Bringing a 2.5 yr old male GSD home, how do I make sure my cats are safe? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
Kay
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Bringing a 2.5 yr old male GSD home, how do I make sure my cats are safe?

Not sure if this in the right place...

Currently we have 3 cats (2 males, 1 female; ages 2-5 yrs) and our female GSD (she's 2.5 yrs). Our current gal was raised with the cats, and she is very gentle with them (she even snuggles with our little female cat). The other 2 cats don't really like her, but they co-exist, NEVER any fights.

We'll be adopting a male GSD in about a month or so. The breeder we are getting him from breeds/works her dogs (we go to obedience classes with her) and she won't be breeding with the male she is giving us (he is kind of 'shy'/'soft'). Our current gal LOVES him, they both adore each other. She used to have a cat as well (it was very old and passed away a few mths ago), so the dog has lived with a cat before. He tends to be 'sensitive'; catching him doing something bad once is generally enough to prevent him from doing it again.

I'm really concerned for my cats, I adore them (they're my husband's 'babies' haha). While I don't think he is going to attack them, how can I make sure everybody is kept safe? What sort of introductions should I have? I am planning on keeping him crated/the cats in the basement when we aren't home, but how will I know when I can trust him with them? Instead of a crate, would muzzling him all day be better?

Any suggestions would be great!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 01:18 PM
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My cats have several areas in the house that are gated where the cat can go to be safe. Maybe keep a room that isn't used very often as the "cat safe zone" and keep the door open with a baby gate up? You can install it about 6 inches off of the floor, so the cat can scoot under, but the dog can't go under or over?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 01:46 PM
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Try holding your GSD on a leash while introducing him to the cats. Get them comfortable with each other before letting your dog loose in the house and see if they have any issues. I don't have cats, but I do this with my rabbits.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 01:54 PM
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Even after introductions, I would make sure the cats have their own "safe room" to go to when they don't want to be bothered. I keep one large room gated with a 41" gate that has a cat gate at the bottom to keep the peace. I wouldn't leave the dog alone with a muzzle on as it could get stuck someplace somehow and even with a muzzle if the dog really wanted to hurt a cat it could. My older GSD loved all my cats and would sleep on the porch with them so they were really surprised when Raina came along and thought they made good squeaky toys. Her and cats stay separated now.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 02:28 PM
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Could you do a trial run and see if he is good with your cats?


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 03:40 PM
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Just try and make the introductions very stress free and easy going. As stated above, give the cats a place where the new dog can't get to , at least let them be able t get away from him.. Keep him on a leash inside the home for a few days,at least you will have control over him if he decides to go after the cats.
The cats you have now are used to your girl, but they may not be very happy with the new addition.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay View Post
. Our current gal LOVES him, they both adore each other. She used to have a cat as well (it was very old and passed away a few mths ago), so the dog has lived with a cat before. He tends to be 'sensitive'; catching him doing something bad once is generally enough to prevent him from doing it again.

I'm really concerned for my cats, I adore them (they're my husband's 'babies' haha). While I don't think he is going to attack them, how can I make sure everybody is kept safe? What sort of introductions should I have? I am planning on keeping him crated/the cats in the basement when we aren't home, but how will I know when I can trust him with them? Instead of a crate, would muzzling him all day be better?

Any suggestions would be great!
Since he has lived with a cat before you should be fine. I would do the introductions maybe with the cats gated off in the other room. I also like to have the cat up high like on the kitchen counter so the cat has a little advantage. Since you are using a crate for him and he is the "new comer" I would have him in the crate and let the cats loose, you can see his reaction. I wouldn't think too much about it now, just wait until you get him home and you will know. You can plan all you want and they will do the opposite.
No way would I muzzle the dog all day.

Carolyn
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 05:24 PM
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We love having our house gated so the cat can have his own space

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 05:38 PM
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My one year old cat, Varda, is lying half on top of Rafi at this very minute, grooming herself.

My cats are like little dogs and are always nearby and used to cat-friendly dogs so it can be a challenge when a new dog comes in the house. Therefore, I always keep dogs leashed until I know how they will be with the cats and also until they learn the rules of the house. I reward the dog for ignoring the cat(s) or for approaching them nicely and make sure all interactions are on the cats' terms.

And I use a gate, if necessary. The cats don't need a gate with Rafi but Kai needed a gate or a crate.

Some dogs are instantly fine while others need to learn the rules of the house. A lot also depends on the cats. Rafi was perfect with Cleo but she was old, didn't run and would beat the crap out of him if he so much as looked at her at the wrong time. When I got Gio and Varda they were young, rambunctious and really activated Rafi's prey drive! I had to teach him not to grab them (he never chases them) and teach them not to run right under his nose!

I kept Rafi and the cats separated for the first 5 months the cats were here but then it got to hot to keep them in the bedroom so they're together now while i'm gone. I was never able to leave Kai loose with Cleo.

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