Struggling With Play Time

Animal Freak

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Isn't he? He looked different in the picture they had posted, but the second I met him I was in love.

She is doing pretty well. Just wish she wouldn't growl at him when he's five feet away and looking in the other direction! He starts yelling at her though. He won't approach her once she's warned him off, but boy does he tell her off. It's a kind of funny and Stella just looks at me like, "Really? You're going to let him talk to me like that?"

He did try to chase Ember. She came out without me knowing (I didn't expect any of them to come out until at least meal time) and he'd been asleep. He woke up and saw her, barked and then took off. She was faster though and was gone before I got up. He wasn't running very quickly either. More of a trot. I put a gate up blocking off the hall though. Ember came out into the hall and we fed them both chicken on either side of the gate. He did well then, but did bark at her again a few minutes later. Ember didn't run though. She just hissed at him.

Everyone on the dog forum thinks he should be called Anubis! He does look like Anubis. Lol.

He's beautiful. I love him. He seems smart too. Very food motivated. Possibly a little too food motivated. I will huge him plenty for the both of us, I'm sure. He's very tolerant of it. He's just stunning. ❤
 

calicosrspecial

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Oh my, he is my dream dog!!! Gorgeous doesn't even come close!!! Yes, I can see why you fell in love right away!!

That is good to hear she is doing pretty well. Dogs will do that. If that is the worst she does that isn't too bad. Hahahahaha, he tells her off then Stella wonders. TOO FUNNY!!!!

Yes, that is normal. Good job on handling it. Yes, it is a transition and it is a bit tricky early on but teaching the dog and making those positive associations with food will help. Training the dog is really important but it just takes time.

:/ I had to google Anubis. Cool to learn!!! I can see that.

Awwwwww, you are making me cry. How amazing is that?!?!?!?!?! I LOVE to see love. I can imagine how smart he is. Thanks for hugging him for me!! I am feeling the vibes!!! He really is stunning!!!
 

Animal Freak

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So his name is Osiris! He picked. We called names and that was what he responded to. Responded really quickly and really quite consistently too. We call him Si (pronounced sigh). Osiris is the Egyptian god of the underworld/death.

Poor Stella. She wonders why we're doing this to her. Si has gotten a bit more persistent in trying to get her to play. He still doesn't touch her, but he yells a lot.

He really likes watching TV and is fascinating by birds. We started playing cat videos to desensitize him and that went well. He wasn't fazed by them as long as I was giving out food! He didn't like them at all at the beginning.

He's hard to not love! He's so sweet and presses his head against you when you pet him, but he's not really too interested in other people. He's friendly and accepts attention happily enough, but he's perfectly fine ignoring them too. He likes to sleep with his head against or on my leg and tolerates all of my attention that no one else tolerates. He lets me play with and rub his ears and stroke his face... And he's beautiful!
 

calicosrspecial

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Cool!!! You are so advanced on names!!! Thank you for giving the meaning as I would have had to google again!! :)

:/ She will get over it. I am sure it is intimidating but he sounds really sweet. You will get them to get along well and have Stella accept him.

Awwwwww.

Oh my!!! He sounds beyond adorable!!! You are so lucky!!! There is just something special about that kind of love!!!!
 

Animal Freak

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I went through a lot of names trying to find the right one. Not a problem! That's a lesser known god that not everyone knows. Which is part of the reason I liked it.

It can be a little frustrating when he gets persistent like that, but can't say I blame him. He was used to having other dogs play with him. I kind of feel bad taking him from the farm and the other dogs and bringing him into this tiny house with crabby animals.

Honestly, I'm having a hard with the fact that the cats are so stressed. Osiris starts barking the second he sees them so they're pretty much living at the end of the hall in our bedrooms. They seem okay down there, but I really didn't plan on putting them through this. I had intended on getting a smaller puppy that would want to play with them, but wouldn't be intimidating and wouldn't be scared of them. I know the cats can handle obnoxious puppies, but this is an entirely different situation. A huge part of the reason I wanted a puppy was to avoid issues with the other animals. We were thinking about taking Frost outside to try an introduction. I've read about dogs who are perfectly fine with cats inside, but will still chase cats outside. He has sort of the opposite problem. Where he lived, cats were outdoor creatures, not indoor. Then maybe he could see Frost go inside and realize he isn't a threat.

He's truly a wonderful dog in every other way though. He plays by himself, he's gentle, he's smart, he's food motivated, he isn't people obsessed or dog obsessed despite being used to playing with other dogs. He's talkative, but I wouldn't actually call him a noisy dog. The only times he's made a noise louder than a whine or groan are when something scares him (which is a lot of things) or he's frustrated Stella won't play with him. Between those two things, it happens quite often, but I think they'd both get better with time. He does seem a bit suspicious. He isn't noise sensitive. Noises outside bother Stella, but don't faze him. It's actually normally noises inside that seem to startle him, especially if it seems like it came from down the hall where the cats are. We took him for a walk last night and it got dark. We had people behind us and I don't think he realized they were there until the man spoke. Fortunately, I know the man and he wasn't bothered by suddenly being barked at. He's the owner of the first dog bigger than Stella that Stella actually liked. He had a couple of kids with him too. I had to walk Osiris away to get his attention back to me and after that he was fine. He's basically just how I'd want him to be with other people and dogs. Friendly, but not overly interested. He went up to sniff, got some pets, and came back to me.

