Somehow we’ve already been in Louisiana for just shy of two months. My, how time flies…
If you had asked me when we crafted our plan to introduce the dogs to the cat how long I thought it would take, I probably would’ve said a few weeks, maybe a month. We made some excellent progress at first, then we revisited our plan to refine it a bit.
Here’s the current status:
Emmett still doesn’t care about her and is totally fine off leash around her 100% of the time. When she darts quickly, he sometimes gives a halfhearted chase, but mostly, he couldn’t care less. (Which, incidentally, seems to make her more interested in him. She LOVES to chew on his tail.)
Cooper is all about Newt. Funny enough, as I’ve been working with him on reactivity, I’ve been working to instill an “automatic sit.” Turns out, it’s instilled! Newt loves to beat the crud out of Cooper, swiping at him, biting his back, tackling his tail… And Cooper just plops into a sit. It’s pretty funny. But, like Emmett, Cooper and Newt are 100% around each other, so he’s off leash.
In fact, he and Emmett hang out with Newt together every day.
Well, Lucas is still at the beginning. He’s still on leash getting tons of treats around her. He can only sniff her through the gate still.
He’s uneasy. He whines and cries. We’ve had a ton of improvement… and a few setbacks. We thought that since he’s SO leash reactive, we should try through the baby gate without a leash to see if he felt more comfortable. It worked perfectly until we called him away, then he lunged and snapped. Same thing happened on leash: We called him away, and he lunged.
We’re going to change our next session so that, instead of calling him away at the end, we remove her from the room. I hope that’ll help eliminate that reaction. (Honestly, I’m not even sure why calling him away would cause the reaction?? Six years of working with him, and he’s a CONSTANT mystery!)
We also tried working with him with Emmett in the room, but it achieved the opposite effect: His unease made Emmett on edge.
So, it’s a work in progress.
I’ll try to get some video of Newt whopping Cooper. 🙂 In the meantime, we’re just focusing on incremental, teeny, tiny baby steps with dear Lucas.
What are you training this week? Anyone else facing a dog/cat conundrum?