Post # 1
We told the volunteers at the local SPCA that we already have a dog, a cat, a bird, and a rat, and are looking for a dog to help with our existing dog’s separation anxiety. The behaviorist narrowed it down to 5 dogs, and then we brought our Pete in for a meet and greet. They told us NOT to bring the cat.
This old man clicked with Pete the best out of the five. They think he’s a pit/shepherd mix.
He’s rough around the edges but overall he’s an awesome doggy! Super cuddly and sweet.
There’s just one small problem. He chases our cat. If we wanted a dog who would try to kill our cat, we would have told the people at the SPCA that we don’t have a cat. It’s really shitty that they lied to us about it. What was the point of double-checking with their bahaviorist about it if they were just going to show us a dog who doesn’t get along with cats?
Any suggestions on how to fix this quickly? I really don’t want to give him back to the shelter because of this. He’s got other issues, and I can deal with and work thorugh them. However, this is pretty much a deal-breaker. Our cat was here first and we specifically told them we need a dog who’s cool with cats and birds and small animals that might move fast, precisely so that this wouldn’t be an issue.
At the moment, returning him is on the table but we want to give it several days first.
Post # 2
CorvusCorax: My neighbors got a puppy and they already had 2 cats. Apparently one cat plays with him, while the other cat hides in another room. I’m wondering if you block the cat in a room for a while for them to sniff each other out, does that make sense?
Okay, how about this. I fostered a dog that another dog I have HAAAAATED. My possessed dog wanted to kill this poor little guy. I would take the little guy in another room to play with him and if I was in the same room as crazy dog I either carried him, or put him on the couch next to me. So for 5 days this went on and the crazy one just needed to be around the new little one, smell his scent in the air, etc. Now they are best buddies!!
I don’t know if this will be the case for you. Can you call the shelter/behaviorist and say, hey, what’s up, what can we do??
Post # 3
PS- He’s soooo super cute!!!! Also, maybe there’s a command like “leave it” you could teach the dog.
Post # 4
“leave it” is a great command. Are you sure he is trying to kill the cat and not trying to simply demonstrate dominance or play with it? I doubt they would lie to you, if anything, they may not have known or it could be your own pack’s dynamic working itself out. I’d keep the cat safely in a room when you can’t be around them, but hopefully he can figure out the family dynamic.
Post # 5
CorvusCorax: Did they specifically say that he doesn’t get along with cats? Because many rescues don’t have the option to behavior test with cats so they may not know at all. And they may have just made an educated guess based on his interaction with other dogs.
Is he rough with the cat or just chasing it? He may just not be used to being around one and wants to investigate him. I don’t think its fair that you send him back so early in the game. You said yourself that he is a little rough around the edges so he may just need time to get adjusted. Going from a rescue to a home is a big adjustment for him. He looks young so you may have to keep that in mind as well if he is. Puppies are very curious and if he doesn’t have proper manners he may not know how to investigate this new thing (cat) the right way.
I would suggest introducing them in a controlled environment, slowly with him on a leash so he can sniff the cat and get used to it being around. Maybe keep them separated some until he can get used to the cat being around.
Like I said, he’s going through major adjustment and just needs time. If after ample time he’s still not working well with the cat, contact the rescue and see if they can offer any help with training or maybe personal training with the cat and dog together.
Its worth a shot. Its always worth a shot.
Post # 6
Teach him leave it. Give the cat somewhere to hide, too. We have a lab that was raised with my cat, he likes to try to play with her and will chase her around the house. When she needs a break, I wedge a rubber coated barbell behind “her” bathroom door (Where her food & litter box is.) The dog can’t get in, and she can come and go as she pleases.
Post # 7
CorvusCorax: Maybe desensitize him? Hold him while another person holds the cat sitting next to him? A formal training class might help. My cats figured out that if they don’t run, my dogs won’t chase them. My husband insisted that we get puppies so they would grow up around the cats and be use to them and not chase them. Uhm, they did anyway. So much for your brilliant plan DH
He is a real cutie. I hope you can figure something out. It will be so sad if you have to give him back! Totally not your fault though. Someone dropped the ball at the rescue. Even if you do keep him, I’d still complain to the higher ups. That needs to be addressed so they don’t end up with more dogs getting returned because of bad judgement on the humans part.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2016 - State Park
I rescued a cat after I already had 3 dogs. My cat hated the dogs, and the dogs hated the cat.
Hold the cat, have someone hold the dog and let the dog sniff out the cat. Chances are its a curiosity thing. I highly doubt the dog wants to kill the cat. My guess is that it’s a curiosity thing, and the dog possibly only wanting to play.