He's sort of not very expressive either. I guess I should say he's not very enthusiastic. It kind be a little hard to tell if he actually likes something even if in reality he's very motivated by it. Today he decided he's not interested in his food, but I've never seen a dog so willing to work for verbal praise and pets. He doesn't act like it though. He doesn't get very excited or anything, but when you pet him he presses his head against you.
 

calicosrspecial

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Yes, you are very creative and sophisticated with names!!! Thanks, I will accept that excuse!!! :) It is good to have a unique name for a few reasons.

Yeah, but he is just being a normal dog. He'll adjust. I am sure he is not too worried about it. Oh, I think he is in a better place now. I wouldn't have any bad feelings.

I know. But it is to be expected and does happen. Just work on intro'ing them, reassuring the cats, etc. I am guessing he is more excited rather than seeing the cats as a threat. Though the cats are probably seeing him as a threat so doing some intro stuff is important. I know it is hard but with some work they will get intro'd. Just make sure you spend a lot of time with the cats as well and keep them as much on a routine (like before) as possible. Try to keep everything about the same as it was before him.

Awwwww, he sounds really good. I think the sounds inside are more excited rather than fear. I am guessing he is thinking "oh, a playmate". Dogs are usually pretty good about that.

Interesting. He seems so calm, so stable. Mature. That is going to be very helpful with the other animals.

He sounds like he is doing really well. Just keep focused on the cats as well. But it doesn't sound like anything that is worrying which is good. Sounds like so far so good which s a good sign.

Hang in there, you'll get exhausted but it is well worth it!!
 

Animal Freak

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I was thinking about Onyx or Nyx, but even those seemed a little too normal for me. And yet I don't want too weird or hard pronounced. It's a hard balance to get.

Oh, sure. I expected to have problems with a puppy bugging Stella. I just expected to have a smaller puppy! Dealing with it in such a large puppy is a little more difficult, but at least I don't really have to worry so much about him hurting her. Some people warned me that GSDs can be rough when playing and I'd have to be really careful, but he's quite gentle though he's gotten a little more confident recently.

He's done quite a bit of growling too and, despite him chasing them when he can, he doesn't actually seem to want to get to them. If I have him a hold of his leash then he doesn't even try to pull. Ash has gotten more confident though. He came out last night. Fortunately, I had a hold of Osiris and Ash got up on the cat tree in the dining room. We were able to get Osiris to calm down though and take some chicken. He did pretty well. Today Ash wanted to get to the storage room, but we didn't know he'd come out and Osiris went after him. Ash ran for the storage room, but the door is kept mostly closed and he couldn't get out there quick enough, so he had to turn and run for the hall again. Honestly, Osiris probably could have gotten to Ash if he'd really wanted to. He seemed hesitant. I just hate causing my cats stress they don't need to go through. Getting along with other animals was sort of the most important trait in my new dog and was a large part of why I wanted a puppy, but I'm dealing with problems anyway. I mean, I expected interest. I didn't expect him to react quite that severely.

He seems to have a lot of GSD-like traits and it seems like he's gotten his vocalizations from there as well. If that's true, it seems GSDs tend to use higher pitches for excitement and deeper ones for fear/protection. If that's the case, it makes it a lot easier to tell what he's feeling. Of course, he's still new so I'm still learning. He could prove me wrong. I don't think it's really all that weird to be a bit nervous of new noises in a new environment. Zena and Zara were a lot like that too. I'd say he's already gotten better. It usually only takes hearing a noise once for him to get over it.

He definitely as a lot of potential. I can already tell he could have fantastic focus in just about in environment with some work and he'll be a very stable dog. He handled visiting family yesterday very well and didn't show any signs of stress or anything. The only problem was he kept chasing my aunt's three year old because the kid kept running around and often with toys in his hands. It was hard for the poor dog!

I'm already exhausted. Would be nice if I could get a proper night's sleep. Night 1 I woke up at 5:30a.m. to him throwing up, night 2 Ash made some noise that set Osiris off at 4, and night 3 Osiris started barking around 4:30 for an unknown reason.
 

calicosrspecial

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You are so intellectual and sophisticated in your names. It is hard to get a balance.

Yes, he is a big guy. GSDs can be a bit rough in play so it is good to keep an eye on him. Once they get more confident they can get a bit wild.

