OK, here's the situation - the cats won't come in the house now. I bring them in on colllld nights and put up a baby gate. I thought this might give each (cats / dog) the opportunity to check each other out but I think it happens so seldom (we are in FL after all) that it isn't enough for them to get acquainted properly rather just enough to keep the dog interesting in chasing them (like as if they are a special treat). Now, I have one cat that is fairly "screw you" with the dog. So I've been using him to help the dog get used to cats. It's not great. But Bo IS beginning to listen when I call him away, etc.
Here's an idea which I can't tell if it is excellent or absolutely cruel (I know) - so flame away if it is a horrible idea.
I want to re-claim my cats.
I'm thinking about shutting the doggie door. Bringing the cats inside along with a couple of litter boxes. Forcing them all to co-exist for about a month. I'm sure for 2 weeks I won't see any cats as they'll stay hidden in the house. But will this kind of force the scenario where 'hey the cats are around, nothing to chase or bother with, move on with your life"? Or is it terribly bad for the cats, I'll end up with cat urine everywhere.... etc?
Stardogs- I have taught him "out" now... and he does understand Sit. Now, if he is all revved up, he ignores the world (one-track mind) but I have been able to just put him / isolate him in another room for some time.
If I leave the baby gate up, the cats will NOT leave my room and there is NO interaction. Would it be "better" then to maybe use the babygate but have the cat food out in the open so if they want to eat, they have to come out? Again, is this not cruel?
And Hykue --- as far as the cats being able to get him but he hasn't bitten them... the issue there is more that he has zero coordination due to his neurological/past abuse issues. It is so sad - even trying to get him to get a treat from my hand is difficult because he has a shaky head--- it seems the more he tries to focus on one specific thing, the more he gets discombobulated (sp?). So the he gets close enough to the cats and lunges at them but misses because he's just.... well, I call him 'drunk boy' ;)
I might have to try this for a day and see how it goes.... but please make me say "what the heck was I thinking?" if this is realllllly a bad idea....
Thank you all so much--- I want us all to live happily every after :(