This is to teach puppy what is appropriate behavior around cats. At first, appropriate behaviors include: ***impulse control (not running up to them), behaving calmly around them, and basically ignoring them. Eventually this calmness and understanding of space will be what bonds them together.
With this 5 minute exercise you can make both parties not only comfortable, but like they are both receiving attention and learning safe interactions. Outside of this exercise I never recommend a puppy to be off leash around the cats if they have no escape route or if puppy is not being supervised. Their default behavior towards a cat is usually not a good one (chase!!).
If you have multiple cats, do this exercise with each cat while the others are put away. Eventually you can do more cats at a time if they are decently focused on Person A. For more training exercises and examples of safe cat interactions contact me.
1. Person A is with Cat, Person B is with dog on a leash2. Person A starts out with the cat relatively still, has cat treats and is calm3. Person B also has treats for the dog and is making sure to reward the dog for appropriate behaviors within a second of him doing it***4. Session should be short, to ask how one person can do it contact me here
***Behaviors to reward so they happen more often:
1. Looks at cat, does not move toward it
2. Looks at cat and chooses to look back at you (that means shes getting it,”if I look at the cat and not move toward it I will be rewarded! I should do this more often!”)
3. Looks at cat moves forward slightly and chooses to hesitate/stops.
4. If dog moves away from you and goes after cat (oops!) reward when you say “Come here!” and she returns to you. (This one gets easier with practice)
If she is moving away from you a lot, you may have A) done the session too long B) she has too much energy for this exercise at this moment C) the cat is moving around a little too much or D) the dog and the cat are too close to each other during the exercise.