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Puppy-proofing the cats... How does that work?
#1
This is probably a dumb question, but we've never owned cats and a dog at the same time, and few of our friends have, either. The few that have adopted older dogs that somehow magically knew to keep their noses out of the cat "things." Since we will be getting a puppy soon, we are making the necessary preparations of reading up on training, collecting supplies and finding homes for those items, puppy-proofing, and familiarizing our cats to the changes.

Our cats are rescue "mutts" but they must have some Maine Coon or Ragdoll in them. The female is 15-lbs and the male is 20-lb. The male could lose a pound or so, but both are fairly fit beyond that; it's all length and height. We cut a hole in our laundry room door to give them access to their cat box a few years ago, but the pet door big enough for them is easily big enough for a puppy until it is almost full grown. Dog-proofing is difficult when our cats are bigger than some dogs. Where do most people put this stuff to keep their dogs out of cat food and "stuff"?

Also, training... I know it's odd but I've been "training" my cats. It started out as a silly game when the dog-training clickers arrived, and since I do not have a dog yet, I used what I had. Oddly, my cats have taken to it! The male is only willing to follow a lead over obstacles, but balked when we got to commands. The female, though...she's a pup at heart. She follows a lead over and around obstacles, and does "sit," "stay," "up," and we're working on "down." Next is fetch. What are some trick/games I can eventually train my cat and future dog to do together (once we have the dog and it's caught up to the kitty in ability)?

Edited to Add: We entertained the idea of putting their food and water in the laundry room since it's already somewhat secured (not really, but it would only be one door we would need to monitor access) but it is a small laundry room, so we do not want to put their food too close to their box and risk them deciding to not use one of the two "stations." I also considered toilet-training the cats so just their food/water could be in there, but...no. Something just feels gross about sharing those facilities with the cats.
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#2
If your cats aren't declawed, you may want to consider putting caps on their claws. There are numerous manufacturers that make these, but "soft paws" always comes to mind for me. They are usually easy to find at Petco & Petsmart, though the stores carry different brands.

I'd also say to put the litter box in an area where the dog can't get to it, maybe someplace up higher. Dogs can be known to eat what's in the litter box, and/or drag it around the house.

Other than that, have a safe place up high for your cats to retreat to, like a cat tree. Its important that they be able to watch the dog and learn its mannerisms, from a safe place where they are comfortable.
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#3
I like baby gates for puppy training. The cats can easily get over them, but the puppy can't, so they worked well for us. We just bought the cheap $10 ones from Walmart.
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#4
I am interested in an update for your previous thread. Did you get any more information about dogs that fail training as service dogs? I think that is a really interesting idea for getting a well-trained puppy. Any new ideas for the type of dog you want?
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#5
Good thinking you should not have the cats food and litter near each other. Baby gates are the best way to train. Also good luck toilet training the cats. Not as easy as one might think. Your female is a Maine Coon? If so that's why she is so smart! I have a female Coon and she is brilliant! My female weighs over 20 lbs she is huge. Her paws are massive. She's a gorgeous tortie. Also a rescue.
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#6
NAP Wrote:I am interested in an update for your previous thread. Did you get any more information about dogs that fail training as service dogs? I think that is a really interesting idea for getting a well-trained puppy. Any new ideas for the type of dog you want?

We did reach out to a few of those organizations, and most do have some sort of program for their career-change dogs but the wait lists tend to be extremely long since first priority goes to the families that raise and train the dogs (as it should be). There is still a premium demanded for the dogs to recoup the cost of dog, vet care, and training invested to that point. Those dogs are still usually closer to two years old, and we'd like to introduce our new family member to the household within the first year of its life. So, this is no doubt a fantastic opportunity for someone to get a great dog, but we do not think it's the right choice for us.

We looked into goldendoodles because I love the idea of them - intelligence and temperament tendencies from the parent breeds - but I absolutely refuse to spend $2,500 on a puppy that is essentially a mutt, and that's how must all the ones I found tend to charge. And the more I researched, the more I became nervous that I'd get a puppy mill dog. No thanks. No one in our house has allergies, so we might as well just go with an AKC golden for 1/5 the cost from a club referral agency to be certain I'm not funding animal mistreatment.

Still in love with golden and labrador retriever breeds. We spent the last month and more thinking it over, and we still have not entirely ruled out a breeder, but the reason we're so in love with those breeds is because the breed's stereotypical temperament is what we want. So, we're working with a couple local shelters that do get a lot of puppy surrenders, and they're keeping their eyes out for golden or lab puppies, or any pup (that will be large in size at maturity) that looks like it may have the personality and intelligence we're seeking. We plan to see what shows up in the shelters between now and tax season. If "the right" pup has not come around by then, we'll revisit the breeder debate.

