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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9685
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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I have a Shepard that we got from our local animal shelter.

Customer Question

Good morning
I have a Shepard that we got from our local animal shelter. She is approximately 7 years old. When we got her she didn't know what a dog treat was or what to do with a toy. She couldn't jump and was too scared to bark.
I'm pleased to say we have had her since just after Christmas and she is now acting like a dog for the most part, but she does have one habit we can't break. This involves our cat, she stalks him constantly and follows him around like a security detail.Her behaviour is very obsessive. Away from the cat she's great..
Can you please give us some advice on How to break this habit.
Julie Hooper
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. This is just a short note to introduce myself or to request needed information for your problem. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ as well as an assistance/service dog trainer, specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today.

Please tell me what you have tried so far. What do you mean by food rewards? When do you give these ?

What commands does the dog know?

What happens when the dog gets near the cat when stalking?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We tried liver treats when she ignores the cat but that doesn't happen very often she is always on the look out for.
As for commands we had to start at the beginning she will now sit and drop but that's about it she will come sometimes but not always and it you pull her by the collar she cries.
When she sees the cat she goes into a trans and drools and you can call her all you want she won't come.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have to be a little soft with here cause she cowers if you are too in her face
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information. It sounds like she needs some more overall training in basic commands and needs it daily. I would put the cat and dog in separate areas until you can get the command leave it down with the dog. To keep them in the same area will only set the dog up to fail as at this point the dog only knows one way to behave and that is not the way you want her to behave so failure is inevitable.

I would do a positive method of training with her and I would do it daily in small sessions such as 15 minutes, always in a quiet area to start then gradually move to more distracting places. The Leave it has to be down 100% before you use that with her on the cat. Getting her focus totally on you is also key, so teaching her to focus/watch is very important.

She is a herding dog so going after other animals is bred into her, which makes it not an overnight fix.

Clicker training/positive method training/ print off

video’s to see how clicker training is done, scroll down to videos

clicker maintaining focus

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Julie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Molly. How is everything going?
Sally G.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sally, were are moving along slowly, time will tell regards Julie
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

sounds like there is progress in small steps:)