| Dear Mr Leerburg,
We have just adopted a beautiful 2 1/2 year old male boxer. We have had 'Niko' for 6 days now. We also have a 2 year old female mini- schnauzer named Bella, that we've had from 8 weeks.
How I found your website is that we had an incident in that our very dominate male adopted cat, Roscoe, 'got into it with Niko about 4 days after Niko was here. Up until that point, my cats & dogs have always loved and 'hung out' with each other. For the first 4 days indoors, they could be in the same room, and Roscoe would just hiss & swat at him as he passed by, and he went the other way. One morning we were sitting outside, all of a sudden, Roscoe went up to Niko amd started hissing & slapping his face, then ran. While indoors they had been 'tolerating' each other, but this time, Niko chased Roscoe & tossed him around. Not expecting this would happen, I now know, after reading your website,that it was totally our mistake that we did not have a leash on Niko at the time. We love boxers and had Tess, our previous boxer from 8 weeks until she died @ 14. We wanted to adopt this time, but after this my husband said: "that's it, he's going back to the shelter". I convinced him that Roscoe has instigated it,and we were not being smart not leashing Niko,that he was a beautiful dog and we should try and 'work with him'.
I then 'Googled' 'dog & cats living together' and found your wonderful website.
We have separated Roscoe & Niko. They are living in separate area's of the house now. We have bought a crate as you suggested. Another issue we have is that he is very aggressive toward other dogs when we walk him. It's like he wants to go for them- big, little, male or female dogs- it doesn't matter. Niko was found running without tags with a beagle, also without tags. He must have been raised with the beagle, as we were told by the animal shelter that he got upset when they were separated. So he gets along great with little dogs, and we are not having any problems with him & Bella [they're playing together,etc.].. My husband & I feel that Niko has never been socialized with any dog other than the beagle he grew up [because of his unsocial, 'attack mode' he seems to go into when meeting other dogs. He does sit on command, 'comes' on command, is very sweet and I feel has real possibility. We have 1/4 acre fenced yard, and he hates to go outdoors, loves to lie on the bed,sofa,stay inside,etc.. My husband thinks the previous owners pretty much let him do what he wanted, but did instill some commands in him. We are now in the process of establishing 'our pack family' with him, and look at your video's.
Anyway, the point of my letter is that a very important next step is that we have to buy a Dogtra Electric Collar for Niko, -to have more control in our training with him, and in his eventual interaction with Roscoe, plus when we are walking him. We have a prong collar, and I just watched your video on using it, and the placement of it [also in having a 'back-up' collar.
Niko is a very strong dog, but a small male [neck size 16"]~ [ just alittle bigger than Tess our previous female].
When I went to the Dogtra webpage, the electric collar you recommended], I was a little overwhelmed with all the choices of 'units' available for purchase.
Based on the history I have just described with behavioral problems with our cat and other dogs, could you please recommend a model that would be good for us to use? Money is a consideration, as my husband just got 'partially laid off' [meaning he's working 2 days a week, instead of 5], so if you could recommend maybe something in the 'middle zone', price-wise, we be appreciative of this. We want a good and effective unit, as he is very strong, muscular, and also strong willed dog [especially outdoors], so we want a good unit that will 'do the job'.
We appreciate all that you are doing to educate all of us on the correct training of our dogs. Terry & I would appreciate any / all comments regarding a electric collar and any other suggestions you might offer...
I would not jump into using an electric collar just yet. You need to establish solid structure and leadership first and this will take a number of weeks with an adult dog that has issues.
Ed has written an article on cats.
You are on the right track with what you are doing so far. Start with our groundwork program and then go to Pack Structure for the Family Pet.
Because of the aggression issues, I'd recommend Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs and a dominant dog collar and possibly a muzzle. We have directions on how to measure the dog for a muzzle on this page.
Once you have good control on the leash, then and ONLY then would I recommend using the remote. If you use the remote first, before the dog has a foundation in understanding it can backfire on you and make things worse.
Start with Basic Obedience. We have an excellent video on how to train a dog with the electric collar; Electric Collar Training for the Pet Owner.
We like the Dogtra ecollars. The 7100H is a good model for your dog.
There is what I call a "honeymoon phase" with rescue or shelter dogs. They typically don't fully show their true colors for 3-4 weeks. If your dog is behaving like this after only 6 days, I fear that it will become much worse if you don't show consistent and firm handling from this day forward.
We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you.
For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it's very likely you'll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.