Thinking of getting a large dog - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of getting a large dog

We have a big dog house, a big dog yard, a big dog fence and a big dog car yet dogs that reach no higher than a ruler. Ive always wanted to have a large breed dog. After over a year of waiting for shelters to give me the chance to experience owning a big dog to foster and getting absolutely nothing (even though still to this day they have advertised 'in desperate need of foster carers for big dogs') ive decided ive had enough of waiting! There are alot of large breed dogs in need of forever homes and alot have troubles being rehomed because most people are unable to provide the large yard, food cost and exercise requirements.

Here are some of the dogs ive had my eye on...

(Cant you tell i am a real sucker for brindle dogs? i just love the colour! Bully type dogs also realy catch my eye because of their clownish sense of humor)

So heres my one problem. My cats are terrified of big dogs. Many thanks to my nextdoor neighbour, she has a tiny yard with two huge dogs so often likes to let them out for a run around the neighbourhood to get their exercise, almost everytime they head straight for our house, get in and chase our cats! My poor babies are terrified, screeching and hissing whilst running for their lives whilst my neighbour chuckles saying 'my dogs just loove cats they just want to come over and say hello'.
For months my cats would not leave the house at all (well at least we discovered a way to make them indoor cats ). Let me tell you the last time it happened and i was home those dogs where running as fast as they could out of the place with their tails firmly between their legs, those dogs havent once tried coming over uninvited whilst im home since.

Has anyone ever had experience introducing cats to dogs when they are affraid of them? Will they eventually learn to accept this new dog despite his size? I've already been making it very clear that i am after a dog that has a low prey drive and wont be tempted to chase. Is there anything i can do to make the cats feel comfortable and safe? Alot of these dogs are actually from NSW, id hate to have them flown all this way just to find it is a hopeless situation.

Sincerely, Krystle.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:29 PM
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Isn't there someone you can call? That's invading your space and can possibly hurt the cats and you!

Pretty dogs...I love the BIG ones! Good luck!!!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:56 PM
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Pocket and Reggie are adorable.

When we introduced Drifter (Lab X) to "the cat house" (MIL's house) The cats absolutly had a cow, they scattered to the outdoor enclosure or to the tops of the cupboards. After a week some of the less nervous cats came around and quickly learned that Drifter was harmless as he could care less about cats and left them alone for the most part. After a month a bit the rest of the cats came around, and though they weren't completely comfortable with him I think they knew he wasn't going to hurt them. All except for one cat who used to lay in wait to attack him Drifter and Boo had/have a love hate relationship lol.

Hubby's cat never really enjoyed Drifter but when we moved and were able to take the the cats with us Bosco had no choice but to deal with it. It took him a day to learn to tolerate him but you can tell he's not overly amused with him especially when Drifter gets excited, Bosco will come flying out of where ever he had been sleeping and just box him and then moves on.

Of course it helps if the dog is calm and actually likes cats as well. Drifter is a calm dog and generally ignores anything that isn't food or a car key.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 08:14 PM
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I would guess that the best solution would be to get as young a dog as possible, so that the kitties would adjust to the new pup as he gradually gets bigger and bigger to full size!

(Reminds me of a friend of mine who had a nervous Boston Terrier, always a little skittish and neurotic. She got a Boxer puppy to keep Cosmo company, the puppy always deferred to Cosmo. By the time Roxie grew to full size, Cosmo had gained so much confidence being the top dog that his personality totally changed - calm, confident, magnanimous... And that Roxie was so cute, she towered over him but treated him like royalty!...)

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 08:28 PM
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An older dog, past the puppy hyper stage, would also be a good choice.

My son rescued a beautiful calico from the parking lot at their apt two years ago. She is terrified of large dogs - no doubt due to her experience when she was abandoned.
Last Spring, my son adopted a puppy rescued from a cemetary. Captain was upset for awhile, then ignored Scallywag. She has recently gotten brave enough to touch Scally's nose but only as Scally has learned to be quiter around Captain..
Just don't expect it to happen quickly.

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