Saturday, January 23, 2010

Curbing Cat Chasing: Update

You can see the difference in how Ellie expresses her interest in Socks. And, you can see Socks has transitioned from "Get the #$%@ away from me" to near nonchalance.

It's been a little over 3 months since Ellie a.k.a "Cat Chaser" came to our home. I started clicker training the cue to 'leave kitty' right away and progress was steady, if slow. Socks and Kafka (the kitty members of the family) both have some rudimentary clicker knowledge, so when the clicker came out, they would show up, hang around to get treated for hanging around so I could reward Ellie, then go off to mind their kitty business.

Kafka eventually started ignoring Ellie, so it became relatively easy for the two of them to be in the house together without constant supervision. Socks decided to reclaim the house, and did so relatively belligerently, so I was spending a lot of time clicking and rewarding the two of them, until they could be fairly close without a blow-up.

But, the true progress happened when Socks decided that being close to Ellie could be okay. Its my preference that the animals work out their relationships on their own as much as possible, so I try for as little direct interference as possible. I follow the clicker principle of rewarding what I like, and ignoring what I don't. It helps when the protagonists in our little get-along drama follow the same principles!

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