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Best dog breed to have around cats?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
We may get a dog next year but are not sure because of of cats as they come first. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 37
It's been my experience that breed doesn't matter as much as them being raised around them.

But if your wanting to adopt an older dog go for breeds that are not prey driven . Example of a prey driven breed is a husky.

Are you wanting a small, medium, or large dog? It's important that the breed also fit within your lifestyle. Yahoo has a breed selector you could try. It will ask you a series of questions to best fit the breed qualities for your home.
post #3 of 37
Any breed is fine as long as you lay out the ground rules to your dog that the cat belongs to YOU, and that should the dog touch the cat, it will die.

My first dog LOVED to chase cats out of the yard, she would never hurt one, she's all into the chase. I brought a cat home and like my chickens, she completely respected them as being mine. The puppy I got soon after understood the cat was at the house first, and although they are good play mates, if she gets rough or too annoying for Napolean, I can tell her to leave him alone and she will.

Like Salem Witch Child said, I would stay away from Huskies, German Shepherds, breed like that that have a high prey drive. I know that there are people with Shepherds and Huskies that do fine with cats, but both breeds are prone to small animal aggression, so I would be careful. Odds are if you get a puppy and that puppy is raised around your cats, the puppy will understand the cats aren't to be touched. I think I'd also stay away from Small Terriers, again, it's all in what they are raised with, but those little terriers can have a pretty big prey drive.

My younger dog LiLo is a Shepherd mix, she has killed one of my chickens, but the way she looks at my chickens and my cats are totally different. She respects the cats because they live in the house with her, where as the chickens are outside and more of a "free game" than anything else. So really, it can be done. You just need to be careful.
post #4 of 37
I'm glad you're putting the cats first. It's good to do your research and consider the idea of adding a dog to your household very carefully.

These articles have some good information:

Cats and Dogs

Cat-to-Dog Introductions

You can sometimes find really good dogs at the shelter. Ask the shelter staff if they have any dogs that are known to be good with cats. Before you take the dog home, make sure they will allow you to bring it back if it doesn't work out with the cats.

We got our dog (a Lab/GSD/? mix) as a young adult from the shelter - since they didn't have any dogs they knew for certain were good with cats, we looked carefully for a dogs that seemed gentle by nature, and got permission from the shelter to see how they behaved around the shelter cats. We immediately disqualified dogs that attempted to lunge at, chase, or who stared intently at the cats as though trying to stalk them.

When I took the dog we ended up adopting to see the shelter cats, her first reaction was to walk up to them and to try to sniff noses with them & sniff their bottoms - a good sign that she saw them as equals rather than as prey.

Then we did introductions very carefully. Things worked out well, and they get along fine - but we still never leave the dog loose unsupervised around the cats, just to be safe. When we're not home, she stays in her kennel or out in the fenced backyard, or occasionally I'll put the cats up in the bedroom & give her the run of the house.
post #5 of 37
I have always had Basset Hounds I raised them for years, never had a problem with this breed getting along with the cats, there generally pretty mellow and Easy going. I have 1 female now and she Loves the Cats although with 8 cats she sometimes feels like she's walking around in a land mine
post #6 of 37
I am only leary of putting Pits with cats .... I have had terriers , GSD , dalmation/ springers, mutts and pits with cats and the pit was the only one I didnt trust with cats( she was not a full time dog and thus I didnt train her like the others ) ....

Given the right dog the right human and the right cat with training cat and dog relationship should be fine...Case in pt right now my Yorkie( she is high drive) and her sister the cat are laying curled up together ...
post #7 of 37
In addition to the above groups I would also be very wary of sighthounds (greyhounds, afghans etc) and some pointers. Any breed can work but it may take alot of supervision and training and you may never be able to leave them alone unsupervised. We have 3 dogs a pug x, a lab and a pit/lab x and no one is ever left alone unsupervised with the cat. If we leave the house the cat is closed into the cat room and the dogs are crated. It really does depend on the dog and level of training but certain breeds are going to be easier.

