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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:54 PM
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If the dog has such a high prey drive towards the cat as you have stated, it is not safe for him to be around your indoor cat. Do not let the rescue guilt you into keeping him if it's not a fit and for me out of everything you listed--the risk to the cat is a deal breaker. I have fostered ~40 goldens and only 3 were returned to boarding due to their "I want to eat the cat" desire. Most certainly needed to learn manners around my cat who was very dog savvy, but those 3 meant to do harm.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:02 PM
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If the dog has such a high prey drive towards the cat as you have stated, it is not safe for him to be around your indoor cat. Do not let the rescue guilt you into keeping him if it's not a fit and for me out of everything you listed--the risk to the cat is a deal breaker. I have fostered ~40 goldens and only 3 were returned to boarding due to their "I want to eat the cat" desire. Most certainly needed to learn manners around my cat who was very dog savvy, but those 3 meant to do harm.
Thanks, I'll definitely bring this up with them again. Our cat is "dog savvy" too; he's lived with a dog nearly his whole life.

The Golden rescue in our area doesn't have a physical location. It's a group of organizers that work with foster families and other volunteers to rescue Goldens from the streets or the pound. George wouldn't have anywhere else to go if there aren't any other foster families available, but I can let them know that he would be better off in a different home when one does become available.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:06 PM
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Thanks, I'll definitely bring this up with them again. Our cat is "dog savvy" too; he's lived with a dog nearly his whole life.

The Golden rescue in our area doesn't have a physical location. It's a group of organizers that work with foster families and other volunteers to rescue Goldens from the streets or the pound. George wouldn't have anywhere else to go if there aren't any other foster families available, but I can let them know that he would be better off in a different home when one does become available.
They may need to shuffle fosters or board him at a clinic or kennel until another foster home can open up. Based on his anxiety I realize a foster home would be best, but at the same time the rescue owes it to you not to make you put your own pets at risk.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:47 AM
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I applaud your decision to foster but in light of the need to keep your cat safe I agree that this might not be the right situation for your household. I had planned to foster for a GR Rescue. The dog was assigned to me and I was going to pick him up from the kennel in a couple of days when I realized it would not be a good situation for my 18 year old cat. Not only does she not move that well but I had concern for the added stress on her failing health. It was difficult but I had to tell the rescue that I could not foster at this time.
Perhaps the rescue could trade your dog for one with a foster that doesn't have cats.
Please monitor the situation closely and do not put your kitty at risk.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:09 AM
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I have one of the few dogs that was completed cured of his "frustration" behavior by neutering. Overnight. Given it supposedly takes a few weeks for the hormones to go away, I'm not sure why it stopped so quickly. But he was at it every night, and then stopped. The other issues you're working with are more important, so I might ignore this one for now and see if neutering fixes it.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 11-13-2012, 07:29 AM
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Hi everyone,

I need some guidance, and I don't know where else to turn for help. I've been browsing the forums here for about a week, but things have gotten bad enough to prompt me to post.

My wife and I are fostering a dog, George, for a local Golden Retriever rescue. He's about four years old and I estimate he weighs around 70 pounds. We fostered another dog before this one, and he was a real sweetheart. George, however, has a number of behavioral problems. Also, he'll be in foster care longer term because he's heartworm positive. His vet is waiting until late December to begin his treatments, so he won't be put up for adoption until then.

Here are the problems I'm facing, in order of increasing severity:
  1. George is completely untrained. I'm working diligently to teach him basic commands. We're slowly making progress. After one week together, he now knows "sit" and has almost mastered "down." I'm hoping to teach him "stay" and finally "leave it."
  2. George is not neutered, so he's... "sexually frustrated." I read that this can be a dominance thing too. He likes to satisfy his "frustrations" on furniture, and sometimes people. We immediately pull him off people and give him a stern "no," but he isn't deterred. The rescue says he won't be neutered until his heartworm treatments are done.
  3. George is desperate for attention. Always. He seems to do well when we leave him home alone, but he is constantly at our sides begging for either attention or food. I'm not really sure how to break him of this habit. When he begs for attention, I found that ignoring him is the only way to get him to settle down -- but it takes him a while to get the hint. When he begs for food, I don't know what to do other than lock him in another room.
  4. George's prey drive is really strong and we have an indoor cat. We've had to keep the two separate since George first came here. I've been giving them limited, supervised time together, but George is just too aggressive. He doesn't just roughhouse, he tries to bite the cat every chance he gets. Consequently, I've had to hold him by the collar or keep him on his leash whenever I give them "limited interaction time."

