11yr old obsessed with cat hearding
#1
Gem was rescued by my grandad when she was a year old from a farm that had trained her but then decided she wasn't up to scratch for working livestock, she's bonkers! But in a good way. But she's like obsessed with the cat. She never ever is aggressive towards it, she just lies down and intensely stares at the cat when it's near by then once it's a certain distance away she starts rounding it up! It's like an obsession to her. It's the only thing she acts like this around. The cat isn't bothered any usually rubs up against gem and licks her ears eventually after they've circled the room countless times and knocked over all the cups and vases! It's quite funny to watch really. Does anyone have any ideas about trying to prevent this? My grandad struggles walking now after he had a stroke and I'm really worried they knock him over during the madness. Has anyone else had this happen? I should add it is only the cat she does it with. She is not interested in any other cat
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#2
From what you wrote, it sounds like the problem isn't what the cat and dog are doing but where or when. If the cat is enjoying it, too, and Gem is not showing the behavior with other cats, that sounds like play rather than obsession. It's quite likely the cat is deliberately triggering it (I had a cat who did that with our dogs). Is there an area where this behavior would not be a danger to your grandad or a time when it's acceptable? If so, let them have that time/place but establish a "no-play" command to protect grandad. And by the way, the cat can be taught to respond to the command, as well!
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#3
(03-31-2017, 05:55 AM)paperdragons Wrote: From what you wrote, it sounds like the problem isn't what the cat and dog are doing but where or when. If the cat is enjoying it, too, and Gem is not showing the behavior with other cats, that sounds like play rather than obsession. It's quite likely the cat is deliberately triggering it (I had a cat who did that with our dogs). Is there an area where this behavior would not be a danger to your grandad or a time when it's acceptable? If so, let them have that time/place but establish a "no-play" command to protect grandad. And by the way, the cat can be taught to respond to the command, as well!

Hi!  Thanks for the reply (: what you said makes alot of sense. My grandma is adamant the dog is jealous of the cat but to me it seems as if she might be trying to mother the little cat. She doesn't like visitors touching the cat and is always nudging him whilst she's rounding him up. Do you think that could be a possibility? Either that or as you say the cat is just triggering play time because he knows he will get a reaction from gem. It would be safe for them to play while my grandad is sitting, I'll get my grandma to separate the pets into separate rooms while my granda is walking though. They had to relocate to a small bungalow and there isn't much room to keep them apart now.
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#4
Someone needs to teach Gem that while Grandpa is up walking, she is in a down stay. This behavior isn't play. It is a bit of an obsession. Gem is using the cat as an outlet for her instinct to control motion. She has decided that this is her job. It's great that she doesn't try to control motion on the people in her life, but she still needs to know that there are times when controlling the motion of the cat is inappropriate. Since the cat doesn't mind, it doesn't have to be stopped altogether, but humans need to be in control of her herding instincts, so she needs limits. She needs a command to turn it off. She may have been taught "That'll do," but it might have been so long ago that she doesn't remember it anymore. Maybe a "Leave it" command would do.
Gotta love 'em.
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#5
(03-31-2017, 07:41 AM)Gideon Wrote: Someone needs to teach Gem that while Grandpa is up walking, she is in a down stay.  This behavior isn't play.  It is a bit of an obsession.  Gem is using the cat as an outlet for her instinct to control motion.  She has decided that this is her job.  It's great that she doesn't try to control motion on the people in her life, but she still needs to know that there are times when controlling the motion of the cat is inappropriate.  Since the cat doesn't mind, it doesn't have to be stopped altogether, but humans need to be in control of her herding instincts, so she needs limits.  She needs a command to turn it off.  She may have been taught "That'll do," but it might have been so long ago that she doesn't remember it anymore.  Maybe a "Leave it" command would do.

Hi! Yes this is what I thought. The problem being, the leave it command works for literally everything apart from when she gets going with the cat. She was trained the command settle down too but it's like she can't hear when she's got eyes on the cat. She's one of most well behaved obedient collies I've ever met. But one the cats about it's like a total obsession and she's totally oblivious to everything around her. Totally focussed on the cat. I tried to train gem to think fetch was her job when she was younger but not even her ball or some chicken can distract her once she's in the zone. With her being older and set in her ways now I'm worried a new command will confuse her as my grandad voice is what she listens to most but he can't really speak fluently anymore.
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#6
The problem is she is in a high state of arousal, you can't train in this state she can't learn.
So you need train at a lower state, underthreshold. Is distance an option. Is the "behaviour" of the cat adding to the arousal, if so can you "manage" that. Could someone be holding the cat initially why you are at a distance?
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