Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 79 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Hey, I have had 3 dogs but recently moved in with my girlfriend in north carolina and had to leave my dog loving ways in Canada.

Anyway, so I get here and one of her roommates has a cat. Here are some problems:

-The cat is fat.
-No one really pays it much attention.
-It will accept some petting, then bite, especially if you stray away from the head or back.
-I don't know how old it is and neither does anyone else it seems.
-Its back twitches?

So before I arrived my girlfriend would feed it (one cup of dry food twice a day) most of the time, and give it what little attention it got; the cat would jump into her lap and she would pet it until it bit or something. There were no cat toys and it generally it just slept all day.

When I got here being an animal lover I bought a brush, some toys and diet food. Turns out it can't eat the food since it has urinary tract special food or something. Im not sure how much it weighs since im not willing to risk my hands by picking it up, but its got a gut. Its scared of the ball on spring toy, it just jumps away, it runs away from the laser pointer too. It can't get enough of the ball on string on rod that I wave around though. Im hoping some exercise via playing might help it lose some weight and trust me but I fear im just training it to be a better attacker.

So being that my gf likes the cat but when it bites she would just shove it off, and no one else likes the cat enough to deal with its aggressive behavior I decided to try and deal with that problem too. I started with just petting him as he likes, and he croones and purrs. He will get on your lap and then go belly up. Then you try and pet the belly and he bites and scratches. We'll being a dog owner I did what you do with dogs, give them a firm but not too hard whack. This seemed to be working as he never stayed mad and I actually can pet him from time to time on the tummy now (its been 3 weeks) although I still would never pick him up. But just last night he leapt across the bed and bit my gf's arm as she was reading. Now this was all new behavior for him. Maybe hes just more playful now that someones playing with him? Hes also taken to pawing at feet as they go by and biting them. Hes de-clawed in the front.

So anyway just a few minutes ago im reading and the cat is next to me belly up purring and he does the swatting stuff and bites my hand without really moving. At this point he knows hes in trouble and gets all defensive. Don't tell me he cant associate me whacking him when he bites, because every time he does it he seems to know whats coming. He gets the book on the backside and scoots downstairs, but I try to add a "No!" in every time, since verbal is much better than book smacking and Id like him to you know, actually learn. So I chase it downstairs and say no while pointing and get a hiss. To me this is a dominance play (Im thinking dogs here) and I just walk forward. He runs to a chair and settles in, looking defeated. I get to say the "No!" and leave him alone. Hes skittish for the next hour or so but lets me feed, brush (his back) and play with the toy with him after and does the whole snuggle your leg thing, although I don't think hes done being angry with me yet.

So Im sitting here wondering about my overall approach and see these forums, and everyone seems to be pretty anti physical punishment. Ive had 3 large dogs and that was my reference, they were happy 10 seconds after you disciplined them and it was purely a reminder YOU were in charge, and both happier for it. The difference is they were pups, Id never needed to or even considered actually hitting my large dogs, and when they were pups it was just the love taps.

So Im wondering what to do about the cat in terms of a) its weight, will playing be enough? How do you diet a cat? Ive read less food can muck them up. b) this biting and clawing, which seems to be getting braver now that hes getting attention - but he will also let me pet his tummy sometimes.

Let me say Im not a violent person. I don't even kill spiders or cockroaches, I put them outside. Back in Canada I didn't even kill mosquito, I only do here due to west nile. I just want the cat to be happy and not have to worry about it latching on when I pet it.

Thanks for any help, Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Cat threw up on the floor today. 3 times all in a row in different spots. Should I be worried? Do I feed it again? Do cats not chew, it looks like wet kibble...

Also hes forgiven me for last night. Sitting on map and what not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
*sigh* I'll never understand why people think that cats are just small dogs. Although, just for the record, I am not at all ok with physical discipline for dogs and I am a dog trainer. There is ALWAYS a better way, maybe it won't be as easy or fast...but I prefer humane and successful to fast and easy.

Actual helpful advice:
Cats aren't dogs (I felt it bared repeating), the discipline you're using will merely teach him to become
more defensive and aggressive over time - as you have experienced.

In any case when you're petting him the reason he's biting is because he is becoming over stimulated - the rippling fur your described is one warning sign. Pay attention to his body language when you let him, ears flicking or pointed backwards, lashing tail, rippling fur, and dilated pupils are signs the cat is getting close to their breaking point. Yes, cars like petting, but too much and they can't take it so they lash out. Start watching carefully for those signs and stop petting him until he calms down a bit.

