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pamsmyth's picture
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Joined: 2016-01-06

We just adopted an approx 1 year old doberman from a rescue. My boyfriend has had dobermans in the past and loves the breed, quirks and all. He is a great dog person and has the ability to train and manage like no one I have ever met. This dog however...has cat agression like I have never seen, he goes into a rage, Bill has gotten bitten twice trying to save the cats. Called 2 very well respected trainers and they both say its a no-go, the dog needs to go back. Anyone have experience with this? in all other ways he is an amazing dog, sweet and cuddly, great with other dogs (we have an older female GSD) eager and quick to learn.

Lady Kate's picture
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I am so so sorry and how I wish I had some advice.

Our normally patient, demure, serene and otherwise PERFECT Sofia becomes a banshee when she hears, sees or sniffs a c.a.t. ( can't even say it or spell it outloud)

I thought that she was going to go through the car windshield when she spotted one on the street..

Once a couple of years ago she actually got half way up a tree...after a feral cat... She broke one of her perfectly manicured toe nails and had to have it cauterized and off her feet for five days..

There are folks here who do have c.a.t.s and Dobermans and peace reigns.. however I don't know how they do it..

I'll be following this thread in hopes of learning more.

If you do have to rehome your Dobe... please find a reputable rescue.. were you pleased with the one he came from?

Good luck..

 

pamsmyth's picture
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Joined: 2016-01-06

we were very pleased with the rescue, and he will go back there, its one of the rules. The only thing I would have liked is for them to have checked that before he left, they checked with kids and he was fine, but would not have taken him home if we had known he was caticidal.

AresMyDobie's picture
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Joined: 2015-02-28

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My recuse shep/pharaoh hound mix has extremely high prey drive we aren't out of the woods about the cats but in the 2 months we have had her it's drastically improved. One thing she's not allows off lead she's kept on prong and lead unless the cat is put up or is in bed with us or is in her crate. She's self corrected on the prong twice and gets corrected and reward. If she gets a correction and she looks at me we reward her. She now knows leave it. And that has been very helpful. She's 3 and I know it will take a lot more work then just a few months buts she's doing much better then when we first brought her home.

What are you doing when he's around the cats ? Is he just getting free roam ? My dobe never goes for the cats but I've had him since he was 8weeks old. You might want to consider keeping him on lead and prong around the cats for awhile. Tackling him for going for something isn't going to solve at problems cuz he has absolutely no idea what you are doing. It's not "cat aggression" it's prey drive. 

pamsmyth's picture
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He is not left alone with the cats ever, either he is on lead, or they are locked up. After talking with two trainers they felt it was more than prey drive, he ignored an outside cat, sniffed it and moved on, ignored the inside cat for about an hour, then the two made eye contact and it was on. The cat did not run, or attack, Atlas just went after him. We had no choice but to tackle or the cat would have been dead. Atlas was in a frenzy, and biting anyone and anything that was between him and the cat. Within minutes after the cat being removed he was calm as a cucumber and sleeping with his head in my lap. 

AresMyDobie's picture
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Sounds like prey drive to me. You might want to consider a behavorist instead of a trainer. And have him work with him and cats. Have you tried a prong on him? My shep is as sweet as can be but her prey drive is through the roof and it will take months to even begin to curb the behavior. She has come strides from when we first got her but we've been extremely consistent with her. When the cats around I'll make her work a treat out of my hand so she's starting to re associate cats with good things. She's incredibly smart so she's very easier to work with. I used a muzzle on her for the first month home as a just in case and she did very well she actually learned "muzzle" and would put her nose in it and wait till it was secured and then get a treat. We're still not out of the woods yet but the prong is a great tool to use if you know what you are doing. We are almost to the point where all she will need is an e-collar then after that she for the most part won't need anything at all. It takes awhile to train it out of them but it's possible. I don't like to give up on a dog just for something that was learned to be ok. I certainly don't think he's a lost cause. Just needs time and proper training and management. I can say from experience since I'm dealing with a high prey driven dog that it's possible just takes a lot of time and patients.

 

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

high prey drive dog

I did a test run with a rottweiler, a young dog and he walked into the house with the foster parent, on leash thank god, and we had a cat in a wire crate for safety and that dog went nuts, he lunged at the crate and grabbed it with all his teeth and shook it violently and we had to pry his mouth off the crate and that was that......no amount of training is going to keep that cat safe......

one slip and the cat is dead, so you have to do what's best for the cat

I am having that issue right now I am dogless and finding a dog that doesn't have prey drive is impossible right now......it can be done but it's a long search

finding a foster that has cats and a doberman that lives with cats would be the only way I would try it again.

pamsmyth's picture
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Joined: 2016-01-06

Thank you Talisin, after consultation with two trainers and the rescue we made the heartbreaking decision to take him back, the idea of him needing to be crated or muzzled all the time or the cat locked up was not in anyones best interest. So, we wait...we keep looking, and hope the dog that needs us and fits with our family is out there and we will find each other

 

Lady Kate's picture
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Oh Pam..I am sorry you had to make that difficult decision.. It must have broken your heart.. however it was the most loving thing you could have done for your Doberman, your GSD and of course kitty.

Bless you.

pamsmyth's picture
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Thank you Lady Kate, one of the hardest things we have ever done, in some ways harder than saying goodbye to one at the end of a long good life, because we feel responsible for him going back. We are watching, hoping he finds his forever home.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

stay in contact with fosters of dobermans they are out there, all my friends and family that had dobermans also had cats and there were never any problems so it is possible just like I had rotties that slept with the cats and gave them baths every day.

But for some reason right now it is hard to find a dog that doesn't have prey drive, not sure what the issues are now, but I never used to have to worry about introducing a dog into my home with cats we just brought the dog in and we all fit fine.....even a stray dog in the neighborhood that moved in did fine with the cats, my last rottie I adopted over FB from CA I am in NC he came in and was in love with the cats......but now I can't find one.....

I feel for your search you have my sympathies....it's hard to want a dog and not be able to find one that fits.....find rescues that will adopt out to your area and stay in contact with them about cat loving dobermans and be patient