Something else to consider is that the cat can hurt smaller breeds, be careful of anything with large protruding eyes as these can easily be damaged by cat claws.
post #8 of 37
I wouldn't worry about a pittie anymore than I would any other breed of dog. As long as the pup is raised with the cats, it shouldn't be an issue. I've seen plenty of pibbles that got along perfectly well with cats.

I think if you are wanting a purebred puppy, the best thing to do is to go to a dog show and talk to the breeders/handlers/owners of the dogs you like, and get their opinion of it.

I'd stay away from adopting an adult dog unless you know for sure that it is cat friendly. I was lucky when I brought Mia home, she took to the cats right away and they all sleep and snuggle with her since day one and she hasn't had an issue with it at all. She's a Mexican Hairless.. though I don't recommend this breed if you have fiesty cats! Them being naked isn't good for playful kitties.
post #9 of 37
I am on my second Dalmatian, raised with cats. Both dogs have been wonderful, to the point of playing, snuggling and even allowing kittens to "nurse".

Pearl, my pit/shepherd/??? mix is also great with cats. She's a bit too energetic, for the boys' tastes but Rowdy loves to romp and wrestle with Pearl. I put a baby gate across the hallway door, so that the boys can get away from Pearl. She would never harm them but, Opie and Buddy don't like to be slobbered on

My parents have a Great Dane, who is AFRAID of kittens. A friend stopped by, with a kitten and big ol' Brewster cowered and hid behind my dad
post #10 of 37
My sister's dog Macy has lived with us for the last year and she is a boxer and she is great with everything but she has been her since she was a puppy.
post #11 of 37
I would agree that it realy depends on how the dog is raised and trained. When I was a child we had German Shephards, Great Danes, Bassets and mutts - and nver had a problem with them interacting with my cats. (I was the cat person in the family) Also, my folks had/have labs and they have always been good with cats!
post #12 of 37
Be careful of terrier types - some cannot be trusted with cats without supervision (jack russel terriers). And this was from a JRT message board about sever JRT's that had been raised with cats from a pup - the person came home one day to their dead cats - killed by the JRT allowed loose in the house. They recommend to crate the JRT if you can't be there to watch him with cats.

We own a labrador - most labs are great with cats - Keno loves her 2 kitty siblings. She's also raised 2 litters of barn kittens (when they came in the house at 5 weeks old).
post #13 of 37
I used to have a female lab/springer mix. Got her as a puppy with adult cats already established in the house. She was wonderful with cats, even kittens that we later adopted. In fact, the cats were crazy about her and would rub her legs when dinner was being prepared. Our female cat treated the dog as her child, cleaning her face and inside her ears, and basically smothering her with maternal affection.
post #14 of 37
This thread is really old.. I think it depends on the dog but it doesn't matter if the dog is raised with the cats, there is a chance they can see them as prey when they grow up. With that said, I have a coonhound and 2 terriers who are amazing with my cats but they are never alone together while we are gone!
post #15 of 37
Hey I have 2 cavaliers whom share the house with me, my children and our cats Our 2 yr old cavvy was bought up with our cats so thinks she is one She play fights with them and even let one of our cats suckle her before! She seems to generally feel right at home with the cats as do they with her Our latest addition is another cavalier, pippin, whom also really loves the cats. Only problem with pippin is that he gets a bit over excited when he sees them and occasionally they get rather fed up and scratch him oh well, im sure their just establishing who runs the show
post #16 of 37
One thing I'd like to mention. If you have a butt head cat, don't get a nice sweet gentle small dog. My little dachshund beagle mix is 15 years old, sweet, happy, nice, non-aggressive dog. So Fin, because he's a butt, walks into her path and sits down. My hallway is narrow. Poor dog can't get through . My other dogs are much more agile and jump over him.
post #17 of 37
Originally Posted by blackcat123 View Post
We may get a dog next year but are not sure because of of cats as they come first. Any suggestions?
It's good that you are researching. I agree with many here, having had dogs and cats together all my life and never having trouble with any... including a pit that thought she was mother to an abandoned litter of 4 kittens years ago, I had a beagle/mix that would tear a rabbit to pieces if it ran through the yard... but never touched the cat in the house other than to cuddle together at night.
And I now have two shih tzu who do lovely with the cats... they know who runs things around here

