"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Introducing a Dog and Cat

– Posted in: Columns

Hi John,

My boyfriend and I are moving in together in a few weeks. He recently adopted a 2 year-old female German Shepherd and I recently adopted a kitten. We would like to introduce them but I am nervous that the dog will attack the cat. I know it is necessary for her to sniff him but I also want to know the best and safest strategy for introducing them. Please let me know if you can help. Thank you.

Emily

Hi Emily,
How is the dog when it sees a cat or a squirrel on the street? What do the former owners have to say?
You can almost always get a dog to accept the family cat (but not necessarily cats in general). The way to go about it varies depending on the history of both animals and how well trained the dog is. Ideally the kitten should be in a cage and there should be several meetings on neutral calm territory after the dog has been thoroughly exercised (running not a casual walk). This will give you some clues as to whether this is going to be straightforward or require some professional assistance. If things look good the introduction can proceed on home territory right away or sometimes after several neutral meetings. The dog should be wearing a leash and be supervised around the cat at all times for at least a month no matter how well they get along. The sheer difference in size and youthful exuberance can lead to accidents.
Regards,
John Wade

 

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