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Heya!

I've posted a couple months ago about getting a dog and well, back then my partner was dead-set on buying a purebred puppy, but over time I've managed to convince/talk to him about possibly getting an adult dog from a shelter, hurray!

Anyway, my biggest concern is that the house we live in is pretty small and we own indoors-only cats. There's a very large forested area outside and since I am home pretty much 24/7, I am looking to spend lots of time with the dog on walks/exploring/whatnot.

Another problem is that most of the shelters/dogs we've been looking at have not been tested for being compatible/okay with cats. I know that every dog has a prey drive and that some are more intent than others. Our cats are pretty relaxed/lazy animals. One of them used to live with a dog before we got him, but I'm not sure if he actually remembers it (since he was a little kitten back then) as it was a long time ago.

Anyway, my point is: what should we look for in a dog that might be more accepting of cats, or how to make intros easier?

Thanks a lot in advance!
 

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Do the shelters do cat tests upon adoption consideration? My shelter doesn't do a cat test for every dog that comes in, but if a potential adopter has cats we will certainly do one for them with them present as well.
 

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When you adopt the dog, tell them that you have cats, and ask about return policies.

Three things to consider, that I can think of:
1. Most dogs aren't that bad with cats, and some monitoring, as well as rule enforcement is enough. Socializing works.
2. However, some dogs are very animal aggressive, attacking any small prey.
3. On the other hand, some dogs won't bother cats, unless they run...

My Lab mix is comparatively placid, not bothering cats, or even rabbits that people hold. But if they run, he'll chase. In addition, he will attack squirrels and some birds, whenever he sees them... Each individual is different.
 

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the shelter we adopted from would not let us take batman home until all pets including cats, and children under 18 had met and interacted with him.

I'm sure, even if this isn't the policy of your shelter, they would be more than happy to accommodate you. just ask if you can bring your cat to meet him before you make a final decision.
 

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I know only some of shelters out here do temperament tests with cats when it comes to the dogs and it depends on if a volunteer does it. Though I know all of the ones out here highly suggest if you have any kids, other dogs or even cats to bring them in to see how it goes. I would say call, you never know. I know they do it out here cause they really want to find the pets homes and know people do worry about if they will get along with other dogs, cats kids etc.
 

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Even if the dogs have been temperment tested you may need to have a safe area for the cats to escape to if the dog gets over attentive. A kiddy gate into a bedroom or across a set of stairs is sufficient.
 

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Generally, if you get a dog as a puppy you can socialize them to your cats. However, I think it's great that you're considering an adult dog. Since the shelter hasn't cat-tested them, consider staying away from hounds that were bred to hunt animals similar in size to cats, sight-hounds that will chase anything that runs, terriers used for rat-catching, etc. I've heard many labs do well with cats.
 

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Kudos to you for adopting, but your concern with the cat is valid. My second dog is good with cats, or the rescue I got him from told me so. Well we adopt a cat and my house turns into world war 3. He wanted at the second he saw her. We tried as hard as we could to integrate them and slowly allow them into the same areas of the house and it only escalated to a point we felt it was unsafe for the cat and returned her back to her owner. Being your dog is coming into a new environment and isnt territorial over it as mine were It may be a different story, or maybe he will love cats as my frist dog does and want to cuddle with them! I would definitely recommend asking the shelter to do a cat compatibility test before settling on a dog. Also as Lark said, keep in mind the breed that fits your lifestyle and arent natural hunters as my terrier/heeler mix is.

Best of Luck!!
 

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Labs can do well with cats. But with most dogs, there are possibly two considerations: prey drive with a running animal and prey drive with a stationary animal. My dog will go after all squirrels moving or stationary (even street-squashed squirrels, until investigated). However, if a cat or rabbit aren't moving, he won't chase them. If the rabbit runs, my dog turns preditor. However, if a cat runs, I think that my dog is just chasing it for fun, like he might chase another dog... with no ill-intentions if he catches up.
 

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the shelter we adopted from would not let us take batman home until all pets including cats, and children under 18 had met and interacted with him.

I'm sure, even if this isn't the policy of your shelter, they would be more than happy to accommodate you. just ask if you can bring your cat to meet him before you make a final decision.
Wow I can't imagine if I had to do that!! Hauling 3 cats over an hour to the shelter to then see how they interacted with ANYTHING in a foreign environment would be a nightmare!!
 

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Wow I can't imagine if I had to do that!! Hauling 3 cats over an hour to the shelter to then see how they interacted with ANYTHING in a foreign environment would be a nightmare!!
Ha. It's pretty annoying even when the shelter cats are used. Generally we will find a cat who doesn't give a care, or use a kitten. What we're looking for is how fixated the dog is on the cat, and if the cat runs or plays or any thing quick what the dog will do in response.
 

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I adopted a dog (Scottish Terrier mix) a couple years ago, not knowing whether or not he would do well with my cats who had never been around a dog before.
What I did was slowly introduce them by letting them smell one another from separate rooms. I would place the cats or dog in one room, close the door and let them smell one another from under the door, I also put the dog's blanket in the cat room to let them smell that as well. After awhile, I opened the door and placed a baby gate at the opening so that they could see each other but could not touch.
The dog was excited and the cats were nervous, but after awhile they got used to one another from that distance and were fine.
They get along fine, although you will never see them sleep or play with one another. The terrier leaves them alone for the most part, but he will still chase them if they run. Always have a place for the cat to escape.
That is just what I had done.

Our new, 3 year old Lab was raised with cats and is very friendly towards all animals that we have introduced him to, besides my parrots, who I never have around other animals.
The cats are actually more comfortable with him than they are the more established dog, it's only been a few days and they are already sleeping near each other. Just about every Labrador that I have encountered have been accepting towards other animals.
 

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My dog will go after all squirrels moving or stationary (even street-squashed squirrels, until investigated).
this made me laugh =)

My dogs chase everything, flies and bugs, rodents, lizards, birds. If it moves and they can chase it they will. Thankfully they can only catch the bugs so far and everything else escapes. We know we can never try another cat with Picasso though, no matter the integration process, he just doesn't like cats. I couldnt imagine tryin to bring cats to a shelter to meet a prospective pup either, thats nuts!
 
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