His rolling onto his back isn't an offer for you to touch his tummy, its more like him saying his back has had enough, so he politely rolls over to make it unavailable to you. The vast majority of cats do not like having their belly touched. It's their most vulnerable spot, so even a very well behaved cat can quickly become overwhelmed when you ruffle their tummy.

A big change you could likely make that would help is in how you pet him. Many dogs live vigarous scratches and to have their fur ruffled and mussed up all over. Every cat I've ever met (lots) HATES that and will do some variation of storming off, looking angry, or outright go for you. It's the equivalent if running up to your friend and rubbing your hands all over their body...rude.

Instead try to do slow soothing pets down their spine, keeping in mind many cats are sensitive about their rump and tail, or gentle scratches on their ears and cheeks. Watch his body to see what he likes, a cat who is enjoying your attention will lean into your hand to encourage pressure. Watch Rhett face, eyes loosely lidded, or closed indicate trust and pleasure. A tense face that moves away from you, tight lips, ears tilted back or down (we call them airplane ears) indicate discomfort or displeasure.

You have the right idea as far as plat goes, different cats like different toys so stick with what he likes. Another good trick for chunky kitties is to feed them by tossing their food, one or two kibbles at a time, around a room so he runs to chase them.

Wet food is best, especially for cats with urinary issues, and there's tons of info in the nutrition forum you can check out on why and what brands.

The last thong I'll add is that it sounds like who ever owns him just 'got a cat' and basically set it free in their home to do what it liked. I personally don't understand why anyone would get a pet if they have this mindset, but people do. The point us that no one has ever taught this cat how to interact with toys, people, or what he should do rather than bite. IMO its extremely unfair to punish an animal for not having been taught anything. Give the poor guy the benefit of the doubt and assume he's just as confused s you are about how to interact.

Thanks for trying to help him out, I hope you stick around :) oh, and we'd love a picture!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,138 Posts
Here is a good article written by Jackson Gallaxy to help you understand what is going on with Rhett

Overstimulation (Petting-Related) Aggression | Little Big Cat

Bookmark this library. Its got lots of great information to help you learn more about cats. Its articles written by a vet and Jackson Gallaxy.

Article Library | Little Big Cat

Thanks for taking an interest in helping this basically abandoned kitty of your roommates. Rhett will come around with the right info used on him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
librarychick covered basically everything very well! I'd just like to add in to remember that the cat is de-clawed, which is basically removing one of a cats main defence mechanisms. It tends to make the cat a little more on edge, especially dealing with strangers. Our last girl was declawed and she displayed a lot of the behaviours your friends cat is displaying. The swatting as people walk by is a sort of threat, and it probably comes from the cat feeling vulnerable and unsafe, so it feels the need to threaten people often. Our girl did that a lot, as she got more comfortable around us, she stopped doing it to us, but if she knew you were afraid of her, well... You'd be the first she waited for by the bathroom door ;)

Also I'd just like to re-iterate what librarychick said about body language: pay attention to it. As a dog owner you're going to have to just completely forget about dog body language and learn cat body language and not associate the two. For example, dogs rolling on their back and bearing their stomach is a submissive behaviour that invites you to rub their stomach, a cat doing this is certainly not being submissive, and more times than not, does NOT want you to rub their stomach. Our cat does it when he gets mad, or when he wants to play, he'll also do it when he's really comfortable and we're petting him as a sort of sign of trust, but even then he does not tolerate it when we scratch his stomach, it's just him getting comfortable.

Also, realize that a cats sense of a group dynamic is very different from a dogs. Dogs need an alpha, and once you are established as alpha they usually will obey you, and respond very quickly to discipline. There's an entire group dynamic when it comes to dogs that cats don't have. There is no alpha, and so you can not discipline as though you are one. Discipline with quick loud noises (such as shaking a bottle of coins, clapping your hands, a sharp quick no) as cats tend not to like them very much and will instantly stop what they're doing. They'll just as quickly associate that noise with the bad behaviour as they will the swatting, and they won't associate the noise with you. The noises didn't work with our cat, so we ended up resorting to a spray bottle for bad behaviour, just a quick little spray and a sharp no to get him to stop what he was doing. This is definitely not a good idea for all cats (some are much more nervous, and easily agitated) so judge based on your cat and the way they're responding to the noises.

