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Old 08-23-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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I didn't know where to put this - in the dog section or the cat section. But I think most of the problems will be with the cats accepting the new dog, so I put it here.

We are getting an English Setter mix puppy - 14 weeks or so old - within the next week. He's a shelter dog so we're just waiting for the neuter. We've had dogs for years, but all the cats were brought in with adult dogs - now it is a reverse situation. We lost our last dog, 17 year old Rocky, in June, shortly after Abby passed. It has been 18 years since we've had a puppy.

Any tips? I've done this years ago, but at that time my cats were allowed outdoors and they always had an escape.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Make one room a cat sanctuary and puit a child's gate across the door. I have 3 large dogs (72-98 lbs) and they could push down the gate but they know not to. If by chance they knock it over, they just stand there, waiting for me to put it back up. I gave the cats my room as they sleep on the bed but any room will do, so long as it has the litter box and water.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:02 PM
 
Location: California
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Getting acquainted is all about scent. I always do the towel swap. Rub down cats, rub down puppy, and swab out the towels for the other to adapt to the scent. The puppy will be rambunctious, so make sure he is always leashed or contained when around the cats initially. The cats will hiss and yowl, but eventually grow accustomed, especially if they have been around dogs before. You will have to teach the pup it's boundaries in going after the cats. He will want to play...and almost every pup learns respect the hard way...by getting his nose swatted once or twice.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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The cats will figure it out. Easier to introduce a puppy (sub-alpha) than an adult...

The puppy will find a place in the CAT's pecking order. That's what puppies do...
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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Ok, I have a towel gathering cat scent as I type (you know how cats are - put something down, be it a piece of paper, or a box, or a towel, an they *have* to lay on it). I'll be shopping for a baby gate this afternoon, and I plan on dividing the house in half at first because that's the easiest place to put up a gate here.

Yeah, we decided to get a puppy as opposed to an older dog because of the cats - we just felt a puppy would adapt easier.

Now we just need him to get neutered so we can bring him home....
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3Cats View Post
The cats will figure it out. Easier to introduce a puppy (sub-alpha) than an adult...

The puppy will find a place in the CAT's pecking order. That's what puppies do...
I'm sorry but I disagree entirely.

You are working on the assumption that the dog views cats and humans are part of its "pack". You're working from a "Cesar Milan" point of view. It's far, far from the gospel.

Others, myself included, subscribe to the theory that dogs do not, in any way, shape or form, see humans or other animals with whom they live as other dogs. Dogs are life's great co-operators and they have a strong sense of all that is "social" - co-existing with other species is just that, co-existing (very happily I might add), for the overall cohesiveness of the social unit. But dogs do not think cats are merely other strange dogs any more than they think we're large, upright hairless dogs. But we want them to live in peace and harmony in this weird and wonderful mix? "Sure," says the dog, "I'm a dog. I co-operate. It's what I do best. Besides, we can't work can openers."

At the end of the day what is going to define how easy or how hard it is for the two-species household to co-exist is the presence, and to what degree, of a prey-drive in the dog in question. Age is immaterial. What makes puppies much harder work than a mature dog is the desire/necessity to play. Prey-drive aside, pups want and need to play. Even with only good canine intentions, this can be pretty flippin' annoying to a cat and the cats must have access to somewhere the pup cannot get to for some peace and quiet.

A dog with no/low prey drive will be the easiest and it is with these dogs it is the easiest to find the "cat friendly" ones. A very high-prey drive dog is going to be much harder work because the intrinsic drive to hunt is going to be stronger and more powerful than any respect for felines the dog is being taught. Having said that, most high prey drive dogs can be taught to be "cat tolerant" with the household cats, i.e. where they can be in the same room happily ignoring each other, but you wouldn't leave them together unsupervised. It's not quick, and it takes commitment, but it is possible. (You can also teach high-prey drive dogs to be species specific - i.e. they can chase rabbits or squirrels, but not cats - provided the owner knows what he/she is doing.)
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Point... But everyonehas different experiences.

Maybe I'm odd... but then, so are my cats.

One of my current micro-colony likes to play fetch & take walks on a leash... and he was a 1.5y/o feral when he "adopted"us...
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Really good post, FiveHorses. Your description of dogs as "the great cooperators" is very apt. We have an English bulldog puppy and two adult cats. He is not a dog with a high prey drive - he's a sweetie and just walks away from conflict with other dogs. However, his puppyness does create problems with the cats! He sometimes chases them and he'll do that puppy submissive/playful pose where he just sort of jumps and flops - and he gets regularly smacked down and hissed at. If I say "leave it!", he'll stop, but at this point I don't leave them alone together unsupervised, for everyone's sake. Maybe when he gets a little older.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stillife View Post
He sometimes chases them and he'll do that puppy submissive/playful pose where he just sort of jumps and flops - and he gets regularly smacked down and hissed at.
And I bet his wee squished face looks really confused. After all, he only wanted to play......

And therein lies the rub with pups - they want and need to play and - hey, look! - here are some playmates. Oh goodie, thinks the pup.... while the cats have a slightly different point of view.

While I talk about co-operation, I don't mean to sound as if all leadership is abdicated. It's not. Dogs want and need leadership - it makes there life easier and they're great ones for an easy life. It just needs to be done correctly.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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Thanks! I don't think this pup has that high of a prey drive. There was a large cage with 5 tabby kittens in the lobby and he was interested in them, but not overly so. He sniffed, got hissed at, and backed off.

I'm actually more worried about the puppy than my cats. I honestly don't think my cats (who are used to dogs) will take any crap from the puppy. I have a feeling they will retreat to the cat trees or the part of the house I plan to block off from the pup if he gets too annoying.

I realize he will probably get socked in the nose a few times...poor little guy. I don't want him to get beat up.
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