new bichon frise barking at cat
I love this site - It has been helping me so much!
I just got a 5 month old male bichon frise last weekend. he is a really good dog....except...he constantly barks at my cat.
i have had my cat for 7 years and she is just sitting on the counter or walking on the kitchen counter. she just ignores him but it drives me nuts and i don't want it to bother my neighbors.
i have introduced them quite a few times, let him smell her but when he sees he acts like its the first time he has seen her or he just want to play...not sure.
i just need to know the best way to correct this so we are all happy.
thanks so much
I'm happy to hear that my site has been helping you with your new puppy :o)
As for your puppy and your cat, it's a most likely just going to take some time for them to get used to each other.
As your puppy is a small breed, the chances of his being able to hurt an adult cat are reasonably low. In fact the cat is more likely to hurt him and you need to be vigilant when they come in contact with each other as sharp kitty claws can do some painful damage to puppy noses/eyes.
At 5 months old, your puppy isn't such a tiny baby anymore, and if he's never co-existed with a cat before it will all seem very strange to him. This is a strange creature and he doesn't yet accept it as part of his 'pack' or family.
The barking is, of course, annoying and you need to correct your puppy with a firm "NO" whenever he barks at the cat. If a verbal warning isn't enough, either take him by the scruff of the neck and give him a quick shake (not too roughly though) while telling him "NO". Or you ca put his leash on him and give him a leash-correction (sharp tug) while you verbally correct him. Be consistent with this.
Always make sure your cat has an 'escape route' to an area where your puppy can't get to her. A baby gate at a doorway works well in this respect. That way if the cat gets frightened or just wants some peace, she can jump over the gate. It also allows the puppy and cat to get closer to each other without risk of damage.
In time your pup should come to accept the cat and accept her, especially if you're consistent in making it clear that she is part of the family, and he learns that you are the 'pack leader'.
I would advise enrolling him in a Puppy/Basic Obedience Class to help you control him and improve his socialization. If you still continue to have difficulties with him and the cat, a qualified dog trainer should be able to give you some more help and advice.
Best of luck with your little guy, he's adorable!
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