How To Get Your German Shepherd And Your Cat To Get Along
If you want your German Shepherd and cat to get along, you need to focus your attention on the German Shepherd by socializing it and training it accordingly. Because German Shepherds are intelligent and eager to please, training these dogs is not as difficult as it could be with other breeds.
The earlier you socialize your German Shepherd, the better. The best time to socialize your German Shepherd is during the first three months of its life. If the German Shepherd is socialized sooner rather than later, it is much more likely to be kind and gentle around cats.
Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups something she holds close to her heart.With a degree in Education and a love for writing, Nicole aims to share her and others expert pup-knowledge with dog lovers worldwide with Doggie Designer
Nd Step Introduction To Scent:
You cannot complete your introduction phase if you skip this stage.
Starting with this stage, collect a clean cloth for your GSD as well as for the cat. Make sure the fabric does not have a former scent of any animal over it. It will help if you rub this cloth on the scent glands of the animals.
In German shepherds, the scent glands are located under the armpits or on the side of their belly.
In cats, these glands are under the chin, cheeks, and forehead. This is why they rub themselves over you, not to show their love but to mark their territory.
You shouldnt force either of your pets to sniff the fabric. Instead, leave it around them for some time and let them approach and smell the cloth themselves.
If you dont want to use a piece of cloth, try it with a toy instead.
If you are successful in scent swapping, next thing is to notice their behavior.
Observe whether your dog gets aggressive, excited, or curious. In cats, notice if they get nervous or becomes uneasy.
Make sure you keep the scent constant. For this, you need to rub the cloth or the toy daily. Keep repeating this process for a week.
If you do not see the results, try doing it for a longer duration.
Giving them treats and praising them after they have sniffed is a good thing. It will develop positive vibes with the scent.
Training A German Shepherd To Ignore Cats
Dog experts recommend that you train your German Shepherd to ignore cats. To do this, you need to capture your puppys attention in a room with a cat.
Start by getting a cat into a pet carrier. Take your pup into the room and allow him to sniff the pet carrier. After some time, and divert his attention.
Continue playing with your German Shepherd while your cat is comfortably crated nearby. If the dog tries to examine the pet carrier, distract his attention again. Whenever your GSD ignores the cat, reinforce the behavior with praise and treats.
After several ignore sessions, put your dog on the leash and take your cat out of the carrier. Repeat this to ensure your dog learns how to ignore the cat without allowing him to investigate.
In the end, you should be able to trust your dog to play off the leash and maintain their undivided attention where the cat is still in the room.
Creating A Safe Space For The Cat
Now, onto preparing for your new cat!
It’s important to create an accessible safe space for your cat to run to if trouble occurs. This could be a spare bedroom that your dog isn’t allowed to go into.
Place your new cat’s litterbox, food dish, and toys in this room. Let them get comfortable in their new haven before you attempt to introduce them to your dog.
Dutch Shepherd Training Tips To Socialize Well With A Household Cat
You may find these additional Dutch Shepherd training and socialization tips to be helpful as you make those first critical introductions between your Dutch Shepherd and your cat.
1. Associate the cat smell with a welcome daily event in your dogs life.
To do this, place your cat in a secure room with food, water, and other normal daily items like toys, cat trees, et al.
When your puppys mealtimes arrive, serve each one on the immediate opposite side of that door.
This will train your Dutch Shepherd that the smell of the cat is linked to their meal being served .
2. Train your Dutch Shepherd puppy to not chase things, including toys or animals.
Part of the natural prey drive in a dog is to give chase. While this can be adorably cute when your dog is a puppy, it can be deadly as your Dutch Shepherd grows up.
Do your best to discourage chasing behavior across the board and choose playtime activities that dont require any chasing behaviors.
3. When you bring your cat out of the room, socialize them while your dog is contained.
There is no way to fully predict in advance how your Dutch Shepherd might respond upon first sight of your cat.
This is why you always want to crate train your Dutch Shepherd before you host a meet-and-greet face to face.
