Breeds that are good with cats
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    Breeds that are good with cats

    Hi gang I'm a newbie here. My wife and I are thinking about getting a dog probably this fall. We'll be moving so that I can go to school full-time, but Em (my wife) would be home almost all the time. We currently have three cats, so we need to find a dog that won't terrorise our cats.

    We're thinking that we'd probably get a dog from a shelter or rescue group. We'd like something medium-ish sized. Are there any specific breeds that generally seem to do well with cats? Any breeds that generally don't? It's my understanding that if we get dog that's young enough (still puppy-ish) and introduce the dog properly to the cats, things will probably work out. Two of our cats are fairly confident (if the dog harasses them, they'll promptly swap him), but we have one that is a little nervous. The nervous one did lives with dogs (GSD) before we got him though (all our cats are rescues).

    Any thoughts? Any advice?

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    Hunting dogs (sighthounds, terriers, etc.) and herding dogs are more likely to chase in most cases, but it's really going to depend on the individual dog. If you're looking to adopt from a shelter anyway, I'd suggest asking if they've tested the dog(s) you're interested in with cats. Many rescues do, and they can let you know whether an individual dog is likely to work out with a cat or not.

    Raising the dog from a puppy is also a good way to go, though it's up to you whether you want to deal with raising a puppy. An adult dog is often quite a bit easier if it has some training already, but like mentioned--it would be more important with an adult dog to make sure that the individual has been proven okay with cats.

    Of course, keep the cats and the dog separate at least at first when you're not supervising.

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    Senior Member Hambonez's Avatar
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    I have three cats and we rescued a shelter pup in february. He's a small breed (5 months now and ~13 lbs), dachshund mix, and life with him and the cats is... interesting. He thinks they're his friends and tries to play with him like he plays with his puppy friends. The youngest cat will engage him, the middle cat just gets pissed, and the eldest cat keeps his distance unless the pup is asleep. It isn't as horrible as I thought it would be. I make sure the cats have plenty of places to escape to, though they often choose to be in the puppy's bed (!!) for example, then complain when he runs over to them. We are working on his "leave it" and other distraction commands, and it works sometimes.

    We got a puppy only because we thought it would be easier for the cats to get used to. If you can find an adult dog socialized to cats I think that'd probably be easier!!

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    I rescued my lab Lucifer last fall and he LOVES his kitties. I have 3 cats, george , sarah and scoots. Sarah is Lucifers cat and usually is asleep curled up with the big guy . George loves my yorkiepoo GUapo and sleeps with him. Sophie my poochon likes the cats but I think she considers them below her

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    This is a forum that only wants to hear the thing's they agree with.
    If you have other idea's then don't say them or they will ban you.
    This is the truth.
    Last edited by Rid####; 06-02-2012 at 10:19 PM.

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    Senior Member HollowHeaven's Avatar
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    Personally, I've never met a Redbone Coonhound that was bad with cats. All the redbones I have ever known have had cats as best friends.

    Like Trzcina said, most hunting breeds (sighthounds especially) and herders will be more likely to chase cats. Breeds known to have a high prey drive (such as huskies) will be harder to control around cats.
    In the end though, it will all come down to socialization and supervision.
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    My mom's dachshunds (three all from different places/breeders) love to lick and sleep with cats so I wonder if dachshunds are the exception to the hunting dog rule! Although they aren't used for hunting as much any more.
    Always remembering Dot (Border Collie/Husky), Padfoot (Shar Pei/Husky), Faxon (Husky mix) and Moby (Dalmatian)
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    Senior Member Keechak's Avatar
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    My dogs are good with MY cat, but I don't know many other cats that would be OK with being chased around the yard and the house like he seems to like.

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    This is a forum that only wants to hear the thing's they agree with.
    If you have other idea's then don't say them or they will ban you.
    This is the truth.
    Last edited by Rid####; 06-02-2012 at 10:17 PM.

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    It depends on the dog itself sometimes I believe. Look at the big Dobie/Rott Abbylynn kissing this kitty! Took me by surprise! Lol! She loves cats and would play with this one all the time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Breeds that are good with cats-downsized_1112111032c.jpg  


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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    As others have stated certain types of dogs such as terriers and sighthounds in general aren't overly fond of small animals. While breed traits may make your dog more prone to small animal aggression, the individual dog can always be the exception to the rule.

    I have a Doberman that is fantastic with cats. She got her ass royally handed to her as a pup by a cat she wouldn't stop bothering. Since then she never gets close enough to one to get swatted. Saint keeps a respectful distance of 5-10 feet from any cat.

    Domo is a Rott x Pitt and he is a cat killin' machine. He came from a shelter and thankfully they tested him for his lack of compatibility with cats. When I first saw the way he reacted towards them even I found it a bit extreme. I think a rescue group that has dogs known to be okay with cats is the way to go.

