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I have a new, eight week old German Shepherd puppy and a dog-loving three legged cat who are quickly becoming best of friends. My cat, Brodie, is missing his front-left paw from a horrible accident, but he still gets around very well.

I am concerned because, while their initial introduction has gone extremely well, my dog, Howitzer, is...well, completely in love with my cat and wants to play with him. Kitty is ok with this to an extent, but Howitzer is extremely exuberant. I have tried to mitigate the behavior by saying 'no' and trying to reward the puppy for turning away with a treat through positive reinforcement.

I like the idea of them playing, but I love my cat and am afraid that the soon to be 100 pound German Shepherd might play a little too rough one day and hurt my cat. Does anyone have any advice? This is my second large dog in the home (previous dog is no longer around) but my other dog just left the cat alone and never viewed him as a play companion - just a companion. If anything, I was worried about the cat picking on the smaller puppy! :( Thanks in advance to the community.
 

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I have a new, eight week old German Shepherd puppy and a dog-loving three legged cat who are quickly becoming best of friends. My cat, Brodie, is missing his front-left paw from a horrible accident, but he still gets around very well.

I am concerned because, while their initial introduction has gone extremely well, my dog, Howitzer, is...well, completely in love with my cat and wants to play with him. Kitty is ok with this to an extent, but Howitzer is extremely exuberant. I have tried to mitigate the behavior by saying 'no' and trying to reward the puppy for turning away with a treat through positive reinforcement.

I like the idea of them playing, but I love my cat and am afraid that the soon to be 100 pound German Shepherd might play a little too rough one day and hurt my cat. Does anyone have any advice? This is my second large dog in the home (previous dog is no longer around) but my other dog just left the cat alone and never viewed him as a play companion - just a companion. If anything, I was worried about the cat picking on the smaller puppy! :( Thanks in advance to the community.
My Old English Sheep dog would play with our cat, and when the cat didn't want to play, he swatted the dog's nose! Doggy got the picture!
 

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You have to set boundaries for the puppy, so he learns that he can only play with the cat when he remains calm. This will probably be challenging with a puppy, but you definitely should do it now, not wait until he's bigger. Have you tried getting between him and the cat when he gets excited (body blocking) and redirecting by asking him for another behavior (sit, etc.)? Chasing should also be forbidden.

It's a good idea for you to give your cat access to a dog-free area -- for instance, a room with a doggy gate, plus a litter box and water. Hectoring from a puppy can be extremely stressful for a cat, even one that is dog-friendly, so he needs a place he can retreat to.

Lastly, they should never be left alone and loose together. Ever. Too many cats die this way. If you don't believe in crating, consider putting either the dog or the cat in a closed room when you are gone.
 

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It's a good idea for you to give your cat access to a dog-free area -- for instance, a room with a doggy gate, plus a litter box and water. Hectoring from a puppy can be extremely stressful for a cat, even one that is dog-friendly, so he needs a place he can retreat to.

Lastly, they should never be left alone and loose together. Ever. Too many cats die this way. If you don't believe in crating, consider putting either the dog or the cat in a closed room when you are gone.
That is an excellent suggestion on the baby-gate separated area for the cat. I hadn't thought of that and I can't thing of a single reason I didn't! I'm going to purchase a baby gate this evening just for him. He doesn't like to jump as much as he used to, but I think they make dog gates with cat slots - or something that could be worked out.

I totally agree with you on the left alone together concept. I thought the same thing. We have some pretty clear boundaries that are going up on the house. Thanks for your help!
 

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I like to teach the "easy" command, which means gentle. I use this for taking treats, then toys, then introducing other animals. If play gets too rough, remove the dog, or make her back up for a few seconds, "easy" try again. They get the message with persistent repetition.
 

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It's great to socialize the pup with the cat. The pup will eventually learn to understand when the cat is not happy, but you'll have to help the learning process, so that the pup learns the boundaries, before the cat becomes a chew toy. The advice that folks have already posted will get you there.
 

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How many legs did the cat have BEFORE your dog started playing roughly with him? If he had 4, yes, your dog is too rough...
 

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The biggest thing I found (having two cats and Caeda from puppyhood) is to make sure your dog backs off if the cat makes any expressions of not wanting the dog to play or give attention. Stop all play if it is too rough. A BIG thing is to prevent fast chasing....I let Caeda trot after one of my cats (sometimes the cat plays a chase game with Caeda), but if she goes full-bore chase mode I stop her.
I have a baby gate with areas for cats only, plus lots of high places for the cats to go if they want. Their food and water dishes are also elevated, so they can eat and drink without doggy intervention, the litter box is mostly enclosed so they can't really be bothered by Caeda much if they are using it (she can just barely peek over the top). Make sure you supervise all encounters ESPECIALLY while your dog is a puppy, Caeda started out gentle, then got rough, and lots of patience, training, practice and management got her to be decent again.
 

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On a more serious note. You dog is building its prey drive whilst playing with the cat. And id watch it closely.

When the cat says bugger off, Id step in and tell your numpty puppy to "gently" or "soft" or whatever word you are going to use for slow down and pretend not to be a GSD pup.

And let the dog get hit by cat, and watch how dog responds. Does he back off, in which case lots of praise, if he goes in for more, then you need to protect your dog. And give the cat somewhere behind a dog gate to prevent the pup chasing it.

And i advise that should your pup stand up on gate, that you deter this, as it will lead to jumping in a few weeks.

And at 16 weeks, when you GSD pup decides its teething, and desparately needs to mouth something, that prey item, aka cat, will do nicely!
 

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Another 8 year old thread.
 
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