Start with crated interactions and proceed to leashed interactions, offering rewards and time-outs as needed to reinforce calm behavior in your dog.
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The Importance Of Socializing Your German Shepherd
Keep in mind that not every case or situation is ideal some dogs come to our lives when they are already fully grown. They might have been in families where they were the only dog or pet.
Sometimes a German Shepherd is brought home to a cat that has never interacted with dogs before. In other cases, a cat may be brought to a German Shepherd who has never been around cats. Thats why socialization is extremely important.
German Shepherds are naturally inclined to be protective. Without proper training and socialization, this can manifest itself as violence or aggression.
Right from the start, German Shepherds should be taught how to behave around other people and other animals. That way, it will be much easier to introduce your German Shepherd to a cat.
You can take your German Shepherd to a nearby dog park, so they can get used to staying in the same environment with other dogs. You can also take them to your friends and neighbours homes to meet other dogs and animals.
No matter what the situation is, and why youre asking How do I introduce my German Shepherd to my cat? The following section is for you!
Cat Training Your Dog
You can train your German Shepherd puppy to get along with your cat. By ensuring you socialise them properly and introduce them well, you will be able to feel more comfortable that your GSD wont chase after your cat or hurt them as they grow older.
To start, introduce your cat to your German Shepherd puppy when they are as young as possible. Always monitor their meetings and be ready to take action if you need to.
If possible, try to discourage your cat from running away as this will only encourage your puppy to chase after them.
After a few meetings, your puppy will become less intrigued by your cat and will begin to see them as less of a toy and more of a member of the family.
As well as socializing your cat and puppy, you must also practice disciplining your dog if he pursues your cat.
Just as you would teach them to sit or stay, teach your dog that they are not too rough play with your cat and reward them when they dont.
So, are German Shepherds good with cats? If socialized and trained properly, your pets can live happily together for as long as possible.
If you also have other dogs, check out our article on are German Shepherds good with other dogs.
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German Shepherd Dog Socialisation
The American Kennel Club says that GSDs are most open to learning how to socialise in their first three months. Without socialisation, a GSD will only know a small number of people. When it encounters others it will potentially be scared and uncomfortable.
Socialisation tends to increase a dogs confidence. Learning how to deal with new situations helps them to develop belief in themselves just like humans. Each new socialisation experience should make the one after easier.
Socialising a GSD can take many forms. It can include things like introducing your dog to new sounds, new sights, new objects and new places. Critically, this should include different people and different animals.
Keen to get your cat out and about? Check out my posts on Is Cat Walking Possible?, 7 Best Escape Proof Cat Harness Options, 5 Best Carrier for Cats choices, 14 Best Cat Carrier for Car Travel options and 4 Top Travel Litter Box options.
Age Of The Dog And Cat
As a general rule, a puppy will have an easier time being introduced to a cat than an adult dog and stands a better chance of getting along with it.
However, this is by no means always the case, and if done properly, most well-socialized GSDs will have no issues with a cat being introduced into its life.
Similarly, if the cat in question is a kitten at the time of introduction to a GSD puppy, it stand much less chance of being frightened or anxious.
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Things To Consider About German Shepherds And Cats
Below are some things to consider about German Shepherds and cats.
They can be quite stubborn
When youâre getting your German Shepherd to get along with your cat youâll likely find that they can be quite stubborn. This means that it will be very important for you to train it regularly, consistently and over the course of months so that you can really change its habits around your cat.
It helps to start training it as a puppy
The earlier you train your German Shepherd to get along with your cat the easier it will be for you. As your German Shepherd gets older its habits of being aggressive towards cats will be more pronounced and harder to change so itâs better to start when itâs still young.
Other breeds that are known for being better behaved around cats
If you have a cat and you want a dog, there are dog breeds that are known for being better behaved around cats than German Shepherds.
