I'm out afternoons, if not back for afternoon walk ask friend to walk dogs. Benji accepts his harness & lead then hides refusing to go out ... then Snaps & Bites if friend goes near him. When I am here he is FINE with visitors and knows the Friend well. Unfortunately I live alone ie. had a Family found him when lost in July he would have become better socialised ? He just wants his safe little world with me but there will be times I have to go away so I'm desperate to try to solve this problem. Whatever background he came from (still think from Travellers) he has FEAR problems; I don't think 'guarding' is part of it.
Would really appreciate your advice please ... it is a very difficult one.

Possibly the fear aspect will always be there ?

Best wishes

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Moyra,
This could be fear, or unwillingness to leave his "job" of protecting your property when you are not there.
It is a difficult problem. Does your friend try luring him out with treats?
So your friend can put on his harness and lead? If she has him in her control for that, why can't she take the lead (and treats) and get him outside? If she can get the lead on, she should not let go of it once it is attached to him. She should insistently pull him out, at the same time talking calmly and giving him rewards to lure him with her. He should get treats for going out with her, so he feels rewarded for going out with her.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Rebecca. Would he 'hide' if protecting my property ?

Think that, having put harness & lead on , that's when Benji first bit Andy,then Andy went into garden to encourage him to leave cottage to go out for the walk ..... I'll tell him to hang onto the lead IF there's a next time (??). Andy visiting on Thurs so will have a clearer picture of what happened and will report my findings !

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Yes, once the lead is on, I would not let go. If there is a next time.
If he is hiding, he may feel threatened, you are correct. He may associate your friend with some past experience that made him feel fearful or threatened.
You have to untrain this kind of behavior, by having Andy come in, give him a treat, then leave. If he starts to associate Andy's coming with something positive, gradually work up to him putting on the leash (maybe leave his harness on on these days) and then taking him out.
You are so patient to stick it out with Benji.
Rebecca
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Rebecca ... you are always HELPFUL & PATIENT !!!!

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dog warden visited yesterday to check on Benji ... could be FEAR/ANXIETY problem that, possibly was tethered under caravan & just put into vehicle to be put down rabbit holes. Poor little Benji. If so, that would explain a lot.

Will forward Andy's comments when I see him tomorrow.

I will stick with it cos he is a lovely little dog, so trusting and affectionate. Really sad how dogs can be so damaged in their early lives.

Moyra

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I agree. Sometimes they never get over that early trauma completely.