How To Introduce A German Shepherd To A Cat
Dogs are quick learners. That is their nature. However, its not a simple task to introduce him to a cat primarily if the dog is fully grown. The dog will have to be very well trained so that you will be able to control the dog using the simple commands. You will also have to check the personalities of both pets. Getting a cat with the same character as the dog might do much help. For instance, a quiet dog may need a calm cat, or a playful dog may do well with playful cats who are old enough and cannot get hurt easily.;
How To Introduce Your German Shepherd To Cats
You should introduce your German Shepherd to your cat by slowly exposing him to it over time. Youll want to start by letting him see your cat once or twice a day. Then gradually increase the amount of time until he sees it every day.
If your GSD has never met another animal before, then you shouldnt expect too much right away. It takes time for pets to adjust to new situations.
When introducing your German Shepherd to your kitty, you should always remember to give him plenty of attention first.
It would help if you were able to show your German Shepherd that your cat isnt dangerous. Then, make sure that you take extra precautions to ensure that nothing bad happens between them.
When you bring your German Shepherd home, place him inside a room separate from your cat. Keep both animals separated during the daytime hours.
Make sure that you put toys outside of each others reach.
Once you feel comfortable with your German Shepherd getting used to seeing your cat, you can move them closer together.
However, you must continue to monitor your pup closely to be sure that your GSD does not show any aggression towards your cat.
How To Make The Coexistence Work
Just like the ability of humans to adapt to certain situations and, over time, get along, animals can achieve that too.
There is no one size fits approach to a German Shepherd-Cat relationship.
There are, however, valuable tips that can help your German Shepherd get along with your cats. They include:
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What If My German Shepherd Was Not Socialized Early On
Dont worry, there is still plenty of hope. Just because a dog was not socialized early on does not mean it cant learn. In fact, with how intelligent German shepherds are, they can quickly learn how to get along with cats.
Below are a few tips to help you along your way.
- Balance Patience & Expectation: Socializing an adult dog takes much more effort. And, the results may not always be what you might ideally want. However, remaining patient and understanding with your German shepherd through it all will only make things better.
- Keep the Rewards Flowing: German shepherds are brilliant, and rewarding them only serves to speed up any learning. By rewarding positive behavior, you can see better results far sooner than without an abundance of rewards. And by rewards, we of course mean treats!
- Dont Think About Setbacks: If things are going slowly or progress seems stalled, dont give up. Focus on the positive and keep up the treats. Your attitude toward the process will have an effect on how your German shepherd responds. They can reads moods quite easily.
Shepherding Your Shepherd: Can Dogs And Cats Get Along
Its a cliche as old as humanity itself. A rivalry that has existed longer than the animosity between the Dodgers and the Giants , a deeper hate than your neighbor feels towards paying taxes.
Yes, I am talking about dogs and cats. Enemies as old as time.
If anyone were to cross the aisle and mend the rift that exists between mankinds two oldest friends, surely it would be the German shepherd.
The German shepherd may be big, but he is intelligent enough to know when to be gentle. Anyone who has had a mature German shepherd in the same room as a human baby can testify of that. Its fricken adorable.
But does that gentle behavior extend to our feline friends? Can German shepherd get along with cats?
German shepherds are the brainiacs of the dog world, but that doesnt make them any less apt to follow their instincts. If German shepherds arent properly socialized they will bolt off to chase a cat faster than you can say squirrel!
But that doesnt mean German Shepherds cant learn to overcome their instincts.
If you properly socialize your German Shepherd from the time they are a puppy, they will get along swimmingly not just with cats but other dogs, and even strangers as well.
But what does it mean to socialize a dog and just how can I do it well?
That is where we will next turn our attention.
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Be Aware Of Who The German Shepherd Or Cat Is And Ask The Same Questions About The New Pet
So, either you have a cat already and youre thinking of getting a German Shepherd, or its the other way around.
Regardless, youll want to sit down and figure out who your cat or dog is and analyse their behavior, and look to do the same with the pet you are bringing in.
Ask yourself questions like the following about your pet:
What is their demeanour like most of the time? are they withdrawn and like their own space, friendly and playful etc.