Growling at the cats? Interesting he doesn't pull when on the leash. That is really good. Keep intro'ing them like that. How did Ash act after that incident? You aren't causing the stress. Just keep intro'ing them and working with him and he will get better and the cats will get more settled. I am not at all surprised by his reaction to the cats. That is what I would have expected. Just keep teaching him.

Yes. Awwwww, he is doing pretty well. That is great to hear.

He sounds really playful. He sounds really good.

Yep. And there will be many more. :/ But it really is worth it. Welcome to parenting!!! Sleep tends to be more elusive for a while. :/
 

Animal Freak

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We definitely always have an eye on him, but he is naturally quite gentle. He gets mouthy with me sometimes and it doesn't always feel good, but he's never truly hurt me. I've gone running around with him and he'd jump up and mouth my hands/arms, but has done far less damage than Stella has running up and snapping at my knees.

The growling usually seems to be after the cats are gone he doesn't feel the need to bark anymore, but it's like he just wants to make sure they're well and truly gone. He is surprisingly good on the leash despite hardly ever being on one at his foster home. Needs some work, but he gives into leash pressure fairly well as it is. Ash ran back down the hall and went into hiding for a while. Eventually my mom carried him out to the storage room so he could be out there for a little while. I think he'll get over it, but it was probably a scary situation. I think we had our hopes up a little too high. We should have been more cautious when we were told he was only used to outdoor cats. Looking back, it kind of seemed like the foster wanted to reassure us that he'd be okay without actually having any proof that he'd be okay. She made it seem like he wouldn't hardly be fazed. Having that expectation and then realizing that's far from the case is harder than being prepared for the worse.

I can certainly tell the difference between his "There's a cat!" bark and his "Don't go there!" vocalization. So far he saves real barks for the cats, strange noises, and once a dog that was passing by pretty much right as Osiris got out of the vehicle. He is getting over me going down the hall bit quicker though and is usually laying down by the time I come back out.

He is playful. Not much of a tug-of-war dog because he doesn't often hold it well enough to even be able to pull on it, but definitely playful. He likes to run with people.

If we can get through all of this then it'll definitely be worth it. So far the only real issue at night seems to be if a cat makes a noise. Unfortunately, Ash likes to be noisy at night.
 

calicosrspecial

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That is really good. Both keeping an eye on him AND that he is naturally gentle. Yes, a lot of pups get mouthy. You can train him to get out of that.

Ahhhhhh. after. That is good. That is great he is so good on a leash. It sounds like Ash was fine. It was good your mom helped him. That helps. Yeah, that is pretty normal. A lot of times the fosters aren't that accurate and it always depends. It rarely is easy but it is achievable. I always go in thinking the worst and doing everything I can to make sure it is going to go well. Expectations do matter but ultimately it is the effort and the right actions that matter most. I get a sense he is doing really well. I know it isn't perfect and I don;t see it in person but nothing really unexpected.

That is good.

Awwwwwwww, what a sweetie.

Oh, you will get through it. You are too smart and prepared and knowledgeable not to. There will be issues, bumps, etc but you will get through it. He seems smart so that helps a lot AND he seems to be not aggressive. He seems more playful. But you will know more in time. Yes, a new dog will do that. It is just natural. He'll learn the difference between a cat and something outside. He is just young and everything is new to him so he will be like that for a little while. I would be surprised if he wouldn't adjust.

Hang in there. You are going through all the worries and emotions everyone does and with being exhausted it makes it more difficult to handle. But you will get through it. You definitely have everything it takes to make it work.
 

Animal Freak

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Yeah, he has a leash on him so we can always grab him. It's easier said than done though. Even with a leash, he can get by us. To be honest, I don't entirely mind playing with him like that. Stella likes to rough house too, but she gets a little too rough for my liking. He's even gentler than she is. I probably wouldn't have tried training it because teaching a dog that he can bite sometimes to a certain extent is harder than teaching a dog to not bite, but I don't necessarily mind if they already have that training. He just needs to learn when it's okay and when enough is enough.

She ended up putting Frost out there too just to let Ember have some alone time. They've all been living in our two bedrooms and Ash hangs out in the bathroom, so it's a little cramped for them and they've had some fights. The biggest one they've had was mostly my fault. Ash discovered the toilet brush in my bathroom. I'm pretty sure that's what set Osiris off on night 2 because I heard Ash messing around in there a little later. When I checked, the toilet brush was out of the holder and on the floor, but I hadn't heard any noises that sounded like it hitting the floor, so I think he pulled it out while I was asleep and that's why Osiris started barking. I pulled him out of there, but he didn't like that very much and ended up growling at Ember before fleeing back into the bathroom. I went to get him out and send him into a different room, but touched a sensitive spot on his backend and he yelled at me, so Ember attacked him and he ended up attacking her back. I can't say I've seen him go back at her like that before. They both took turns almost on top of each other before Ember finally ran off.

