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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, I'm probably going to get slammed for this question, but I'm checking on some advice a friend gave me. I have a 4-month old GSD pup who suffers severe separation anxiety. On top of that, she's extremely bored because I work on my computer about 12 hours a day. We get out and play on a regular basis, but not enough to keep her entertained.

A friend (experienced dog owner) suggested I get my pup a companion, like an older dog or a cat. I'd been thinking about getting a kitten anyway. But I wanted to check with the GSD community on the wisdom of getting a cat or kitten specifically for the purpose of keeping my puppy company and possibly giving her a job. Thoughts?

Edit: Well, I got my question answered. As predicted, the responses weren't kind. But they were clear. Thanks for the advice everyone.
 

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I got a kitten when my pup was 4 months old. It definitely doesn’t serve the purpose you’re intending - creates a lot of extra work up front, and while they are friends now, the cat is far from a soothing companion to my dog lol. I got a kitten because I wanted one, and I figured while the dog was a pup was my best chance of him learning to tolerate it. If the dog is bored, take a break from the computer, stuff some kongs, train more, play more - there’s no easy trick to get around a bored GSD. 10 extra minutes a day with you would be better for the dog than a days worth of time with a kitten.
 

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Charlie (DOB 11/24/20)
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No. Cats aren't babysitters and neither are older dogs, they wouldn'tgive your dog "a job", I dont even leave any of my dogs unsupervised with my cats, unless they have a place to get away, even then, still makes me nervous.

GSDs like to be close to their owners, define severe separation anxiety?

Sounds like you need to step up your game IMO, GSDs need lots of mental stimulation and exercise, if you're on the computer 12 hours a day and shes bored and unentertained, how are you providing that? Puppies sleep a lot, if given the proper exercise and potty time, I cant see why she wouldn't sleep while you're working, mine usually passed out as soon as he got in his crate.

Im sure if you gave us a little more info on your daily schedule and the trouble you're having, the people here could help more.
 

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When I was a kid, my German Shepherd would occasionally catch a cat in the yard. He would grab it in the middle and shake his head until one end went one way and the other end the other way, so NO, it's not a good idea.
 

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It might be a year (or never) before your pup and cat would be safe together. My dog was probably 4 or 5 before I felt they could be left alone while I went to another room. Before that, the dog went with me to the other room or was crated until I returned. A puppy could seriously injure a kitten, even accidentally, and will take a lot of work on your part in training impulse control.
 

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While some dogs get along great with cats, the bigger issue is why you even think this is an option.

As others have said, you are the companion/provider/partner to your pup. Everything should be coming from you, to teach, exercise, have fun with the pup.
 
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I got my cat a pack of dogs. She's very happy.

Dog Plant Carnivore Grass Herding dog


I would advise you work on the seperation anxiety. that's a real issue. Can you explain what is happening that you think she has this?

As far as her being bored - that's your job to engage her. If you are doing real training with her then she should be mentally satisfied. If she's going bonkers in her crate and can't settle - then I'm going to go back the SA and assume she has poor nerves and can't settle.

So get a good trainer to evaluate and help you with her issues before you add to that pack.
 

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A 4-month-old GSD might be too young for you to determine how strong its prey drive will eventually be. And if the dog has a strong drive, a cat might not be safe. None of my GSDs (adopted as adults) considered cats as anything but prey. And if you look at a GSD rescue website like Westside GSD Rescue in L.A., you'll see that they do cat testing, and the dogs' bios warn "No cats" for the majority of GSDs--and "No cats or small dogs" for others.
 

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If time is limited and a challenge presently - adding another pet especially a small pet - will add to the challenge in the beginning in regards to setting boundaries, supervision, training, impulse control, care etc this would be a job for you not your pup. Scent work is a great way to keep a pups brain busy, some agility work, exploring different places.

I have a gsd who has a very high prey drive and he has a high pack drive. He is great with all the small animals in the house even squeaky guniea pigs once he understood from me - the other small animals were part of the pack.
 

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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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I have two cats, got them as kittens BEFORE I got my GSD.
They do nothing to calm him down. One of them mostly ignores him and the other likes to get him riled up by getting him to chase her around. Sometimes they play wrestle.
All three of them annoy each other LOL

I'm going to agree with others and say 12 hour work days are not particularly compatible with GSDs, except maybe a senior.
 
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