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Hey everyone! I've got a question regarding Husky // Lab mixes and cats. I'm hoping some of you can help out, give me some advice and maybe share some stories? Whether they're good or bad -- anything is helpful!

My boyfriend and I would love to have a dog, and we found someone who's giving away a 5 month old Husky // Lab mix for 75 bucks. I doubt we'll find this kind of dog at a better price! The only thing we're considered about is our cats. We have 3 of them. One is about 15 years old, and I've had him since I was a child. He means a lot to me, and I wouldn't want anything to happen to him. Our second cat is about 4, and he's pretty much scared of anyone or anything. Our third cat is almost 2 years old, and she's got quite the attitude.

My question is: Can a Husky // Lab mix get along with my cats? I've been doing some research, and all I seem to stumble upon is "Huskies are cat killers! They were fine for months with my cat, and then killed her! High prey instinct!"

Is this true? If I get a Husky // Lab mix, will this put my cats in danger in any way? Or since the Husky // Lab is still quite young, would it be fine if it grows up with cats? Or can he turn at any time on my cats?

And if it is alright, are there any training tips that can be given?

Thank you in advance!
 

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5 weeks is way too young to be away from their mother, I would stay far away from this breeder. Also 75 dollars isn't what I would be looking at when I was looking to get a dog. I would look at a shelter who would do screening for dogs, usually they will know if a dog is good with cats or not. Huskies can have very high prey drives, but some are just fine with small animals. Really its up to the dog, but backyard breeders are not reliable people to buy a pet from and they will likely tell you anything you want to hear. I would run for the hills when it comes to this person.
 

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I agree 100% with the poster above. Anyone who is willing to sell a dog at 5 weeks is in it for the money and they don't care about the dog. And huskies can be trained to tolerate cats, but it takes a lot of work.

You need to wait, research and maybe get a dog that is already tested with cats.
 

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Basically it's a huge unknown. You don't know the dogs temperament, personality or anything, really. Siberian's are high prey driven dogs - and should never fully be trusted with any small animal with no supervision.

As this is a mix - it really is an unknown because you don't know what the temperament or personality is/will be of the dog. Even still - you should never trust the dog alone with cats.
 

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You need to find a dog that has already been screened with cats. Teaching a new puppy not to mess with cats is a lot of work and with a lab/husky mix, I don't think the odds are in your favor. Huskies are notorious hunters of everything and anything. I've seen a husky try to take down a sea lion at a beach once. Most huskies know no bounds when it comes to prey. There are people who can get them to get along but it requires patience, careful management, and more than anything else, experience training and reading body language. If you mess up even just once, your cat may be severely maimed or dead. It's a big risk and I don't think I would encourage you to risk it without extensive research (I mean like months of talking to people, reading about training, etc.)

Not only that, but both breeds are notorious for being high energy which can compound this problem greatly. Are you sure you would even be prepared for a mix like that in general, as far as exercising goes?
 

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We recently (like, last week) adopted out a Husky mix who passed a cat test and had gone home over night with a volunteer that had three cats without issue. He was returned a few days later after he killed one of their cats (and a bunch of chickens..) just because the cat ran across the house. Like it was said above, it takes preparation, management, and work to keep dogs (especially highly prey driven dogs) and cats in harmony. One of the biggest things to consider.
 

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Since you love your cats, you should research breeds that are not small prey driven, then train train train and hope for the best. There are no guarantees.
 

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I'm going to go against the grain a bit here. Knowing a lot of huskies who live peacefully with cats and having acclimated a die-hard chasing retired racing greyhound and an Alaskan husky mix to cats myself, I'm a pretty firm believer that if you go about it right it can usually (not always) be done. The keys are vigilant supervision, training, and management. Your first responsibility is to your cats and you need to set things up so they always, always have escapes and safe places while you are training a solid leave it with the dog and running interference as necessary. It's simple, but not easy - it's a lot of work and you always have to be paying attention. You need to be honest with yourself about whether this is the kind of environment and attention you can maintain.

Having said that, a couple of things. One, a five month old puppy that someone is giving away, if he fits the stereotype of puppies being given away at that age, is probably ill-mannered/ untrained/ lacking discipline and you may have your hands full with him cats or no cats. So this particular puppy may not be the best choice. Two, having dogs and cats together is always a risk no matter the dog or the breed. I've known dogs of various breeds who have killed or injured a cat in the household after living peacefully with them for years.
 

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I'm going to go against the grain a bit here. Knowing a lot of huskies who live peacefully with cats and having acclimated a die-hard chasing retired racing greyhound and an Alaskan husky mix to cats myself, I'm a pretty firm believer that if you go about it right it can usually (not always) be done. The keys are vigilant supervision, training, and management. Your first responsibility is to your cats and you need to set things up so they always, always have escapes and safe places while you are training a solid leave it with the dog and running interference as necessary. It's simple, but not easy - it's a lot of work and you always have to be paying attention. You need to be honest with yourself about whether this is the kind of environment and attention you can maintain.