That said...I have an appointment this weekend to meet five 7-week old black lab pups being fostered for a local shelter. The pictures online... I just hope I have the self-control not to bring all five home. We may have our canine baby soon, after all.
BSBA, HR / Organizational Mgmt - Thomas Edison State College, December 2012
- TESC Chapter of Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for Business, Management and Administration
- Arnold Fletcher Award

AAS, Environmental, Safety, & Security Technologies - Thomas Edison State College, December 2012
AS, Business Administration - Thomas Edison State College, March 2012
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#7
@ alleycat - I assume they have Maine Coon or Ragdoll in them due to their overall size, disposition, and intelligence...but could not be sure. They are littermates, but that is all the fact we had on them. Her brother reacts how you'd expect any cat to behave when you tell him to "sit!" He watches his sister prance around for treats from the comfort of his kitty tree and all but shakes his head. She's in heaven when the clicker comes out, though. I hope she gets along with her new canine brother or sister, because I think they could be a lot of fun together!

@ dfrecore - Definitely a baby gate for the hall to "secure" the laundry room until the dog is too big to fit through the existing cat door. The rest of the rooms down there are bedrooms and we do not want the cat food there. They are noisy eaters, and the female "chases" her food; she slaps it and runs around until she pounces on it, often bouncing off walls and random other things. It's a noisy affair, and not something we want to hear in the middle of the night. I may get some sturdy shelves that will support their weight reliably so we can situate them in our dining room. They're not allowed on kitchen counters - that took work training and not something we want to revisit - so that should give them an aerial perch to view most of the main living area without being too near forbidden zones.

@ SweetSecret - Do most cats not mind them? Our beasties are not declawed but I always imagined they would be annoyed and yank them off as soon as they were released.
BSBA, HR / Organizational Mgmt - Thomas Edison State College, December 2012
- TESC Chapter of Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for Business, Management and Administration
- Arnold Fletcher Award

AAS, Environmental, Safety, & Security Technologies - Thomas Edison State College, December 2012
AS, Business Administration - Thomas Edison State College, March 2012
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#8
When his wife gave birth to our son's baby, we had to become foster-care parents for our son's 2 month old Shepard/Husky mix dog "Gizzly". We previously had to adopt my son's cat "Misty" several years ago. The vet calls our Misty an "alpha cat". Now at 7 months old Grizzly and Misty have begun to "play" together a little. Misty knows that she can get Grizzly to bark at her which then leads us to put Grizzly outside to stop the barking. I think you are going to have some real fun if you don't mind the attention all these pets seem to need.
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#9
Our Goldendoodle did NOT cost $2500 (otherwise she would not be ours). I think it was less than $1200, less than our Golden Retriever cost. Both came from breeders, I was much happier with the breeder that did the Goldens (just a nicer all-around place). But I will say that both were definitely not puppy mills, they were basically hand-raised from home-based breeders who only had 1 litter of pups at a time, and the moms weren't bred (?) more than once every year or two.

I also was conscious of not wanting to get a puppy from a mill, so we visited the places before we put down a deposit. The dogs were not kept in cages, they were running around in the grass and were very well-behaved. Obviously well-trained and used to people, and the puppies reacted very nicely to the breeders, so you could tell they were well-loved.

Good luck with finding the right dog for your family. You can't go wrong with a Lab or Golden, or a Doodle. They are all fantastic dogs!
TESU BSBA/HR 2018 - WVNCC BOG AAS 2017 - GGU Cert in Mgmt 2000
EXAMS: TECEP Tech Wrtg, Comp II, LA Math, PR, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int & Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
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#10
mrs.b Wrote:@ SweetSecret - Do most cats not mind them? Our beasties are not declawed but I always imagined they would be annoyed and yank them off as soon as they were released.

Most cats will be annoyed with them at first, but they get over it. Depending on the cats personality, sometimes it's also worth having the vet at the store apply them. They have to be glued on, with the nail glue included in the package. If the cat is high strung, that's the most difficult part. After a few weeks they will start falling off, and then you just replace them as they fall off. The initial application is generally the hardest part.
MBA, Walden University (In progress)
2016 TESU, BA-LIBST, Emphases in Multimedia Comm./Human & Social Services
TESU TECEPS: Abnormal Psych PSY-350, Psych of Women PSY-270, Sales Mgmnt MAR-322, Advertising MAR-323, Marketing COM-210; Capstone w/ Ciacco
Other Sources: CLEP, Art Portfolio, 3 Comm. Colleges, 2 Art Colleges,  FEMA, AICPCU Ethics
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