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Upbringing & character How to care for a puppy, how to socialize it, the most common problems with CzW, how to solve them....

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Old 13-12-2012, 00:54   #1
Tigerstripe40
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Default Aggressiveness toward my cat.

Hello this is my first post.

I don't directly own a Vlcak, but my buddy and roommate does.
His name is Zazimir (we call him Zaz) and he's just over a year old.

I have had my cat for about 7 years now. The cat has lived in the home with a black labrador for 5 years and they get along fine. Initially (5 years ago)there was some tension with the lab, the cat gave a hiss and after a bit, bloodied the labs nose with his claws and its been fine ever since. They play with each other, they sleep together. No issues there.

Now, with the Vlcak Zaz, the cat has been in the picture since day 1. The vlcak has shown aggression with the cat. The cat will hiss, and scratch, and in some occasions, has bloodied Zaz's nose, however, Zaz will not back down. Neither will the cat. Typically we end up physically separating the dog and cat. Zaz will get put in his kennel and the cat will go hide for a while. I have a baby gate to keep Zaz out of the area the cat typically occupies, however, the gate doesn't always get closed and Zaz will go straight for the room my cat is in.

I figure its natural curiosity with the dog, however, the cat will swat at Zaz when Zaz starts biting at the cat, and since neither will back down, it will escalate into a fight (we always intercept before it gets really aggressive, and so far, no injuries to the cat other than hurt pride, and a bloodied nose for the dog).

My fear is that Zaz will get the better of the cat one day and seriously harm him or kill him. -I don't want that to happen.

I feel its time to get involved myself.

Any clues on how to cull this behavior from the dog?
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Old 13-12-2012, 06:43   #2
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Hi, Zaz is a dog somewhat familiar on another forum, Galomy Oak Botolf. From knowing other Vlcak who lived/were living with cats (as with basically all other dogs), you have four scenarios:

- Vlcak learns to leave cat alone
- Vlcak learns to be gentle and play to the cat's level
- Vlcak likes to 'play' with the cat (bully it, mostly) with the opportunity rises, but wouldn't seriously hurt it otherwise (sort of like living with a small breed dog and a vlcak)
- It's not safe to keep Vlcak around cat, they must be separated.

In all circumstances I think it basically comes down to management..... I think there is no 'fair' way to cull an animal's inherent prey drive especially if you ever consider leaving the animals alone together unsupervised. Depending on the excitement level, you can very strongly enforce a 'leave it' and go from there...

For me, my Vlcaks and my small dogs basically are the third category, and I always have had to enforce a strong 'leave it' which is generally respected. But still I don't leave them alone together yet when I'm not home to monitor it... my Vlcaks definitely do try to bully the minis even if they retaliate, because the vlcaks think it's great fun to illicit some reaction..
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Old 13-12-2012, 07:19   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukidomari View Post
Hi, Zaz is a dog somewhat familiar on another forum, Galomy Oak Botolf. From knowing other Vlcak who lived/were living with cats (as with basically all other dogs), you have four scenarios:

- Vlcak learns to leave cat alone
- Vlcak learns to be gentle and play to the cat's level
- Vlcak likes to 'play' with the cat (bully it, mostly) with the opportunity rises, but wouldn't seriously hurt it otherwise (sort of like living with a small breed dog and a vlcak)
- It's not safe to keep Vlcak around cat, they must be separated.

In all circumstances I think it basically comes down to management..... I think there is no 'fair' way to cull an animal's inherent prey drive especially if you ever consider leaving the animals alone together unsupervised. Depending on the excitement level, you can very strongly enforce a 'leave it' and go from there...
Zaz came from Galomy Oaks.

He's not very good about listening to commands when he doesn't want to (especially when you don't have a treat in your hand). I suppose that when hes in the house with the cat at the same time, I should keep some treats in my pocket so that if there IS an altercation, I holler 'leave it!' and pull out a treat?
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Old 13-12-2012, 07:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerstripe40 View Post
Zaz came from Galomy Oaks.

He's not very good about listening to commands when he doesn't want to (especially when you don't have a treat in your hand). I suppose that when hes in the house with the cat at the same time, I should keep some treats in my pocket so that if there IS an altercation, I holler 'leave it!' and pull out a treat?
you could try with increasingly exciting and distracting situations, but I wouldn't expect him to go from say, 2 (sitting in parking lot with people walking around) to 90 (stop mid way chasing a running fuzzy) without levels in the middle..