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    Senior Member Rowdy's Avatar
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    We have cats, too. One of the reasons we ended up with collies is that they're known to be good with other animals as a breed. Of course, it varies with the individual dog, but we wanted to stack the odds in our favor. They will CHASE the cats if they run. (I think our male cat baits them into chasing him.) But they'd never hurt the cats.

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    Stay away from Sheperds. Lol! and Rid#### I love those australian cattle dogs. Good call.

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    In my opinion there is no such thing as a breed (as a whole) that is good with cats, there are however breeds that are more likely to be horrible with cats, as many have mentioned, hunting and herding breeds, not so good in general (though herding breeds I'm not sure would be prone to hurt them....just very likely to harass them, which can go downhill fast).

    Also, don't assume if a shelter says a dog is good with cats that they are! If the shelter claims that the previous owner said the dog was good with cats, well...that's a fair leap of faith to take based on a stranger that gave up their dog. If the shelter has "tested" it by exposing the dog to cats...what was the scenario? Perhaps the dog was to uncomfortable/scared/overstimulated by everything else going on at the time it didn't care about the cats at the time. Did it have the opportunity to see a cat running or was the cat in a crate? Was the dog in a crate? Inside or outside? On a leash or not? Not saying the shelter would necessarily purposefully lie, but I certainly wouldn't assume that they are fully correct, though not barking and lunging at a cat on sight is a good initial sign, it certainly isn't a definitive test.

    It definitely depends on the dog, and on the work that has been put into it. Getting a dog to be decent with cats is possible, but not guaranteed. It takes time too, and training. The first week or so in a new house isn't the best measure even. All I can suggest is be ready, exercise a LOT of caution (baby gate, crate, etc. Supervision, safe places for the cats), and some training from the get-go (treats for being nice!), and go from there. No matter what you do there is always a risk, but its definitely possible to make that risk pretty minimal. Also keep in mind that it isn't just the cats that can get hurt...those claws are awfully sharp and eyes are awfully vulnerable.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying don't do it, or that its hopeless, just saying that it is important to see that things can go poorly, and its good to be prepared for some training. In my opinion, with two cats and a dog, its worth the work!

    Some people say that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I call it training my dog

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Greater Swiss View Post
    All I can suggest is be ready, exercise a LOT of caution (baby gate, crate, etc. Supervision, safe places for the cats), and some training from the get-go (treats for being nice!), and go from there. No matter what you do there is always a risk, but its definitely possible to make that risk pretty minimal. Also keep in mind that it isn't just the cats that can get hurt...those claws are awfully sharp and eyes are awfully vulnerable.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying don't do it, or that its hopeless, just saying that it is important to see that things can go poorly, and its good to be prepared for some training. In my opinion, with two cats and a dog, its worth the work!
    We'll definitely be making good use of at least one baby gate (if not more!) and then a crate when we're both out of the house.

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    Senior Member Vicky88's Avatar
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Greater Swiss View Post
    In my opinion there is no such thing as a breed (as a whole) that is good with cats, there are however breeds that are more likely to be horrible with cats, as many have mentioned, hunting and herding breeds, not so good in general (though herding breeds I'm not sure would be prone to hurt them....just very likely to harass them, which can go downhill fast).

    Also, don't assume if a shelter says a dog is good with cats that they are! If the shelter claims that the previous owner said the dog was good with cats, well...that's a fair leap of faith to take based on a stranger that gave up their dog. If the shelter has "tested" it by exposing the dog to cats...what was the scenario? Perhaps the dog was to uncomfortable/scared/overstimulated by everything else going on at the time it didn't care about the cats at the time. Did it have the opportunity to see a cat running or was the cat in a crate? Was the dog in a crate? Inside or outside? On a leash or not? Not saying the shelter would necessarily purposefully lie, but I certainly wouldn't assume that they are fully correct, though not barking and lunging at a cat on sight is a good initial sign, it certainly isn't a definitive test.

    It definitely depends on the dog, and on the work that has been put into it. Getting a dog to be decent with cats is possible, but not guaranteed. It takes time too, and training. The first week or so in a new house isn't the best measure even. All I can suggest is be ready, exercise a LOT of caution (baby gate, crate, etc. Supervision, safe places for the cats), and some training from the get-go (treats for being nice!), and go from there. No matter what you do there is always a risk, but its definitely possible to make that risk pretty minimal. Also keep in mind that it isn't just the cats that can get hurt...those claws are awfully sharp and eyes are awfully vulnerable.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying don't do it, or that its hopeless, just saying that it is important to see that things can go poorly, and its good to be prepared for some training. In my opinion, with two cats and a dog, its worth the work!
    Have to agree with this, Holly sometimes walks past cats, they lie on there patio, she sometimes looks then carries on, but if these same cats are on the pavement she will lunge and bark at them, my neighbour also has a cat, Holly chased after it the first time she saw it, now my neighbour brings it out in her arms and Holly ignores it, it has yet to be put down again with Holly, Holly will chase cats, she knows where the cats live and looks out for them, she could of killed at least two but again her bark is worse than her bite, she actually walked past a cat that was behind a rock, there was a cat that came into are garden at 3am in the morning once, it would not go away and it was keeping me up, so i brought Holly downstairs and she goes mad barking, but this cat did not care, it still wanted to come in the house!, i am allergic to cats so Holly will never live with one.

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Greater Swiss View Post
    In my opinion there is no such thing as a breed (as a whole) that is good with cats, there are however breeds that are more likely to be horrible with cats, as many have mentioned, hunting and herding breeds, not so good in general (though herding breeds I'm not sure would be prone to hurt them....just very likely to harass them, which can go downhill fast).

    Also, don't assume if a shelter says a dog is good with cats that they are! If the shelter claims that the previous owner said the dog was good with cats, well...that's a fair leap of faith to take based on a stranger that gave up their dog. If the shelter has "tested" it by exposing the dog to cats...what was the scenario? Perhaps the dog was to uncomfortable/scared/overstimulated by everything else going on at the time it didn't care about the cats at the time. Did it have the opportunity to see a cat running or was the cat in a crate? Was the dog in a crate? Inside or outside? On a leash or not? Not saying the shelter would necessarily purposefully lie, but I certainly wouldn't assume that they are fully correct, though not barking and lunging at a cat on sight is a good initial sign, it certainly isn't a definitive test.

    It definitely depends on the dog, and on the work that has been put into it. Getting a dog to be decent with cats is possible, but not guaranteed. It takes time too, and training. The first week or so in a new house isn't the best measure even. All I can suggest is be ready, exercise a LOT of caution (baby gate, crate, etc. Supervision, safe places for the cats), and some training from the get-go (treats for being nice!), and go from there. No matter what you do there is always a risk, but its definitely possible to make that risk pretty minimal. Also keep in mind that it isn't just the cats that can get hurt...those claws are awfully sharp and eyes are awfully vulnerable.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying don't do it, or that its hopeless, just saying that it is important to see that things can go poorly, and its good to be prepared for some training. In my opinion, with two cats and a dog, its worth the work!
    Definitely true. My Lapphund has several times had to go to the vet for corneal scratches after getting too close to the cat. Each time it's healed up fine, but it's still something I hope doesn't get repeated again.

    Do remember that each cat is an individual thing, so it's very true that just because the shelter says the dog is good with cats--doesn't mean much. To use the example of my Lapphund again (though she didn't come from a shelter). I got her when she was around one year old; before that time she had lived with her breeder--who had other dogs, but no cats (at the time). Within about two weeks, she was fine with my cat although at first she had tried to chase her some.

    However, when she met a relative's cat for the first time, she had to remain on leash and closely supervised because she would attempt to chase their cat. After a while, she would ignore her, too. Another relative had a cat that didn't attempt to run, and she didn't try to chase him.

    Stray cats, however, are another thing entirely--and she will still chase them. Once fairly recently my cat sneaked out the back door and she started to chase her when she saw her (the cat wasn't even running)--until she recognized her as "her" cat, at which point she just wagged her tail and walked away. The initial response was -all- prey drive though, and it freaked the cat out (she was fine, the dog stopped a few feet out from her).

    Which I guess the other lesson from that is that if any of your cats are indoor-outdoor cats or else simply like to try to sneak out, be careful and make sure you prepare the dog for that possibility, too. Not all dogs pause while chasing like mine did.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention this. My stepmom had a Sheltie mix from a shelter who she had from puppyhood and had been raised with cats. This dog didn't -chase- cats typically, but she did attempt to herd them--and would put her mouth on them (not hard) if they didn't move how she liked. Which can also very easily piss off a cat, as cats are proverbially difficult to herd.

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    Senior Member Hallie's Avatar
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    Definitely depends on the dog. My Beagle does not care for my cats at all, but she wont chase them. Stay away from dogs with incredibly high prey drives or strong herding instincts (Border Collies etc). Cats don't take well to being nipped at.
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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    This is a forum that only wants to hear the thing's they agree with.
    If you have other idea's then don't say them or they will ban you.
    This is the truth.
    Last edited by Rid####; 06-02-2012 at 10:16 PM.

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    Re: Breeds that are good with cats

    I've had good luck with American Eskimos, a Keeshond and a Pit Bull that were all raised from puppyhood with cats. Sasha has been a bit of a challenge; perhaps its the herding or hunting breeds in her mix.
    My daddy is Great Pyrenees. Mommy is Border Collie X English Springer Spaniel. I was born on a farm; now I live in the suburbs.

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