Originally Posted by Sapperstang
Maybe you can give me some advice!
Adopted a male boxer about 1.5 yrs old. He showed up at a friends house. She took him to the vet and got him fixed and checked out. He was found to be stage 2 heartworm positive but more on that later.
We took him home. He seems a good dog and somebody has taught him some good stuff. During walks he pulls a lot but I make him walk beside me and give corrections. He gets very excited over other dogs or any animals really, even birds.
Now we have two cats and my reptiles. He must get along with the cats or he cannot stay. So far I have kept the cats in the back of hte house and only let them out when he is out of sight on a walk or outdoors on the tether.
The cats have came out and checked out his crate and smelled him. I have made sure he has smelled the cats too. The other day he got a glimpse of one of them when I opened the door. He rushed to the door and looked under and I couldn't get him away easily.
He went a couple days ago for his heartworm treatment and of course he is very tired now and lazy. I was thinking that maybe this will be a good time to introduce them with him on the leash. Last night I allowed him to see the cat from a distance. He made the leash tight and his ears were perked up. The cat just sat there about ten feet. She didn't run or anything. I think if they run he will want to chase. It seems he has a strong prey drive which means this may not work out.
Any tips for introducting them? I've read several articles online but most say something different. About the only consistant thing is when they are introduced to make sure to associate the cats with treats and not allow him off the leash but to slowly lower the distance to the cat as can be allowed. I can really only give him a month to see if he will work in our home. Thanks.
The main tip is to introduce them after a nice long walk get the dog nice and tired and used to being in the follower position. I'm not too keen on the idea of using treats as a part of this. Generally most owners and dogs associate treats with excitement, which is the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.
I would put them all in the same room with you. Put the dog on leash and sit there ignoring the whole thing. If the dog starts to act up, let the dog tire himself out. Eventually he'll get the point and have no other choice but to relax. Stay there as long as it takes. You are mainly just there to hold the leash. When the dog relaxes, then you should go in with soft praise and gentle petting. You need to be relaxed during the whole time. The moment you get stressed, the dog will feed off of that.
If there is a HUGE reaction from the dog, you may want to consider a prong collar. It won't hurt the dog, but it will make it less comfortable for the dog to bolt at the cats.
Also, you need to find an outlet for the prey drive. See if you can talk to some Schutzhund
clubs in your area. This will require a huge commitment from you though. But, with right dog and owner, it can be a very rewarding experience.