How well socialised are they? Do they hang around other humans and animal regularly and know how to behave?
How do they behave around other animals other dogs and cats? Do they get aggressive and rough, or are they non reactive?
What is their prey drive like? Do they chase humans and/or other animals?
Do they have any territorial issues around your house to other humans and animals?
Do they have any dominance issues over other dogs and cats, or humans?
Have you seen them behave aggressively before? What were the factors involved in that situation? Do they have any aggressions triggers, or have they shown any signs of aggression before? Is there any way they have been bred or something theyve experienced that is likely to make them more aggressive in a certain situation?
How old are they and how old is the pet youre wanting to bring into the home? Are they compatible in terms of energy and demeanor?
Consider these things for the dog and cat you are thinking of introducing to each other or having live together.
What You Need To Consider Before Getting A Cat
Here are a few things you should consider before getting a cat companion, especially if you already have an adult German shepherd or adult cat.
- A German shepherd who has a high prey drive or has been bred and worked as herding dogs will be unlikely to become a suitable companion for a cat. Either he will chase her until the cat is exhausted, or he will stalk her until she files a restraining order.
- If the cat is adopted first, the chance of adapting to each other is higher. Still, depending on the cats individual personality and behavior, your outcome may be different from other dog owners.;
- A cat with a timid personality is not going to be a good match for a German shepherd dog. A cat who exhibits more confident and aggressive behavior is going to pick a fight with any dog she sees. Ideally, a cat that is going to live with a German shepherd dog should be calm, quiet, and laid back.
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How To Get A German Shepherd To Get Along With Cats
While German Shepherds do have a strong prey drive which can make it difficult to have them around cats, there are still some things you can do to get them to be better behaved around cats.
Give it positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage the behaviors you want to see from your GSD by rewarding it when it shows signs of displaying them.
To train your German Shepherd to get along with your cat youâll do it in three stages. First, youâll teach it to stay, then to stay when itâs being distracted then to stay when the cat is around.
I have written about how to teach a German Shepherd to stay and how to do it when being distracted in the past here.
After you have taught it to stay when being distracted it will be time to slowly introduce the cat.
Youâll do this by telling your German Shepherd to stay and then start by just putting the cat in the same room.
Then after your German Shepherd maintains its attention on you youâll reward it for doing so. Youâll repeat this process where you get your German Shepherd to stay with the cat in the same room until youâre able to get it to keep its attention on you easily.
Once itâs good at doing that youâll continue to tell it to stay but youâll reduce the amount of distance between your German Shepherd and your cat until youâre able to get your German Shepherd to keep its focus on you even when the cat is nearby.
Avoid negative reinforcement
Neuter or spay it
German Shepherd And Cats
Whether you are a cat owner or a canine owner, you may be concerned about combining your cats natural instinctive behavior with the rambunctiously vibrant energy of a German Shepherd. Unfortunately, your concern is accurate, as German Shepherds can cause serious injury to cats if something goes wrong.;
However, even well-trained dogs have the potential to injure a cat in certain situations. However, this goes for all breeds, not just German Shepherd.
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Do German Shepherds Like Cats
Wanting to adopt a German Shepherd and need to know if German Shepherd Dogs like cats or how do you introduce a German Shepherd to a cat in the house?Well, German Shepherd Dogs score out of 5 in the scale of dog breeds that are good with cats.
How Big Are German Shepherds
Males stand about 24-26 inches at the shoulder and weigh 75-110 pounds.
Females stand about 22-24 inches and weigh 65-90 pounds.
Some German Shepherds are considerably larger than that, but shouldn’t be. This breed is supposed to be athletic and agile, not giant-sized and ponderous. Larger dogs can have more joint problems and a shorter lifespan.
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It’s All About The Kitty
This training method is from your kitty’s perspective.
This is one situation where I think the solution should be looked at from your cat’s point of view.
Firstly, cats are more strung than most dogs.
They also have thresholds that they reach faster. ;And they can stay peeved for much longer sometimes even days.
Secondly, they experience negative situations, like being faced with a bouncing 4-month-old puppy, much more intensely than dogs do.
Lastly, cats move like 50 caliber bullets, even when they’re not trying to. ;And your German Shepherd is a herding dog.
