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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Want to adopt a dog, but afraid

Hello! I have been wanting a dog for awhile, and I recently came across an australian shepherd/poodle mix puppy at a local shelter. I am interested in adopting it, but I am also afraid for the safety of my two cats.

In the past I have not had good experiences with dogs interacting with cats, because my parents never trained their dogs to socialize well with my cats (my dad even praised their dog for chasing my cat away from the common areas). I know there should be a slow introduction period, but I am still afraid that I will get a dog and come home one day to both my cats being dead. I even had a dream last night that I got a small terrier-type dog and it bit both my cats in half !! I think that these types of attacks are reported more than dogs and cats actually getting along, and that is why I am so paranoid.

Both of my cats are social and genial with strangers, and got along with each other after about a week. Can someone please put my mind at ease?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 01:27 PM
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Have no fear! Really, dogs and cats usually get along better at first than cat to cat introductions. The idea that cats and dogs all attack eachother could not be farther from the truth. Of course with high prey driven dogs this could be a different story, but with the mix you're looking at there shouldn't be a problem.

We had a terrier in the past, and she for the most part ignored all the cats (but also got along really well with a deaf one!), the only one she hassled was a lynx point, and that was - we think - because she saw that one cat as looking more like a raccoon, which she chased a lot... most of my dogs have been Poodle mixes including the two I have right now, and they're great with cats.My uncle has a Border Collie and she's fantastic with their cats, and my best friend has a Springer Spaniel and it along with their previous Springer have been total BFF with their cat (rolling around together, dog sleeping with the cat under their paws).

Usually, one of two things happen: Dog learns to ignore with minimal interaction cat because the cats takes a few swipes at an overly friendly dog, or the dog and cat become good friends.

Most of our pets have got along right away.

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Along with the dogs
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Last edited by Carmel; 03-28-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 01:35 PM
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After 20+ years of having only cats, I got my first dog last year. I had many of the same fears you do especially because one of my friends had the exact same horrible experience you've described.

My first criteria was to get an adult dog that is known to be good around cats, one that is indifferent about them. I think indifferent is better than interest, even if friendly. You can never know how a puppy is going to act as an adult so I would not recommend one. The second thing for me was to get a breed that is known for low prey drive....it's not a guarantee, but it's less likely to snap unexpectedly.

Some people will tell you to never leave you dog and cats alone together, that anything can happen. It took me a while to leave Jake with the cats, but I do it. I think it's a matter of knowing your animals.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 02:05 PM
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Agreed. You should be fine as long as you let the shelter/rescue know that you have cats. They will help you find a dog that respects cats.

I recently went through the same thing except it was my cat that decided we wouldn't be getting a dog. He was pretty ....firm(read aggressive)... about it.

We always had both in the house growing up and when Lucy was a kitten she would wrestle and play with the puppies like a littermate. When she got older she was a pro at teaching them (adult and puppy alike) proper manners.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmel View Post

Here's a few of our pets:


They are ADORABLE!!!!!


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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 03:03 PM
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I haven't had a dog in many years, but the last one, Skeeter, was a poodle mix. She and the cats got along really well, all slept with me at night... Took up the whole bed, the hogs!! I'd follow the advice above, I think you won't have the problems you are fearing.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 03:18 PM
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I have two great danes and three cats and they are all fine together. My older dane was actually terrified of Clementine and Blitz when I found them, like he didn't realize they were cats. He tolerates them now, and will let them snuggle up sometimes but he doesn't seek them out. My Dane pup is two weeks younger than Clem and Blitz so they grew up together and really act like a family.
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If you're worried, I'd avoid terriers as they do have a high prey drive and will chase small animals.


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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 03:35 PM
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With my girls, I'd be afraid of coming home and finding the dog in trouble - no matter what size it is.

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Always in my heart, my sweet Cali, running free at the Bridge.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 03:45 PM
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I remember years ago when I took a kitten home when I went on leave from the navy, Paddy, the dog, accepted her easily, but Joey the cat and her just barely tolerated one another. The kitten was only too glad that the leave had come to an end. (Long story; don't have any more time .)

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 03:57 PM
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I have never had a problem getting cats and dogs to respect one another. I mainly had Schipperke dogs and they were originally bred as ratters and barge guard dogs in Europe. If you require the dog to respect the cats, they will. Also, the cats will discipline the dogs into respecting them as well! I have had no problems accustoming even feral cats to my dogs. It just takes time and patience. Of course, until you are sure the dog and cats get along, you should not leave them alone in the same room. Just take your time and introduce the dog to your cats as slowly as you can.

A great move is to do as if you were introducing a new cat to your other cats; put the dog in an isolation room and allow the cats to 'discover' the new family member on their own for the first day. The next day, take the dog out of the room and keep the dog with you and introduce the cats as they make their presence known. Note who hisses or reacts negatively and who accepts the dog. Watch the dog for aggression and do not ever allow the dog to chase the cats; or the cats to chase the dog: I had that problem as well. The cats surrounded the new dog and decided to stick their claws in the poor hound one after the other. Cat bullies.
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