Cat & Dog fighting over who welcomes me home - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Cat & Dog fighting over who welcomes me home

This is dumb. A new problem has arisen for me and I don't know how to deal with it.

When I come home, I would find all three furkids by the door. Jack sits a distance away so he's okay. However, Miu and Rocky the dog are usually right at the door. Lately, Rocky has been beating up on Miu when I come home. My mother says it seems he's fighting over the right to 'welcome' me home. He turns into a green eyed monster and literally shows Miu his teeth as he barks ferociously at her.

I don't think Miu understands what he wants and usually after I actually get in the door, he's too concentrated in welcoming me. After a bit, he'll be 'normal' again. He'll look at Miu and wag his tail, all friendly again. Meanwhile, she remembers his Mr. Hyde act from before so she either hisses, start to back away with back fur standing up or run away. She seems fine though. Although cautious, her other behavior and demeanor seem unaffected by him.

And at other times, when I'm just home. They appear to co-exist in peace. For example, Rocky will sit on my bed with me, Miu will jump on too and walk by him, even brushing his body. He seems unaffected and may even reach over to give her a friendly sniff.

The only other time this happens is right before mealtime. Rocky gets all bossy again. Miu goes hunger-crazy and does her mad dashes around the house. Rocky gets upset and chases her around. Occasionally, he'll do the Mr. Hyde routine too but not as bad as when I come home.

I don't know what I should do or from what angle I should deal with this. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 03:47 PM
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I don't know what kind of dog you have (is he big enough to pose a threat) but he needs to be corrected for sure.
If someone is there when this behavior is occurring this dog needs to know it;s not appropriate behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpaca View Post
This is dumb. A new problem has arisen for me and I don't know how to deal with it.

When I come home, I would find all three furkids by the door. Jack sits a distance away so he's okay. However, Miu and Rocky the dog are usually right at the door. Lately, Rocky has been beating up on Miu when I come home. My mother says it seems he's fighting over the right to 'welcome' me home. He turns into a green eyed monster and literally shows Miu his teeth as he barks ferociously at her.

I don't think Miu understands what he wants and usually after I actually get in the door, he's too concentrated in welcoming me. After a bit, he'll be 'normal' again. He'll look at Miu and wag his tail, all friendly again. Meanwhile, she remembers his Mr. Hyde act from before so she either hisses, start to back away with back fur standing up or run away. She seems fine though. Although cautious, her other behavior and demeanor seem unaffected by him.

And at other times, when I'm just home. They appear to co-exist in peace. For example, Rocky will sit on my bed with me, Miu will jump on too and walk by him, even brushing his body. He seems unaffected and may even reach over to give her a friendly sniff.

The only other time this happens is right before mealtime. Rocky gets all bossy again. Miu goes hunger-crazy and does her mad dashes around the house. Rocky gets upset and chases her around. Occasionally, he'll do the Mr. Hyde routine too but not as bad as when I come home.

I don't know what I should do or from what angle I should deal with this. Any ideas?


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 03:58 PM
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I know that dogs, unlike cats, work in a pack mentality and have to a certain degree a pecking order. If your "pack" considers you their leader than the next in line so to speaks tends to be the one that gets the most perks with the alpha. If Rocky feels that he is that next in line then he will try to make Miu submit. The door would truly show this. Because Rocky feels he has a higher pecking order than he has the right to greet your before the others. Cats aren't pack animals so poor Miu is breaking rules to a game that she doesn't know. Miu's importance needs to be raised in the pack. Another example of this would be at mealtime. In a pack the most important eat first and it goes down from there. If Rocky feels he is higher up than he will be upset when Miu isn't allowing him to be the fist. Some ways that you can raise Miu's pack placement is by feeding her first and making sure Rocky sees it. This tells him that his leader has raised her status. Similar with the door. I only know a little bit about this stuff, I am more of a cat person. My sister has a service dog and we went to a 2 week camp that discussed all about this. The problem is Rocky. That's not bad, it's just Rocky being a dog and Miu not understanding his strange doggy world. However it is something that very much needs to be resolved or else things could get worse. I would recommend getting some advice from some dog people.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 04:02 PM
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I agree. While it's plenty endearing to know your dog can't wait to see you again, it's not so great to know your cat is at risk of being attacked for the "privilage" of being first one to greet you.