    I never would have considered doing such a thing before we got George, but my wife and I bought him a muzzle earlier today. I thought he would learn to stay away from the cat as long as he couldn't bite. Unfortunately that didn't happen. He immediately backed the cat in the corner and tried slamming him against the wall, all before getting scratched on the nose. I felt awful after this exercise... all it did was terrify our cat and give George a bloody nose.

    The muzzle was the last idea I had. Of course he doesn't respond to voice commands, distractions (by any of his favorite squeaky toys), or even physical reminders (a swift tug on the collar, etc.). Our last Golden foster was so gentle with the cat, and our pet dog before that was too. I don't want to give up on George, but I don't know what else to do.

I don't think his behavior is his fault. Given how he acts and his heartworms, it's evident that he was neglected. Nonetheless, his behavior isn't acceptable. Besides making our lives more difficult, I'm worried it will be more difficult for him to find a permanent home. Do you have any advice for us? Thank you!

George sounds alot like my Buddy when I first rescued him. It does get better and Buddy is now proof positive. He is now a CGC and TDI (paperwork pending) dog. He did everything your George does plus he would escape the house and run away. Buddy went through months of professional training something I never had go do with any of my previous dogs but I had raised them from puppyhood. I would look into training classes- I think it helped me more than him because I would get so frustrated by him with something not working and they would give he helpful hints to get what I wanted but a different way.

While he thankfully did not have heartworm, Buddy was physically a mess he has gained 25-30 pounds since I got him- I stopped weighting him and just go by how he looks and rib feel. I neutered Buddy as soon as he was medically cleared since I could not keep him in the house since he would let himself out- He had no self control and it took months for him to learn it. He now knows he can go outside as much as he wants- Before I got him going outside even to pee was a treat!

I don't think your George is 'sexually frustrated' as much as has no matters. I did not neuter my previous golden til he was 10 and he never humped a person, furniture, or other dog. Buddy who is neutered does hump other dogs after they hump him first.

Buddy still mouths my cats but he is not doing it to harm them and they know that. My cats are used to a mouthy Golden since my previous one did the say thing to them. He has learned to not chase the kitties overall but the 3 yorkies do egg him on. Baby gates are great- Just elevate them 6 inches off the ground so your cat can easily get away from George. I still have them up in my house. My cats and dogs get along but I still give the cats their own dog free spaces- Litterbox, food, and beds. My cats decide when and if they want to come near the dogs. Buddy is not a fan of the cats, primarily Mika, hitting him on the nose- He has learned if kitty growls leave her the heck alone or you will have a sore nose. I did keep Buddy on a leash one at all times connected to me because of his poor behavior and not being housebroken when I got him. If he can't get 6 feet from you- He can't corner the cat.

Buddy would not just beg for food he would also steal it and counter surf several times a day when I rescued him. He still begs but on my terms only- with everything it took time. If I am making food he sits or lays 3 feet from me so I am not tripping over him. When I am eating he must lay down and wait quietly otherwise he gets nothing.

Buddy has mild separation anxiety now but it used to be severe. I changed my whole work schedule so that he was never alone for more than 1 hour at first. My parents and brother doggie sit for me when I go to work so I change my schedule to mirror their schedules. Buddy did not destroy actual things with his anxiety but he would rip his own skin off from licking, chewing, and scratching because he was upset.


You can't fix everything overnight. Pick one or 2 areas to really focus on. For
Buddy I worked on 'training'- Sit, stay, down, etc.- Throughout the day instead of formal training type sessions. It kept us both from getting board and frustrated. Buddy is very smart! And it seems like George might be the same way.

Food and praise was the only thing that worked for Buddy at first since he did not know what play or toys was. Buddy lead a totally different life before I rescued him and what he has not and I imagine the same is true for George.
Buddy came from a trailer with 2 other male unneutered dogs (lab and pit bull/Boston terrier mix) where he was left for at least 16 hours/day plus, not housebroken, had to find his own food in the house or he would bot eat that day, his owner was an alcoholic so he probably did hit him even though he denied it but Buddy was very head shy and neck sensitive when I got him. If my brother who Buddy loves makes a quick motion over his head he will still cringe and go to hide- My brother under penalty of his own death would never hit any of my dogs!
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 11-13-2012, 07:32 AM
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http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/...lden-long.html (Help- Trying to rescue golden- Long). This is Buddy's thread from when I first got him- I have not updated it since he is an official member of the family now.