ETA: I had to keep the cat separated for the first week. By the second week they were all out while I was home, but separated when I was gone. Now they get along perfectly. Occasionally the dogs even let the cat nuzzle along their legs.
Post # 9
I don’t want to spend too much time trying to “work on it” because it’s not fair to Santa, our cat, to be keeping him in a fearful state all the time. That’s not who he is. He’s not a fearful cat at all, and this whole situation is making him fearful. The cat’s only 6 months old, so he’s at a really formative stage right now. Even as I type, he’s cowering behind the couch too terrified to come out and he’s never done that before. He’s normally a really outgoing, curious, cat. Right now, he’s terrified and I just can’t keep doing this to him.
So while I’m not going to throw in the towel quite yet, I’m not going to give it a lot of time. I spoke with my husband, and we agreed that if there hasn’t been a huge improvement in a week’s time, Scotch will have to go back.
Post # 10
SkinnyLatte17: Well, we told them that we have a cat, a bird, and a rat, and that it’s VERY important that any dog we adopt doesn’t have a tendency to go tearing after small, fast-moving furry things. The volunteer spoke with their behaviorist, who narrowed it down to five dogs we should meet with our existing dog. I mean, they have a behaviorist. We met her briefly and she did say those dogs would be calm around our other animals. What’s the point of having a behaviorist at the shelter if they’re not going to check for these things? Surely we’re not the first people to have walked in there saying we have a cat and it’s very important that the dog gets along with cats.
Hard to tell from the picture, but he’s actually 8 years old.
Post # 11
That’s pretty crappy, considering it’s a pitt mix – I hope the shelter you got him from is a no-kill, or you may be sentencing him to death.
If you couldn’t work on obvious – obvious – dominance/tempermental issues, why on earth would you adopt a dog? As ALL animals have different reactions, he could be very well fine with other cats and tested with other cats but not as good with your own.
A week… that’s ridiculous. Time and patience is needed, and you simply don’t seem to have either.
Post # 12
nikkiibee: So you’re suggesting that we subject our cat to being terrified for however long it takes? How is that fair to our cat at all? This is something that can have a lasting effect on the cat, so no. We don’t have that much time.
Why are you blaming me that the shelter’s behaviorist was dishonest about his temperament?
Post # 13
CorvusCorax: well, it sounds like your mind is already made up. In the future maybe you should refrain from adopting any additional animals if you don’t want to “work on it”
Post # 14
CorvusCorax: I work at an animal shelter. If you’re not willing to work with him it is best to return him now and give him a chance to find another home sooner rather than later. Dogs can be taught the command “leave it” with cats but it takes time.
I think you’re being too harsh on the behaviourist. Most shelters do not test for dog on cat aggression and cannot make any guarentee how a pet will integrate with existing animals in the home. The shelter environment is simply not a fair representation of how they will act with a family. I would recommend you look at a rescue or ask the shelter to recommend dog who have been in foster care and is successfully living with cats already.
I can sense you’re pretty angry about this situation. Feel free to express your concerns to the SPCA but I urge you to show some compassion for their job. It’s an emotionally draining and often overwhelmingly sad place to work. They are doing they best they can and they gain nothing by lying to potential adopters. They don’t want to see animals returned.
Here’s our shelter’s statement on pet introductions. We do not do any type of testing between dogs and cats:
How a pet interacts in the shelter environment is not necessarily an indicator of how they will behave at home. Home is full of resources to guard and changes in routine, which may not occur in a shelter environment. Even shelter introductions with other dogs, cats or children may not inform us about their behavior in the home. A pet may behave differently with each dog, cat or child based on their past experiences, how introductions are performed or the way the other dog, cat or child approaches or behaves. For example, if a dog only sniffs a cat who stands still, it doesn’t tell us what he will do when the cat runs away. If the cat is in a crate for the introduction, the dog’s behavior could be a result of the barrier, a result of a novel situation, or even the dog’s experiences with crates!
It is dangerous to make broad generalizations about how each pet would behave with resident dogs, cats or children due to this amount of variability. Although shelter introductions may provide further information on compatibility, we support adopters by providing management tips for the first few months to help facilitate, supervise and monitor interactions among their resident dog, cat or children and the new dog to ensure a successful placement.
Post # 15
WestCoastV: I am willing to “work on it”. I think a week is a very reasonable timeframe. How much time do you think would be reasonable? Keep in mind that the cat shouldn’t be kept in this constant state of fear. Yes, the cat matters too. It’s really odd that certain people don’t seem to realize that.
We made it very clear to the behaviorist that this part was not negotiable, and that it’s of utmost importance that any dogs we adopt are not cat-chasers. I was not expecting them to be best buddies right away. The moment they saw each other, Scotch went tearing after the cat like a bat out of hell, snarling and snapping.