Having said that, a couple of things. One, a five month old puppy that someone is giving away, if he fits the stereotype of puppies being given away at that age, is probably ill-mannered/ untrained/ lacking discipline and you may have your hands full with him cats or no cats. So this particular puppy may not be the best choice. Two, having dogs and cats together is always a risk no matter the dog or the breed. I've known dogs of various breeds who have killed or injured a cat in the household after living peacefully with them for years.
Sass, you are correct, I know people with high prey driven breeds who live peacefully with cats and small dogs. The problem is, they aren't looking to take a dog because it's cheap (thats the vibe I get from the OP). I am glad that they're asking before getting the dog.
 

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Sass, you are correct, I know people with high prey driven breeds who live peacefully with cats and small dogs. The problem is, they aren't looking to take a dog because it's cheap (thats the vibe I get from the OP). I am glad that they're asking before getting the dog.
Eh, I don't get any particular vibes off the post other than they are asking for advice. *shrug*
 

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Eh, I don't get any particular vibes off the post other than they are asking for advice. *shrug*
I did when they said "we found someone who's giving away a 5 month old Husky // Lab mix for 75 bucks. I doubt we'll find this kind of dog at a better price! "
 

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Yea I dig it, I just didn't take it the same way you did. :)
I am going to agree with Sas....

To a degree anyway..... I am not a cat person but in 2005, I got engaged to a cat person. At the time I had an ACD and a foster dog that was looking for a new home because she had killed two cats.

Wife moved in with her two cats and Lab. Had more issues(not many but a couple) getting the Lab to settle in. Never had a cat issue.

Currently have three dogs, two of them ACD's, plus rescue dogs, dogs I am training, etc come through and never have cat issues. I have used the cats, because they are very dog savvy on more than one occasion to train rescues and client dogs to be peaceful with cats.


That being said...... I am under no illusions.

1) It is un natural for an apex predator like a dog to be "friends" with a mid level predator like a cat. In the wild the dog would kill the cat just to eleminate competition.

2) Dog and cat body language is very different. For example ears down in dogs means one thing. But something very different in cats. It is up to the owner to bridge all that mis communication.

3) Cats naturally run from dogs. Dogs naturally chase things that run from them. Something can start with no ill intent and end up with instinct taking over. What looks like a game can change if the cat gets cornered.

I follow three simple rules....

1) NEVER leave dogs and cats together un supervised.

2) No chasing the cats

3) No ambushes or drive bys on the dogs by cats.

The key is to pay attention. Not just to what the animals are doing. But at looks, gestures, who is paying too much attention to whom... etc. Deal with and re direct behavior BEFORE it turns into something..


Using the above, I have no issues and have helped a number of confirmed canine cat haters into dogs that live peacefully with cats.
 

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You could, but it takes a lot of time and effort and even then they should never be left alone together. I have a lab/husky/mastiff mix and it took a lot of effort to get him to not go after my cat. Getting either a dog that's been screened around cats or a puppy between 8-18 weeks is best. Even then, you have to be sure your cats are good with other dogs as well. Some cats, like mine, hate dogs and it stresses them out to be around them. I have two floors to my house and keep them separated. Even when I allow my dog upstair, I keep him away from my cat because my cat tries to fight him (oddly not the other way around). So if I were you, I would do a lot of research both on training and socialization before getting a dog. Also rather than a husky/lab mix, it might be best if you got a dog who wasn't bred for hunting and doesn't have such a high energy level. Even my dog, though he is fine around cats, still has a high prey drive when it comes to most other things so I suggest a mild or low energy breed that was bred more as a companion dog. Also, it's best to look for a reputable breeder or at least pay to get a puppy or got vet checked before deciding. Dogs from a backyard breeder can end up with many health problems. My dog is from a backyard breeder, but I also had him checked by a vet before getting him and I saw his parents' medical records. It's best to go with a breeder known to sell healthy puppies with good temperaments.
 

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I'm in the crowd that says it can be done. My Jax came to me as a 6 month old Husky/"Lab" mix. The lab part has all but been disproven. In any case, while I was aware enough of possible issues and needing to take it slowly, I've since learned I could have introduced them to one another in still a better way. In any case, Turbo (my cat) has always had his places in the house he can go but Jax can't. This typically includes upstairs (Jax is only allowed upstairs at bed time, and even then is confined to my room while Turbo can skirt under the gate and roam freely), and downstairs, Jax isn't allowed on the futon, as the end has a blanket in the corner where Turbo often soaks in the sun through the windows. When I'm gone, Jax is confined to his crate, or sometimes has free roam of the kitchen, however, Turbo has multiple escape routes to get in and out (and he will indeed go in). When home, I watch them closely. Jax will dart after Turbo and attempt to play. Sometimes his playfulness turns more into prey-mode and he seems to be truly going after Turbo. He's still learning, even after 3 months, that that's a no-go. I'll clap my hands, I'll sternly shout at him, or if handy, I'll squirt him with a water bottle. It's still a work in progress, and he definitely has his moments when he's too aggressive and goes for the neck, but it's not too difficult for me, being that Jax is confined to a limited amount of space in the house, even when I'm home. You can do it, and any particular dog may do well or may never do well, but supervision is an absolute must.
 
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