Also, if you're addressing SPECIFIC behaviors, it's also not a bad time to issue corrections..

but if he is really, really food driven, you could also try the 'pay attention to me (and not the cat/distraction) game......(and in time increase the attention paying part from like 1 second to a few minutes to...)

in terms of management and training, you could use a light drag line around the house, so to back up the leave its and so (to enforce they get done) until it's reliable. but again, it depends on the excitement level the dog shows.. if he's TRULY aggressive to the cat, which by the way, doesn't seem so, since a one year old Vlcak could easily kill one.. of course it would not be very effective..

my male (now a little over two) now can do 'leave its' to cats we see while walking, but if i don't 'warn' him to leave it, he will still bolt after them..
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Old 13-12-2012, 13:10   #5
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Hmm, if you have to physically seperate them and the cat is not injured I don't think the dog wants to hurt the cat(I'm not saying the behaviour is a desired one) but think about it.....the cat would be long dead!
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Old 14-12-2012, 10:23   #6
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Originally Posted by yukidomari View Post
my male (now a little over two) now can do 'leave its' to cats we see while walking, but if i don't 'warn' him to leave it, he will still bolt after them..
We have the same situation with ours

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukidomari View Post
- Vlcak learns to leave cat alone
- Vlcak learns to be gentle and play to the cat's level
- Vlcak likes to 'play' with the cat (bully it, mostly) with the opportunity rises, but wouldn't seriously hurt it otherwise (sort of like living with a small breed dog and a vlcak)
- It's not safe to keep Vlcak around cat, they must be separated.
Our airedale is definitely a level 3, so whenever she sees the cat first, BJ (virtually 1 year old vlciak) is the same. On his own though he is very gentle towards the cat (who still can't quite work out how to react ). I find if I remain completely calm during their interactions, BJ and the cat will too - any raising of my voice or change in my movements can escalate the excitement level to being a level 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by tupacs2legs
Hmm, if you have to physically seperate them and the cat is not injured I don't think the dog wants to hurt the cat(I'm not saying the behaviour is a desired one) but think about it.....the cat would be long dead!
I have to agree here

Last edited by Shadowlands; 14-12-2012 at 10:25. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 14-12-2012, 14:37   #7
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Hi, I think maybe the problem is more deep. You say that Zaz is "not very good about listening to commands when he doesn't want to". That is the main problem. One year old vlcak should be able to comprehend that obeying is a must and should obey the "normal" commands in all but really complicated situations. At home, getting treats should now be only a really well-deserved reward. If he does not obey even if he is not distracted much, then the problem is in your authority. Even if the dog does not belong to you, if you live in the same household, it should consider you as an authority.
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Old 15-12-2012, 17:12   #8
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Your roommate (Zaz's owner) sent me a long facebook message with some other important key details about the situation - don't know if he has read it yet.

These are all great suggestions too...as with all training situations, it is tricky to "diagnose and treat" through text without seeing all small details and information the dog gives through body language.

Now that I am a Colorado resident, looking forward to catching up with you guys soon!
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:37   #9
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If he does not obey even if he is not distracted much, then the problem is in your authority. Even if the dog does not belong to you, if you live in the same household, it should consider you as an authority.
What does this entail? Everything I know about training dogs is apparantly wrong with Vlcaks.

My understanding is that I need to get Zaz to submit to me.

The experience I have with training dogs is to do that, I need to roll him onto his back, holding his muzzle with my hand until he stops squirming, and then reward (ie belly rub) and praise him when he submits to me.

I've been told not to do that with this breed.

So, I left this to my room mate to deal with. -He made mumblings about getting a Leerburg dominant dog collar to train Zaz with. Two have been ordered, but apparantly, neither have been the right size.
No additional training has been done.

Zaz and my cat got into an altercation tonight.

I have trained 3 dogs, asserting my dominance like I had outlined above.
Could someone please tell me why this is not a good idea with Vlcaks?
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:16   #10
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This kind of showing the dominance might be fine in the situation when YOU are the owner = alpha and DOG is showing tendency to dominate you, or tells you to F off... or if the dog is aggressive towards you.

