Cohabitants Issue

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Bruce is not young. He has never been one to "play", not even as a kitten. Closest he comes is driving me nuts while I'm trying to wrap presents at xmas.

    He tolerates the dogs only because it means he gets to be inside. However for several months now he wanders in and out of the house.

    He has allergy issues (which I can't seem to find the cause to eliminate it) which makes him sometimes not feel so good. This reduces his patience to zero.

    Now as a pup Maggie went through a stage where if Molly wasn't up to playing, then certainly Bruce would want to play with her. This was not helped by the fact that Midnight outside is the most patient loving tolerant cat I've ever met in my life........and will literally let any dog living in this home do whatever it wants to her. She also likes to play with them. It took Maggie a while to get the idea Bruce will scratch, he will not play. Ever. They lived in peace.

    Rufus is at about the same age Maggie started this nearly torturing Bruce thing. I know it's play and affection to them, but to Bruce......well, he hates it. Now Rufus is doing it. Soon as Rufus starts, Maggie joins in on the fun and Bruce suddenly finds himself ganged up on. One he can escape eventually but two corner him and hissing and claws are no deterrent for Rufus.

    I should say that Rufus is huge. He weighs enough that I can't lift him, or couldn't without considerable effort. Intimidating for certain. Rufus, though, is full of love for the most part. (and I'm sure he is with Bruce as well) We've had a few iffy moments where he showed a bit of aggression (snarls/bluffing) toward Maggie over food. Supervision and firm correction stops it quickly. He is usually exceptionally eager to please. I'm not sure what causes the periodic deal with food.........he's never gone hungry in his life that I am aware of. So maybe it is an I'm boss thing........although he doesn't seem to give a darn with anything else.

    But I'm talking about him and Bruce..........and him, Maggie and Bruce.

    Maggie is fine with Bruce as long as Rufus is not interested in playing with him or is in his crate. So she isn't the issue.

    Unlike Maggie......Rufus is not put off by sharp claws and does not seem to be catching on that Bruce wants no part of playing. Bruce basically lives in the bathroom (gated, Rufus can't get to him) or outside due to this nonsense. He tries not to come into the main house unless Rufus is outside or in his crate. Now Bruce is not too bright.....and he does try......and I've suddenly got chaos. Rufus will not listen (out of character for him), will not stop.......it doesn't help that Maggie is right there on the fun either because I'm trying to control 2 dogs at once.

    Bruce is not just unhappy about it, he's miserable. He hates the bathroom. (even though I made him a nice little bed in there) I'm sure it's not helping that he went through the same thing with Maggie just last year.

    I hope Rufus knocks it off soon because it is driving me nuts. I'd let them work it out except 2 against one is not fair and if Bruce lands a good scratch at either dog......those growls are no longer playful, the tone changes. I admit to worrying they might do to him what they do to their stuffies........which is not pretty.

    No, they don't hurt Midnight even when they've got her in the same type situation but she goes totally limp like a rag doll, does not put her claws out and does not hiss even. The moment they start to lose interest she darts away if she doesn't want to play. Bruce doesn't dart well, and he doesn't have the whole back yard in his favor.......with a 6 foot fence to sit on where they can't reach him.

    Rufus is going to have to get a clue soon. I've got antique furniture that will now have to be refinished due to this "play" and Mommy is not at all happy about it. Bruce never goes on these pieces unless out of desperation to get up high.

    Now that it is winter.......Bruce's interest in spending the day outside is just about zip.
     
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would keep some high value treat handy and at the SLIGHTEST interest in Bruce I would call and offer the treat if they come away from him. Make it far better to be away from Bruce than near him, and you have a chance to keep Bruce safe. Bruce has been a good cat for you for a long time and this is unfair to him. The other option is to figure out where Rufus dislikes to be and put him there every time he goes for Bruce. Also put Maggie away from what she likes if you go this route.

    Even if Rufus is huge, you are still the alpha and you MUST use your brain to stop this koi. It is bad manners. If he gets away with this, Rufus will believe that he is alpha and you are not, and that road is a sure disaster as he may become very aggressive. You may need to keep Rufus on a leash in the house at any time that Bruce is loose inside. That way you can correct him as soon as he starts this koi rather than having to try to stop it after he has Bruce cornered. You have a LOT better chance of stopping this if you distract using positives than if you use negatives. Maybe a favorite treat or toy he can only have when you use it to distract from Bruce would work, or else work on obedienc training so that he comes to you when you call regardless of where the cat is. Either way, you cannot let this continue because it very likely may result in an aggressive dog that you cannot control if a cat is near, which would spell disaster and possible death for Rufus if he got loose or was on leash and did this to someone else's cat. In most areas you have a tough time rehoming a dog that is aggressive to cats, and in OH if you give away a dog who has attacked someone or someone else's property, you are financially responsible for any damage the dog does for the rest of its' life if they can show that you knew it was aggressive in that way. It does not matter how many other owners the dog has had, the owner that first knew of the aggression is ALWAYS responsible in OH law.
     
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