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Puppy to join home with cat and older dog: Advice, please!

638 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Cindylouwho
Our male doberman puppy will be arriving early next year. We have a 10-yr old ultra-sweet well-trained chocolate lab who loves all dogs (but bellies up if they're at all aggressive) and adores cats. We also have a feisty 5-yr old cat who loves our dog, and, while timid at first, eventually tries to befriend other dogs who visit our home. The cat is very playful. He enjoys sneaking up on our dog and on us, then racing past us within inches - we can almost feel his fur fly by! While this is cute now, we are concerned that he may invoke the prey drive in our Doberman when he's older.

Any suggestions you might have regarding those early days and weeks after the new pup arrives would be greatly appreciated. Do you have any books, etc., that you might recommend? We have time to read and prepare ourselves for the new addition to our family. We are extremely interested in proper socialization.

Thank you for your help!
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A baby gate is your best friend! Put it in the doorway so kitty can get threw, but puppy cannot. This gives some escape. Alternatively, you can tether the pup, or have a drag line on him. This way, when he runs for the cat you can quickly grab him. This would give your senior some room to move away as well :)
I also had a 4yr male & 1 yr cat when we got our girl. Ditto on baby gate for cat to escape. We also don't have the dogs upstairs that belongs to cat. My male loves cats the one time when the puppy chased the cat my boy stopped her, she tried one more time was stopped again and has never chased the cat again.
Is your breeder going to be helping select a puppy with a more easy going temperament and a lower prey drive? That would be my first suggestion - to select a puppy that is more likely to be able to live with a cat. I wish I had done that. I have a girl with VERY high prey drive, and we have a tough time with her and our cats. She lives with them successfully, but it took a couple of years and even now the cats tend to steer clear of her and occasionally get chased.

I agree with gating off a cat safe area. Best of luck to you!
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Our 16 year old cat just passed away a month ago, so she lived with and tolerated several puppy/dog combos. :) The best thing we ever did was put a cat door in for her to be able to have her own space away from the dogs. She loved running by and teasing them as long as she had her own space to dive to when needed. Our Dobes never chased her as much as the Labs would though, lol.

I forgot to mention that her space was alternately my daughter's room and the basement. They were her two refuges...she was not a fan of the outside.
Is your lab a female? If not, I'd get a female Dobe.

I agree with the baby gate and a safe place for cat to retreat. You may need a long line on puppy at first to discourage chasing. Be consistent, very consistent and patient :)
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If your cat likes dogs, it will be a lot easier. It's hard to chase 'prey' that just kinda lays there. My two outside cats both adore dogs... so when Leia bounds up to them they just sit there and let her wollow them, or they turn over and play with her.

My inside cat Boo, on the other hand, HATES all other animals. Poor Leia tries so hard to get him to play. She drops toys in front of him.. jumps around with her hiney in the air, the whole thing. He just spits and saunters off. If Leia gets too close Boo will advance her and pop her. Leia has learned to back off if Boo advances.

I also have a 3 year old dog. Leia and Sophie get along great and were fast friends.:)
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