This would probably be easier if I had started off thinking the worst. I usually do. Don't know what happened this time around. I was blinded by love. I did say he seemed too perfect to be true the first time we met him though.

Frost just tried to come out of the storage room and back down the hall. Those darn cats are just so sneaky we don't know they're out until Si starts barking and is already on the run. Frost got stuck against the gate and ended up going back to the storage room. I brought him out and held him until he started struggling and let him go back down the hall. Osiris wouldn't quit barking while Frost was there, but he did recover a bit quicker after the cat was gone. He came and sniffed me to make sure I was okay and checked the hall for cats, but no more barking or growling after the fact. He seems to react worse when I'm involved with a cat, but I think it's good for him to see that I'm not getting hurt.

I had everything planned in my head when we went into getting a puppy, but that all sort of went out the window when I met him. He's not at all what I expected to get, but just so perfect in nearly every way.
 

calicosrspecial

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So true. They can be tricky. Yeah, I always train them not to bite just to be safe. But puppies will be puppies. And of course even trained dogs will sometimes play bite.

That is good Frost went as well. Yes, cats will do that. Any change can be disruptive. Yeah, he wanted to play with it. I try not to remove a cat but rather secure whatever the item is if possible. It can escalate pretty easily unfortunately. It is tough. But just try to really let them know everything is ok and reassure them. It shouldn't be too long.

Well, we always wish for the best. It really isn't too big of deal. You know what you need to do and you are capable. You seem to have adjusted your mindset so it is just going forward now and making progress.

Awwwww. Yes, that happens. Once the novelty wears off it will help the cats immensely. Once he stops going towards them and reacting. Then the cats can take a breathe and realize he isn't so bad. But it takes time to trust. Just keep training him.

That is the way it always is. Not only with animals but in life!!! The key is to assess and then progress. I think he sounds great. I have had and seen a lot more difficult. He is smart, he will get trained and learn. He doesn't seem aggressive which is really helpful. But stay alert. He really does seem perfect (or as close as possible). AND he is so darn ADORABLE!!!!
 

Animal Freak

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I know my dad tried to teach his lab puppy to be able to wrestle, but not bite whenever. He didn't keep up with that for long. He started way too early though. There's no way a young, brand new, teething puppy could figure out that sometimes it's okay, but sometimes it's not. I don't know how Stella figured it out. I didn't have to teach her.

They wouldn't have calmed down with Ash in Ember's safe room. She tends to get tense if she can't comfortably be in there or if she feels stuck in there. And Ash would have just kept growling which would cause another fight. They usually need some time to diffuse after a more serious fight or they just end up fighting again. They are getting more comfortable though. Osiris's barking doesn't seem to bother them as long as they're in a different room. Ash has been attempting to come out more and more. He actually seems the most comfortable around Osiris despite everything. I thought we'd be using mostly Frost for intros because he's the more confident, more laid back one. He's harder to spook and quicker to recover, plus less likely to cause any real issues with the other two. If Ember feels scared, she'll take it out on Ash. If Ash feels scared/insecure, Ember will lash out at Ash. She won't touch Frost. But Frost hasn't been handling a new dog quite as well as I would have expected.

I'm still sort of deciding what we're doing to be honest. This is new territory for me. I wasn't sure if we were going to keep trying or not. If I'm being honest, if I'd been aware of this before we adopted him then I never would have gone through with adopting him. Now the idea of giving him up hurts almost as much as the idea of my cats being stressed. I don't bring animals into my household just to give up on them. It's hard though because I'm starting off from scratch when it comes to any commands. When we got them, he had an okay-ish sit command. That was it. But then I have to deal with the behavior issues even when I have no way of communicating with him.

He really is great. I can't say anything bad about him other than the issues with the cats. He needs some work, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a puppy. A lot less than you'd expect, really. And he is so freaking cute it's not even fair!
 

calicosrspecial

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Yes, puppies are challenged to know what is right or wrong. I agree with you. Stella was pretty impressive.

Yes, the least secure one is the one you need to protect the most. So having her feel comfortable in her territory is the right move. It is great they are getting more comfortable. They are starting to realize bark doesn't mean threat. At least a serious threat. Interesting Ash s doing so well. We never really know how they will react until we see it. I have been wrong more than I care to admit. :/ The good news is I suspect Frost will come around and it is great Ash is doing alright. Ember will get help from you.

Oh wow. I didn't realize you were thinking that. I actually get a sense it is better than I would have feared. But your expectations were different. What you are experiencing is pretty normal. Actually sounds better than most. Try keeping him in the crate a bit more to give the cats a break then be hands on with him when he is out of there. It is always most difficult at the beginning but he shows every sign that he is going to make good progress. I know you are exhausted, tired, stressed, worried etc (which is all normal) but I don't get a sense there is a real problem. Yes, he needs to learn commands but that is the fun part, working with them. Take a deep breathe and just think things through. I know you will make the best decision. I guess I have done so many of these that I just know all the issues. But dogs are so much easier than cats. I think he will pickup on things pretty quickly, he seems really intelligent.