I'm not a dog person, but I know there's stuff you can do to train dogs to wait patiently when people are at the door and let them in and THEN get attention (mostly for company visiting, but this could work for owners coming home too, I'd imagine).
I'll bet you can find info about how Victoria Stillwell (sp?) and/or Ceasar Milan (sp?) do it!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2011, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your advnice. Nicole, I agree and thanks for the insight which slipped my powers of observation. I may have confused things with them because in the morning, I feed Miu first, Jack and then Rocky's last. But in the evening,, I feed Rocky first, then Miu, then Jack. It wasn't intentional. It's just more convenient the way I had it. I will switch the evening meal to match the morning one and see how things go. Thanks a lot!

I spoke to a dog forum and they suggested that I don't greet them at all when I come in the door. Just act like nothing is special, put my bags down etc. Then when Rocky is calm, I greet him, but only gently not with as much pomp and circumstance like I did before.

I knew this from before, but forgot all about it so I feel quite bad, like I'm a novice pet owner. However, now that I know, I will apply it and see how things go!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2011, 12:04 PM
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Ignore their greetings at the door and don't make any fuss over greeting them is also what I would advise. When your Pap isn't jumping around and demanding attention and is calm, you can ask Rocky to sit and then make a fuss over him. You can do the same with Miu as well. Cats can be taught to sit (reward with a treat), and when they're doing it well reward with some petting, doesn't always have to be a treat. It's easier to control the dog's behavior than the cat's, so when Miu does the hunger-dash, make Rocky focus on you in a sit-stay. Paps are very smart (used to have one) and catch on quickly and love to please, so you should be able to get him to do this if he doesn't already. The problem with cute little dogs, is that owners let them get away with bad behaviors they wouldn't tolerate in a larger dog (eg. jumping up on people) and let them pretty much do what they want.

I don't have a dog now but I always feed the dominant cat first for their meals, in my case my girl, and never vary the routine, so they expect that and don't fuss. I always say their name when I put down the food ("This is for Alkee, good girl!"). I got into this habit when I raised kittens, and very soon they knew their names and manners.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2011, 01:21 PM
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Don't feel so bad, you are an owner willing to do try to find the answers to the problem! I very much admire owners like you for that. I ran into so many at the shelter that didn't do this and wanted to get rid of their cat or dog because of a fixable problem. When I would tell them that there is a solution and would they be interested most still refused and said they just want them gone You are a committed pet owner and I respect you so much for it.

Also don't feel bad. I find dogs to be so complicated lol. They work so differently from cats and have such an intricate yet fascinating social structure. I would get so flustered working with the dogs at the shelter and would always forget something important and unwittingly did things wrong that would give contradicting messages to what the trainers were trying to teach them. There is so much information to remember, don't feel bad at all! You don't come across as a novice to me. Please keep us updated and let us know if tensions seem to calm!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot to me!

Yes, unfortunately, they both speak a different language and have a different culture.

These fights tend to have phases. I've had it happen before, but overtime, they forgave each other. It's just that the started again that I got concerned. Well after a few days, it seems again, they've forgiven each other. I brought it up because I wanted to minimize or eliminate future episodes.

Yesterday I came home and ignored them as I settled down. Rocky was bouncing around barking excitedly. After a while, I slowly bent down and extended my hand to Rocky and said Hi very quietly. He just wagged his tail without barking. Nice. I think he was getting excited because I was also excited and would scream out all their names loudly when I came home.

I've switched their meal orders so it's Miu, Rocky the dog and then Jack for all meals. I've also taken to walking at a slower pace, making my movements slow as well so as not to drive their excitement. Rocky actually politely stepped aside for me as I made my way to the kitchen this morning and he didn't bark like he usually does. Hope it's not a fluke. Additionally, I started instilling more manners on him. Making him sit before he's fed instead of diving snout-first into the dish when i haven't even removed my hand yet.

I used to to let him know verbally that I'd take care of things if Miu starts to misbehave, but sometimes wouldn't actually get up to stop her. I find he usually looks at me to see if I'm going to do something about it. If I dont' get up, he goes over to boss her around. Yesterday, I told him I'll look after it, then I got up to see what was going on. He actually sat back down and was visibly relaxed.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 10:56 AM
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What an interesting thread!

Alpaca, your approach sounds great, and it is quite something to read your observations. It sounds like there's already quite a change. I wish more people were as smart and caring about their furry family members....

Fran
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 05:29 PM
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It sounds like you're slowing getting things under control and they're letting you be the boss (at least for a while)!
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