So their instinct is to chase and pin down anything that moves at pace. ;And your kitty cat fits the bill there.
See how this can get messy very quickly? ;Even if your puppy is on a leash?
How To Get Your Pit Bull & Cat To Get Along
German shepherds are intelligent, loyal pooches with strong natural herding instinct and prey drive. These traits can make them somewhat undesirable as a companion to a kitty, whom they might view as worth chasing. But harmony can prevail, particularly if you adopt the shepherd as a puppy and socialize him properly.
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Are German Shepherds Naturally Aggressive Or Friendly Toward Cats
German Shepherds are incredibly caring and loving dogs. Theyre also energetic, strong, and tend toward being the most dominant pet in the household.
However, because of their instincts and characteristics, theyre not always naturally friendly to cats.
In fact, their first reaction to other pets might include a lot of chasing.
German Shepherds are highly prey-driven dogs, and theyre likely to chase anything that moves fast especially within their territory.
Squirrels and other small animals such as cats make for the perfect target for their attitude.;
You can prevent this by keeping your dog on a leash during the first encounters, especially if you have just adopted a kitten.
While German Shepherds arent naturally aggressive, they can become so if they feel threatened or overstimulated.
And, because of their size, they can easily represent a threat to your kitten.
Aside from keeping your dog under control, dont forget to try and create a more relaxed atmosphere for your cat, who will be less likely to shoot off and end up being chased.
Complete Separation Of The Two Animals
When you get a cat home where you already have a German Shepherd as a pet, a barricaded meet and greet type of separation is needed. This is essential in order to prevent any hazardous outcome out of the initial meetings. This can be carried out in a number of ways, some of which are:
Crating The Cat
This step is important so that the Shepherd comes to accept the presence of another animal in his space. At the same time, it also works as a shield to protect the cat. This is in case the German Shepherd becomes immensely aggressive towards it.
Barricading With Baby Gates
Baby gates can prove to be instrumental in separating these two animals as they act as efficient barriers. They aid in helping the German Shepherds control their chasing instincts.
Baby gates work their purpose well as your pets remain separated while they get their own space to acknowledge the others presence. This also allows them their own time to adapt to each other. However, make sure that your cat and your German Shepherd dont take this isolation as a punishment. For this purpose, it is very important to give them reassurance by spending equal time with both of them separately.;
Leashing The German Shepherd
Leashing your German Shepherd ultimately puts the control of the; situation in your hands. This prevents the early stages of introduction from turning ugly and in easing the whole process.
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I Am Already A German Shepherd Parent And Im Thinking Of Getting A Cat
If you already own a German Shepherd, you know what to expect from them.
These dogs have always been bred for their;territorial attitude, which has led them to be excellent herding and guard dogs.;
However, when this attitude isnt refined and trained, your dog can become a liability.
You should only consider adding another animal to the house when you know your dog, their temperament, and that theyll heel when called.;
On the other hand, if you have adequately trained and socialized your dog over time, they should be ready to meet a new kitten or cat.
Just remember the above advice and do so slowly.;
In the video below, you can see what to expect from the first meeting but remember that every dog and cat have different personalities:
Should I Get A Cat If I Already Have A German Shepherd
The unending animosity between a dog and a cat is universally known and accepted as rivalry. If you still wish to keep a cat along with a German Shepherd in your house, it is extremely imperative for you to engage your German Shepherd in proper training so that he/she will be well adapted to the presence of your cat.
German Shepherds will come across as aggressive in their first encounter with a cat. However, appropriate training will help your German Shepherd mellow down a bit and get accustomed to having another animal in their territory.;
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Fundamental Keys To Successfully Introduce German Shepherds And Cats
There are many successful ways of introducing these two animals. But before that, lets look at the things to be kept in while introducing these two animals to each other.
The upside of owning a German Shepherd is that you are familiar with the temperament of your pet. This can help you control their reaction especially when around a cat for the first time.
For all those who are doing this for the first time, keep the following things in mind as constant reminders:
In order to gain a better understanding of how to introduce a German Shepherd and a cat peacefully, listed below are a few ways to help you out
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
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