I agree, I have had many that were much worse. The issue with the cats doesn't seem too bad. I get a sense it is more play driven but I am not there, not seeing it. You;ll be able to tell. Yes, all of them need work. My guess is he will come along pretty quickly. BUT it does take time. But I bet he is very smart. He seems like it. I agree, he is better than most pups. Mine would be pulling on the leash, etc. He is doing pretty well. He is AMAZINGLY CUTE!!! I mean, I look at the pics over and over again. There is something about him that is really just stunning. GORGEOUS dog!!!

Hang in there. Just keep an eye on him, work with him, the cats will come around, reassure them, etc. Keep the cats on a routine. If he is in the crate the cats will get more confident then when he is out and on a leash you can control him and get some intro work done. Then work on commands. I get a sense it will be fine. Don't underestimate yourself.
 

Animal Freak

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He's become a brat! Lol. He just got really mouthy all of a sudden. Guess he's feeling more comfortable with us. He's still pretty gentle, but he's gone a little crazy and has gotten a bit rougher. He had the zoomies earlier. You should have seen him! I wish I had my phone. He had a horn that he was running through the house with and throwing around. Gosh, I wish he had more room to run. Someday though. Stella has been following me around so I can save her from him.

The cats definitely don't seem fazed by his barking anymore. Even Ember is just chilling on my bed and he was barking for me to come back while I was down the hall. Ash hangs out in the storage room most of the day and lays on the cat tree in there. I have to take Osiris through there to get to the backyard. He hasn't even noticed Ash back there and Ash acts like he isn't even there. I am surprised by Ash. I didn't expect him to do horribly, but I didn't expect him to be better than Frost. I mean, Frost is a lot more vocal about his opinion, but he's usually a lot harder to truly spook too. I don't have any concerns about Frost coming around once Osiris stops barking though. I don't think Frost will ever like the dog, but he'll get over it. I don't plan on involving Ember in anything until Osiris is good with the boys.

I didn't expect any of this because I intended on getting a young puppy. Five months was the oldest I wanted to go and I really preferred younger than that, but I thought at five months a dog would be better. I didn't think he'd already have such a severe reaction. I've had eight week old puppies in the house and that was the process I planned on going through. They were interested in the cats and did chase them a bit, but it couldn't have been that bad because the cats were still comfortable being out with them. That was I wanted. The least stressful route I could go. It honestly has nothing to do with whether or not Osiris could get over it. I'm pretty confident he can. It's just that I have to think about how long the cats are going to have to live like this. If I had a bigger house then I'd feel better about it, but they're cramped and cut off from most of their litter boxes. I had gotten to the point where I was feeling sick over all of this and I still do feel bad for them, especially when I go to pet them and then have to leave them. But it has helped talking to other people and realizing no one else seems to feel as bad for them as we do.

He is a lovely dog and I love him so much. Maybe a little less today. Lol. He's finally calmed down, fortunately, but he was a bit crazy there for a bit. He is a smart dog and getting a five month old has come with so many advantages. I don't have to deal with house training and he hasn't chewed on almost anything other than my shoelaces a couple of times. I don't have to deal with him being in a pen and crying every time I walk away. He is great and he has a ton of potential. There's no denying that. I hope we get over this relatively quickly. He is a gorgeous dog. I don't think any of his pictures even do him justice. I need to do a proper photo session.

I'm trying! I still think I want to do an outdoor intro with one of the cats, but I've gone back and forth on who. Ash has done the best, but if any of them tore either of us up trying to get away then it would be him.
 

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Hahahaha, he is feeling like he is home........ Yep, he is feeling more comfortable. Gentle is good. I can imagine how he was running around. They do do that.

That is great. They are coming around faster than I would have thought. I am really impressed with Ember!! Frost will come around. I am so glad to hear they are doing better. I love that he didn't even bother Ash on the way out. I think that is a good plan to take it slower with Ember.

I hear you. Totally understandable. I think it is a shock for people to she how cats react when we change things or bring in another animal (cat or dog). I guess I have gone through so many intros that I am prepared. BUT cats are resilient and with the right actions get over it. Everything I read is totally normal (and in many cases better than expected). I know emotionally it is had but give them some love and attention and they will come around. This will be a blip in their lives I suspect.

Awwww, I wish you knew you were taking it so hard and even got sick. I have been there because when we love so much we want perfect, the best. But having perspective is really important. I think you are learning a lot during this and this is going to help you going forward. Not only with animals nut in life. And you are really mature already!!

He sounds like it. Yes, there are advantages to a more mature puppy. I didn't get that it was such a "severe reaction". That is pretty much how they all are (actually worse). I think his size might have scared you a bit more which is understandable. O, we do need more pics!!!!