Below is a list of dog breeds that are known for being well behaved around cats:
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Potential Problems In Keeping Dogs And Cats Together
Cats and German Shepherds under the same roof- not the most desirable combination of pets! So, it is possible that positive interactions take time and do not happen right away.
Given below is a list of a few problems that make it a little hard for these two animals to sustain a pleasant atmosphere in each others presence
Talking about the potential problems we might experience with German Shepherds and cats brings us to our next question
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Adding A Cat To A Home With A German Shepherd
When bringing a cat to a home with a German Shepherd, the process will be quite similar, with the only difference being that the dog will be used to the home with no cat around it. This means that it will be quite a different experience for your German Shepherd.
Again, you should bring your dog on a leash, into a room with the pet cat after you have done some introductions through swapping scents and introducing them through glass windows or other barriers.
Make sure to stay in the same room with the cat and the German Shepherd until they are comfortable with each others presence.
When you are adding a new cat to your home, make sure that the kitty has a comfortable room to settle in.
Also, make sure that the space has the specific items that the cat needs. This includes food, water, litter box and toys. This will let him know theres a comfortable place for him to retreat and thus, helps keep his stress levels under control.
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How Do You Train Cats To Get Along With German Shepherds
German shepherds usually only chase cats who run. If you can help your cat relax around the dog, you can prevent most chasing situations.
Your cat will probably never get along with all German Shepherds, but you can train them to be comfortable around one specific animal. Try to understand how stressful this situation is from your cats point of view.
According to Rosemary at German Shepherd Corner, it can take weeks or months for a dog and a cat to get used to each other. Dont expect instant results, and be very patient with your two pets.
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Supervision Is A Must
You will want to have as much control over the situation as possible. Though the chance for aggression may be low, it is always better to play it safe.
So we recommend being present from start to finish. We even would suggest continuing to be present for all future interactions, until you are absolutely sure your German shepherd and cat get along.
You can take steps such as:
- Having a barrier between your GSD and your cat
- Keeping your cat or GSD in your arms the whole time
- Having a leash on your GSD
- Or anything else that can maximize your control over the situation
How To Introduce A New German Shepherd Puppy To My Adult Cat
The first meeting between a German Shepherd puppy and an adult cat is not dissimilar from the scene seen above.
However, in this case, you can foresee the reaction your cat will have.
For example, if your cat has a nervous, skittish attitude and is generally uncomfortable around dogs, theyre likely to display aggressive behavior in front of their new housemate.
However, if your cat has always been peaceful around kids, people, and pets, you can expect them to be calm during the first meeting with your new puppy.
In turn, this can genuinely help your german Shepherd remain calm and fight the instinct of chasing the cat which is usually triggered by something moving fast.
Remember to make the introductions when the puppy is calm and tired, and always keep them on a leash.
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How To Introduce A New Adult Cat To My Adult German Shepherd
Introducing an adult cat to adult dogs who have lived in the same territory for years might be problematic.
Naturally, it depends on how you have trained your dog over time and how your pets reactions are when an intruder accesses their territory.
You can observe these traits at the park or home.
Try to find out as much as possible about the cats personality before committing.
You can do so by speaking to their previous owner or kennel.
However, if you cannot get any information, it might not be a good idea.
You ideally want to know that the cat is calm and will play well with other animals before committing to bringing them home.
What Is It Like To Have A Dog And A Cat Under One Roof
When I was researching the topic, I found it wasnt easy to find scientific information on how dogs and cats get along and what factors might influence their relationship.
Seriously, given how many households host both a dog and a cat, more research should be performed. However, I did find one study from the Journal of Veterinary Behavior that could offer some insight on how to handle the dynamic between dogs and cats living in the same home.
A majority of pet owners surveyed say that their dogs and cats live amicably. An amicable relationship in this context, as defined by the authors of the study, is living with a friendly, mutual bond, which is recognizable through the use of affiliative behaviors, maintaining proximity and effective, non-aggressive communication between individuals.
A few respondents even say that their pets relationship is close and well.
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