We decided to get a dog, and recently settled on an 18 month old female German Shepard. She came from a home with 4 children and a big fluffy cat. We observed her with the children and cat before bringing her home and there appeared to be no problems. She's beautiful, intelligent, and sweet... except: We also have a big fluffy cat. The German Shepard is very aggressive toward her. She lunged at her and barked the first time she saw the cat. Since then, we have been very careful. If the cat is anywhere nearby I firmly hold onto Z's collar and pet her and talk in calm tones. She trembles with excitement at the sight of the cat and I fear wants to attack. We put them both in their kennels with doors right next to each other for a couple hours yesterday. To my surprise, they both seemed calm. No hissing/ barking. I wonder if we do this (crating them close together) often over the next week or two - is that likely to help? I can't keep the dog if she will harm our cat. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
on Nov 18th 2012
in Behavior & Training
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Keep in mind that just because your dog was accustomed to one fluffy cat doesn't mean he'll get along with every fluffy cat, just like the fact that your dog gets along with one lab doesn't mean he'll get on with every lab.
That being said, your dog was probably very accustomed to the other cat. Your cat is new to him... your dog may be very excited about meeting the new cat and being friends, or (as you probably fear) he may want to chase/eat the new cat, while the old cat may have established boundaries. He may also just want to play with the cat.
I can't speak for your cat, but most clawed cats are very capable of protecting themselves. The best way for your dog and cat to start interacting is in a neutral are of the house (for example, not where your dog eats or sleeps), with your dog restrained (tied up) so the cat can approach freely and interact, but run away if it needs to. Watch them interact and try to read if your dog is being friendly/gently playful or aggressive/rough.
Leo answered on 11/18/12. Helpful? / 1
holding onto her collar isnt a bad idea. but petting her and talking to her in calm tones is rewarding her for her behavior. cats r cats and usually establish there own boundries with dogs. most likely the other fluffy cat had allready established boundries when the dog was much younger. i've introduced cats to every one of my dogs. my wolves were raised with them. my rescues got used to them(or i should say my cats learned to tolerate them). what i've found is for the most part(cuz sometimes you do have to intervene) humans tend to make introductions more difficult by trying to "help". my suggestion is to give it time, supervise their interaction but let them figure it out themselves for the most part. cats are pretty good at training dogs. good luck
Charlie Brown Cocoa Puffs answered on 11/22/12. Helpful? / 0