Life at Peaceable Paws

As a lifelong animal lover and the proprietor of a dog-training and horse-boarding facility, I’ve had numerous alternatives to observe multi-species introductions – together with many in simply the previous two years!

About two years in the past, my husband and I acquired a Pomeranian/American Eskimo Dog-mix, Sunny. We have been advised that his earlier adopters stored him for less than three days as a result of they have been afraid he was going to kill their cats. We have two indoor-only cats in our household, however we adopted him anyway. We used gates which have cat-escape doorways constructed into them and stored Sunny on leash for a number of days. Fortunately, our dog-savvy cats didn’t run from him, so he didn’t chase. It solely took just a few days of managed encounters and a few counter-conditioning to persuade him he had higher issues to do than harass the cats. 

Given Sunny’s very sturdy chase arousal when he sees squirrels outdoors, nevertheless, I’ve little question he would give chase if he encountered an outside cat. It is quite common for canines to stay in peace with their indoor cats and nonetheless chase and even kill an out of doors cat that runs from them.

We weren’t positive what to anticipate from Sunny once we adopted our pot-bellied pig, Dexter, 4 months after Sunny joined the household. Our Kelpie, Kai, had lived peaceably with a pig earlier than, so we weren’t frightened about his response to Dexter’s arrival; for his half, Dexter had lived with canines earlier than, so we figured these two could be high quality. We did our first Sunny-Dexter introduction with Sunny on leash, and found that, aside from being fascinated with Dexter’s rear finish, Sunny was high quality with a pig.

We had our greatest interspecies problem 5 years in the past, once we first introduced house Kai, then only one yr previous. A herding breed, he was fairly occupied with our full-sized horses, however confined his herding conduct to trotting backwards and forwards at their heels. The horses have been accustomed to canines, so I wasn’t frightened about him getting kicked. Also, he stored cautious watch on the horses’ hooves. For some motive, although, we needed to put much more effort into instructing Kai to be calm round our miniature horse, Olivia. Kai barked at and tried to herd her once we led her from the barn – not acceptable. We discovered a simple repair: We taught Kai to “station” (stand up onto, sit, and keep) on a mounting block whereas we led Olivia to and from her paddock. Eventually Kai’s barking diminished, and stationing was now not wanted.

These have been all comparatively simple fixes. It takes much more work and time to reprogram a canine who has a really sturdy predatory curiosity in an other-species member of the family – and even only a very excessive stage of arousal within the presence of one other species.


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