I know you are. I personally probably wouldn't do an outdoor intro. I usually do intros where the cats are most secure, most comfortable and at the right time. I would just take it slow. Keep them on a routine, give them love, keep an eye on the pup and try to teach him right and wrong and then try to make every encounter as positive as possible between the cats and the pup.

I am so glad you sound better. Every emotion you are going through we all have. But the fact you are handling them is really good. Just keep staying focused and trying to stay composed. You will be surprised at how much you can achieve.

Hang in there, there will be ups and downs but I am confident you will see more progress soon. SO far I think it is going really well (I know not to your expectations) but there are a lot of good signs so far.
 

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It's nice seeing him open up more, but it also makes him more difficult! I hope we don't end up having to deal with a difficult teenage phase shortly after getting him. He still barely has any commands as it is. It's funny watching him run though. He's also using all the toys we got for the other animals and they don't touch! He loves Stella's buffalo horn and the ball my mom got for the cats that rolls around on it's own.

The cats really do get over dogs easily. I was amazed at how well they did when we started fostering. Especially Ember. I figured it would be a bit harder with a larger dog. They're not used to big dogs. And, of course, with his barking it's even harder. But they aren't doing too terribly. I think Ember and Frost are getting along better now than they have in a long time. Frost finally gave up on crabbing at Ember every time they ended up near each other. They're pretty much always near each other.

I am trying to give the cats more attention. For a while it was hard to leave Osiris because he'd throw a fit and that just led to more barking which led to more stress on the cats. He's gotten better though and barks less when I leave, and the cats aren't bothered by his barking anymore anyway. I try to love on them a little pretty much every time I go down there and am setting time aside before their dinner to (try to) play with them. Ember has started meowing for attention which usually sets Si off, but he's getting over it quicker and I think it's a good sign that Ember is starting to pick up old behaviors.

I was suggested to use a yogurt cup with peanut butter smeared inside when he barks at the cats. It works as a treat for him to distract him and creates a positive association with the cats, but has the added benefit of being almost a type of muzzle. I can pop it over his nose and it's impossible for him to ignore it. Plus the peanut butter keeps him busy even after I take the cup away because he has to lick his lips and nose afterwards. Frost came out into the hall to switch rooms and Si started barking, but Frost didn't run this time. Popped the cup over Si's nose and that kept him busy while Frost slowly made his way to the other room and then hung out in the doorway. I've only used the peanut butter cup a few times so far, but it seemed like Si already shifted his attention to me quicker than he has in the past.

I stress easily. It has nothing to do with Si being a difficult dog or it being a horrible situation. I just get stuck in my head and overthink things and am always second guessing myself. Not only do I feel bad for the cats, but I still question if it was the right decision to get another. Maybe we should have waited after all. Maybe this was a bad idea. What if I don't end up having time for him? What if he's too energetic? I do it to myself really. I mean, the main reason I said we should have a puppy now was so it would be easier to socialize him, but we ended up getting a puppy that was already outside the socialization period. My only other reason is that I'm impatient and knew it would probably be another two years before I had the chance to get a puppy.

His reaction might not be severe compared to what it could have been, but it's severe compared to what I expected. I had to drastically change my mindset and my plan for what we were going to do. His size certainly doesn't help. With the tiny eight week old puppies, it was very different. For one, I knew they were being playful and wouldn't be aggressive with the cats. Two, even if they bit a cat, there wasn't much even their sharp baby teeth could do through all that cat fur. There was almost no chance for injuries. Three, the cats were comfortable enough to slap the puppies if the puppies got to be too much.

I certainly don't want to push an outdoor intro. However, both the boys like going outside and I thought it might be worth seeing if Si has a different reaction to them out there. If he acted the same as he does inside then I definitely wouldn't do anything, but he was mostly willing to ignore them or at least not bark then it seemed like it could be worth it. It would be a little extra stress on the cats, but could potentially cut down on the length of time this takes. But I don't know. It was just an idea. I do have some other ideas. The peanut butter cup seems to working well. I've also started putting him in his crate with the crate covered when I feed everyone. He's hungry, so more willing to focus on food. I through some food in the crate to keep him occupied while I get the cats' food. So far only Ash has come out with me, but it gets Si some exposure to them without me having to worry about him chasing them.

I do feel better. Sometimes I still feel bad for the cats. Sometimes I still feel bad taking Osiris away from the farm. He doesn't have dogs to play with, land to run on, space in the house to run through... His fosters seemed pretty close to keeping him too. I don't think they would've gone through any more meets if we hadn't taken him though he did have one more application. He could have stayed there with the people he'd gotten used to and the dogs that played with him and no cats in the house, but now he seems to be getting used to being here and at this point sending him back would be another adjustment for him.
 

calicosrspecial

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Yes, true. They can be wild BUT they tend to learn quickly. Oh, there will probably be some "teenage moments". But it should be manageable. It pretty much always happens. Yeah, I have never gotten a dog that knows commands but the fun part is teaching them. Oh I bet he is adorable playing and running!!! Sounds like he is loving his new home!!