I would determine what type dog suits the whole household, including cats... look at activity levels, prey drives, all that... and have your cats ever been around dogs... if not they may take some time to get used to this new beast Especially if it's a bouncy puppy just wanting to give puppy kisses... the cat my think it's trying to attack.

They can get along fine... people often ask me how I get my animals to get along so well... I just say I raised them expecting no less.

post #18 of 37
We've had Danes of our own and many fosters and haven't really had any problems. It's 4+ years since this thread started. Wondering what dog the OP ended up with.
post #19 of 37
I'd like also to remind folks that this thread started in 2007 and is very old. If you have something new to share about the mixed species in your homes, please open another thread, so that people will see it and respond to it.
post #20 of 37

I had a large, 100 lb Rottweiler-German Shepard mixed dog and we had him for 3 years before a cat adopted us (showed up at the door one day) and of course she was pregnant.  He took her in and was not aggressive to her in the least.  We also adopted 2 rabbits and allowed them to be in the yard with him, he did play a little ruff one time and we corrected him very firmly (he always wanted to please us) and that was the last time it happened.  He loved all animals and all the kittens once they were born.  We kept 2 and they slept with him.  At times they actually took over his bed and would groom his nails.  I'm not sure if the breed has anything to do with it as much as the training of the dog and how much they are exercised, plus their temperament.  He knew the difference between wild animals and the ones that belonged to him.  He would chase wild rabbits out of the fence but never our own animals.  My thoughts are if they run and dog will chase it!

post #21 of 37

its not always a training issue you cant train gentics i raised a male shepherd from a 8 week old pup in a house full of cats and he was never safe with them.  Some are just dangerous around cats. German shepherds are the worst for this id say. ALso I know a dobie female who was raised with a cat and still when she was older was not trust worthy around it.


Avoid high strung breeds and high prey drive reeds. It is a nightmare living with a dog that is not safe with cats. YOur hair will grow white. People try electric shock collars but even that wont work. I find a lot of toy breeds and small breeds great because even if they wanted to the cat would win if the cat is a fiesty confident cat.

Edited by destiny4u - 2/14/13 at 8:31am
post #22 of 37

also wanted to comment a lot of todays giant breeds to tend to not have much prey drive and seem to be fine with cats like english mastiffs, mountain dogs, newfoundlands etc..all seem to do great in a house full of cats most of the time.

post #23 of 37

I would say that it definitely depends upon the way the dog is trained and of course some breeds are more aggressive then others so it is good to do your research first! I had a english mastiff and she was great with our cat....

post #24 of 37

Its NONSENSE to say a German shepherd can never be trusted. I had 2 (at seperate times) both lived to old age and I always had cats And Guinea Pigs. It was the cats that were initially the aggressors. NEVER the dogs. The cats came to respect and love their doggy best friend as did the GP's who used to lay with him. The cat was boss though. When she wanted feeding she didnt ask me she asked the dog, who would throw the cats dish at me ready to fill. My dogs would let the babies of the family climb all over him. If it got too much he would whimper to me to let me know that it was enough. GS are the most gentle TRUSTWORTHY and loyal dogs you could wish for. Only time a GS gets vicious is when they are tied up outside constantly for long periods. All they want is to be with you as they love company. Downside is when they are young, up to approx 2yrs, they take a long while to mature. Then as they dont like being left alone. They will show displeasure by chewing everything in sight. According to neighbours they would howl when left. After approx 2 yrs this behaviour is improved, I think once they feel secure knowing you will be back.  HIGHLY recommend these wonderful trustworthy and trusting dogs.  Rotweillers I would NEVER trust. Both by experience and confirmed by a breeder of them. Also my GS saved me from a Dalmation who after he saw it off went on to savage 2 children. So thats not on my good list either. I was also bitten by a small terrier. I Forget the name, but they are usually white some with tan on, with close hair and a bit bigger than a Yorkie Yappie and nasty. .

