Promoting responsible German Shepherd Dog ownership
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Do you expose your dogs to a variety of animals? A trainer said to expose mine to cats as early as possible. It’s hard to do when you don’t own cats. What about horses and livestock? Caged animals like Guinea pigs?
You are around other animals. How do you do it?
Raising them with cats is the ideal as well as instilling no chasing rules. If you aren’t in a house with cats, friends with cats is your next best bet. For example if I get a puppy in the next year or two I’m going to ask my coworkers if I can socialize my puppy with their cats. Around chickens I just correct for chasing and use exposure and training around them so they learn to tune them out. You can go to public ponds that have ducks and such. A lot of dogs in my experience are scared of large animals at first, cows and horses can be deadly to them. Dogs can easily kill sheep though.
Caged animals I have no idea.
In the future I’d like to expose my dogs to a lot of animals that aren’t mine when young because fine with at home animals but killing strange animals is very common. So I’d want a lot of exposure to barn cats, friends and families cats etc. as well as going to the duck ponds for bird proofing
I wanted to do that, but we don’t have a lot of a variety here. Only a few friends have cats and they were not interested in forcing their cats to be around mine as puppies. My circle has widened and hopefully I can do that with the next dog. I couldn’t even find other puppies to play with mine. The older dogs were all little yappers. I should have tried harder.
My male has been around horses and ignores them but my horse friends refused to let him come over as a puppy for fear he would spook their horses. One friend didn’t have a horse then but does now. She got an Aussie puppy and taught her to heel off leash next to her horse. I don’t know how she did that but it’s a good skill to have if you hike on or near horse trails.
I only know one person with chickens.
Chickens are tough. Our neighbors are minus two chickens thanks to Cassie. I think the leave it command and heel commands help with getting dogs used to other animals. We used to walk our dogs on leash around our horse stalls until they simply ignored the horses, then we would walk them down the block to other horse pastures, and one neighbor had sheep, as did we. Consistency in exposure is helpful. I'm probably going to eat my words shortly as my daughter is bringing over her cat to stay here for a while, and he is definitely not other critter friendly.
I read one blog that suggested putting puppies in one room with a screen door to another room with cats. That's the set up my daughter used for one situation but it only worked with one of two dogs with her cat?
I remember Cassie. A cute sweet oversized mini. She ate the chickens? Oops. Did you replace them?
How do you get from leashed around a horse to trail riding off leash? Yeah, exposure works. When I get mine around other animals it’s occasional. I can’t get together often. They never want to.
The cat needs training. How do you train a cat?
Nope, the neighbors were city folk...got tired of the care and upkeep of chickens, got a chihuahua for their son instead. He can get under our fence and visits Cassie once in a while. Haven't seen the chi in a while.
I really don't know how riders do it with dogs unless it's voice control. We see it at shows, and some riders carry the little dogs in front of them on the saddle.
My son and daughter have managed to train a couple of our cats. Rascal used to play fetch and Neko will "beg" for cheese.
I'm lucky, DH takes Cassie whenever he goes to a neighbors to give them misdirected mail or whatever. That exposes her to horses, dogs, sheep, little kids (her favorite) rabbits and ground squirrels (ugh). Foxie is still too traumatized (after 2 yrs!!) and I'm afraid one bad experience will set her back.
It's not easy to expose dogs now to new critters. Our lifestyles are becoming more introverted