Dogs that like cats
The title could also say, dogs that love cats or cats that love dogs. I happen to own some cats that absolutely LOVE my dogs. I also own 2 dogs that like cats, they don’t love cats but they do seem to like them. I have always raised dogs that accept our own cats, however they are free to chase any cats that do not belong here. My dogs always know when a strange cat is hanging about or a squirrel!
We don’t have any cats living in the house with us as I am allergic to cats (mild) and one of my sons is severely allergic, to the point of not being able to breathe. Nevertheless, I love cats (all six of them) and I can still enjoy them for brief periods when I interact with them outside. Our cats’ home base is at the barn, that is where their cozy beds are and their food. During the summer, the cats, at least some, spend a lot of time on our deck in the sun or shade.
When a puppy and a kitten are brought into the home at the same time, they will grow up as siblings. Provided that you, the human, teach your puppy to have some manners. For instance, if you see your puppy is being rough with your kitten or chasing your kitten, you, the human, should put a stop to that. Teach your puppy to ‘leave it!’, which basically means ‘stop what you are doing immediately!’. By the same rules, teach your kitten not to be too rough with your dog either, scratching and biting the puppy constantly is a No No!.
A puppy and an adult cat, are another matter
The puppy will learn very quickly what he can and can’t do with a confidant adult cat. A scratch across the nose from cat to puppy can be an important lesson in teaching the puppy to have a little respect for the cat. I say ‘confidant’ cat, because an adult cat that runs from every dog will not be a good match for a puppy or dog that hasn’t learned how to be respectful. Chasing a cat is fun for a dog, a lot of fun! Not fun for the cat and could end in serious injury or death for the cat!
When introducing my new puppies to my cats, I start slow, always leashing the puppy to me to keep him out of trouble. My cats all live at the horse barn so I bring my puppy with me to the barn while I take care of the horses and the cats there. My cats have all let my new puppies know that he must have respect. Both my present Retrievers have been scratched across the nose.
My older dog, Sirius, who is 6 going on 7 years old, still gets scratched by one particular cat who absolutely detests dogs! Sometimes this cat, I call her Junior, will sit in the doorway to the barn, daring the dogs to try to come into the barn. Of course when I see that, I shoo her out of the way, my cats have to follow my rules too.
When the puppy in training, barks at the cats or the horses, I will march over and say Quiet!, in a firm voice, not screaming or yelling mind you. If the puppy persists, I take him back outside the barn, and leash him to a ‘time out’ spot that I have. I keep a tie out cable, made for dogs, attached to a corner of the barn (it’s about 15 feet or so long) as my time out spot. If puppy is getting underfoot, annoying the cats too much or barking, he gets marched to the cable until I can finish my chores.
Both my retrievers, as puppies, were either chased or stumbled over by one of my horses, and therefore learned through experience that horses are to be respected. I am careful that my dogs are not in harms way, but sometimes they have to learn lessons on their own.
Now if you have both the dog and cat IN your home,
the same training can apply. Have a time out area for your dog, either a short leash attached to a wall or you can use the dog’s crate. You could also leave a leash dragging on your dog or puppy during the training phase. This gives you a quick handle on a situation when your dog chooses to chase or rough handle your cat. I use the leash dragging too for my outdoor dogs when I am teaching them to either stay within our boundaries or anytime that dog is at the barn, in the beginning.
One of the ways that I teach a dog that the cat is part of our family, is by stroking the cats fur and then the dogs fur and back and forth like that. This transfers the scent between the both of them and shows the animals that they are both part of your ‘pack family’. I actually do the same with cat to cat, especially when there is more squabbling between two particular cats. The scent from one is transferred to the other and back again.
There are some dogs that should never be allowed near cats,
those that have a high prey drive, meaning they just can not stop themselves from chasing anything that moves.Dogs that have already killed creatures smaller than themselves are generally not safe around cats, but there are exceptions. We once owned a very intelligent Belgian Shepherd x named Bellows or Belly as we affectionately called him. Belly was a cross between a Belgian shepherd (malinois) and the Belgian sheepdog. Belly got along well with cats, but when it came down to other critters like squirrels, moles, mice etc., he hunted those and ate them.
Belly came to us as a senior of about 9 years old, together with a beautiful orange and tan tortoise female cat named Casper. Their owners were retiring from the farm to a small town and did not feel it was fair to expect Belly and Casper to adapt to town life. We gladly adopted them.
Belly and Casper were good friends, and he also became friends with other cats that we had at the time. His previous owners told us a story of how Belly and a neighbours dog, had worked together as a team to round up and kill a Beaver on their land. Beavers apparently are hard to kill by predators when they are in the water, as they will ‘herd’ the predator in the water and drown the dog, coyote or wolf in the water. Belly was very very intelligent, and used the neighbour’s dog to help him hunt down his target. The Beaver in question was not very popular at the time, chewing down trees, creating a dam with his mate, to flood the land. I don’t know what happened to his mate.
My point here is
that even though Belly had a high prey drive, he was intelligent enough to know that certain critters were off limits, and was perfectly safe with cats. Since Bellows, we have owned many dogs that also accepted and or loved cats.
We used to own a Golden Retriever that seemed to like cats, and cats absolutely loved her. Chelsea was the gentlest of dogs, wonderful with our children and social with other dogs… except with food. Our children could take food out of her mouth, but if another dog or cat approached her food, it was war! Her cat friends learned that lesson well, they could not approach Chelsea while she was eating and certainly not share her food! One cat in particular had to learn that lesson the hard way, but after a lot of growling and cat screeching, fur flying, the matter was settled. The cat was missing a few tufts of fur but was otherwise okay. Poor kitty!
*If you have a very reactive dog, that might not be good with cats, you can improve his attitude and acceptance with counter conditioning training. This training could be used for getting your dog to accept children, cats, other dogs, and various situations that stress out your dog. Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM MS, is a professional that is known for working with aggressive dogs. I will provide the link for her 3 hour DVD at the bottom.
Our present dogs, are often seen with cats on top of them,
kneading their paws and claws in our dog’s fur, purring away while our dogs lie there with pained expressions. When the claws get too close to the skin, our dogs will shift their position so the cat has to move. Our youngest dog, Ciro, is often the target of one of our cats named Jessie, who loves to bother him while Ciro is trying to take a nap.
Jessie will rub herself on Ciro’s face and flex her claws into his belly to the point that he will have to get up and move to another spot. It’s hilarious to watch. Our other dog, Sirius, who’s older and wiser, will take his paws and hold the cat down when the cat gets too annoying.
Sometimes in play, one of our dogs will chase a cat that has chosen to run, but when I see it, that particular dog gets called back and scolded. If one of our dogs chooses to chase a stray cat, I DO allow it. The stray (or neighbour’s cat), will wind up in a tree or will go tearing back off of our property. We cannot encourage stray cats here as they are usually unneutered males, that cause lots of problems with our cats. We have adopted the very persistant ones (the cats that refuse to leave) and had them neutered/spayed from time to time. Once the cat has been ‘adopted’, we have to teach our dogs that they are not allowed to chase the cat anymore, to their puzzlement!
These are examples of how a dog and a cat,
can get along with one another, but I have spent time with each and every dog to teach them that all our cats are part of the family. Dogs and cats living together requires rules for both. As part of our family, our cats are required to respect our dogs too. Eventually everyone settles in and gets along.
Fearful, aggressive, reactive, unruly, or just too rambunctious? Does this describe your dog?
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