And as to do with weight, playing will go a long way, food intake will have to change as well. I don't feed dry, but 2 cups a day sounds like a lot of dry food. You diet a cat very slowly, because yes, it can make them quite sick if you try to make them lose weight too quickly, just like with people.

And I second the picture request!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,980 Posts
We'll being a dog owner I did what you do with dogs, give them a firm but not too hard whack.
Not in my universe. If someone I was dating HIT one of my cats (or any other animal for that matter).... they'd be back in Canada living alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
All that punishment based, dominance, alpha crap is scientifically wrong with dogs and it's totally out to lunch with cats. No animal, absolutely none, needs punishment to learn and be trained. Look at dolphins in sea parks. Think they've trained by being smacked when they do something wrong? I own two great Danes, my 18 month old is 160lbs and growing and I can absolutely train them to do just about anything without getting physical with them.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,357 Posts
I seriously need to stop smacking dolphins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
First thanks for all the replies. Second, I don't beat my animals -.- The only time I ever gave a whack to my puppies was when they were chewing on power cables. They stopped chewing on power cables - although one time with our second dog he ate part of a sofa, knew he screwed up and my dad literally threw him into the kennel, that dog loved my dad forever after that. That story there probably is responsible for a lot of why I take this route, with dogs you're both happier when one person is in charge. Its the grey areas that dogs don't like. Maybe you can truly become the "alpha" in a dogs life without physical clues as a pup, I'm not a dog trainer I don't know. But I know dogs together work it out that way. Id also point out I've seen really cowed dogs, like if you look at them while eating they leave the room, or a raised voice and they're outta there; the personality is just gone. Those were NOT our dogs. They were just family members who knew they couldn't do whatever they wanted (although when we left the first dog in the garage for a night once he dug through a wall...). To summarize: there was never really "punishment" it was more about who was in charge as they were growing up. Training like don't pee inside, sit, come, roll over, was all done with treats and me rolling my dog over with my hands and rolling over next to him haha.

So to cats - I was thinking I could establish myself as alpha (I was thinking lions...) but apparently I am wrong. I'm not unsure that my approach wasn't working (even if it is the wrong way) as I'm awkwardly typing this while petting this cat on his belly. Hes doing the constant purr, dozy eyed kneading thing (although that can still change in a heart beat). I keep having to retype things as he shoves his head into my hands. He goes nuts for the heavy petting too, especially the hair brush, although he confuses the heck out of me when hes kneading and happy while brushing and then starts meowing (the meowing was biting 3 weeks ago).

I thought the pawing as people walked by was him just getting more playful, as was the pouncing on the bed, and that I just had to teach him the limits of playfulness. If its true that hes feeling defensive or unsafe that doesn't make me happy at all. I want him to not be a jerk not scared for his life. I was never trying to "punish" him. I want him to know what can and can't be done. And I want him to associate me with it, or I thought I did.

All the suggestions seem to revolve around making the cat think something has a bad outcome (the water bottle that he doesn't see you spray for example) but is there no way to teach him that when I say no, that means don't do that because I'm in charge?

Also I realize I never got into the twitching before. I didn't mean back shivers (although I've seen those too). Its like his back has the hiccoughs. Since the last paragraph hes now sitting over on "his chair" watching invisible things fly around and its happening again.

And finally, here are some pictures of Dimitri.
Dimitri - Imgur
The first is him on my belly, the second is him snuggling hard into my belly, and the last is him adding to his visible girth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Why do you need to be 'in charge' and have him know it? Why does that matter?

In my home we enforce the rules, but its because if what is safe for the cats or our other pets, or us. I don't have any need at all to be 'alpha' or 'dominant' or 'bossy' just for the sake of being the biggest baddest thing in the house. There doesn't need to be any sort if connection like that.

To teach my cars not to bite I used different methods depending on the situation...because I have a brain and darned if I'm not going to use it! Cats aren't all the same.

For Jitzu I focused on the CAUSE of her biting; she didn't trust me and had learned to be extremely wary of human contact. This is closest to your situation. Rather than expect an animal to magically modify its behaviour I first learned what I was doing that could be provoking the biting and changed it. It worked. Training done...well, that was a major first step anyways, and seeing as this isn't your cat its where you should stop.

