Hi guys! Thanks a lot for viewing my question!
So my boyfriend is thinking about moving out of his parents' place and in with me, hopefully ASAP. The reason we want this to happen ASAP is because his parents' female GSD, which we love dearly and try to take care of whenever it's possible, has been living in neglection and not properly treated for most of her life (roughly 3 years). I'll explain the details later.
My problem is, I have 2 adult indoor cats (1 Maine Coon mix, 1 DMH) that will be living under the same roof with the pup. They are human friendly but never tested with dogs. The poor pup has all kinds of behavioral issues due to her life with my bf's parents, despite the fact she's extremely friendly with human. She'd freak out, bark non stop, pee herself all over out of excitement and chase whatever animal in her sight till oblivion, to the point the two of us TOGETHER are not able to hold her down. I afraid that even if we re-housebreak her, she'll still have much trouble living with the cats.
We first thought about keeping them in separate areas of the house, with the cats having private access to the bedroom area, the pup gets privilege to the backyard/lobby/whatever, and sharing (monitored) the living room and kitchen (and office if we have one) area where at night the pup will be sleeping. However he got really upset because he felt like it's too unfair to the pup to not have access to the beds. We eventually came to mutual agreement on the door method, but I fear it wouldn't work because she seems..... Impossible to stay calm at the sight of another animal, and she can easily destroy any door.
I'm wondering if anyone has come across a GSD that's extremely hard to handle, or ever trained an adult GSD to get used to adult cats. I don't want anyone to end up in the shelter nor do I want my cats to ever be outside. If the pup ends up in the shelter they might put her down immediately since she's always so excited that sometimes it seems aggressive, but really she's just too overwhelmed. She never really attacks anyone. We don't know any GSD rescue around this area either and my bf loves her too much to give her away.
Regarding how the pup is mistreated, I don't want to say bad things about my bf's parents since they're nice to me and respect me, just not the same story to their animal. So i'm only going to state the facts.
His parents established firm discipline that no one under their roof should give much about the dog, since they still believe all dogs should live the kind of life similar to that of a barn cat. No occasional walking (backyard roaming only), no house entry regardless of weather, minimum grooming and vaccination, wholesale dog food mixed with human leftover, toys only serve to shut her up, avoid touching as much as possible since "it's dirty". All they permit to happen is daily feeding and water, and poop scooping to keep her area clean, maybe bathing if she begins to smell really bad during summer. The pup is a giant love bug she's a pet from nose to tail not a guard, but we cannot do much while his parents are extremely stubborn and dominating over their household issues. His dad even tried to hit her with a car once he got tired of her barking at 4am in the morning, and my bf ended up sleeping in the backyard with her for nights to calm her down just so she wouldn't get killed. They used to have a great guard dog who passed away at an old age to much neglect. They are very nice and loving to other people's pets though, which we don't exactly understand.
Her previous owner (who sold her to my bf's parents when she was 6 mo) used to take her to training, and to this day she still kind of remember a few commands (sit, up, down, off), only she doesn't care much since the reinforcement is long gone. She also completely forgot how to walk on a leash, which makes it even harder for us to tired her out.
My expertise loves with cats and I dogs equally but cluelessly. Please please please if you have experience with training a misbehaving GSD with a history of neglect, or training adult cats and dogs to warm up with each other, any help would be much appreciated!! Thanks a lot!!