On December 5, 2001, iVillagers chatted with Hollywood trainer Rose Ordile. The highlights are here!
iVillager kewiandcraig: How long does it take a cat to perfect a training command?
Rose Ordile: It depends on the cat's personality. Some learn quicker than others. Some commands are easier than others. If a cat has a hyper personality, they will learn to come when called. It will be easy for the cat to learn. Teaching them to lie down will be harder. If the cat has a relaxed personality, teaching the cat to lie down will be easy because it's what she naturally does!
iVillager doolittleky: What is your favorite animal to work with?
Rose Ordile: I don't have a favorite, but I would say it's the one that I am working at the time. I enjoy them all because they each have different personalities and characteristics.
iVillager tkalynn: I have a Himalayan and a German shepherd. The cat chases the dog, spits and hisses at him. Is there anything I can do to help them get along better?
Rose Ordile: The hissing is territorial. She's trying to hold up her title with the dog, by reminding him that she is the boss! Also, the fact that the dog is larger will cause a reaction in the cat. She's smaller and tries to appear large so she will appear dominant to the dog. She's trying to hold her number-one title in the house.
Here is a tip: If the cat is on the couch, teach the dog to do a down stay on the floor. The cat will still feel dominant because the dog is on a lower level. That way she can rest assured that she is still number one.
iVillager andrewsch: How did you get hooked up with training Morris the Cat for Nine Lives?
Rose Ordile: Nine Lives was looking for another trainer. I interviewed and based on my training Nine Lives thought that I would be puuuurrrrfect as Morris's spokesperson and handler. I love every moment of it.
I actually live with Morris. I used to think that he lived with me, but I live with him. LOL He's snoozing on my bed right now. Or maybe it's his bed. LOL
iVillager 3kidslucky : My seven-month-old, 85-pound Newfoundland pup is great, but is getting bigger and still tends to "mouth" people. Any suggestions?
Rose Ordile: The mouthing is a greeting. When he mouths, you want to tap him under his chin and tell him no. Then put your hand back to his face. If he mouths you again, repeat the same thing. If he does anything except for mouth after that, pet him and let him know that he is a good boy. By doing that you're allowing the dog to greet you, but you're telling him how you want to be greeted.
iVillager Jennifer: Did Morris have to do any unusual tricks for his commercial shoot?
Rose Ordile: For his shoot he had to come up from behind a door wearing sunglasses. It took three weeks to get him used to wearing sunglasses. The glasses also blocked his vision, which made it difficult. The training was a step-by-step procedure. I starting with light frames with clear lens and then on to a heavier one with a shaded lens.
On top of all that, he had to come around from behind a door in, like, a 10th of a second. It was a timing thing. Made it harder for him.
iVillager soopermum62: My dog Buddy, who came from an animal rescue organization, has started being more vocal about wanting to play and wanting to go out. Should we take that as a sign he loves us now? We have had him since April 4th of this year.
Rose Ordile: Sure, he's talking. Dogs, like cats, have many vocal tones that mean different things. If he is being vocal about playing it means that he is very happy and contented. That's a good thing.
All animals have different sounds -- purring, meowing, growling, a chatter sound when they are excited -- the fact that you are in tune to his sounds means that you have a good relationship with him.
Remember, you can read more about Rose and Morris on the iVillage Pets channel.