I’ve enticed 2 of my more adventurous male kittens into the main pen with the dogs, on 2 separate occasions. I wiggle a string on the end of a stick just cleverly enough the kittens can’t help themselves. They come pouncing through the open gate, enchanted by the squiggly prey.
On day 1 I stood 2 feet from the open gate, playing with the kittens and watching the pups reaction closely. Each time any pup became too curious to ignore the playful kittens I gave them a firm and sharp “NO”. Occasionally, I stomp my boot closely by them for added effect. Most times the verbal is all any of the pups required for direction.
The older pups of course learned quite quickly. Each of the boys needed only 1 verbal. The girl preferred to watch the others and learn from their scolding. The younger pups took several repeats before they would lose interest in the kittens and return to puppy play instead.
On day 2 I stood about 8′ away from the gate open 2′ wide and with the same playful kitten temptation. The older pups did not approach the kittens, but instead noticed them for a brief moment, then quickly returned to safe puppy play with other puppies. The younger pups required much more follow up from me. This was to be expected. None of them were interested in the open gate.
I always train my pups to only play with each other or other dogs, but not any other sort of animal. It’s too dangerous for the other animals, to allow these large breeds to play with your domestic or farm animals. I also train them NOT to jump on humans.
Briefly open gates should not be a worrisome issue with properly trained LGD’s. With the gate open about 2′ wide, I watched carefully for any curious pups and gave a good verbal direction for that too. They were much more interested in the kittens then the open gate, I will say.
This would be due to the fact that I’ve been doing repeated gate training with them twice per day at each feeding time for weeks now.