“Hi Angie, We purchased your DVD and totally agree with your methods! We have a new pet that has been with us for 7days and we have just completed our first day of 3 Dog Days. It is going extremely well. We have 2 cats that we want to introduce him to and live in harmony. What is the best way to go about doing this? He has seen them through the window and barks very loud but wags his tail. He is a 1.5 year old German Shepherd that we rescued from a home where he spent his life in an electric fence with his only toy being a rock. He has had no socialization or training, until now, and barks at every sound. Any advice would be helpful.” Sincerely, Scarlett Brock Cumming, GA


“Hi Scarlett~ Thank you for rescuing your dog and giving him 3 Dog Days. Using the 3DDs system establishes you as the respectful parent and dogs pay attention to guidance that comes from people they view as respectful parents. Now, the question becomes, how do you give him guidance about behaving properly around cats?

I like to start by having the dog with me on a lead. Walk him to an area where he can JUST see the cat. As soon as he sees the cat – I mean the second he lays eyes on the cat – give him a very quick “no” or “hey” or small finger poke to his hip; get him to look at you. There should never be any hitting or yelling on the parent’s part. You just need to make sure you clearly disagree with him paying any intense attention to the cats. Early, quick guidance is very effective, so don’t wait to see if he has a reaction. By then, his mind already starts ramping up and it’s difficult for him to pay attention to your guidance. Remember, effective guidance and structure is more about timing then the severity of the disagreement. Refer back to your “3 Dog Days” video to review how to respectfully disagree with a dog family member.

By disagreeing the moment he sees the cat, you are showing him cats are “off limits,” and they are highly valued members of the family. They are NOT prey. I don’t let dogs watch cats in the beginning and then make up their minds whether to chase them or not. I show them, upfront, in black and white terms; they are not allowed to even look “that way” at cats.

Once your dog then keeps his head turned away from the cats or loses interest, you can move him closer and if he looks again….disagree quickly. Next, when you are sure it’s safe for the cat and you are right there with dog on lead; have the dog lie or sit on the floor by a chair and put the cat up on the chair. Dogs understand what that means. They understand body placement and the higher family members sit up on higher places. When you teach your dog to ignore the cats, the cats become relaxed around the dog. Don’t be surprised if you eventually find them lying together at some point in the future. But, the cat must be the one to approach the dog if he wants. A harmonious relationship can only exist between cats and dogs if the dog believes the cat is a highly valued family member. If dogs are allowed to view any other pets or family members as below them in the family, or as prey, you will have a really bad situation on your hands. Never allow your dog to chase the cats.

As a further note: Sometimes dog owners view this as a sad thing for the dog. They think it will hurt the dog’s feelings or make him not like cats if he gets a firm disagreement for “looking” at cats. I assure you this is not the case. Dogs are hard-wired to chase anything that moves – especially smaller animals. It’s an automatic reaction “see movement – chase movement!” This technique for making the cats higher-level family members is a necessity for the safety and happiness of the whole family, including the dog. A dog that has attacked or killed another family member is usually feared or resented and given up to a shelter – or euthanized. Unfairly, the dog gets punished for behavior he didn’t even know was wrong. Be the parent he deserves…..make him happy…..teach him……GUIDE him.“
Thanks for your note, Scarlett. Now, go get that boy something to play with other than a rock! Seriously though, I’m sure he is already being showered with lots of love and toys. Keep up the great work and thank you for seeking information to help your new guy.