Any suggestions for a breed for a cat person?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Member Since
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 12:39am PST 
First, I'd like to say how impressed I am with the people on this forum. Very knowledgeable, positive, and helpful.

So, I'm a cat person, but I also like dogs and have had dogs in the past. My 16 year old cat, Gus, is reaching the end of his life. We've sure loved him a lot. I'm thinking of getting a dog after we have to say goodbye to old Gus, and holding off on getting another cat until sometime down the road.

I've done a few different questionnaires online, and they've suggested dogs like the Bernese Mtn. Dog, Bassett Hound, Greyhound, Lowchen, Clumber Spaniel, Tibetan Spaniel, Great Dane, English Toy Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, shih tzu etc. The ones that come up the most are probably the Bernese Mountain Dog, Scottish deerhound, and greyhound. If any of that gives an idea of what sort of things I'm looking for in a dog.

What I'd like in a dog is one who is pretty calm/low key, doesn't need a ton of exercise or very strenuous play (maybe a short-medium length walk every day), doesn't bark too much, and is good with cats. (And at least tolerant of children. Ideally the dog would love kids, but at the very least, I don't want to worry about him with my nephews--they're old enough and good with dogs, but I don't want to worry about the dog snapping at them.)

As for training, if possible, I'd like him to be somewhat trainable. I'm not too interested in tricks or anything, but, I'd like him to have good manners.

As for how the dog acts around strangers, I'd love it if the dog loved everyone--stranger or not--but at the very least, I'd like a dog that isn't aggressive towards people he doesn't know, even if he is reserved around them.

He also probably couldn't be a velcro dog. Right now, he'd rarely have to spend more than around 2 hours alone once or twice a week, but once I start grad-school in a year or so, he might have some semesters with 4-8 hours alone per day.

I have slight dog allergies and I don't like having fur all over the place, so one that doesn't shed too much is probably best.

Size is not necessarily an issue one way or the other, as I've heard that some of the biggest dogs have less energy needs, but big AND furry is probably not going to work--I've only noticed my allergies around big furry dogs like golden retrievers and huskies.

Light to medium grooming isn't an issue. I really enjoy sitting with my cat and brushing and petting him, so if I had a dog that needed to be brushed every day, that wouldn't be a problem at all--especially if he likes it.

What I've read about greyhounds--most of the sighthounds, actually--seems to fit the bill almost perfectly. Except for the fact that they can be dangerous around cats, with their strong prey drive. I do plan on getting another cat sometime down the road, so I need a dog that can do well with cats.

I like the idea of a bernese mountain dog--several websites have said they're lower energy and need less exercise, but maybe their big-furriness would be the same as a golden, as far as allergies go? Really, I'm not married to any particular breed--rather the best one for whom I am a good fit, and the best dog to fit me.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: I live in a house with a medium, fenced-in yard.

I think this might be a tall order. Does anyone have any good ideas?

Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 1:34am PST


bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 5:39am PST 
Greyhounds definitely described as catlike and fits your criteria. I've heard they're pretty good with allergy sufferers. They're pretty clean and easy to groom. A wet cloth wipe down could help keep dander down. They're aloof- pretty indifferent about people. It's not a big deal if they don't get a walk in due to weather or whatever. As for prey drive, if you find a Greyhound rescue that fosters they will be able to find a cat friendly dog for you. They are out there! A rescue I talked to said that about 30% of the hounds they get in are cat/small animal friendly.

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 1:44pm PST 
If you want to go smaller, a shih tzu may fit the billsmile

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 2:22pm PST 
Cat people! Yes, I have list as a breed matcher laugh out loud

#1, absolutely fantab pick is the Pekingese, who is a little bit of a cat of himself. He is an inherently regal, proud dog. They have a TON of character. They love being lap dogs, but they are not overly needy. Cat people generally have some potential to not adapt well to the begging affection hound. It is one of the big contrasts in these species. And with the Peke, you still get this stroke-able lap friend with tons of regalness and even a twinge of mystery. They are not particularly trainable, but they are naturally well mannered. To fault them for you, they are coated. And also, correctly done not particularly friendly to all, but you either can appreciate their aloofness in a cat person way, OR you can rescue. Irresponsible breeding has bad effects many times, but with some breeds curious perks, and BYB'd Pekes can be incredibly friendly. GREAT news for you? It is very common to find stellar Pekes in rescue. They are adored by seniors, who pass on. My rescue had the most lovely guy in the world, Harley, who was such a case. Perfect pet, carried himself with such style smile

Other choices too, and here they are!

