Dog Training: How to Ignore Cats

First of all, for more on dog training and on general dog-related things, I would go to my Sister’s blog HERE because with me in university, she has quite a bit more contact with our pooch now.

Gwynn is an Aussie-doodle (australian shepherd and poodle mix) with a good temperament, plays well with dogs, and has an unfortunate habit of going batshit crazy over cats.

When visiting relatives/ family friends who have cats, he will go absolutely bonkers to get to them t play.

Cats are a new species to him, a strange and mysterious one that he ha never had the chance to play with before.

To him, they are like leprechauns. Ones that you (and it seems like only you) see every once in a while. It is very confusing for him when he sees a cat on the porch of some house, or walking down the street, because he wants to play with that cat so badly, an it doesn’t seem as though Lexy or I have caught sight of the Leprecat, even though it’s RIGHT THERE.

This is a bit of a bother to my sister and I, and to the rest of the family, because it’s very hard to have a nice family visit with the Dog there acting like a cat addict going through withdrawal symptoms while we wave cats in front of his face.

We aren’t, by the way, waving cats in front of his face.

BUT to hep stop him from going through this act of apeshit crazyness, we have worked on training him out of it when we can.

I managed to take a video of it a while back, when we were going for a walk and happened to see a cat hanging out on the porch of one house.

Here is what happened.

To explain the training a bit better, we are trying to train Gwynn to get into the habit of thinking that when he sees a cat, he should sit down and look to Lexy (or, later, whoever is holding the leash).

Since the cat was there, we had him sit down next to Lexy and he would get a treat every time he looked up at my sister.

We didn’t have a clicker on hand with us, so when he looked up at my sister she said “yes” to indicate what she was giving him a treat for. He looks up, “yes”, Treat.

That way, if he looked away before my sister managed to get the treat for him, he wouldn’t get confused and think he was getting the treat for looking at the cat.

This is working somewhat, but since it’s rare that we find a cat willing to stick around for us to stand there and play this training game, it is slow going.

To give you an idea of why, exactly, we would like him to at least calm down a little in regards to cats, it isn’t just for social reasons.

When walking, if we don’t see the cat before Gwynn does, he will lunge towards the cat with the probable hope taht if he can just get to it fast enough, they could be friends.

This usually results in my sisters arm to get jerked (painfully, as it has happened to me as well), and risk loosing grip of his leash.

This is not good.

If anyone has any other suggestions on how to teach your dog to be calm around cats, please feel free to mention, and please check out my sisters blog for more 😀

I believe she has a section describing the training classes that she (and I, earlier) have gone to, and other training tricks of hers.

Also feel free to share any funny walking stories. I think that this kind of training can be done for squirrels as well 😉

Thanks!

On the Road again… Can’t Wait to get off the Road again…

Ottawa is awesome for a number of reasons.

Universty of Ottawa is also awesome for a number of reasons, but the reason I’m thinking of right now is that there are two reading weeks.

I am currently on the train, heading hoooome. It’s about a 5-6 hour drive from Ottawa to Toronto, it’s about a 5 hour train ride 😀

The reason why Ottawa has two reading weeks is because the people who run universities are looking at the stats and noticing that more and more students are committing suicide.

It is for this reason that you can only open your residence window so far, and also the starting point to the awesome idea that is an extra vacation time.

I got to the train station reeeeally early (leaves at 12:20, I got there at 11), and almost got onto the wrong bus to take me to the station…

Buses have a long history of trying to screw with my mind, and the instructions on Google Maps said to get onto the 95 bus heading to Orleans, and the sign on one bus said “95 Trans” with a smaller “Orleans” underneath it.

Thankfully I hesitated before getting on, and that told the bus driver that me getting on was Not To Be, and the next 95 bus said ONLY Orleans on it.

I then asked someone else with a suitcase where the Via Rail station was, they pointed to up a hill and across the street.

Ok.

I got my ticket from an automatic Kiosk thing, and then had to go to one of the people anyway because I didn’t know where to go with my two tickets.

Two Tickets?

Yes, apparently I have to go on this hell ride once more…

Aah… I can see Lake Ontario right now…

Or some other lake, but I’m not so great with geography either, so Lake Ontario it shall be.

Did you know that Via Rail has electrical plugs?

But only for the seat closest to a window.

My computer has…

0:32 minutes of power remaining.

Awkwardness is foiling me in asking the girl next to me if I can use one of the plugs, as well as the fact that I’m veeeerrrryyy close to Toronto now, and it would be ridiculous to plug it in for the last 20-30 minutes of train ride left. And no, I don’t trust my battery not to sudden;y decide that it has less minutes of power remaining in the middle of writing this, and I have saved this as a draft about 3x.

Today, everything is out to get me…

When I’m heading home, I am going to do like everyone else who got to the station early did, and put my bag in line while I wait.

I didn’t, and the line was wrapped around the station entirely.

And I didn’t get a window seat.

Something equally as horrible is likely to happen when I go to get my small suitcase and then try to find whatever car my mom is taking to pick me up in, because I love traveling in the sense that I like going new places.

I hate the actual travelling part, especially when I’m alone.

I’m alooone.

Look up all alone by Gorillaz. I’ll add a link later. (HERE)

Because the train is slowing, and I’m home.

🙂

(This wouldn’t load, so this is actually two days after I got back)