The twitching you're describing is pretty much what I was talking about, in this exact case (watching flies) he's excited, so he's twitching a few small muscles in an effort to hold mostly still while 'hunting'.

...and now I'll address the dogs again.

I'm not saying you were abusive, I'm saying that the method your describing (rolling the dig onto his back and holding him there, tapping his nose, ect) is one based on junk science - which has since been proved false - and popularized by a particular handsome and charismatic fellow who IMO should never have been allowed in front of a camera.

I've posted many articles in the past by scientists, respected organizations, and certified behaviorists (who actually went to school and have degrees, as compared to some guy who likes dogs) abput how dominance theory has no place in training, or any sort of interaction with animals. Feel free to check my statistics to look at those.

Also, domestic cats aren't wolves, dogs, lions, cougars, or whatever. They are cars. Unfortunately there has been very little research on their social structure because the only groups without human interaction to taint them still just can't be representative. Luckily there is behaviour theory which is applicable to all animals and mammals in particular.

Behaviour theory is what new trainers are using in professional venues around the world. Zoo animals are being taught behaviours to help reduce the stress of procedures necessary in captivity. Dogs with serious behavioural issues are being retrained using humane methods to permanently change their reactions.

...and still some people have to choose the easy way and use intimidation to 'teach' their pets. Please just don't.

I'm sorry if I'm coming off as impatient, but this particular issue has come up a LOT lately and its pushing my buttons a bit too frequently.

Feel free to pm me for more info on why dominance isn't true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,351 Posts
Cats like to be in charge of their own lives. Zenobi was very strict about this except when she was outside.

Missy likes to have her own way, but often, sort of as a favour, she'll defer to my wishes.

Zenobi bit me, in anger, so I offered the other hand; her anger vanished. Long story; no time. Kindness works.

Dogs usually want to know someone is in charge. Even so, kindness works best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I never rolled my dog onto his back and held him there -.- I rolled him over so he would know what I was talking about. I think the two of us had quite a bit of fun doing it. As I said before, all the alpha stuff was just when the dogs were pups and needed someone to teach them. Dogs just need that parent/alpha in one way or another.

As for this cat, yes I do find someone needs to be in charge, at least if it wants human interaction. Two of the room mates are just scared of the thing and I...well I guess I just expect more. If theres not mutual respect and trust here (Im not going to scold it for no reason and its not going to bite me for no reason) then whats the point. We chased a bug around together tonight and it was fun. We cuddled, used the toy, all good! No bites. I can even take the bites when they happen, people heal. But I cant be this cats whole life and if no one teaches it it can't get away with it, I will have to be (no one else will put up with how it was).

My last dog died early of cancer and we all cried like babies right in the room with him. Honestly the worst day of my life. I really don't want this cat to have to live alone an not played with and loved and well that just means some rules.

This girl has been home all of 4 nights in the 3 weeks Ive been here. Someone needs to take an interest. Honestly no one was brushing or playing with this cat EVER before I arrived.

I hope your right about the twitching and its not tumors or something. i've never seen it in a dog at all and it was really worrying me. I would drop money to fix the cat but I would rather not have to or put the cat through that.

Also, do people walk cats? The guy at the petstore told me it was a bad idea but I think I was holding him up from a break.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,357 Posts
I'll leave the behavior advice to the experts. Please don't feel beat up on, they just really (really) care. I simply pay the rent, my girls are in charge here.

As far as taking your cat for a walk, well, it isn't so much as a walk in most cases, it's your cat taking you on his adventure. My friends who have let their cats out part-time have regretted it. I know it's not the case for everyone, but their cats wanted out ALL the time after that, scratching the door, carpet, baseboards, windows, etc.

By the way, Dimitri is gorgeous!!!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,862 Posts
I agree with Marie73 - walking might be a fun idea and she may love it, but once you start that cat will become addicted to the great outdoors and will cry and cry to be let out - on HER terms, not yours! I don't think I would go down that road (no pun intended).

As to the biting. This cat sounds EXACTLY like my Lacey when we first got her (only Lacey is skinny). She would bite if you stroked her in the wrong places or absent mindedly. A very loud and forceful NO! has helped tremendously. It's been 9 months since we adopted her (she was also declawed) and the biting has been reduced to a very occasional nip which is gentle but still unwanted so I still use a NO (not a loud NO! Declawing removes their defenses and they know it. They will strike back in anyway they can if they feel threatened or overstimulated.