Continuing with the more Asian theme....which should not surprise, as their culture is so less doggy and they were very much breeders of exquisiteness....the LHASA APSO or TIBETAN SPANIEL. The latter, the Tibbie, is probably the most perfect line between dog and cat you will find. A natural breed, he is responsible and not overly needy, but very much a dog still. They have a lovely carriage and self assurance. Lhasas can be a little harder and a little surer, but are proud, brilliant and lovely. You also may consider either the CHOW CHOW or CHINESE SHAR PEI, who are quite self sufficient, not fawning and have much personality, although the coat issues on the former (even the Smooth) may be of issue, and neither are typically outgoing, although many a friendly Shar Pei can be found in rescue. They can be a little tricky as first dogs however. Naturally mannerly, as typically are most dogs of this persuasion.

Sighthounds generally may hold appeal to a cat lover. This is mostly because they are fastidious creatures, not too doggy, nor are they cloying. They have a nice independence. AFGHAN HOUNDS particularly may hold appeal due to the glorious coat and their natural beauty and athleticism, and no sighthound has a sense of humor and flair for the absurd as much as an Afghan does. BORZOIS also may be a good consideration.

And perhaps surprisingly to you?.....DOBERMAN PINSCHERS. They are a naturally mannerly, typically fastidious, somewhat proud and naturally refined dog who will not hammer on you for attention. Absolutely brilliant, and by FAR the most trainable dog on this list.

Please feel free to ask any questions smile There are many options. The above are the safest for those with a cat sensibility, but many options exist outside that "extreme."

Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 2:24pm PST


Will Work For- Food
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 2:29pm PST 
If you don't like shedding, don't get a Bernese. They shed all the time and in huge amounts. They have a much heavier, denser coat than Goldens and heavier shedding to match. There is a saying that when you have Berners you can't crack an egg without finding fur in it. They are also not "cat like" at all - they need to be with their people and are emotionally needy. They are generally calm as adults but can be very rambunctious for the first 2 or 3 years and need regular exercise of at least an hour a day to keep them calm, happy and healthy.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 2:34pm PST 
That's my point, too. Well, not the shedding! Outside of terriers, most non shedding dogs tend to be needy. And dog style needy can be off putting to a cat person. Berners are very doggy wink

Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 4:05pm PST 
I was in much the same situation (had cats all my life, and waited for my last one to pass away before getting a dog), but to be perfectly and honestly shallow, being a cat person, a dog had to have a certain aesthetic appeal to me. Cats are and always have been just beautiful to me. I expect a dog to be a dog so I wasn't looking for a dog that behaved like a cat. I mainly looked at fluffy dogs with upright triangular ears and longer noses, not smooshy or jowly - GSD and Huskies, and assorted mixes mostly. I joked with my daughter when I got Ace that I was getting a giant cat, and she admitted to some of the same feeling when she got Kale.

That said, I was less concerned with a dog being too active or too needy, because I no longer work outside the home, like I did when I had cats.

So I know huskies are out, but they are kind of catlike. They have naturally less dog odor and even a tendency to groom themselves laugh out loud
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 4:45pm PST 
Cat people LOVE huskies!!!! I don't know why, and it is sort of tragic in that huskies love cats in exactly the wrong way laugh out loud But you can't be around husky people and not notice the consistencies.

Ace is also underscoring a consistency I have found....cat people getting dogs tend to have a lot of draw to looks. Their interpretations of beautiful may differ, but whatever that interpretation is, that is a consistency.

Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 4:47pm PST


Semper Vorax
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 6:39pm PST 
I would say a miniature schnauzer would be an excellent choice for you. It's a mostly non-shedder, trainable but stubborn just like a cat, does good in a medium sized yard, tolerates other animals, good with children. There's a reason why they've sort of been the suburbanite dog of choice since the 90s.

They don't require more than a weekly or twice a week brushing and a monthly shave, and that's all fairly easy to do since it's the face and feathers. Ours never got matted and none of them were brushed probably more than once a week

YOu should get one from a good breeder, ideally, and they should ideally weigh 12-18 lbs, but there's a lot of them that are quite large. They do bark, though. Tha'ts something that can be trained, but otherwise they're great

Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 6:48pm PST


Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 8:12pm PST 
Interesting that cat people may be drawn to huskies. I have read the horror stories with regard to huskies and cats, and therefore I'm unlikely to try to combine the two. But I had cats for 31 years, so when hubby said "no more cats", I got the next best thing (for me).

But... committing to a dog on looks, you really really have to be prepared to commit no matter what happens. I don't adopt temporary dogs. They're mine till they've lived a full natural life. I will adapt to whatever the demands are, if I love the look of a dog. Not everyone will, and I acknowledge that. I'm NOT one of those who abandon pets when they stop being cute. My cats went from kittens to geriatric to the decision there was no quality of life anymore. I have few pets but I fully adapt to the ones I have.

Yeah, I kind of marry my pets for better for worse. Not everyone else does. My husband just deals with that.
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