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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blaze and the cats...Part Duex

I've been working with Blaze and her high Husky prey drive with the cats.  For safety reasons, Blaze is separated from the cats.  I've tried several different things and the one I had the most success with is in this post.  I hooked a leash to the wall, hooked Blaze to the leash, had lots of treats and a cat who stood at the doorway, but never crossed into her territory.  I have done this a couple more times since that post.  The last time I did it, I wore Blaze out with mental games and she actually laid down and looked at me, without paying any attention to the cat.  That was HUGE progress!!

Then a few weeks ago, I had this spur of the moment idea...

I needed to clean my disastrous computer desk.  Computer is in the cat's room.  (yes, for all you doggies I read all your post with the cats!)  I had the radio on in Chance and Blaze's room.  Both were sleeping.  I didn't want to close the door or I wouldn't be able to hear the music, so I thought, I'll leave it open and see how things play out.

It's open!

Chance paid no attention, he rarely does, But Blaze slowly woke up and stayed rather quiet, just watching as Boxer walked around his room and crossing in front of the doorway every so often.  The computer/cat's room is about the size of an over sized closet and easy to keep watch on my rolling desk chair.

Was that a feline?
Blaze watched for some time, we're talking a good 10-15 minutes, before she started creeping closer towards the door.   That alone was impressive.  She was relaxed with a playful demeanor, instead of her wild eyed "I want to taste you" look, when she stood at the doorway.  When her and Boxer finally met face to face I was right there as she went to pounce and I caught her in my arms, held her very gently and let her sit with lots of eye contact.  She was so excited and happy at being so close!  I can tell after 4 years her curiosity is starting to get the best of her.  Although any direct contact would've have sent her into prey drive mode.  So this was exciting!  I can't remember how long Boxer stayed in his room after that, but it was long enough that we practiced not letting one paw cross the cat's threshold.  It didn't take long after that to see the her body buzzing into overdrive as the adrenaline reached her eyes to know it was time to close the door.

You said "No Paws!"
I was so excited it didn't take much to share it with Blaze as I smothered her with kisses and treats and told her how fantastic she had done.  It wasn't long before she was jumping at the cat's door with the same bound excitement that said, "Let's do it again.  Right now!!"  She was so great and I couldn't be more proud of her.  I didn't try again for a while as her interest in the cats peaked since trying and I was letting that thrill wane down a bit before trying again.

Then I tried again last night.  Same scenerio:  Blaze sleeping, leave door open, she slowly creeps towards the door.  For a while their were no cats, then my little Siamese, Princess Leia popped in and curious Blaze just observed without once crossing the door frame.  Just as I saw the little sparks start jumping in her eyes, I walked out, closing the door behind and praised her like crazy.  She was so calm and controlled.  It was simply awesome!!  It is so humbling to be part of this trusting foursome between Blaze, the two cats and myself in this little dance and simply more awesome than I can put into words.  Time is a wonderful thing.
Look at me!!


BordoggyTerrier said...

Well done Blaze! Daphne (our cat) was here a year before me and was put out when I arrived as a 14 week old puppy wanting to play - however nearly 2 years later we get on rather well, we can sit together, have the odd bit of bounce about each other, I ignore her outside, she bounds over to me sometimes so it is all good (she does occasionally sleep in my bed, I have been pictured stood over her slightly forlorn looking, but its cool...) - she still growls mind if I stand too close when she's eating (but then she drinks out of my bowel!) - gotta admit, I aint great with other cats - but Daphne and I - its all good...and so will it be for you, brave Blaze, with your cats - hat off to you and well done, as its not easy sometimes! x

Unknown said...

Oh this is just wonderful and what an amazing moment to witness, Im so happy for you. I know you have worked so hard.

Thank you for the sweet words about Fred, im just able to now starting to get back to people. Thank you for your email - I so needed that support. (hugs)

Sarah said...

Congrats on your progress! We don't have cats and Sadie has an intense prey drive so we don't take chances and she stays home when we visit friends with cats. However, Hurley saw a cat, on a post, at his eye level, at the vets the other day and he just sniffed and turned away. Yes, I did a little dance in the vet's office because I was so happy that he doesn't seem to have the same "kill the cat" drive as Sadie does.

White Dog Blog said...

Blaze was reacting to the confidence and trust you placed in her as much as she was responding to her curiosity. Great job on everyone's part...certainly Blaze for her self control...you for your patient faith...and the kitties for not over reacting themselves. It IS MOST awesome!

Keith Andrea said...

Glad to hear your progress.,keep it up. We know you really work hard.

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Bailey Be Good! said...

How wonderful! Great job, Blaze! :)

Woofs & hugs, <3

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

Yas said...

Bravo Blaze!
I'm gonna have cheese to celebrate on your behalf! :)


Bassetmomma said...

Great job Blaze! You must be so proud!

jen said...

Perfect timing!
This is wonderful to hear! You put so much effort into your pups, I bet you are on cloud nine!

Emily said...

Keeping them separate must take a lot of work. That's great you've thought of creative and effective ways to work on it.

FANCY the Red Standard Poodle said...

Hi Y'all,

Wanted to stop and say hello! How are y'all doin'?

Sounds like you're doing great Blaze!

My Human is havin' problems solving why my posts have stopped posting automatically. Sigh :(
It's meant I'm not gettin' around to keep up with everyone.

Hope y'all are havin' a great week!

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog