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New Puppy coming soon... pls help

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
In about a month, a surprise birthday gift is coming for my roommate... it's a 8 wk-old puppy (don't know if it's male or female). I'm just a little anxious because we have already have a female cat (Dani Night Stalker, 18 mos. old but only in household for last 6 mos.).

Can anyone shed any light on what I might expect or how I should handle the introductions between the pets? Dani's had the run of the apartment for 6 months, what behavior should I expect?
post #2 of 6
LOL, your cat is probably going to be just a little ticked off. In my experience, they run, hiss, spit and are generally grouchy about the new puppy/dog.
The outcome can really depend. Dani is still young enough, that over time she will adjust. One of the things that helps is if you have a kennel for the puppy. This way, puppy can be in the kennel for short periods of time and Dani can investigate without any contact. Puppies are very active and for ahwile, you will probably want to keep the puppy on a leash and start teaching he/she the kitty is not a play toy. If the puppy is going to be crate trained, then it should be very easy for you. Out of 12 cats, only one after 2 years will tear the dog up. The one difference is that we got our dog when he was 8 months old, so he was a little easier to work with than a small puppy.
Do you know what kind of dog it's going to be?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
It's a West Highland White Terrior... I've seen pictures on the net and they are just adorable. I was told that fully grown they weigh about 15 lbs which is about double Dani's current weight. She's a really skittish cat and I fear the puppy may indimidate her. Plus, she'll no longer be the center of attention from the entire household. I'll look into getting a kennel for our new guest.

post #4 of 6
Try looking into the breed through the AKC or rescues. Terriers can be a little bit of a pain for cats. They chase them down by nature. So by researching the breed, you have a little heads up on the training and how to help them deal with each other. I am sure it will be okay.
post #5 of 6
I have two small terriers myself (Australian Terriers) and can tell you that they can indeed live with cats in peace, but you/roommate need to be in control. It's necessary to teach the dog that the cat cannot be chased, because it's too easy for accidents to happen especially when the dog's prey drive kicks in. This is much easier to do when you start teaching the puppy the minute s/he arrives. Terriers are usually very smart, so training them is challenging to the owner as well, as they will not do anything to "please" the owner (although I'm not sure many dogs of any breed will do something for nothing). Because they're smart, they will learn easily once *you* learn what the best way to train them is. I recommend looking into clicker training, it's been absolutely wonderful with my two terrors. It's good to start teaching the puppy to be calm when the cat's around, to focus the pup's attention on something other than the cat, and to reward the puppy for behaving the way you want him/her to behave. It's good to figure out what exactly this is beforehand, so you don't confuse the pup by wanting different things at different times and so that you and your roommate both agree on what to teach the pup. 8 weeks is not too young to start teaching the pup appropriate behavior, actually it's the best of times, just don't demand too much too soon, puppies can't really concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. But several short, happy training sessions a day are excellent.

Anyhow, I'm sure you'll manage it just fine. When my first dog arrived, my cat was about 2,5 yrs old, and had never even seen a dog before. The moment she saw the puppy, she hissed and puffed up (if you know what I mean) and stayed in high places the next few days, cautiously watching the pup and getting a bit closer every day. The puppy didn't really even pay attention to the cat at this point. When the cat had the courage, she came to meet the pup, which is when the pup got enormously interested in the cat, of course. I let them sniff and get to know each other, and all went well. Of course, my cat is a temperamental one, and fully capable of swatting the dog when he's out of line. I didn't have to do much, training the dog not to chase has been the biggest challenge, as it is their nature to chase moving furry creatures. But patience and positive training methods can work wonders! Good luck.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
An 8-week old West Highland White Terrior invaded my apartment this morning

Dani Night Stalker seemed unimpressed. After a hissing session she calmed down and simply watched our new addition. The puppy, named Dakota, bravely approached the much larger black cat and Dani promptly swatted Dakota across the nose, sending a whimpering Dakota back across the room.

Naturally curious, Dani now trys to approach the small furry thing as it waddles across the floor but Dakota's not too anxious for another encounter.
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