How To Introduce A German Shepherd To A Cat
How to Socialize a German Shepherd Puppy with a Cat
German shepherds are intelligent, loyal dogs with a strong natural prey drive and herding instinct. These characteristics can make them unsuitable as feline companions, as they may regard a kitty as worth chasing. However, if you adopt the shepherd as a puppy and socialize him properly, you can achieve harmony.
Set up a separate room for your cat, complete with a litter box, food, and water dishes.Feed your German shepherd pup on the other side of the room door so he can smell the kitty and the two pets can safely interact. Your dog will also enjoy eating outside the cat’s door, which will help it associate the cat with something good.
Remember that during his first three months of life, when the American Kennel Club says he is most open to learning and socialization, you want your German shepherd puppy to associate your cat with only good things.
As soon as your German Shepherd pup gets home, teach him some basic commands. “Sit,” “stay,” and the all-important “leave it” are all basic commands. You won’t be able to control your shepherd around the kitty unless you use these commands; otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time. German shepherds are intelligent dogs who respond well to positive training methods and treats. Puppy kindergarten classes can also assist your pup with basic obedience training.
Encourage your German shepherd puppy’s natural desire to chase animals or objects, and he’ll be less likely to chase your kitty around the house. German shepherds have strong prey and herding instincts, which means they regard cats as prey or livestock to be hunted or herded. If your shepherd tries to chase any living thing while on a leash, tell him “no” and immediately stop any fun play with him. To satisfy this instinct, encourage him to fetch and return doggie toys.
Allow your cat to meet and interact with your German shepherd while the new animal is safely contained in a large, comfortable crate. Correct your shepherd puppy if he growls or shows any signs of aggression toward the cat by telling him “no.” If no one brings your shepherd under control right away, remove him from the crate or remove the cat from the room. Allow the dog to be alone for a while to reinforce the idea that a good thing has been taken away from him as a result of his behavior. If everything goes well during the first meeting, keep it short — five or ten minutes — and gradually extend it as your pup shows fewer or no signs of aggression toward the kitty. Treats should be used to reward calm interaction.
Introduce the pets without the crate, and control the German shepherd with a leash. Allow them to interact with one another in person. During the initial meetings, command your dog to sit and stay, gradually allowing him to approach the kitty. Give him praise and treats if he remains calm. Otherwise, use “leave it” to keep him under control. You should only let your pup off leash after several sessions of consistent positive interaction.
Make a safe haven for your cat that your German shepherd dog can’t get to. Install a cat-size pet door at the base of the door to that room to accomplish this. Give your pup his own space, including a crate. Because German shepherds can be territorial, you should give each pet his own space, which is especially important if your shepherd is older and weighs more than 90 pounds.