how do gsds usually react to ferrets? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 07:47 PM
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ferret, cat, small dog, horse, flocks of birds, aquarium, chickens,
children, old people, loud noises and whatever else. you have to
train and socialize.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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meld how long did you have ferrets and dogs for? Did the dogs just try to grab them? did you try to make it work or was it just too hard?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 07:58 PM
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OMG those are the cutest pics ever!!!

I've had ferrets, cats, a dog and parrots at the same time. My last dog was fine with them.

The only thing I would really caution ... ferrets generally don't have fear ... they are carnivores and predators too ... so depending on the ferret's personality ... I had a few of them that loved to "attack" the dog ... if I had them with Kyleigh? Not a chance I would let them interact, her prey drive is too high.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 08:18 PM
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Part of the equation is the ferret. They are all different, and will react to the dog differently depending on their personality and their history with other animals. My ferrets are both the sweetest, gentlest ferrets I've ever known. They grew up around cats, rabbits and small dogs ... We got them when we lived in an apartment that only allowed small dogs, so they interacted with our neighbors small dogs. They had free reign in the apartment, but when we bought our first house we decided to just devote a room to them and confine them there when we can't supervise them in other areas of the house.

Ferrets are predators and obligate carnivores. They can and will defend themselves if they feel threatened, so unless you can 100% trust your dog to not attack them as prey I wouldn't leave them together without supervision. Generally, once they are familiar with their home, a ferret can (like a cat) find places to escape to if need be ... If they can fit their head into something they can fit their whole body through. Still, it's a risky proposition having them run free with a dog that will chase them as prey (both for the ferret and potentially even the dog).

As far as associating the ferret with a toy ... I don't think that is really a problem. A GSD (and any other breed really) can most definitely distinguish the difference between an inanimate toy and a living creature. They can also be trained to distinguish an small animal that is a non-K9 pack member and one that is not. It takes work and training, but it can be done. We give Jazz a bit more freedom when visiting the ferrets every time she is allowed to and she is corrected when she gets too pushy or excited. We aren't 100% trusting with her yet (especially because Abbie can be a little bitey monster with her if she crosses the line) but we make progress a little every time.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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but kyllie is fine with your cat?
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 09:54 AM
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WELLL ... LOL She likes to chase the cat, but that's it. And she will leave him alone when I call her off.

The cat has a number of high spots that he can get to where Ky can't reach him.

It's a game with the cat b/c he will tease her - he walks around her, puts his tail across her snout - honestly, it's kind of funny some times.

For me, it all depends on Ky's energy level. If we've just come back from a long hike and she's tired, then I can usually let them have some fun.

If it's first thing in the morning and she's wired for sound, I'll put the cat in my room and shut the door.

Ky's cornered the cat a number of times and has never done anything. THAT was actually really funny - the first time she cornered him. It was like ... hmm, now what?

She's almost 18 months, but I still wouldn't leave them out alone together ... not yet!

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 11:26 AM
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Some dogs will see ferrets as fellow carnivores, like puppies rather than prey items, and play gently with them. Mine did. My ferret used to hang off the lip of my dog, it was pretty amusing.

But much depends on the dog, and on the ferret. Introductions must be slow and supervised, and I would never leave a dog and a ferret alone together, especially if said dog has high prey drive and likes to kill small squeaky animals.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 03:39 PM
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I went to my brother in laws with my JRT, I didn't know he had a Ferrett so when we went to lunch we locked the Ferrett in a cage in his room, when we got back my JRT had torn a hole through the drywall and was in the walls trying to get to the Ferrett. :O His face and paws were bloody messes but he wouldn't quit so I had to leave.

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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yeah my dog doesnt mix with jrts for some reason they really trigger her prey drive she can't play with them. There is another shepherd i know that is like that. Mine treats them like rabbits. and goes into cat mode. She goes really low to the ground and starts stalking them and will pounce and try to force them to run by using scare tatics. She doesnt care how aggressive the jrt is either to her its a prey animal and shes the cat. I saw another shepherd that was like this that my dog plays with but grabbed the jrt and ripped it up. Ever since i saw that i just keep mine away from them.

Last edited by pets4life; 11-27-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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