MemberJanuary 15, 2019 at 8:25 pm11509
Mike potentially will cover this type of behaviour and strategies in the live classroom series, which will enable a way forward for your parents and paint a clearer more precise picture.
To gather a little more information for myself, can I ask you to link a photo or video to gather at least a visual representation for the breed type.
By abandoned to you mean he was a stray dog living on the streets for an unknowable amount of time?
Does he have any understanding of particular commands?
Overall we need to take look at the dog first to understand what his genetic tendencies might be, and how this has helped shaped his behaviour whilst being abandoned.
Then we’d need to ensure the dog is of a good health, both physically (pain, aliments) and mentally (stress, anxiety), a recent study suggests that gut health is applicable to aggressive/irritable type tendencies (not solely responsible), however ensuring the dog is on a balanced species appropriate diet is crucial from a physiological foundational standpoint.
This behaviour type would be considered predatory in nature, the earliest thing you can do is implement strategies that include management, leadership structure applicable to that dog, and then slowly begin some training and obedience, you will then be able to work on developing some impulse control.
This situation is hard for the cats, the owners and even more for the dog who is trying to find his place in the new environment (which is your parents habitat) not knowing any of the rules he needs to follow.
The owners job is to introduce and teach the rules that are applicable for them, and implement management techniques that manipulate the environment to ensure the dog doesn’t get a chance to make a mistake. Management will only work for so long though so you need to graduate slowly to formalised training.
Consider the age and neuter status will also help understand the dog is a sub adult intact male, and is definitely finding his place on earth the only way he knows how. If that means chasing cats to satisfy a biological need then thats what it is.
Some initial strategies and thoughts would include:
Record/log the dogs day for a week (feeding, playing, incidents, triggers, rest)and look for behavioural patterns around specific times.
Management is a crucial piece early, keep the cats safe and keep the dog safe. a Dog in pure prey drive will go to great lengths to catch its prey, that can mean complete disregard for injury ie… running out into a busy road, jumping off a height, crawling into small spaces.
Find and provide some biological fulfilment in the form of a replacement behaviour/play for the dog to express itself.
Hopefully some other trainers on the site will jump in to offer some further help and guidance for you, keep us posted on how your tracking.