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BF has a dog!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm taking the long distance out of my long distance relationship in a few weeks. I'm a cat person, have been since I was the equivalent of a kitten; my boyfriend, on the other hand, is a dog person.

Now, I'm not entirely clueless about dogs. I lived with my aunt and uncle for two years when I was a teenager, on their farm which had both cats and dogs. And sheep. I'm good with animals in general.

Although BF's dog (a dachshund) generally doesn't like anybody, the dog and I get along just fine. (Maybe it's the treats. I don't care, it works.) In fact, my lap got curled up in when I visited over spring break. Twice.

However...both of my cats have skitty-kitty tendencies, and neither of them has been around dogs since I took them off the farm. I'm sure we'll eventually need to introduce the animals to each other. How does one do this without anyone (including the humans) getting bitten?
post #2 of 8
The first question is how is the Doxie with cats or with other dogs? A normal, well-socialized dog will usually want to approach the cat and play, and a normal cat won't want any part of it. Cats usually go into hiding for about a month until they decide the dog isn't a nasty dangerous creature after all. Then they come out and sniff the dog.

A trick that helps is to get a washcloth and wipe one animal, then wipe the other animal with it. That helps them get used to each other's smell and understand that the other critter is not the enemy.

I prefer to be there when they meet and someone needs to have the dog unde control, either voice control or on a leash. They should be allowed to sniff but if anyone shows any aggressive acts (like growling or hissing) then it's best to remove the dog and try again later.

I've had pretty good luck when both species are used to taking treats from me. Once they are focused on the treats, having something else with fur on it sitting next to them in front of the treat cabinet doesn't seem to bother them.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I was kind of puppy-sitting for a few days this week, and the dog and cats don't seem to mix

The dog kept chasing the cats around whenever they came out (mostly at night), and stuck his face into their hiding places and barked at them waaaaay too many times. It turns out he's only ever been around cats as random strays to chase out of his yard. Squirrel got tired of it and put a little claw mark on his snout. She could have done way more--in fact, she's done more to my hand in pushing off from it, trying not to be put in the carrier--but there's not an aggressive bone in her. Panther is even skittier and just ran; I ended up putting her on the refrigerator so she'd climb into a cupboard he couldn't get to. If the cats would stand their ground and teach the dog a lesson, he'd at least learn to leave them alone, and then they could probably coexist enough to get used to each other.

BF and I have semi-seriously decided that the next batch of pets are going to be adopted at the same time as little kittens/puppies and raised to think they're all one litter, some funnier-looking than the others. But that's probably at least 10 years away, as healthy as the current batch are.

I would have tried the treats thing, but Squirrel didn't want much to do with me with the dog around. Not that she's ever very social, even with me (she's my feral project--skitty-kitty personality plus no human socialization before she was weaned), but she was on very high alert with the dog.
post #4 of 8
This is the kind of thing that you can't really do in a few days. I think if you're going to get doggies and kitties used to each other, you have to go the distance which means you think in terms of months. And yes, if a dog has never seen a kitty before and is the type to chase squirrels, skunks etc out of the yard, then there is a very good chance that the doggy will see the kitty as an indoor varmint that needs to be run out of the house. It can be done so maybe you might want to take another crack at it someday. At any rate good luck with your pets!
post #5 of 8
Don't ever let the dog chase the kitties. Crate or tether him at night if you have to (or use a baby gate to keep him in the bedroom). But once he's been allowed to chase them he'll get big ideas in his head and it won't be good. Keep him tethered to your waist during the day so you can control his movements.
post #6 of 8
It was 4-5 months before my oldest cat (4 years) was back to his old self after bringing a dog into the house. These things take a lot of time and effort.

I can second not allowing the dog to chase the cats. That will only escalate the fear of the dog by the cats and prolong getting back to normalcy. I have one cat who seems to like playing with the dog, but the dog is still young and rambunctious and doesn't realize he's too big to get rough with the kitty. So, every time he starts to escalate playing I say "NO KITTY" in a firm voice. As soon as he breaks focus from the cat, I would praise him and give him a bone or throw a toy for him. He's gotten to the point where when he hears "no kitty" he runs and chews his bone or brings me a toy on his own, which is an appropriate outlet for his bursts of hyperactivity.

I also put a baby gate up to keep the dog in the bedroom at night. This gives the cats a nice break to nap or play without the dog ruining all the fun.
post #7 of 8
I feel sorry for your kitties. They must be so stressed out.

My daughters husband had a great idea to get a lab. It was a puppy when they brought it into their home. Now the cats are all stressed out. It is fully grown. There are litter box issues now too. That is another thing that may rear its ugly head.

Your idea of getting animals at the same time is good. I agree it will take months. Although some never get along.

I'd keep the dog under strict watch. Your kitties probably wonder what has happened to their lives.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, the cats are now grateful that things have returned to normal; the dog being here was just a temporary situation for a few days.

I thought about putting the dog out on the balcony at night so the cats could have a bit of normalcy, but...the dog doesn't have much sense, and he's been raised in single-story environments, so he might jump from the second story.

If I can get a big enough crate to keep him in, that's not a bad idea. I wasn't going to stick him back in the cat carrier for all night though; seemed like too enclosed a space. I guess my apartment is really not set up for dogs. (He also kind of tore apart the bathroom; note to self, I will someday need to invest in a small dog-resistant trash can.)
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