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Any tips on integrating a 9 week old pup with 2 housecats?

kismit
December 29th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Reba is 9 weeks old and we have had her for about a week. She is a Shorgi(German Shepherd Corgi cross) and is right now about the same size as the cats, a fixed male and female. There has been a bit of hissing and the dog has put the run on the cats a couple of times, and then run off herself when one of the cats gets really aggressive. Generally she has the cats keeping to the high ground as neither has experience with dogs. In a few weeks the balance of power will shift permanently to the dog and I don't want her mauling the cats. We figure she will be spending time inside and out, where the cats are almost exclusively inside pets.
What are your experiences with integration? We wanted an older dog but thought we would have a better chance of training a puppy to be at least tolerant of the cats. Anyone?

jessi76
December 29th, 2005, 12:10 PM
I have 2 female cats at home, and earlier this year introduced an 8wk old pup... neither of my cats had any dog experience either. It will take TIME. lots of TIME.

Be sure to provide safe zones for the cats, for example... use baby gates, kitty doors, etc to create rooms that are dog free. The cats will be stressed by the dog, and it's important for them to have safe, stress free spaces. Make sure their litterboxes and eating area's are not in a puppy-zone. Keep the pup crated when you are not home. and most importantly, teach your pup to respect and not harm the cats. she's only 9wks now, but in time you will be able to teach her LEAVE IT.

why will the balance of power shift to the dog? It doesn't have to. My oldest cat rules the roost at my house. She won't hesitate to put the dog in his place... and he will submit to her.

so, what does a Shorgi look like? Just out of curiousity where did you find this odd combo? accidental litter? I'm really just curious. post a pic if you can.

Lucky Rescue
December 29th, 2005, 12:43 PM
jessi76 has given excellent advice.'

Do not let the puppy chase or harass the cats - ever. Start training him right now the command "No cat". Keep him confined in a pen or with gates and let the cats have the freedom of the house. They need to learn the dog will not chase them and the dog needs to learn that the cats were there first, and he must earn his freedom with good behavior.

Little puppies and adult cats are the worst combination, so this will take plenty of time and training, but can be done. Your aim is to have a dog who never bothers the cats.

LM1313
December 29th, 2005, 01:38 PM
The "balance of power" will not necessarily shift to the dog just because it's a dog or because it's bigger. When we got Ebony (labrador / border collie mix), our established cat Muffy put her in her place--and kept her there. Chasing the cat was out of the question, though when Ebony was full grown (about the size of a lab), you could sometimes see the cat chasing the dog. It was hilarious, the cat would take a run at the dog, who thought it was a great game and would take off around the yard at full speed as the cat flattened herself against the ground, ready to make another dash at her as she zoomed past. ;)

Anyway, the previous posters have given good advice. Make sure the kitties feel safe and have a retreat. And never, ever let the puppy harass the cats. Don't scold the cats if they whap the dog's nose, that's a valuable learning experience for the puppy. But try not to let the situation escalate that far either.

Not only should you make sure the litterbox is not accessible to the dog for the cats' sakes, but also for the dog's health, since they often enjoy eating cat poop. Ewww!

~LM~