As a side not when I got Buddy I was fostering 2 kittens/6 month old cats in addition to having 2 cats of my own and 4 yorkies. Buddy could have seriously injured or killed any of them. I have on top of him at all times it seemed! I stopped cat fostering after I got Buddy and the rescue had to take the kittens back. If he hurt one my personal furbutts I would have dealt with it but he injured a rescued I don't know what I would have done!
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Last edited by MikaTallulah; 11-13-2012 at 07:42 AM.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-13-2012, 11:20 PM
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Thank you for your thoughtful response!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikaTallulah View Post
I don't think your George is 'sexually frustrated' as much as has no matters. I did not neuter my previous golden til he was 10 and he never humped a person, furniture, or other dog. Buddy who is neutered does hump other dogs after they hump him first.
I agree, and he seems to have settled down. I haven't caught him doing it in a while, but my wife says he did earlier today. He didn't get his usual exercise, and he was alone for an extended period for the first time (it was a long day... I had to help a friend who had her dog euthanized this morning), so I think that explains it. Overall, he's been much better lately.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm culpable for some of my frustration. I haven't trained a dog from the ground up in almost 15 years. My pet dog, and our last foster, responded to "yelling" (by which I mean admonishment using a deep tone of voice) in addition to praise; George simply doesn't. Once I wrapped my head around that, and realized the real power of positive reinforcement, getting him to behave the way I want was much easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikaTallulah View Post
Buddy still mouths my cats but he is not doing it to harm them and they know that. My cats are used to a mouthy Golden since my previous one did the say thing to them. He has learned to not chase the kitties overall but the 3 yorkies do egg him on. Baby gates are great- Just elevate them 6 inches off the ground so your cat can easily get away from George. I still have them up in my house. My cats and dogs get along but I still give the cats their own dog free spaces- Litterbox, food, and beds. My cats decide when and if they want to come near the dogs. Buddy is not a fan of the cats, primarily Mika, hitting him on the nose- He has learned if kitty growls leave her the heck alone or you will have a sore nose. I did keep Buddy on a leash one at all times connected to me because of his poor behavior and not being housebroken when I got him. If he can't get 6 feet from you- He can't corner the cat.

Buddy would not just beg for food he would also steal it and counter surf several times a day when I rescued him. He still begs but on my terms only- with everything it took time. If I am making food he sits or lays 3 feet from me so I am not tripping over him. When I am eating he must lay down and wait quietly otherwise he gets nothing.
Unfortunately the two areas in which George really needs improvement are begging for food and aggression toward the cat. We have set up dog-free zones using baby gates, but our cat is older and he knows that running is the worst thing he can do to end a chase. Consequently, escaping to one of the dog-free zones never works out.

Now that George has gotten a better grasp of the basic commands, I'm going to try more positive reinforcement techniques during his interactions with the cat. I still think he, and certainly the cat, would ultimately be happier if George found a new foster home, but I'll do all that I can in the meantime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikaTallulah View Post
Buddy has mild separation anxiety now but it used to be severe. I changed my whole work schedule so that he was never alone for more than 1 hour at first. My parents and brother doggie sit for me when I go to work so I change my schedule to mirror their schedules. Buddy did not destroy actual things with his anxiety but he would rip his own skin off from licking, chewing, and scratching because he was upset.
That's rough. I know George hates being alone, but fortunately he isn't destructive to the house and I don't think he barks or is otherwise disruptive -- my neighbors haven't complained, at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikaTallulah View Post
You can't fix everything overnight. Pick one or 2 areas to really focus on. For
Buddy I worked on 'training'- Sit, stay, down, etc.- Throughout the day instead of formal training type sessions. It kept us both from getting board and frustrated. Buddy is very smart! And it seems like George might be the same way.
Indeed, George is smart. As I'm learning, it's all about speaking his language. He's quick to learn and eager to please, I just have to show him what I want in a way he understands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikaTallulah View Post
Food and praise was the only thing that worked for Buddy at first since he did not know what play or toys was. Buddy lead a totally different life before I rescued him and what he has not and I imagine the same is true for George.
Buddy came from a trailer with 2 other male unneutered dogs (lab and pit bull/Boston terrier mix) where he was left for at least 16 hours/day plus, not housebroken, had to find his own food in the house or he would bot eat that day, his owner was an alcoholic so he probably did hit him even though he denied it but Buddy was very head shy and neck sensitive when I got him. If my brother who Buddy loves makes a quick motion over his head he will still cringe and go to hide- My brother under penalty of his own death would never hit any of my dogs!
That's absolutely terrible. I have a zero tolerance attitude toward animal cruelty and neglect. Why even bother getting a dog if he or she will be alone all the time? I'm so happy Buddy is in your care now.

George seems pretty fearless. He pulls hard on the leash (we're working on that), and he's not scared of me, the cat, the vacuum, etc. I definitely think he was neglected, but I don't think he was abused. If he was, he got over it pretty quickly.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2012, 07:47 AM
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How is George doing today?
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2012, 01:28 PM
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How is George doing today?
He had an accident on the carpet, but I think that was because of yesterday. Otherwise, so far so good.
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