Acclimating dog to kitten & vice versa - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Acclimating dog to kitten & vice versa

Hello All! I currently have an elderly French Bulldog, who keeps mostly to himself on his pillow in the living room. Then I have my gorgeous wonderful fantastic female sable GSD at 17 months old along with my sweet quirky adorable Chinese Crested Dog at 18 months. The shepherd and crestie play well together, and I have been impressed with how the shepherd doesn't care if the crestie comes and takes a bite from her food bowl while she is eating! Also, they play tug together, and it is impressive how my shepherd tones the power way down to play with the little guy - otherwise, he would go flying! After Easter, I will be getting a rescued kitten, just weaned from mama. I wanted a very young one so it could acclimate to the dogs. I will of course provide the kitten with a litter box and food/water in a room gated off from the dogs. Also, there are several places the kitten could jump up to in order to escape the rambunctious dogs if need be. My question: what would be the most beneficial way to acclimate Them? Should I hold the kitten safe on my lap and let the dogs sniff her? And perhaps place her safe in a small crate in the middle of the room? Lastly, what is the best method for teaching the shepherd right off the bat that she will NOT chase the Cat? I do have a short drag leash that might be helpful. Thanks everyone! I will allow the kitten to sleep in bed with us and the crestie. My shepherd sleeps in her crate right next to me. She would sleep in bed with me, too, except there is not room!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 10:59 PM
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At it's simplest ... leash on the puppy and no chasing period ... end of story. If the kitten wants to investigate the dog/puppy, no problem. But the puppy/dog ... never chases the kitten! Use a blanket and the confines of that, are as far as the dog/puppy is allowed to go.

Training "Place" would be useful ... the dog/puppy would be corrected for breaking "Place" so why ... does not matter.

Details on "Place" are here.:
E Collar - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Chip! Sounds like a simple plan.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:22 AM
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Well it is a simple plan ... and you don't know that you have an issue?? They may just be fine right out the box???

More than likely ... the kitten will investigate the puppy?? No problem ... but if you let the puppy chase the kitten ... then your playing with fire?? None of my dogs ever chased my cats! The cats would come to the dogs as they see fit, and that works out fine.

I've never had a single cat v dog issue in all my years with cats and dogs. And an added benefit to that, is that on a walk, a Cat proofed dog is not subject to bolting after a cat that the dog sees and you do not??
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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No, Chip, I don't know that I will have an issue, but we nurses like to be prepared ( kind of like the Boy Scouts!). I am hoping to make the introduction as nonchalant as possible - the kitten wrapped in a towel on my lap ( so I don't get clawed), and the shepherd pup on a leash with my husband. Hopefully, we will have sniff sniff bark once sniff again meow once sniff sniff, then no big deal. Fingers crossed!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:41 AM
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I want a cat real bad as well and have to negotiate pretty hard still. My plan would be to get a known dog-savvy adult cat who can stand its ground since Deja is pretty prey driven.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
I want a cat real bad as well and have to negotiate pretty hard still. My plan would be to get a known dog-savvy adult cat who can stand its ground since Deja is pretty prey driven.
Well ... that may work?? But it would not be an approach recommended by any "experts" that I am aware of??

To me that sounds like a trip to the vet for an animal or a trip to the ER for an owner that got in the way! I managed to mess up with Cat safe dogs and a semi feral cat. Dogs were in place but they got excited when I tried to bring a new stray in. I knew the dogs would not move ... the cat did not! Net result a three day, $12,000 visit to the ER. I had the cat by the nap of the neck trying to bring him indoors, cat growled, dogs barked, cat turned into a buzzsaw and I would not let go of the cat. I reached up to cup his butt and the cat sunk his teeth thru my finger nail!! At that point I abandoned plan A, but noisy or not ... my dogs never moved.

That setback aside ... I did keep that stray and the three others, those four and my dogs lived together for many years and never had any issues.

I've only had to keep it real with one dog, sigh ... a "Breed that shall not be mentioned" rescue dog off the street. Almost perfect ... luv'd people, had no dog issues but cats ... game on ... uh oh!!!

Serious freaking prey drive and in my house with seven cats ... that's not gonna happen! So it was SLL as a DDC becasue I had no crate and no time to mess around! 24 hours and she bowed down to the cats (that was not me that was her choice) and the cats said ... cool. But ... that's what I do ... in here are "Leerbrugh and Joe Galaxy ... the "Experts."

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/6715746-post2.html

I still think "Place" can work but as I had no time ... I lost an opportunity for "Proof of concept" on that one. Also a "Bonker" if my aim was true or a Pet Convincer?? Oh well tethered and a hard correction or two ... worked out fine!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:16 PM
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I probably have to go by the e-collar or...not get a cat. The latter is the most likely, if I want to keep my hubby. It is the first and only pet(-idea) he ever objected to so I can not say much.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:26 PM
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Long line and a safe place for the kitten to get to. monitor all interactions. Try putting the kitten in a cat carrier of some sort so your dog can smell the kitten. Our last dog - bella hated our cats. Often we would take a feral kitten that was abandoned by one the feral cats in the woods to care for and rehome - our dog who hated cats - loved the kittens I think because they ignored her bs and she would let them climb all over and swat at her very fluffy tail. It took along time and much patience for my Gsd pups to leave the cats alone.

Last edited by Jenny720; 04-07-2017 at 01:28 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
I want a cat real bad as well and have to negotiate pretty hard still. My plan would be to get a known dog-savvy adult cat who can stand its ground since Deja is pretty prey driven.
Hmmm....I guess I was thinking that an extremely young kitten, just weaned, would be more adaptable. My shepherd, I am not sure about, since she has never seen a cat!
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