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Friday, July 19, 2013

Teaching Woof to Respect Meow's Space

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Tanner and Oliver Learn to Give Patches her Privacy

This photo above was a major catch. I just happened to be coming into the laundry room from the garage, holding the camera, when I saw this sight. With a quick command to STAY for Oliver and Tanner, I snapped a few shots looking through the laundry and the adjacent powder room, into the hallway where Tanner and Oliver were observing their feline housemate. Yes! they got a terrific treat along with a lot of praise.

While preparing for the #LitterChat Twitter Party, I pulled together some tips for helping your dog respect your kitty's space and thereby working wonders on their relationship. Today I'm sharing some of what I Tweeted on Tuesday. I'd love to hear your ideas for working on this very tough task as well.
  1. Cat poo smells like protein to dogs. To reduce their interest in the litterbox, clean daily.
  2. Try Treasure Hunt barriers like cat doors if you have large dogs with great interest.
  3. If you have a small dog, there are cat doors that operate only when a kitty with a special collar passes nearby. Check out Sureflap.
  4. Baby gates will deter Fido, while allowing cats to jump over to their private area. 
  5. When using a baby gate, work w/Fido to train him to watch and not approach, treating when successful.
  6. Training Fido not to enter kitty’s private area will protect her food and litter from invasion. 
  7. It's also good for Fido's health to learn to leave the Treasure hunt behind.
  8. Some feline families create raised areas for litterboxes and feeding spots, just to keep dogs out of trouble. 
  9. Selecting a single room for kitty’s food and litterbox allow all pets to have access to the rest of your home. 
  10. Curious dogs can be trained to respect the cat’s area. Have your dog SIT or DOWN. Praise and treat when successful. Practice frequently!
  11. Try using a rug or towel as a spot 4 your dog 2 observe from. Again, use praise and treats when Fido complies. 
  12. Still having trouble? When Fido is in position, offer a whiff of a favorite, high-value treat; watch him be more willing! 
  13. Keep practicing by filling kitty’s water, cleaning her box and so on, as Fido watches. Praise and treat! 
  14. Practice the above tip daily to continue getting Fido used to seeing kitty in her space--less excitement from "same 'ole, same 'ole".
  15. Troubling Fido? Try leashing him while practicing SIT STAY as you watch kitty in her area.  Sit with your dog and praise when he remains calm.
I hope you joined us for the #LitterChat Twitter Party. We had a blast! One thing's for sure, there was a lot of information flying around. If you were having challenges keeping up, here's a couple of tips for next time:
  • Read my post on the day of the Twitter Party to see which handle will be offering what information. This will help you decide in advance what handle to participate with in conversations. 
  • Read the posts under "Twitter 101" in my left sidebar for help with other ways to keep up with the pace. There are many techniques to select from. 
  • Finally, if you have specific questions, I'll be happy to answer them here. Just leave them in a comment and I'll answer them as they come in. Thanks for your interest!

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