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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, first time ever posting here. I may be bringing home a beautiful GSD who is about 2-3 years old. I’m going Saturday to meet him for the first time at a local rescue. I’m so very excited! I have owned a couple of female GSD’s, but never a male so I honestly don’t know what to expect. The rescue told me he’s a very sweet boy who engages and gets along well with other dogs and people. His owner unfortunately had to surrender him due to health issues.

I’ve always wanted another GSD ever since my sweet Bella passed away a few years ago. She was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had and I miss her dearly. The only concern I have about this new dog is he’s never been around cats before so they don’t know how he would react. I have two cats. My Bella had no issues with them and played just fine together, but I have no idea how he will be around them.

Any tips on how to introduce them slowly? Also what can I expect with a male GSD? Are they a lot different than the females? I’ve done lots of reading and read about some of the main differences, but would love to hear first hand peoples experiences!

Thanks for reading and it’s nice to meet all of you!
 

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I've had 4 females followed by 2 males together now and the main difference is that females tend to be a bit more serious and also protective. The males can be intimidating and able but less serious, if that makes any sense. Most pups can be trained to leave cats alone but prey drive is prey drive in an older dog. If it's not been proofed on cats (does the rescue know) I'd tend to believe the natural relationship is not good. Keep them separated and give the cats an exit as well as a private room if possible. Or get rid of the evil cats :D

Oh, welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I don’t know how the cat introduction is gonna go down. Guess I can only hope for the best and expect the worst. The rescue just told me that they have no knowledge of him ever being around cats. I’m definitely keeping them separated for awhile until he adjusts to his new surroundings.

That makes sense about the females. My last female was very protective. She was also very distrustful of males so not sure what happened in her past. Every time my father would come for a visit she would growl at him. My mom she was fine with and any other female. After working with her she got better and her and my father actually became best friends. Lol
 

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Keep him on leash and attached to you in the house for at least a few days. That way you always have him under your eye while you're bonding. Put up baby gates to give your cats more ways to get away and to prevent him from getting up steam. Try to never allow any fixation on the cats, redirect his attention back to you with treats or a toy while you're working on it. Keep a leash on him (drag line) for a while after you start giving him more freedom so he'll be easier to grab.
 

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My introduction (10 week wl pup to adult Bengal - both males) has been long and drawn out, the dog is 11 months and they’re still not allowed to be together unsupervised.

Obviously our circumstances are different but I’m going to imagine the cat will have a big issue with this new set up. Just make sure the cat has safe routes and spaces away from the dog and you’re able to monitor all interactions.

Softly softly catchy monkey - i.e. be prepared for it to take absolutely ages!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all! I’m sure I’m going to have my work cut out for me. I’ve had my newest cat for 6 months now and my resident cat still has issues with her. They play together, but then my resident cat will be hissing and swatting at her. They have a love/hate relationship. So I can’t imagine how she will react to a new dog. I know when my brother brings his dog over she runs and hides and stays hidden the entire time. So I’m thinking she will probably do the same. The newest cat is a bit more curious and will probably want to check the new dog out and play. So I will be keeping them separated and introducing them for short supervised periods of time until they get acclimated…..if they ever do.

I am just super excited though because it’s been years since I’ve had a dog and been looking for the right one for awhile now. So I can’t wait to meet this new guy and see if he will be a good fit! It will also be nice to have someone to go on my walks with me since I like to walk 2-3 times a day to get my 5 miles in. I know the rescue informed me that he walks well on a leash, but the only negative they’ve encountered is that when he sees a passing car he wants to take off after it so he will pull hard! So I know that will be something I will have to work on. I’m wondering if a harness would be better? Any tips on how to correct this behavior? I am currently working from home so I’m happy the dog won’t be left alone for long periods of time and I’ll have time to bond with him and really work on things.
 

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Thanks all! I’m sure I’m going to have my work cut out for me. I’ve had my newest cat for 6 months now and my resident cat still has issues with her. They play together, but then my resident cat will be hissing and swatting at her. They have a love/hate relationship. So I can’t imagine how she will react to a new dog. I know when my brother brings his dog over she runs and hides and stays hidden the entire time. So I’m thinking she will probably do the same. The newest cat is a bit more curious and will probably want to check the new dog out and play. So I will be keeping them separated and introducing them for short supervised periods of time until they get acclimated…..if they ever do.

I am just super excited though because it’s been years since I’ve had a dog and been looking for the right one for awhile now. So I can’t wait to meet this new guy and see if he will be a good fit! It will also be nice to have someone to go on my walks with me since I like to walk 2-3 times a day to get my 5 miles in. I know the rescue informed me that he walks well on a leash, but the only negative they’ve encountered is that when he sees a passing car he wants to take off after it so he will pull hard! So I know that will be something I will have to work on. I’m wondering if a harness would be better? Any tips on how to correct this behavior? I am currently working from home so I’m happy the dog won’t be left alone for long periods of time and I’ll have time to bond with him and really work on things.
I think if you KNOW and understand that it will be lots of work and are prepared then you’ll be fine, with lots of patience. Good luck, keep us up to date!
 