post #25 of 37

Read my letter you are talking nonsense. They are The MOST trustworthy dogs ever. That was also in a survey of trustworthy dogs. Surprisingly to me the worst was the Labrador. As when they are good they are very good but apparently they can be bad tempered. You must have has an experience of a VERY unusual rogue GS.

post #26 of 37

This thread is 6 years old the original poster hasnt posted since the question was asked and I do not think there is any need for a tirade at a member for giving their personal experience.

post #27 of 37

no one said a gsd are never trust worthy but compared to many other breeds they have a lot of prey drive there are much better options. And if a gsd hurts a cat its not because it is "vicious" its because of all that prey drive and aggression that is bred into them for real life work like police, herding, shutzhund. Its part of what the breed is. It can go right many times. And many gsds live with cats. But there are many better suited breeds with lower prey drive that that wont obsess over a cat. It has nothing to do with being vicious it is part of what the breed is. Yes any breed can be a bad match also labs, poodles etc.. But its just best to pick a breed that has a high rate of success from a good breeder. LIke i mentioned a lot of the calmer giant beeds today are very mellow it seems and do well with small animals. This is not ALWAYS true but recently it seems to be. Small dogs like many toy dogs are great in houses with cats also because they are the same size and a cat with claws that is confidant can easily set it straight and teach it manners if it wants to. A large dog with prey drive that is serious can cause hell on sheep alpacas cattle etc.. Even the most fiesty cat is not going to be able to work it out with a dog like this. I spend my life around gsds they are my fave breed by far but i am not going to pretend they are something they are not. When it comes to serious damage to another animal they are one of  the worst culprits.

Edited by destiny4u - 2/24/13 at 10:45am
post #28 of 37

i would think a calm dog it is really the personality of both the cat and the dog but it should be a small dog like a shiba inu.

post #29 of 37

yes i agree i have had saint bernards and border collies and boxers and german sheperds but the cats always stayed calm and soon became friends with the dogs.

post #30 of 37

Someone will have had a bad experience with pretty much any dog breed you can mention.  Some breeds are definitely prey driven, and some that are not, will have dogs that won't work with cats because of their breeding or their environment, the way they were brought up.  I had French Bulldogs in the past......absolutely loved them, but they did NOT get along with cats.  It may have been the bloodlines, but none of mine were tolerant of cats, and would go after the neighborhood cats any chance they got.  I had one border collie who was great with cats and small dogs, and another who wasn't. I had a wire haired terrier who was show quality, from great bloodlines, and did not do well with any smaller animal.   My housemate used to breed toy poodles, and had a GSD who was wonderful with them and cats.  I'm sure most of know someone who has a pit bull who is absolutely wonderful, despite their reputation (again, probably a result of bloodline and environment).  


Currently I have three cats and three dogs who get along great.  The dogs are mini dachshunds, and a toy poodle.  The dogs are extremely tolerant of the cats, and love to play with them.  I frequently see the dachies in pursuit of a cat, running through the house, then the cat in pursuit of the dachies on the way is a fun game.  None of the cats are the least bit intimidated by the dogs.  The Siamese boy loves the dogs, and has preferred their company to the other cats since he was little.  The Persian and the Himmie are tolerant of the dogs, totally unafraid of the dogs, and occasionally play with them, but obviously consider them an inferior species.  





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