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Question
Posted by: Bunny | 2004/03/12

Introducing a dog to my cats??

I want to get a puppy... im just not sure how im going to introduce the new member of the family to my 2 kittys. I have even thought of maybe getting a minutre doberman so that the dog would never be able to eat the dog.. but im scared that the cat hurts the lil dog!.. Is there any easy way to do this?? any breed of dog that is incredably gentle and yet quite scary looking as i also need the dog for protection as i am alone alot and was recently attacked.. lol im pretty sure a minuture doberman wouldnt scare anybody away!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Bunny
I'm glad you are thinking about these things now and not when you already have the puppy and a big problem. As you say the small breeds are not going to be much of a deterrent, so you need a larger breed, but one that is gentle and not likely to bite the cats. I assume you have enough space for a big dog and are willing and able to take it for daily walks and for training. Dogs also need company for most of the day so bear this in mind. Avoid all terriers (e.g. staffies) and guard dogs (e.g. GSD, Rottweiler) and go for the gundogs (e.g. Labrador) or hounds (e.g. Ridgeback). Then it is important to get a puppy from a home where they have cats around the puppies. Your cats will have to be introduced carefully by putting them in a cage when they are in the same room as the puppy, for a few days or weeks. They have to learn not to run away and the puppy has to learn that they don't run away.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Bunny | 2004/03/17

I decided to hold off on the dog idea for a while, i dont want my cats to feel threatened in any way as they r the most important things in the world to me... my hubby too of course LOL!!

Reply to Bunny
Posted by: Chantal | 2004/03/12

Hi there! I had the same dilemma a year ago. I have 7 cats and we moved to a house so I wanted dogs. I eventually chose to get 2 Miniature Sausage Dogs, and it is a total dream. In fact, I would recommend you go for a Labrador, Golden Retriever or even a mongrel, as long as you get nothing with terrier in it, as I know terriers can be a bit difficult to train with cats at times. (I am referring to Jack Russells, Pit Bulls, Bull Terriers etc). The most important thing to remember is this: NEVER let the dog chase the cats, no matter what. He/she must know that it is not allowed. I used the tone of my voice and a spray bottle to stop my dogs from pushing their luck. The cats will hurt the dog, they will spit and hiss and slap, but I left my cats to slap the dogs around, because it is better if the dog knows the cats are "boss". A dog is far bigger than a cat and the cats have to assert themselves. When they are still tiny pups, just make sure the cats don't slap them in the eyes. Otherwise, a few scratches will not kill a dog, and they learn quickly to respect the cats. Always get a puppy, as adult dogs are too unpredictable. My dogs and cats get along marvellously now, they play together, sleep together and my dogs know which cats to avoid and which are friendly! And this is all in spite of some of my cats never being exposed to dogs before in their lives! It is a nerve wrecking process, but it is worth the pleasure. Also make sure the cats have beds and food out of the dogs' reach - so they still have their "own" space. They are far more accepting of a dog this way. Good Luck!!

Reply to Chantal

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