Wow, Frost and Ember getting along better!! Didn't expect that. I guess maybe "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"? They must be handling it better than we thought. VERY interesting. Yes, big dogs can be intimidating but it sounds like the pup is pretty good not to cause too much stress.

That is great. Yes, the pup was going to be a bit attached but then get better. I am really impressed Ember is adjusting so well. Si will get better with the meowing. My guess is he wants to play.

Yes, distracting with something positive is always good. And then using words and reassurance to get his focus away from the cats. Things like that. Really good Frost felt more confident. The one thing you need to watch out for is that the cats get too confident and the dog is a bigger risk. So having the cats comfortable but cautious is a good way to try to be. And during this teaching Si that everything is ok and the cats are not toys. The biggest issue I tend to have is the dog wants to play with the cats and having to teach that a toy is for play and the cats aren't for play. So I tend to throw or use a toy for distraction with the dog. If the dog chooses the toy over the cat I call it a win.

We all do. It is normal especially when it involved something or someone we love. And it is easy to overthink, put more weight on outcomes that are less likely etc. And we always second guess. But the key is learning how to make the best decision then dealing with the outcome of that decision. Some people it is easier others have a harder time. But we all do it. The key is realizing it is something that happens and dealing with it. You question because it isn't perfect. So we always wonder about things that done work out right away. I imagine you will look back and think "why was I worried?". "I am so glad we did this". Learn from the past but keep moving forward. Most everything can be overcome and improved with effort and time. I think Si will be easier than you fear. Of course I don't know but that is my sense. Because of your knowledge and efforts, because he seems smart, and the cats seem to be adjusting faster than I would have thought. House training is the biggest time consumer so the fact he is already helps a lot. Just try to enjoy it. He will not be a puppy for long. :/ Of course, I had a girl Dobbie mix that was a puppy for 15 years so............................! Oh and she LOVED cats and the cats loved her.

I think you are exactly right. I think you are doing well with adjusting your mindset and figuring out a plan. Yeah the size is something BUT his personality suggests playfulness rather than a killing instinct. I have dealt with dogs with a killer instinct and usually you can tell right away. Of course, it is always best to remain cautious.

Yes. I do think having his crated and using food to distract him then the cats eating. Basic intro stuff. Then lead training in time. Each person has their "style". I think there are multiple routes to success. So what you feel most comfortable with is best. I tend to really focus on the dog to teach them not to go after the cats and the rest tends to fall in place. When the cats realize he is not a threat they tend to accept. But it is a process.

That is good. Oh that is normal. Anytime we see animals having an adjustment we feel badly. We never know what the other environment really is like. We think we may but unless we are there we never really know. I am sure they would be good but love and interactions are important. I suspect you will at some point look back and say "I don't know what I would do without him". That bond gets pretty strong and cone things start going well it lets us enjoy the positives more and not worry about the reduced negatives. I will say intro'ing a dog to 3 cats is a lot easier than intro'ing a cat to 3 cats.

Hang in there. You'll make the best decision. Everything you are feeling is normal so I am not surprised of the doubts etc. It is so early there will be more helpful info soon to make that best decision.
 

Animal Freak

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He's funny. He was starting to bother Stella too much and her growling was actually getting him more wound up, so I had to send her to my room for a bit and gave him the automatic rolling ball. He played with that for a few minutes, crashed into the table a couple of times, and is now laying down in his crate.

Frost probably got tired of it. Both of them have been spending most of their time in my room, so they're pretty much stuck together. He wouldn't ever stop his vocalizations if he kept it up the entire time they were near each other.

Honestly, I'm still leaning more towards this being fear based than play based. I could be wrong and I'd be fine with that, but from what I can tell his excited vocalizations tend to be higher pitched. And when he chased Ash, there was a moment where they were only maybe a few feet from each other. It happened so fast that I'm not positive, but it actually looked like Osiris stopped and maybe even took a step back. Like, "Oh crap, I caught up! Now what do I do?" I'm not sure which way would be better, if it's play or fear. I think having a healthy dose of fear for the cats is good. I don't want him trying to play with them and hurting them.

Frost got the storage room earlier, but tried to get back to the hallway while Osiris was in his crate with a chew. Si, of course, started barking. Frost didn't run back to the storage room, but he sure as heck wasn't coming any closer either. He ended up hiding under a stool and I went to get him out while my mom worked with Si. Si did settle down after a moment and I carried Frost to the hallway. For reference, Si's created is almost directly across from the hall. Just slightly off, so I had to walk in front of his crate to get to the hall. My mom threw some food down the hall for the cats. Ember and Ash both came out immediately, but Frost hid for a moment. Si calmed down though and went back to his chew while the cats ate, and Frost eventually came back out. Ember stayed out in the hall for a bit after the food was gone and I went to give her and Ash some petting. Osiris growled at first, but I told him to leave it and he stopped.