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Harness = more pulling, don't know his personality but whenever Im aware of a trigger approaching I try to engage my dog with play, he's very toy driven and I can get him to focus on me by playing some tug, also rewards him for leaving the trigger alone, could also be done with food, depends on what drives him
 

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Welcome! Sorry for the loss of your girl. A slow introduction is usually best, even to your home. We put new dogs in the laundry with a gate to the kitchen for the first few days. We do not have cats (euuuuuuu) but another dog. Duke jumped the gate after about an hour and made himself right at home much to Ms. Perfect's chagrin but she came around quick. She was still mourning the loss of her boy dog and wasn't quite sure about a new one. She was still going out each day and sitting at the top of the driveway waiting for him to come back. We usually gate them into the kitchen/family room for the first week or so, longer if housebreaking. It's different with each dog (s) and you just have to go slow and feel your way along. Can't wait for your pictures! This is our adopted pair.
Dog Snow Carnivore Dog breed Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well he’s finally home! It’s been an adventure for sure! There is quite a bit I will need to work on especially before I take him walking as he pulls very hard when he sees a passing car. Even on the ride home he was practically trying to lunge out the window when he would see a car pass. He does the same thing when he sees a squirrel or a bird. So we will have to work on that. The rescue said he hadn’t eaten all day because they didn’t want him to have an accident on
thrso as soon as I got home I fed him, but he is not the least bit interested in food and I know he has to be hungry. He did drink a lot of water though. I also bought him some treats and a rawhide bone which he is interested in neither. Not sure how the training is going to go if he isn’t interested in treats. I’m hoping he’s just nervous being in a new environment and will come around or maybe it’s just the type of treats he doesn’t like. Any tips?

Anyway, this is Pollo….the name they called him at the rescue, but I’m thinking of changing it possibly to Finn or Finley or maybe something else that might fit him. Still undecided. He really is a sweet boy though!
Dog Carnivore Pet supply Dog breed Dog supply
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
id avoid rawhide! not good for them

very pretty boy though
id let him decompress and adjust for a while
Oh good to know! I’ll take those away. Yeah, I’m just worried about him not eating. I think he has a bit of an upset belly because before we left the rescue he was having liquid poops and he’s been having them pretty much all day since I brought him home. I’ve been taking him out quite often. Not sure if it’s just nerves or if he’s sick. I’ve got to call first thing Monday morning anyway and get him an appointment with the vet to get checked out and he’s due for his rabies vaccine the 25th of this month.
 

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He’s a beautiful dog. Consider a two week shutdown. This is an old thread and the first one I found but you can search for other threads that discuss it.

 

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And this from 2012. My methods have changed a little since then, but overall the thread explains how different people use it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you for the replies! That’s basically what I’m doing with him now….a 2 week shut down. He’s confined to my bedroom at the moment in his crate. I only let him out to roam around and explore the bedroom and to eat/drink. And of course outside to use the bathroom. He is away from the rest of the house and cats.

It worries me though as he has been having diarrhea frequently and despite me taking him out every couple of hours he had an accident in his crate. After I cleaned it and him up I let him outside again. I feel so bad for him as he gets so anxious when I take him outside. If we go out in my backyard he freaks out because he smells the cats and he is tugging hard the entire time. Even was able to grab one of the kitties beds in his mouth before I could stop him that was on the screened in porch and just started shaking it from side to side. He would not let it go for anything so I know he would not do well with cats. At least not without a lot of work. Just the scent of the cats drive him crazy. And when I take him out front he freaks out because of the sites/sounds, passing cars on the street etc and will pull hard! I’ve got to get a better leash or some gloves as I’ve got blisters all over my hands from trying to hold the leash as he’s pulling.

Another reason I put him in my bedroom is because I wanted to be near him in case he got anxious or needed to use the bathroom since I’m still learning him and how he reacts when he has to go potty. He’s been good and pretty much slept through the night and will start pacing back and forth, pawing at the crate door and whimpering when he needs to go potty. Also, he finally ate his food this morning and took a treat! So that’s progress! At least now I have something to work with when I start training him. Right now I’m just trying to let him chill and adjust to his new environment. I also need to figure out how I’m going to transport him to the vet as I either need another person with me in my he car to hold him down because he goes wild seeing passing cars on the highway or I’ll need to find some other way to transport him securely without him all over the car. I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I’m not giving up. I see so much potential in him and I think he will be fine once he adjusts to his new home.
 

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You have taken on challenge level 100! You can do it.

Get a crate for the car.
Keep the cats alive.
Get a prong collar.
Give the boy a minute to get acclimated and then get ready train like you’ve never trained before.

Sounds like it’ll be quite the journey and a rewarding one no doubt.
 

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Can the rescue get you the vet records from the person who surrendered him? Or have them call their vet and release the records to you or the rescue? I've always found it a huge help to have that history when we go see the new vet. For example, has he had bouts of diarrhea in the past, or is this new -- it might change the vet's approach if they have a full history.

A friend who fosters for breed rescue who has cats has a rule she enforces with new dogs: new dogs do not have the right to approach or chase after the cat (she keeps them leashed, even in the house), but the cat may approach you, if it chooses to do so. Her dog-savvy cats know instinctively to avoid the sketchy dogs.

I also totally agree with doing some version of a 2-week shut down. It gives the dog a chance to get used to the new smells and routine of the house without making bad choices -- it is game-changing for some dogs!
 
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