Thanks for showing kindness and love to this girl. It may be a lengthy process but I'm sure you are on the right track if you employ some of the suggestions here and you will gain a new friend. Establishing trust in adult cats takes time - sometimes lots of time but it is so worth it. Do you know how old she is??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
I never rolled my dog onto his back and held him there -.- I rolled him over so he would know what I was talking about. I think the two of us had quite a bit of fun doing it. As I said before, all the alpha stuff was just when the dogs were pups and needed someone to teach them. Dogs just need that parent/alpha in one way or another.
Whether you held him there or not it's still an alpha roll to physically maneuver the dog onto it's back..and it doesn't work. Or, rather, it does, but you're risking the dog having a very negative reaction and becoming aggressive. I'm not making this up, I have seen people create aggression in their dogs by using methods like this. THAT'S why I'm so against it.

I'm not saying you didn't love your dogs, or that you're a bad person. I'm simply saying that whoever taught you to 'train' your pets this way was wrong and I hope you look into other methods if/when you do have another puppy.

Again - being the 'alpha' isn't needed. I think of myself as a parent to my cats (not in the creepy 'my cats ARE children' way); I set the rules, mostly for safety, I enforce the rules fairly by first making sure I have taught them what is not allowed and what to do instead, and if I need to correct any sort of negative behaviour I use my brain first and my hands and voice second. That's what it comes down to for me.

As for this cat, yes I do find someone needs to be in charge, at least if it wants human interaction. Two of the room mates are just scared of the thing and I...well I guess I just expect more. If theres not mutual respect and trust here (Im not going to scold it for no reason and its not going to bite me for no reason) then whats the point. We chased a bug around together tonight and it was fun. We cuddled, used the toy, all good! No bites. I can even take the bites when they happen, people heal. But I cant be this cats whole life and if no one teaches it it can't get away with it, I will have to be (no one else will put up with how it was).
It's fine to expect more and to want mutual trust and respect, but you can't walk into a new home and expect that to magically happen within a short span of time. Especially if no one is really interacting with this cat it will take time before it trusts you completely. Any sort of physical corrections and you're eroding the trust you've begun to build, it's counterproductive.

You're right that it needs to learn, but you're wrong about the method. IMO you get what you give. If you physically correct the cat it will physically correct you. Simple.

If you can change your behavior and the cat doesn't feel the need to bite any more doesn't that also solve the problem? I have a real issue with 'trainers' who put an animal in a situation where they are set up to fail. To be clear I'm speaking about certain TV trainers here, not you - They know a dog is anxious around new people, so they storm in and corner the dog then act all surprised when this dog they have thoroughly terrified bites. OF COURSE it bit!

Same thing for this cat, but a different level of intensity. You're new, so the cat doesn't' yet trust you. You pet it, it gives great kitty body language about when it's becoming over stimulated, but you don't stop (because you don't know what the cat is trying to say, no blame) so the cat bites. If the cat could talk he'd be saying "Dude, stop touching me. DUDE, cut it out! Ok, that's it!" Chomp.

The issue is miscommunication, but in none of that is the solution to teach the cat it should just 'put up with' whatever you're dishing out. Again, I'm not blaming you, if you've never owned cats you just didn't know the body language, but it doesn't make the cat wrong to tell you it had enough.

Do you get what I'm saying??

My last dog died early of cancer and we all cried like babies right in the room with him. Honestly the worst day of my life. I really don't want this cat to have to live alone an not played with and loved and well that just means some rules.
I've never disputed that, there are definitely rules in my house too. The issue is in how you enforce them and if you actually have taken the time to teach the cat what is unacceptable and what they can do instead. I don't feel it's fair to just start punishing to enforce this new rule that you sat down and spoke to the cat about. Cats don't understand english, so talking to it, telling it off, ect is not effective. You need to teach it what the other choices are...and modify YOUR behavior to help the cat change theirs.

This girl has been home all of 4 nights in the 3 weeks Ive been here. Someone needs to take an interest. Honestly no one was brushing or playing with this cat EVER before I arrived.
This is pretty much exactly how I got Jitzu...except that there was a guy living with us who 'played' with her like she was a lab. Jitzu thought he was trying to kill her, he thought they were both having a lot of fun. Similar miscommunication issues. The guy and I had a few chats, and I started working on building her trust, and now I've got a sweet little cat who still has personal space she expects to be respected...but TBH I'm fine with that. I don't let random people run up and ruffle my hair or touch me, so why should my cat have to let that happen?