Frost also switched rooms a couple of times in a row. The second time I only had to tell Si to leave it once and he turned back to me to get some peanut butter. :yess: That was his fastest response yet. He definitely seems to be recovering quicker and responding to us quicker. The peanut butter really seems to be working. He keeps trying to take the whole cup from me though.

I do need to get out of my head some, but it's hard for me. And I kind of feel like I ended up doing the same thing I did with Stella. I got her and I wasn't prepared for it. I feel more prepared now, but there's still a lot I didn't expect. I just want the best for all them. I want Osiris to have the best home he can. If that ended up not being with us, then so be it. He deserves the best. But I'd like to give that to him and if he can hang with us for a while then we'll do our best to give him so more space! I'm not really weird about dogs needing lots of space (or I wouldn't have gotten another dog at all), but I would like to let him have more room to run off leash. Our malamute x GSD was a puppy for 15 years too. He was fine with cats inside, but he'd chase just about anything outside including cars.

I definitely don't think he's trying to kill them. If he was truly aggressive then there's no way we'd be able to get him to ignore them. The fact that some peanut butter can take his attention off of them tells me that, if not playfulness, then it's more cautiousness.

I do wish he was more accepting of being crated. He's okay with it and has been going in it on his own more and more, but he's not a fan of being locked up. I'm thinking maybe his fosters started leaving him in it too soon. He thinks I'm going to leave him, so I have to sit there before he'll settle down with his chew. That makes it a little harder to just put him in it because he needs something to do and then I still have to sit there until he calms down.

I do think he'll get over the farm, but I wonder if he misses it at all or if it's already behind him. I wish I could ask him what he'd prefer. Get some idea if this is a better life for him. But I'll never really know. I'm sure I will be thinking that some day! I don't think I've ever gotten so attached so quickly and that says a lot because I get attached to things easily. We brought him home and I couldn't believe how lucky I'd gotten to end up with him. I almost missed out on him too.
 

calicosrspecial

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Oh my. He is all puppy!!! Too funny!!!

Interesting. I guess that is one way to get along!!! Actually, when they realize the other cat isn't a threat or a negative they tend to accept. So I am not really surprised. Kinda cool.

Interesting. Hmmmmmm, if it was fear why chase? Usually they tend to stay away a bit, avoid. I see it a lot where they chase and then do exactly what you say "oh crap, now what?". Hahahahaha. That tend to reinforce my play view. BUT you are there and see it in person. Yeah, I don't know which is better either. I think fear of cats isn't bad BUT it could cause a serious reaction. A defensive measure that may include an attack to "eliminate" the perceived threat. Personally, I would prefer play.BUT that can go wrong as puppies can be a bit wild and out of control. I believe training as much as possible and letting the cats interpret the behavior is about the best solution. I have had a lot of big dogs with cats and it has worked for me. I do think the mentality of the dog is really important. I don't get a sense Si is a hunter, a killer. He seems like he is pretty sweet. Of course, we have to monitor.

Sounds like Frost handled it well. Your mom did a good job distracting Si. I think I would just let Frost (or the other cats) figure it out. SO I tend not to pick them up and move them but let their instincts kind of work it out without letting the dog be a big threat (so I distract and secure the dog).The fact Si calmed down while the cats ate is really good. Oooooo, I like that Si listened to you abut growling. Good job!!!

Wow, that is really good. He is coming along fast. And Frost switching rooms is good. It is a delicate balance but it sounds like it is improving. Really good job!! He is smart.

I think it is hard for all of us. It is life, it has a lot of options, uncertainty, etc. But how we handle it is what is important. We can have a plan but it always rarely goes to plan.When I brought my last feral girl in I thought my boy would accept her no problem and my oldest would not accept her quickly. It was exactly opposite BUT we just deal with it and work to make it happen. Oh I know, we would all like room for them to run safely BUT they can do better than you think in a smaller space. Yes, we always want what is best for them BUT we can't be too hard on ourselves. I think I know you and your mom pretty well by now and I think I can safely say your home is a good place to be. Oh wow, a Malamute/GSD. And a puppy for life!! Doesn't get much better!! :)

I agree. That is a good sign.

Yes. They don't tend to like it after they tasted freedom. But it sounds like he does pretty well. I have had some that really hated the crate. :(

My guess judging by what you tell me he is feeling really good that he is with you. He would not be acting like he is if he wasn't liking life. I do think it is the humans and the love that matter most to dogs. They just know when there is a bond. That is really cool you felt like that. I know when I saw him I was like "WOW!!". I just saw the picture. Now knowing more about his personality I really like him. He sounds like a great dog. I can say I am envious. He is like my ideal dog. You are lucky. He seems like such a sweetheart.
 
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