The thing is, this is a very strong show of dominance. You can do it safely with pup, during fighting game, that you playfully show that you are the boss. With grown-up - well I wouldn't do it with somebody else's dog unless circumstances really required it. I mean if you do it in a wrong context the dog does not understand and can get frightened.

The following is my opinion on solving the situation, based on my experience, while not being qualified dog-trainer...

What you can try first is do the training with the dog. I mean teach / train with him basic obedience commands, and insist on doing them at least at the same level of quality as he does with his owner. Show him by your presence that YOU are the one who says we are going to to this now and DOG just has to follow. Give most of praise with words/tone and/or touching mostly, give some with food too. Don't keep it too long, just make sure he understands that you are deciding in this relationship.

If the dog obeys but slowly or does not do the command properly, give just verbal correction (or physical in form of correcting the position). Make sure you show by your voice you are annoyed. If the dog shows aggression, you can use physical punishment (clapping over muzzle, holding the muzzle, if he persist, than you can submit him).

It is very hard to explain in text what I mean, so I hope I was clear enough. If you have experience with dogs, you should be able to ascertain your position with body-language. With wolfdogs it is extremely important that you are communicating your real emotions. If you don't care, the dog knows. They can read us like comic books. That's also why you don't have to communicate your dominance over-aggressively, unless it is really necessary.
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Old 13-02-2013, 11:50   #11
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oh deAr alpha Rolling A csv that isn't yours for a natural behaviour? I fear that is a battle u will loose!!!

If u start down that route imo you have already lost
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:15   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerstripe40 View Post
What does this entail? Everything I know about training dogs is apparantly wrong with Vlcaks.

My understanding is that I need to get Zaz to submit to me.

The experience I have with training dogs is to do that, I need to roll him onto his back, holding his muzzle with my hand until he stops squirming, and then reward (ie belly rub) and praise him when he submits to me.

I've been told not to do that with this breed.

So, I left this to my room mate to deal with. -He made mumblings about getting a Leerburg dominant dog collar to train Zaz with. Two have been ordered, but apparantly, neither have been the right size.
No additional training has been done.

Zaz and my cat got into an altercation tonight.
Training is a matter of teaching behaviors or a chain of behaviors you want. In this case I don't see how rolling a dog results in him not chasing or annoying your cat.

For me training involves working with the dog daily practicing behaviors and commands so that they understand and get used to working together with me. When I teach a 'leave it' I start out with low value items (dog on a leash, asking them for attention to leave alone an old toy they've always had and rewarding) and gradually work up to higher value items (food on a ground, cats).

I don't have cats but we have a lot of outdoors cats in the neighborhood and nowadays if I spy a cat beforehand, I can ask my Vlcaks to leave it when we're on walks and they generally do. We worked on this every day for a long time. Until it reaches the level you want you'll simply have to manage the situation and environment.

As far as it sounds, Zaz seems to be a typical Vlcak who likes to annoy everything and everyone else. If a 50+ something lb big dog really had it out for your cat, I really doubt your cat would still be in one piece....

But if someone really does have a Vlcak who is not safe around cats that's probably not something that can be trained out of a dog - a person can only manage the environment better. Dogs and their 'famous' rivalry with cats is not exactly novel or surprising.
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Old 14-02-2013, 01:41   #13
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As far as it sounds, Zaz seems to be a typical Vlcak who likes to annoy everything and everyone else. If a 50+ something lb big dog really had it out for your cat, I really doubt your cat would still be in one piece....

But if someone really does have a Vlcak who is not safe around cats that's probably not something that can be trained out of a dog - a person can only manage the environment better. Dogs and their 'famous' rivalry with cats is not exactly novel or surprising.
The Vlcak is my roommates -He's my best friend, and I've lived with him for about 5 years now.

With what was happening last night, I think that had I been a split second slower in separating the 2, my cat would have been torn to pieces. Zaz had the cat in his jaws and I think he was about to 'go in for the kill' when I firmly said 'ZAZ NO!' and pried his jaws off the cat (I know, this is a GREAT way to get a nasty dog bite, but I was reacting). Zaz got taken to his kennel. The cat is OK, other than some hurt dignity and some torn out fur.
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Old 14-02-2013, 14:06   #14
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Just as Yukidomari said it is really typical for a vlcak to annoy everyone else . My Urobach loves to annoy our cats. However, with time it gets better. Now it is much easier to stop him from chewing the cats, well as long as they are still and we are around
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