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Dog is obsessed....

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a 3 week old litter of kittens and my jack russel terrier mix really wants to eat them I think. She is obsessed with them. She stares at the door all day of the room they are in whining. If I am holding one she will sit there and whine and stare at it. She wouldn't eat one if I was in the room but I am scared to death of what would happen if I wasn't there. Anyone have a dog like this? She acted like this for a few weeks when I brought my 2 cats home at 8 weeks old.
post #2 of 18
Maybe she just wants to meet them? Jack Russels are usually pretty good with cats. Have you introduced them yet?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes they have met. She knows she isn't allowed to hurt them and she doesn't. The look in her eye is the same look she gives my hamster and the squirrels outside. lol I don't think she quite thinks they are cats yet. When they get big and cat-like she loves them.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
Maybe she just wants to meet them? Jack Russels are usually pretty good with cats. Have you introduced them yet?
found this on wikipedia...
It is not uncommon for a Jack Russell terrier to be cat-aggressive (although they have been known to get along with them over time in the same house) and homes with other small fur-bearing animals in them (pet hamsters, rabbits, etc) would do well to think through the ramifications of bringing a JRT into the house as their hunting instincts are strong.
post #5 of 18
It's possible that she doesn't really recognize them yet. Follow your instincts, you know your dog.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah I know her I have had her now for 4 years and she is 8 years old. She has in the past killed a stray cat that wondered into the yard but is well socialized with my cats.


I'm just making sure to keep the room the kittens are in closed off to her unless I can supervise their time together. She doesn't bother them while i'm around supervising because she knows better but she still stares at them with a "I want to eat you" look in her eye.
post #7 of 18
I wouldn't let her interact with them yet, even with your supervision. It only takes a second.

And personally, I would be a bit disturbed that she killed a stray cat - it probably ran from her and that trigger her prey drive. I know 8 years old may be a bit late to start crate training, but if she has any prey drive it might be best to crate her when you cannot completely supervise her with smaller pets (such as when you're not home or sleeping).
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes the cat was running from her and it was a strange critter on her turf. I don't let her get to close I hold them in my hands and let her sniff. She is very very gentle with cats in the house. Pretty much any critter I tell her not to eat she will not eat though.
This is my tame Zebra finch sprout who will lay on her back...
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh and about the crating that is a definate no. She came from the pound where she stayed in a tiny cage for 4 weeks. Now when put into a crate she will scream, poo and pee all over herself and bite the bars so much her gums will bleed. Gracie is a sweet sweet dog but has some baggage. I love her though. When we go out her and my other 2 dogs are put in my bathroom so they are never alone with the cats although I don't think anything would happen if she was alone with the adult cats. And the cats don't sleep in my bedroom but the dogs do.
post #10 of 18
Aww, poor girl to be traumatized like that. Crating shouldn't be a bad thing that scares her, so no that definitely won't work. I'm glad she listens to you so well. She certainly looks very tolerant too! The pitties I grew up with would have ate... the santa hat.
post #11 of 18
Instead of crating then, create for her a space in your living room, with a shortish lead that you can tie her to when she gets overly obsessed with the kitty room. This way you can also teach her the cue word "bed". lead her to the lead (which will be tied to something 'anchored' down, and have a cozey blanket and interactive toy (like a stuffed Kong) and maybe some other chew toys, to keep her occupied.

Her behavior is definitely NOT something that would fly in my home, because I occasionally foster young cats\\kittens, and I can't have a dog that will be obsessed with them, and possibly chase them, so I manage the dog, and teach them to 'relax' at the same time. Most of my dogs have been able to be crate trained, but if you can't do this with yours the leash will have to do. Either way, you need to put the brakes on the obsession...her nervous behavior is not healthy for her, and you as the leader need to show her that she doesn't need to be worried about those kitties.

She "Could" be reconditioned to a crate too, but that would take time in itself, and dedication...so I won't go into the steps...but it can work...I have rehabbed dogs as bad as her about crates.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I know how to rehab dogs back to crates but I prefer a room for her. My other two dogs are crated sometimes. My chow mix sleeps in her crate. I can just put my 3 dogs in the bathroom together. With her seperation anxiety she likes having the other dogs with her and she doesn't like not being in the room with me/having a closed door between us unless there is another dog with her. I do call her away from the kitty room each time she whines at the door and put her at a down stay on her blanket. Also when I hold a kitten and I am in the living room and she is trying to come close to it/whining I will put her in a down stay on her blanket. Gracie doesn't play with toys or kongs since nobody ever showed her those things in her early life and trust me I have tried them since my other 2 dogs love toys. I will however give her a chewie or rawhide if I want her distracted as well. Gracie does play with my chow mix though. She will sometimes exitedly pick up a toy and run for a few feet but that is very rarely and only when she is very exited. I know alot about dogs and my dogs are very well trained. Gracie can be put in a stay in the back yard and me walk all the way to the front yard up the driveway and get the mail and she will still be sitting in the same spot when I get back. Gracie just has issues. My dad couldn't go near Gracie or pet her the first 3 years I had her. (I got her when she was 4 she is now 8) Now when my dad gets home she runs with her tail wagging. If he makes a sudden movement though she will bolt across the room.
post #13 of 18
My first thought was if Gracie was spayed? But you mention that you got her from a shelter so I assume she is. I wonder if Gracie thinks these kittens are her babies. You said that she acted this way when Sophie and Olive were kittens, but is fine with them now.

That said, Jack Russells were bred to be small game hunters... hence the dead cat in your back yard...

Only you know your dog best, I know you'll figure out what to do.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes she is spayed. She was actually spayed by her previous owners before ending up at the pound.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
found this on wikipedia...
It is not uncommon for a Jack Russell terrier to be cat-aggressive (although they have been known to get along with them over time in the same house) and homes with other small fur-bearing animals in them (pet hamsters, rabbits, etc) would do well to think through the ramifications of bringing a JRT into the house as their hunting instincts are strong.
Thanks for the education . I was basing that on one of my friend's JRT that gets along great with her cats, but he was also brought in as a puppy and the cats were full grown so that probably made a big difference.

Poor Gracie sounds like she had a rough life before you got her.
post #16 of 18
Some JRTs are cat aggressive, some aren't. I personally wouldn't risk it.
post #17 of 18
My OTB dog Ellie Mae was also very obsessed with kittens. We lived in the country and she would sense when a feral cat had kittens in the area and lead us to them. If we didn't pick up her queue and follow her, she would take one from the litter and carry them to us. Unfortunately, she would sometimes injure them on the way. The obsession with your JRT could be parental instincts, but then again, it might be a strong prey drive. I wouldn't chance bringing them together until the kittens were older.
post #18 of 18
Blossom was only 3 weeks old when my son found her. Our dog Sooty was very curious about her but I would not leave her in the same room. We let Sooty sniff the kitten for a few seconds & then put her out. After a week or so when Blossom became more active we let Sooty spend a little time with Blossom. They soon became friends & delight in playing together.
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