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Help: Six Month old female with serious prey drive

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Emma

1192499
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 22, '11 10:17am PST 
Hello all,

I was looking for some advice concerning my six month old female catahoula/cur puppy. I have Emma, along with two much older female chihuahua's (15 & 11) another catahoula mix and a border collie mix. Emma seriously injured our 11 year old chihuahua last night under supervision. Had I not been there the vet said the chihuahua would not have survived. There was no food present, and I have no idea what triggered it.

I adopted her from a local barn in the area as a family dog, not for hunting or working. The breeders were well aware of my smaller dogs, and the other dogs in the house, yet never cautioned me; and when I did some research I obviously did not look deep enough. Unfortunately I feel ignorant now for adopting her. I did not know Catahoulas have a difficult time coexisting with other dogs, especially smaller breeds.

I also did not know that this specific litter was bred solely for hunting, it turns out the breeders just wanted the puppies off their hands, and most of the puppies they gave away (except for those who went to hunting homes) were re-homed for aggressive behaviors.

Normally I run her 2-3 miles a day, but I was told I am not able to run for at least a month due to a severe medical issue. Lately I've just been either walking her or playing/training her, which obviously isn't enough.

Does anyone have any tips on how to keep your catahoula from getting bored, or aggressive towards your other animals? I would love to hear any ideas, people who have had the same issue, or any references that have helped you out in the past.

I do realize this is not an ideal situation for Emma to be in now, but I really DO NOT want to have to find her a new home. So if you don't have any positive advice, please don't bother replying. I am trying to do anything I can to make this work.

Edited by author Wed Jun 22, '11 10:21am PST

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Stella

Got a squirrel?- im feeling a bit- nutty!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 25, '11 11:09am PST 
what about getting her into flyball or an agility group?
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Paislee

play hard, power- nap, eat fast.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 25, '11 4:57pm PST 
I am glad you are not looking to rehome her. She is really just a puppy still and learning what is allowed and what is not. Houlas can learn to coexist just fine with all other household animals. I would suggest keeping them separated unless closely supervised and reward for good behaviour. My 6 month old Houla mix can be a bit of a bully with my BC mix I watch them very close when they are together and reward Paislee for getting along and as soon as she starts instigating any bickering I put her in a safe place away from the other dog. Houlas are smart dogs that want to please so if you lovingly but firmly keep telling her what you expect by treats and praise for good behaviour and scolding and stop of play or interaction when she is being naughty she will catch on. I am sorry you had such a stressful thing happen.
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Emma

1192499
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 1, '11 1:06pm PST 
Thanks for the advice everyone! I got her a frisbee, a flyball and a food puzzle. Since I can't walk/run her at all right now, it seems to be keeping her occupied. For now Emma is separated from the small dogs, and we start a training class on Saturday. I am looking into agility, I feel like she would do very well.

Once again, glad to hear it's possible to break! Everyone keeps telling me it isn't!
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Paislee

play hard, power- nap, eat fast.
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 24, '11 7:21pm PST 
I will tell you it is not really 'breaking' the prey drive as much as her learning self control and learning appropriate times to use it. My oldest is not Houla but is all herder and her herding instincts are insanely tuned but the first year we had her (her 2nd year of life) we worked like crazy on recall and self control. things like having her sit when the ball is thrown till she gets a release word, learning 'leave it' etc. I can now call her off of the middle of a deer chase which is pretty impressive. But she really needs an outlet for that impulse which for Holly is the ball, for my BC/ACD it is ball or frisbee, not sure about the ACD/Aussie/Houla yet but it is possible for them to learn self control.
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Member Since
01/30/2013
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 5:04pm PST 
We have a catahoula with possibly some cur, and she and the feral kitten that came to live with us for about 9 months were best friends! They played and cuddled a lot, and the catahoula was appropriately gentle, although the kitten was a mischeivious kitten and liked to roughouse with her too. This catahoula spent 10 days on a cross country car ride, mostly in my arms, when she was a puppy. Even though she has a big prey drive, she is also very af afectionate, eager to please, and obedient, which I think is partly who she is but was also nurtured by "attachment theory" bonding when she was a puppy. I think maybe if the dog learns to enjoy cuddling and bonding with people and then with animals or both together as well as playing hard, it will help a lot. his is just an idea. Bebe does not like strange dogs--she barks and acts aggressive, but never actually fights with them. But at home with the other animals,she while the cat was here, she was a perfect lady with a small italian greyhound, a vizsla around her size, and with the kitten. She was raised with the italian greyhoud, though, so maybeshe is acclimated to that size. She is mostly the "alpha" but never has to enforce it and yields in many situations. She does kill squirrels...and recently killed a racoon! I do think it is based on the individual dog, of course. She is a very mellow catahoula...She is up when she is up, with lots of energy and athleticism, but otherwise she is totally relaxing and calm. The viszla did attack the greyhound three times, so I have to keep them separate frown Anyway, who knows if the bonding/cuddling thing is what really did it, but it can't hurt.
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Member Since
01/30/2013
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 5:07pm PST 
The point is, it is not just getting out the energy, but nurturing the nurturing side of the dog. If she is always hunting and playing with a ball or something else, she might want to do that all the time, I would guess. So I think they both need outlets for energy and also to have the gentle bonding side with the small animals and with people modeled and taught and nurtured. Just an idea...No scientific evidence here!
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Member Since
02/01/2013
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 10:15am PST 
First off thank you for opening your home and heart to a Cattahoula.

The MOST important thing you need to do is establish dominance becoming the pack leader is VERY important. You cannot allow them to be equal to you in any way Example:sleep in bed, lay on couch etc. I know that is hard cause we just love them so much but If I want to cuddle with my dog I go to the ground and lay with them. But if I lay with one dog I gotta lay with the others because dogs are very jealous and have resentment. Which can form into aggression.

Second MOST important thing is training and working with them. As a pack leader your voice and gestures and vibes is what they follow and react to. Take all your pack to the fenced yard for "play time" and let them go. Stand in the middle of the yard and observe stay quite let them do there thing mark territories, potty break etc.. Stay calm and relaxed and enjoy the air. After a few minutes once they get all there "duties" done that's when the fun begins. Look for a dog with his tail up continuously that shows a sign that he is at at guard and can show aggression at any time. Walk with that dog giving them a little distance member stay calm and relaxed you can handle any situation. Also keep in mind your (king/queen) of the pack. Once he does something u don't want him doing correct him but use one specific word with a proper tone. Tone is everything! Soft tone for little petty problems and raised voice deep tone for high priority problems. My high priority word is The dogs name then LEAVE IT!! In a slow, deep Stern country voice. Once I say that word everything stops even my fiancé stops what she's doing cause she knows one of them messed up pretty bad. Lol... Then go to the dog put a leash on and make him sit by u for a few minutes while he gets to see the others having fun. After 5 minutes or when u think he is ready let him go have fun. Stay consistent!!

I'm a search and rescue dog handler, I hunt with dogs and work my dogs on the farm pretty much do everything with my dogs. So I taught myself how to work with them and teach them how to work and they are amazing.

I have 2 brother cattahoulas named Smith and Wesson . They are the Most impressive breed of dog I have ever owned hands down. Amazing, active and loyal. They can be city dogs u just have to train them how u want them. My dogs will go from hunting down and killing a coyote then come home lay next to my bed by my fiancées yorkies with not one problem. That's cause we're a pack and we all love and protect each other.

I have a ton of info don't hesitate to ask if you have a question. If I don't know the answer I can find one. Good luck and keep us posted on how the progress is going.
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