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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone!

first, a little background - i'm new to dogs, but my SO has had dogs his entire life, including a few ridiculously smart dogs. he's gone about 4 years since his last dog passed away, and we decided on a doberman after a lot of discussion, research, and interaction with the breed. i've started attending meetings of the local doberman club, and i got my breeder recommendation from a few members of that club. the dog we're getting is currently around 4 weeks old, so i'm still getting the house ready for him.

we're planning to give the dog our spare bedroom. he will be crated in there, and i will have a baby gate in front of the door. my cats have never lived with a dog. the cats are used to going in and out of this room, and i am loathe to shut the door when the dog's in there, hence the baby gate. my question is how should i introduce the new member of the family? i know that with cats, it's suggested that the door be left shut for a week or so to let everyone smell each under the door. is this a fairly universal suggestion?

also: this room has furniture in it as well as carpeting. should i be investing in an x-pen instead of a baby gate to keep him confined in a smaller space?

finally: i'm taking off work the week after we bring him home and will be coming home at lunch to let him out after i go back to work. my plan was to set up half the crate with a puppy pad so he can go between my SO leaving for work and my arrival back home. should i be doing this, or will this train him into bad habits right away?

we're going to get him (and me) into obedience classes ASAP.

any other tips y'all want to give a complete newb would be fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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I use a baby gate and have a cat room only where the litterboxes are stored and where the cats are fed. I NEVER allow lollygagging (sp?) at the gate and I NEVER allow chasing. Most puppies do try to chase. I distract, remove, reward for coming with me. I do a lot of luring at first and/or put puppies on a long line so I can control them.

Also please make sure puppy is as safe as cats. Cat claws are some of the most dangerous things for a dog/puppy's eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the boxes will be away from the dog - one baby gate will be for my office (where two of the boxes are kept) and another will be blocking the other box. my office is already basically cat heaven, so blocking the door isn't going to be much of a big deal.

i'm pretty anal about trimming cat claws. i trim them every 2 weeks, if not sooner.

should i just shut the door to the spare bedroom when i'm not home to keep everyone safe?
 

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One thing I would be doing is making sure your breeder knows you are looking for a pup with a lower prey drive. The higher the pup's prey drive, the harder it is. My girl has a huge prey drive and it's been a real struggle with our cats, particularly because our kitties were afraid of her and they would always run (which, of course, makes her want to chase). If I had known more when I was looking for a pup, I would have chosen a breeder more carefully and had the deck stacked in my favor.

I agree with Adara - make sure both cats and puppy are safe. I personally would crate your pup anytime you cannot be supervising. Crate training is so helpful in so many ways, and keeping cats safe is one of them.
 

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the boxes will be away from the dog - one baby gate will be for my office (where two of the boxes are kept) and another will be blocking the other box. my office is already basically cat heaven, so blocking the door isn't going to be much of a big deal.

i'm pretty anal about trimming cat claws. i trim them every 2 weeks, if not sooner.

should i just shut the door to the spare bedroom when i'm not home to keep everyone safe?
When you are not home the pup should be in a crate, x-pen or in a blocked off area, like the kitchen or bathroom and not have free run of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
One thing I would be doing is making sure your breeder knows you are looking for a pup with a lower prey drive. The higher the pup's prey drive, the harder it is. My girl has a huge prey drive and it's been a real struggle with our cats, particularly because our kitties were afraid of her and they would always run (which, of course, makes her want to chase). If I had known more when I was looking for a pup, I would have chosen a breeder more carefully and had the deck stacked in my favor.

I agree with Adara - make sure both cats and puppy are safe. I personally would crate your pup anytime you cannot be supervising. Crate training is so helpful in so many ways, and keeping cats safe is one of them.
we've made a point to bring that up with her.

i've just read so many things about having an x-pen and how great it is for the dog to get exercise. i won't bother if it's not a good idea.

When you are not home the pup should be in a crate, x-pen or in a blocked off area, like the kitchen or bathroom and not have free run of the house.
there's no way he would be free to roam the house unsupervised. i mentioned i'm crate training *and* i'm setting aside a room specifically for the dog, with a gate at the door.

I would recommend teaching "leave it." I use it all the time with my dog and cats.
noted, and will do. thanks!
 
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