Saturday, October 3, 2009
By Anna Lee
You have a cat, or maybe you have two cats. You’ve always wanted a dog to join the family but perhaps you worry that they won’t get along? Can cats and dogs live together in harmony? How hard is to introduce a dog into a house with cats? Will a dog get along with the cat right away, or ever? What is the best dog to get? Help!
Some dog breeds are literally born to adapt to any situation. Some dogs are as gentle as can be with a child, another dog, a cat or many cats. If you want a small dog or a large dog there are several breeds to pick from. Here are some suggestions, tips and helpful ideas.
The Boxer is very good with children. A Boxer can be very good with cats if socialized early on. People misjudge Boxers frequently. If they are well trained they are excellent family dogs, no matter who the family members are!
The Bichon Frise is a happy dog that gets along with other family pets, either cats or dogs. Bichons make great multi-pet dogs, and they are also excellent with children.
The American Cocker Spaniel is an adorable little dog with an easy going personality. The Cocker gets along well with other animals, including cats. I know several people that have Cockers and cats, and they all get along fine.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever gets along well with cats that are family members, but may not be as friendly with strange cats. The Chesapeake has similar personality traits as the Labrador Retriever, which is a laid-back calm disposition and very accepting.
The Vizsla is a dog that is easy to train, but they are shy at times. They are reliable with children but may be too much for a toddler to handle. The Vizsla requires a lot of daily exercise. If you can put up with the training and exercise you will have a good dog that does well with cats they are raised with. They can’t be trusted with hamsters or rabbits though.
The Otterhound is a large size dog that is friendly, exuberant and outgoing. They are good with children, all other dogs and cats in your family. The Otterhound may, however, chase a cat that does not belong to the family. They range from 66 t0 115 pounds and require a loving hand during training.
The Labrador Retreiver will usually get along with any person, any animal – including cats. When we got our lab my husband had a 10 year old cat named Friday, who only had three legs. The day we brought Abby home she eagerly ran over to check out kitty. Friday hit poor Abby on the head 10 times in a row, just to let her know who was boss. That was the end of it; from that day on they were friends. You probably know cats don’t like to get wet, and you may know that labs drool. Abby would stand over the cat with drool or water pouring out of her mouth and onto the cat and he just stood there! After that initial meeting on day one, whatever Abby did was ok with Friday!
Some breeds may adjust better to living with a cat in the home, according to the books and research I have done and stated above. I have found that the small, high strung dogs do not match up well with cats. Sometime the larger the dog, the more gentle the personality and disposition. I do feel that if a cat and dog are raised together from day one, or at least early on, there is a very good chance that they will be lifelong buddies.
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