I hope your right about the twitching and its not tumors or something. i've never seen it in a dog at all and it was really worrying me. I would drop money to fix the cat but I would rather not have to or put the cat through that.
Yup, I'm quite sure. It's really common actually :)

Also, do people walk cats? The guy at the petstore told me it was a bad idea but I think I was holding him up from a break.
Some people do, but before you can think about anything like that you need to spend a lot more time with this cat. If you take the cat outside now you'll just be one more terrifying thing, but if you wait until the cat trusts you a lot more then the cat will feel safer outside with you.

Overall you're headed in the right direction. Just...tone down the 'dominance' stuff. It's useless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
All I can say is I hadn't had cats for years but I had dogs. It has been quite a change over to the different animal. They are VERY different. My daughter recently told me you try to pet your cat like a dog - well no wonder he was giving me light warning bites. Dogs usually are much more anxious to please. I am not a good trainer but I sure would like to get better. I agree a lot with what has been said. My daughter trained her sensitive breed dog and 3 cats without raising her voice or any physical dominance. They are all well behaved; the dog extremely well trained and happy. She had the patience and continuity of action.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Honestly for the last time about the rolling. When your teaching your dog to roll over, you just have to roll him over. At worst he was just very confused when we started, not dominated. This was a big dog, if he really didn't like it he would have gotten up and walked away, he just loved the attention (and constant flow of treats). And it would take a lot to convince me that being in charge in a dogs mind isn't important. At the end of the day, its an animal and you never EVER want it thinking its in a position to teach you a lesson, especially with a lot of kids around and you have large breeds. The only time our dog showed any aggression ever was when someone pushed my sister over and he tackled with a light bite (didn't break skin). We were worried but nothing came of it...probably should't be pushing a little girl with a dog right there anyway. And the one time he got a bag of dill pickle chips, full, behind the sofa. It was not a good idea to try and take it from him.

As for the cat I wasn't whacking it when it nipped from being over pet, I had already read up on over stimulation and petting aggression (I would just stand up at the signs of it) and Im getting better at reading the cat now too. It was the random bites when it was just lieing next to you or when it really sunk in (bleeding down my arm from back claws and two bite marks before I could get the **** thing off my lap). I didn't walk in and magically expect it all to happen right away and then punish when it doesn't. My efforts were to train, not punish, specifically he didn't even know what "No" meant, in any tone of voice. So associate "No" with the whack, then use "No" was what I was doing, and I will stop since you guys and your resources are telling me cats are really sensitive and get offended and have trust issues, but it has worked. If I say No now he cuts it right out and still seems to love me. Ill try clapping since Im not sure he will understand high pitch things are bad since one of the room mates randomly chases him sometimes while trilling :roll:

Good to hear the cat isn't dying either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Honestly for the last time about the rolling. When your teaching your dog to roll over, you just have to roll him over.
Nope, you don't. I've done it exactly like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKOlU7q6bEQ

Tada!

And it would take a lot to convince me that being in charge in a dogs mind isn't important. At the end of the day, its an animal and you never EVER want it thinking its in a position to teach you a lesson, especially with a lot of kids around and you have large breeds.
Actually I think it's much more dangerous to believe you EVER have control of their mind. You don't and you can't. They have a brain and instincts and no amount of training will change that. You CAN influence their behaviour, and you can choose what you expose them to, but without fail every dog I've met who was raised with the midset you're describing have been the only dogs I've met who have that mindset.

Dogs are like mirrors, and they will show you what you show them.

Try this:

You have a puppy and you raise them to think you are in charge because you're the biggest and strongest. You can take things from them because you're bigger, you can handle their body because you're stronger, ect.

Once day a young child comes over and tries to grab something from the dog. In a split second the dog assesses the strength of the child and realizes the child is not stronger or bigger. The dog bites because they have been taught that whoever is stronger and bigger gets to make the rules.

I HAVE SEEN THIS WITH MY OWN EYES. More than once, luckily each time the dog stopped short of a bite, or merely growled. Commonly the person who wa being corrected by the dog was the male owner's wife, who had no interest in training via dominance.

