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We want to adopt a dog - are we crazy?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
For years now my husband and I have wanted a dog. I have always envisioned a houseful of animals for myself (not just cats). Ideally I'd like to adopt two dogs. They would be primarily indoor pets (although we have a fenced-in yard that they could play in as often as possible).

My current cat situation is this:
Two 12-year old cats (male, female)
One 4-year old cat (male)

Minka and Leo (the older cats) are not out-going cats. They are very sweet and loving with us but hide when we have guests.

Taxi (as many of you know) is our resident crazy-cat. He's very outgoing and always getting into things.

Is it even possible to introduce a dog into this situation? Or are we crazy to even think to do it?
post #2 of 16
I don't think you are crazy at all. However I do think it is a matter of finding the right minded dog.

I would go with an older dog who has a laid back personality. Your cats would probably make the adjustment just fine if the new dog or dogs has no interest in them. Therefore the new dog doesn't cause a problem in their world other than being there.

When I brought Napolean home he was a kitten, him and Sofie were buddies pretty quickly. He was really playful and he would engage her in play. She was about 10 when we got Napolean. Other cats she chases out of the yard no problem, but she knew when we got Napolean he was a part of the household and she was to leave him alone. I think your cats would be fine as long as you don't bring in some crazy hyper puppy, or dog that is overly interested in them and won't leave them alone. I just think you should be picky on who you bring home.

It sounds to me like Taxi might be the kind to be all up in the dog's grill so a dog who can tolerate that would be good. My cat Napolean is like that. When new dogs come over he's all up in their face and excited to see them. My other cat Pause however will go hide for a while then come out and maybe go on about his day. It sounds to me like Leo and Minka would do okay as long as the dog allowed them to run off and hide.

Napolean never has a negative reaction toward new dogs. He did hiss and carry on the first night I brought a new cat into the house, and he hisses whenever I bring Pause back from the vet. He isn't threatened by dogs at all. I really think it could work out, and that you aren't crazy at all.
post #3 of 16
I don't think you're crazy at all!! I brought home my pug puppy, Oliver at the end of January. He is about 6 months old now and Pepper absolutely loves playing with him. Pepper will be 3 soon and is a wild and crazy boy and loves to have a playmate that actually wants to play with him-- doesn't matter if its a cat, a dog, an inaminate object, he just likes to play! He even sleeps with Ollie now-- well, he lays on top of Ollie while Ollie sleeps, lol. Petunia is more reserved, but she has learned that if she hisses at Oliver he backs off really quickly! She gets mad when he barks at the birds that she is stalking(from the inside of my apartment ), but she either hisses at him to stop or gives him "The Look". Like Plebayo said, it depends on the dog. An older dog might be easier to integrate into the house hold simply because they are housetrained and hopefully calmer, but my pup has actually been really good with the cats.
post #4 of 16
No, your not crazy to think about it, only extremely daring if you start out by adopting 2 dogs at once, particularly if you've not lived with a dog for a while or have not had a dog before.

Puppies will come into your home and think that your cats are puppy playmates. Cats that have never experienced a dog before will not be happy. Then a dog doesn't really start to lose their puppy playfulness until they older, sometimes up to 3 years old. So you have to be careful about that. I also suggest a little older dog to start (e.g. over 3 years old) to get your cats to adjust more easily. The problem you face with that is that you want the dog tested for cat aggression before you adopt.
post #5 of 16
It's been over a month or so since we adopted Odie the Basset Hound and I am still adjusting to a dog. I have always been a cat home and the dog drives me crazy sometimes Some of my cats like him and others don't like him at all. We are all adjusting and things will work out fine one day
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Okay, you guys have made me feel a little better!

I just feel like my cats have such a happy home right now and I'd hate to ruin that for them.

We definitely want to adopt an adult dog from a shelter. When I see dogs up for adoption that I like, I always ask how they are with cats. I'll just continue to do that until we find one we think will work!
post #7 of 16
We definitely want to adopt an adult dog from a shelter. When I see dogs up for adoption that I like, I always ask how they are with cats. I'll just continue to do that until we find one we think will work!
Do you have any friends with dogs that are good with cats? Maybe another thing to try would be to take a dog for a week and see if it upsets your cats? That way you aren't committed to something, maybe borrow a friend's dog or something... so if your cats get super freaked out the dog already has a home and you aren't emotionally attached?
post #8 of 16
There is always the "introduction" process with both the dogs & the cats. No matter who the dog (even if they come from a home where they are living with cats), I always keep them on lead at first.

There are sometimes dogs who need to be adopted out in pairs - I am often leery of bringing home 2 new dogs at once - as they often need a fair amount of training at first. Some foster based groups have 2 doggies in a foster home together - so you may find a pair that way.

Have you thought about how you will provide exercise? How much grooming you can handle? Do you want low shedding or do you not care about shedding? Big or small? A fetching retriever, a bouncy terrier, or a goofy big mutt?

