Dogs & Cats: How To Judge Whether Or Not Your Dog Will Like The New Cat: When you first introduce a dog and cat together, 9 times out of 10 the cat will be the one that is fearful and the first to bolt away. There are of course rare exceptions, especially for smaller dogs that are poorly socialized. I remember one of my Chihuahuas who would never go near a cat again after the very first one he came close to hissed and swatted at his little nose, tearing a big gash across it!cat-and-dog-green

The manner in which a dog reacts to a new cat can fall into several categories. Some dogs will immediately perceive a cat as prey and will do everything they can to chase the cat with full intentions of hurting it. {+++}

The relationship between cats and dogs is one of legendary status. Natural, sworn enemies of the animal kingdom. The lumbering dog and the fleet of foot cat have been at each others throats for generations. But does it have to be this way?

In short, yes. Cartoon makers would be out of business and the world would probably come to a grinding halt if cats and dogs actually decided to call a truce. We as humans do have the ability to act a mediators between the warring factions and in some cases, we can get the two species to co-habit with no problems.

When a cat and dog have grown up together, either when the kitten was introduced or the puppy, there is normally a healthy relationship built up over the course of time. In a lot of cases cats and dogs actually do get along and even ‘LIKE’ each other.

Problems tend to arrive when adults of either species are suddenly introduced to an established household (and pecking order). This situation may arise because someone has asked you to look after their pet for a short while or you may have been kind enough to adopt an adult cat or dog from a rescue Centre.

Upon introduction of a new four legged creature to the home, established members may become jealous, defensive, aggressive, withdrawn, protective, possessive or all of these things. Dogs tend to react worse to the introduction of a cat than vice-versa.

Dogs have a natural place within a pack and new animal will be seen as threat to that position. Cats tend to deal with the meeting of a dog with distain and often come across as un-interested. This fine. It is when there is a clear animosity between the two that problems occur.

Dogs instinctively chase other animals that move or run suddenly. Cats do not particularly enjoy being chased by other animals and thus friction occurs. Training your dog not to chase the cat is a must. It is essential that you correct your dog for chasing while at the same time, you must ensure that you do not build up a will inside the dog to chase when you are not there.

In many cases chasing behaviour is more of a problem in dogs that have NEVER been allowed to chase. Take for instance, two identical puppies are born. One is sent to live with an owner who lives in a small flat, in the middle of a busy city. Contact with other animals in nil. This dog, on a walk to a park, sees a cat for the first time in his life, slips the lead and begins the chase. This is dog instinct in action.

The dog has no reason to chase the cat but animal instinct dictates that he should. The other puppy meanwhile, was sent to live on a huge farm surrounded by ducks, livestock, chickens and other farmyard animals. He is allowed to roam free on the farm from a young age and is never prevented from chasing anything.

As a youngster this dogs instincts are just the same as the other dogs. He chases all the animals but achieves no success in catching any. The chasing soon becomes futile and his other canine strength kicks in, intelligence. This dog neither has the will or ambition to chase. He’s got it out of system and prefers instead to just watch the other animals and learns to live with them side by side.

This story illustrates that it is very often better to let two animals ‘sort themselves’. They will establish a relationship, be it love, hat or just tolerance. By interfering continually, many owners can cause friction because of the restrictions placed on the dog. After all, he will wonder what it is that must be so good, that you are bending over backward stop him doing.

Be observant. Be vigilant. Make sure early contact is supervised. Make sure feeding is supervised. But make sure you don’t upset the natural relationship that will develop between the two animals.Other dogs will be less aggressive and more on the curious side towards the animal. This curiosity can turn into play or aggression, which depends on the way the cat responds to the dog. The dog may want to play at first but the cat may feel threatened, become defensive, and start acting aggressively. This can trigger and provoke the dog’s own aggression.

Then there are dogs who seem to fall in love at first glance when they see a cat. They are relaxed when in the cat’s presence and view the animal as the ultimate play toy. Hopefully the cat will respond in the same manner and there will be no problems between them.

In most cases, it is very difficult to determine what each animal’s intentions are during the first few hours of socialization.  If you are not sure how the meeting is going and whether or not the situation could turn aggressive, you can always seek the assistance from a certified animal behaviorist or other knowledgeable consultant that studies dog and cat behavior.

Rules Of The Introduction

If you plan on bringing a new cat or dog into your home where you already have a pet residing, the manner in which you introduce the two animals can mean the difference between a long-lasting relationship or aggression and injury to one of them, which will most likely be the cat.

Your goal during this introduction is to help both animals become familiar with one another in small baby steps, or doses, if you like. Friendship between a cat and a dog depends upon friendly familiarity.

The very first introduction should be a positive experience for both of the animals. As we’ve mentioned before, always be on your guard for the cat’s protection and safety. And when your animals cannot be supervised, they should all be separated until you get back home.

The length of this introduction phase can vary. Sometimes cats and dogs can become best friends in a matter of days, while other situations could take weeks or even months before the animals start tolerating each other.

You must be willing to put in the time in order to babysit these meetings for however long it takes. It may go fast or it may move at a snails pace.  Either way, your responsibility in guiding the animals together and maintaining the peace is key to a successful friendship.

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