Now, this is the method I use:

You get a puppy and teach them that when they give you things the get yummy treats, when you hold their paws they get treats, when they are uncertain your will praise them and show them the right choice. They learn that giving items to humans means they'll get something even better in return, and then their own toy back.

A child comes over and grabs the dog's bone, the dogs looks to you for their reward.

Seriously, this is what I do. I have rehabilitated a number of dogs who were trained using dominance and became resource guarders because of it. It's wonderful what happens when life doesn't need to be about 'who's tougher'.

The only time our dog showed any aggression ever was when someone pushed my sister over and he tackled with a light bite (didn't break skin). We were worried but nothing came of it...probably should't be pushing a little girl with a dog right there anyway. And the one time he got a bag of dill pickle chips, full, behind the sofa. It was not a good idea to try and take it from him.
...you do know that if the dog had actually bitten he might be put down, right? That is a LARGE part of why I disagree with dominance training. If you teach the dog that the biggest and strongest is always in control you don't know what they'll choose. If you never teach the dog to react physically they simply won't learn it. (In an normal situation, there are exceptions, obviously, but speaking broadly here.)

As for the cat I wasn't whacking it when it nipped from being over pet, I had already read up on over stimulation and petting aggression (I would just stand up at the signs of it) and Im getting better at reading the cat now too. It was the random bites when it was just lieing next to you or when it really sunk in (bleeding down my arm from back claws and two bite marks before I could get the **** thing off my lap). I didn't walk in and magically expect it all to happen right away and then punish when it doesn't. My efforts were to train, not punish, specifically he didn't even know what "No" meant, in any tone of voice. So associate "No" with the whack, then use "No" was what I was doing, and I will stop since you guys and your resources are telling me cats are really sensitive and get offended and have trust issues, but it has worked. If I say No now he cuts it right out and still seems to love me. Ill try clapping since Im not sure he will understand high pitch things are bad since one of the room mates randomly chases him sometimes while trilling :roll:

Good to hear the cat isn't dying either.
Well...I'm glad you're reading the suggested resources. I hope you do keep it up and stick around to learn more.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
302 Posts
From reading this thread, it sounds like Nakor is using everything possible before resorting to physical discipline. Yes physical discipline should always be a last resort. I went three to four weeks with Skittles peeing everywhere but the litter box, this is after Kitty passed, before I started disciplining her. She has a possible UTI but I got her to keep using the litter box even if it hurts, by giving her treats and talking to her and showing her that I was going to get her to the vet by emailing for the Jimmy Fund. Animals do understand between good and bad behavior.

Dogs do need someone to be dominate over them, otherwise they will be destructive and do what they want. There are breeds that are very stubborn.

Cats want to please their owners, as well as dogs. You have to teach them right from wrong, otherwise they are going to think that what they are doing is right when it is wrong.

Dogs originated from the wolf. Man domesticated the wolf in order to have a best friend/companion. So yes dogs do need a pack leader, or alpha.

Rabbits have a hierarchy. All animals have a hierarchy.

We as humans have to be alpha to our pets, dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. Otherwise they will dominate and will be destructive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
And here was me thinking we had taught or dog how to be gentle without purging the personality (the whole pushing and half biting thing).

For rolling over, sure why not, you can teach it that way. I had a bunch of fun wrestling around with my dog and so did he. I point blank refuse for you to tell me for that dog that was the wrong way to do it. Maybe a much less loved untrusting dog would freak out, I don't know, I've never raised one.

Your examples of looming over a dog or hitting it to teach it how to extend its paws instead of treats are so far removed from what I'm talking about they're irrelevant. As I said the only time anything physical was ever done to the last dog was throwing (literally yes) into the kennal after really screwing up, and when this pup chews on power cables she gets a nose tap (above the move, not on the soft part). Your talking about like guard dog training or something where I'm talking about a friendly as retriever. And before anyone jumps on me over retrievers, we were not in the know about the breeding problems. Our new dog, still a puppy, is a mix (its also a crazy vicious lawn mower of fingers and faces, last time my dad skyped in he was hold her petting her going "awww isnt she so sweet" while she adamantly tried to eat his left arm.)

I agree mostly with sweetcuddles, although how you alpha a rabbit I have no idea haha. But if cats don't have a natural hierarchy I'm not silly enough to think I can convince it of one. But as I said, at this point, I have taught it "No" so that will probably be enough to keep it in line for the most part.
 
1 - 20 of 79 Posts
Top