#34 – Guest Blog – Jade – A cat’s perspective on training your dog and humans

Hello humans, today, I’ve inviteds my friend Jade to tell you all about livings with doggies and humans, ’cause she says it’s differents for cats and she needs to tell you how to make sure us doggies behaves properlies. It’s best to keep her happies, so I had to lets her have her way…

Jade, she sure can be bossy!

Jade, the queen.

Good day, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jade and I have the dubious distinction of living with that over enthusiastic dog who has been giving you all these faintly amusing dog training tips.

Now, Jasper is quite intelligent – for a dog, but he lacks the brain power and poise of a cat like me. So I thought I would accept his offer of a guest slot to give you a few pointers on keeping dogs and the human servants in line.

A dog likes to feel important, so we humour him

A dog likes to feel important, so we humour him

I know that Jasper has told you all some tale of being in charge of us cats, but we all know where the real power in the relationship lies. Still, a small dog likes to feel important, so we’ll leave him his little illusions.

A lady never tells her age, but I am a slight bit older than Jasper and have know since he was a mere baby of six months. So I feel I am in a good position to explain to all you good people how one goes about teaching a dog to show proper respect to his feline friends.

As an aside, I’m sure that we all agree that I have aged much, much better than he has. It must be all that mad rushing about he does that has aged him before his time.

A lady like me has earned her respect

A lady like me needs to be cherished and respected

Before I moved in with my present family, I was a bit of a free spirit shall we say, never staying too long with any one set of humans. This was due to the fact that my first set of humans had let me down badly by moving out and neglecting to take me with them, thinking I would be fine on my own.

Now, it turns out that in this case they were correct, as I am a particularly smart and resourceful cat. But I have seen it go wrong for all too many of my fellow cats and would like to tell any other human contemplating such a spineless dereliction of duty that this kind of behaviour is really not acceptable.

Once you take on responsibility for a fellow creature, you can not just go and  leave them behind. Which is why I have put up with Jasper for so long, as he is obviously in need of more care and guidance than the humans can provide alone.

Just before I had my babies, I could tell I was going to need some help.

Just before I had my babies, I could tell I was going to need some help.

I had my eyes on the humans he came to live with as potential future servants for some time before that dog moved in, but knew that I had to move quickly and stake my claim when he arrived. The humans had some kind of resistance to taking me in, saying they were not “ready for another cat” and that “I looked so healthy and was so friendly that I must belong to someone”. But my having my babies in their house soon convinced them that they would have to look after me in the style I deserved.

It is important to show a dog who is in charge right away

It is important to show a dog who is in charge right away

Jasper did try some half hearted barking and chasing at first, but being extremely heavy with kittens at the time, I was in no humour for his games and soon put him in his place with a few well timed swipes on the nose.

If you think that dog is mad now, you should have met him when he was younger.

Jasper has always been a bit of a fool!

I did have to reinforce his manners a few times when the kittens were small, as Jasper would insist on running around like a mad thing even when there were babies near by. But after one or two sharp lessons (I remember on one occasion I had to chase him around the kitchen clawing him while he yelped!), he soon learned how to behave with proper respect and decorum towards me and my young ones.

That son if mine is very fond of his pet dog

That son of mine is very fond of his pet dog

Jasper is quite a nice dog, as dogs go, and used to let the babies steal his dinner when they were all younger. He will still generally relinquish his bed when one of us cats decides we want to sleep in it and my son Oskar is very fond of him, so I put up with his boorish behaviour when he is chasing his ball. I do wish he wouldn’t bark in my ears so much though, it is really most irritating!

The humans are a different matter, as they get very upset if you scratch or bite them and will not feel like giving you nice food afterwards. So it’s best to keep them happy by using more subtle, positive reinforcement, methods to get your way.

Although I did have to give them a little warning nip once or twice in the beginning when they did not stop stroking me quickly enough after I clearly moved my tail a fraction of an inch to the right to show them that I had had enough.

Humans are best trained with a mixture of positive reinforcement and gentle chastisement

Humans are best trained with a mixture of positive reinforcement and gentle chastisement

The other cats and Jasper have to have their mealtimes at set times, but I am far too important for such mundane things and expect to be fed when I feel like it. Sometimes when I show up demanding my food, the humans are in the middle of something and don’t want to leave it right away, even with my best fixed stare (the humans can be quite dense sometimes). 

I find when this happens, the best method is to get on their lap and lean into their arms while purring loudly, so they can no longer get anything done and will be forced to stop what they’re doing and attend to me. If this doesn’t succeed and they are using a computer, walking over the keyboards two or three times generally does the trick.

Having babies takes a lot out of a lady

Having babies takes a lot out of a lady

The humans do insist on having you neutered or spayed if you want to live with them. While I was not best pleased about this at the time, in hindsight I am glad they did, as having babies takes a lot out of a lady and I’m not actually all that fond of babies of any species now I’m no longer being ruled by my hormones. A lady like me deserves her peace and quiet once she gets a little older.

In summary, dogs and humans can be taught to live in harmony with us cats as long as you train them early enough and with consistency. I trust that my tips have been of some assistance to you all. I shall now go and have a nap after all my exertions, as a lady needs to keep her strength up.

About jaspermadra

I am a rescue doggie who was saved by MADRA, a dog rescue based in Co Galway, Ireland. I was adopteds a long time ago and have a great life with my humans, so I does whatever I can to help the other doggies who aren't as lucky as me. You can find MADRA's website here: www.madra.ie
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