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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone had any success stories with an older dog and new kitten? I have a 7 y/o female GSD who has never been around cats, shes never chased them or anything while on walks and does good to ignore other dogs. She plays fine with other big dogs as well.
We found a deserted kitten (probably 5-6 weeks old) and brought her home, we did the normal introductions and kept them separate and then began with letting them watch each other through a gate. My GSD doesnt really ‘chase’ the kitten, but watches her really intently. While I was holding the kitten, she did lick her a few times and sorta nipped her a bit (no blood or anything). When she watches her, she wags her tail and will occasionally paw at her.
Ive just recently started putting a shock collar on her while I let them share the same space to try and correct behaviors as far as pawing or hovering too much. My GSD listens very well and knows all commands. Ive read several articles on dog/cat interaction and I still cant tell if my GSD is just curious and wanting to play or sees the kitten as a threat. She doesnt growl at the cat nor does any of her hairs stand up. I give her a warning vibration and if she doesnt correct it (which she normally does) she will get a small shock. When she does a good behavior I reward her with words and touching (she wont eat the treat I try and give her)

She is becoming very fixated on the cat, even if the cat is sleeping. She always wants to be right on top of the kitten knowing what it’s doing.

Any ideas?
 

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Many. Not any that you will probably like to hear though.

First and foremost, don’t ever use a shock collar on a dog that is interacting with another animal. Especially the shock feature. You’re created an issue that the kitten equates to pain, or the startle reflex. So of course the dog is hyper focused on the cat. He’s waiting for the moment he doesn’t have the collar on, or he is home alone.

Your dog doesn’t have fear of the kitten, she has a desire to manhandle the kitten. Or worse case, death shake it.

Can the two co-exist? Yes, but you’re going to have to start all over from ground zero. Which means no more dog vs kitten interactions, even through the gate.

Lyka loves cats. She will lick them and cuddle with them and love them forever. Crios will death shake any cat that crosses his path. So you’ll need to figure out which yours will be before allowing them supervised time together.

Or you can do what most dog/cat owners do, and never have them encounter each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had read several articles where others had used the collar after they had already been introduced properly. There have been a few times where one of my kids had left the door open a bit and we come into the room and both cat and dog are unsupervised, however nothing has happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
She understands the collar, we have used it before to correct a behavioral problem. We first kept them completely separated, only left things around with each other scent on it. We then moved to letting them see each other through a gate, giving B (our dog) the chance to watch the kitten play and see how she moves and gets along. After that seemed to be a success, we moved to very monitored visits. We would put B on a leash and someone would bring in the cat and let her smell it, then we would let the cat walk around. B still seemed interested, but seemed like she wanted to play (she would try and paw at the kitten a bit). Once we figured she wouldn’t eat the cat, we now have B off a leash, but the visits are still very monitored. They are separated until we are home to watch them.. just within the past two weeks she has seemed to become more anxious and stressed out over it and I’m unsure what to do since everything seemed to be going well.
 

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I'm sure you're aware of this, but just throwing it out there - be very careful with high value items around the cat. A close family friend had adopted an adorable new kitten after theirs had passed away, and their Golden Retriever had always been around cats. Gentle and sweet. One day they put a high value food item in his food bowl, and the kitten walked towards it out of curiosity. Sadly the saying is true. The Golden had never shown aggressive tendencies or resource guarding behaviour prior to this, so it was a very unfortunate and sad accident. It was only a warning bite, but it was substantial enough damage to kill.

They have a new kitten now, and with the lesson learned, they are growing up beautifully. The cat always has an escape route and a place where the dog can never get to. I think that helps immensely.
 
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