Thursday, February 22, 2018

Boxer and Blaze's Progress

Boxer's mom here:

I figure I should update you on the latest with that bossy cat we call Boxer.

When we last left you, Boxer had gotten aggressive with the Cat Patrol Captain, Fiona.  I was slowly phasing the two back together with little luck.  As soon as Boxer came in the room, Fiona who was visibly shaken and would go in the bedroom.  I tried this several times and it always ended with the same results.  A scared Fiona and a puffed up Boxer.

So what was Boxer to do?  He couldn't stay in his room 24/7.  He needed some space to move and get away from Princess Leia. (who definitely needed a break from him)  So we did the next and only possible solution.

See we have two pairs of dogs.  Two dogs on one side of the house and two dogs on the other, with the cat room in-between them.  The Back Dogs, Fiona and Zappa is where Boxer had always hung out.  He would go outside with them, sleep near them.  Almost all his time was with Fiona and Zappa.  This is why Boxer's sudden aggression and going into attack mode has visually shaken everyone.  It has upset the balance in the house and has been hard to get back.

Then we have the Front Dogs, Blaze and Chance.  Blaze has a very high prey drive, meaning she'll chase and try to kill anything smaller than her.  Over the last eight years, I've been trying to acclimate her to Boxer.  I tried all different kinds of methods with long breaks in-between, like months.  Blaze couldn't handle much more than 15-20 minutes of being around Boxer.  I tried to make each experience a positive one, with no accidents.

One day, I was in the cat's room and left the door open to the Front Dogs.  This is long before the riff with the Back Dogs.  Blaze and Chance came in the cat room, sniffed around, sniffed Boxer.  All went well and when Blaze got too hyper, I got her out of the cat's room and closed the door.  This has been going on for a year and a half, almost everyday, for short periods of time during the day, even if it only last for 5 minutes.  So now we are basically doing the same thing, with longer spans of time.

Boxer had to "earn" his way out of the cat room and into the Front Dogs room and all the way to the kitchen.  Each time he plowed a little more ahead and the dogs eventually let him in.  Inch by inch.  Slowly over time, they trusted each other a little bit more and now they are barely bothered by each other.

And doing great!   She gets a little hyper now and then and nibbles on Boxer to which they get a time out from each other. 

And as for Boxer...well, Boxer is happy to be out of his room, but he'd rather be in with the Back Dogs.  That's his "home."  Well, maybe some day he'll be back in there again.  I noticed some progress in that area that looks promising, we'll have to see where it leads.   =^.^=


Saved by Dogs said...

I admire your perseverance. I've said more than once that when I'm at home I'm surrounded by a**holes of my own choosing. The dog has to charge the cat, the cat has to troll the dog etc. Then we have those moments where everything appears peaceful - and I can't enjoy it because I'm waiting for the next a**hat move by someone. Hopefully your hard work will keep paying off!

KB Bear said...

Well done! Your patience is paying off!