Don't do like I did with Macey - misread info & then not read up on the breed (having already fallen for Macey). I ended up with a vocal, hyper-active dog, that matures slowly.

ETA: I've successfully had....oh my Lab/GSP, my lab, my bichon - and a Pit/Rott. My 3 dogs with a coonhound. My 3 with a Great Dane/Am Staff & a poodle. I've had my 3 with two tiny poodles. I've had 5 dogs with my lot of kitties (6 in the house at the time) without problems.
post #9 of 16
I would recommend you look into an older adult dog rather then a puppy. One that is trained and used to cats. The older cats will appreciate not being around a hyper puppy.

I love pups - but would prefer them trained in commands and potty, so we will only adopt an adult dog.
post #10 of 16
Cats and dogs can learn to co-exist.

My best advice would be to adopt an older dog from a rescue, one that is at least 3-5 years old.. I wouldnt adopt from a shelter tho, as the temperment is not always known. Get a dog who is being fostered in a home, so the temperment around cats is known.

Adopting a dog that is being fostered is still saving a life.. when a fostered dog is adopted, the foster home has room to take in a shelter dog.
post #11 of 16
No you're not crazy at all! What's a house without critters! I agree though about starting with one dog and then first making sure he/she is trained to your standards before getting a second dog. It is hard as heck training two at once. Dog #2 usually learns the house rules from dog #1 so it is a good idea to make sure dog #1 is trained.

As far as the cats go, what usually happens is they go and hide for about a month. The dog often wants to play dog games with the cat (like chase or wrestle), the cat has no idea what to make it it, and either hides or hisses. It takes at least a month for the cat to decide this smelly thing isn't dangerous and come up for a sniff. My dogs still havent' figured out the kitty's game of batting with the paw.

What helps is taking a cloth and wiping first one critter and then the other. Getting them used to each others' smells goes a long way in helping them understand that they are all supposed to coexist.

Good luck!
post #12 of 16
You are far from crazy.People thought i was crazy i am up to 4 dogs 2 were fosters but i adopted 1 and the other has Lymphoma so she is with me until she passes away.
Look at adopting older dog/s ones that the personalities are already known,But yet a puppy or 2 should not be out of the question either.Puppies are very time demanding though.I had plenty of cats when i adopted Bear at 6 weeks old the cats put him in his place early now he looks up to my cats(he always waits for them to pass a doorway before he will).
Or another option is look into fostering for a rescue that gives the great opportunity to see how everyone(including cats) in the house would do and you never know you may want to adopt one that you foster.
post #13 of 16
It is definitely possible. I had two dogs and 3 cats, and then for a while I had two dogs and 10 cats when I had my litter of 7 feral rescue foster kittens... My dogs passed away in 2008...

I recently adopted an adult German Shepherd (4 years old). She came into a house with one grumpy senior cat, two 1.5 year old cats, and five 6-month-old kittens (fosters). She was raised with cats so she had no problem integrating into the house. The cats were mostly used to dogs so they pretty much ignored her, although the kittens took a short while to get used to having her around. It also took her a little while to get used to the crazy kittens but she adjusted very easily and doesn't even bat an eye when one of them accidentally lands on her while playing, or a few dash through the house at breakneck speeds right past her.
I am hoping to get a second dog because I really miss having two dogs. I had two for 10 years and it was the best! I am considering getting a Chinese Crested powderpuff.
post #14 of 16
We always had cats before adopting our 1st dog. Our former kitty, Neeko, who passed away was not too thrilled when we brought our dog home. However, they coexisted without a problem. Our present cat, Neely, thinks she is a dog! If anyone were to ask me now which I like better, cats or dogs, I honestly could not choose one over the other.

I think adopting a dog would be a wonderful idea and like other members have suggested, perhaps an adult dog would be best for your situation. Good luck and please keep us posted.
post #15 of 16
You are NOT crazy! We didn't know we needed a dog until the day before Christmas, when one of my H's clients brought in their almost a year old maltese and just dumped her off and said we don't want her... someone here can take her if they want and abandoned her

I was a little worried when he brought her home. I LOVE dogs, but cats reign supreme around here. LOL!

All of our cats have adjusted and so has Maggie the pup. They had a few days of circling each other suspiciously. Katey will put the boots to her if she gets out of line and forgets her place, but nothing that ends in anyone getting hurt, other than their feelings. They can adjust. They (with the exception of Katey) all sleep together like one big litter!
post #16 of 16
you are not crazy AND double bonus points to you for doing research first!
I live with dogs and one cat and reptiles.
One of my dogs wasn't at all the best with our kitty, but we eventually made it work with pure consistency, rules, and training and giving kitty a dog free space. Now that dog is good with "their" personal kitty, but other kitties not so much. I also have a dog of that same breed that is great with the kitty, they are BFF.
Advanced preparation and research will help you a lot in this situation.
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