Dog displaying obsessive behaviours to cat bell

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/fhdco1/dog_displaying_obsessive_behaviours_to_cat_bell/

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Hello! Our AmBull rescue is doing brilliantly with settling into our home. Except for one think…meeting our cat.

A bit of background on our progress:

We have a great handle on eye contact and communication which has lended itself to now being brilliant on the lead and trick training. We have him 6 weeks, only the last 2 of which has been in our own place with our cat. We started with exchanging smells using pillows and toys, then meeting through a slightly open door, watching each other through a window. The whole time the cat is upstairs in another room separated by a closed door and baby gate so never in the same room.

The last two days we started to bring her down stairs. She's delighted to be back down but our dog is tense! We keep him on a lease on the couch treating him everytime he makes eye contact with us, relaxes and other behaviours we like. While he stays on the couch, we constantly have to ask for his attention because his head will swivel off from trying to follow her around the room. Sometimes she's behind the couch where he can't see her and I can tell it stresses him out.

These sessions are very controlled and our cat goes back upstairs after we do it for a while. Always ending with relaxed positive behaviour.

Since then, our dog has become obsessed with the sound of her cat bell or her jumping from the bed upstairs. He paces from the baby gate to the window he used to watch her from. We use the 'Leave It' command, which does temporarily work but if she makes another noise up he goes again. It's like he's constantly waiting to hear her.

This morning, we were woken up to the crash of the baby gate and him outside our upstairs bedroom. We are very careful to lock the doors because both animals can open them, but I'm worried if it happens again when I'm not there to react to the behaviour.

How can we help reduce his obessive behaviour / stress around this?? Should we remove the bell? Bring the bell down and shake it non stop to desensitize him? We will do multiple downstairs trainings with the cat today to hopefully desensitize him to her movements some more but the problem is when he can hear her but can't see her.

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