I have a 6 year old Aussie shepherd mix. He is pretty shy but likes to cuddle. Is there a way to find out if he would get along with a cat? Someone told me there is a way to test but I don’t know how to do the test. I realize the test may not be 100% accurate.
Do you have any local friends with dog-friendly cats? You can do an introduction in a controlled way. Just from his breed, I’d be leery - sometimes working dogs get very excited when they first meet non-dog critters.
Some good advice here: http://bestfriends.org/resources/how-introduce-dog-cat
Have you trained the dog to minimize its herding/nipping instinct?
You have to show the dog that the cat is member of the family, not livestock to be herded.
Aside from that, it’s about gradual exposure to cats and seeing how the dog reacts, especially how the dog reacts to the cat running away.
I don’t think a “test” will work. Just because one dog gets along with one cat doesn’t mean that dog will get along with all other cats, nor that other cats will accept that dog.
I had an Aussie shepherd mix and they are such great dogs! Mine lived with two cats, but she was introduced when she was a puppy.
I think it can be done, but the introduction should be done slowly and carefully. If your dog has a high prey drive (i.e., likes to chase things–hah, an Aussie mix? Yep.) he will probably want to chase/herd the cat. The cat’s reaction to this will also affect whether they can ultimately get along. It might not work for just any cat. But if you want to add a cat to your household, you can probably do it, because most dogs eventually go along with more or less what their owners really want.
I know there are various tests for dogs to see if they can go to doggie day care or are adoptable. I don’t know of one to see if they can live with a cat.
he doesn’t herd or nip, probably because he’s a mix. He looks like he might be part lab. I’ve had him for 3 years, got him from local shelter.
this is a link for the American Humane society telling how to introduce dogs and cats.
Any dog that tries to herd or nip one of my cats will be quite disappointed. And bloody. Everyone knows you can’t herd cats, except in commercials.
Maybe you should call Ghostbusters.
Holding them in your arms nose-to-nose until they stop fighting is a bad idea …
My cats are very dog savvy, generally rather like dogs, and in the case of The Captain, outweigh many dogs. I recently adopted a dog who is a heeler/lab mix and she was fostered in a home with four cats but they’re all shy of dogs and will run if rushed. She tried that with my cats and got her face boxed quite soundly. Now she mostly leaves them strictly alone unless one is on my lap when she wants a cuddle or will very briefly pretend to chase them as they’re already jumping up onto something. So just offhand I’d have to say it depends more on the cats than the dog, really.
Our Australian Cattle Dog Beagle mix bothered the cats so much the first couple of days we had her that we called the agency and said it wasn’t going to work out. They said they’d find someone to take her the next day. At that point she completely stopped bothering them. She was heartbroken years later when her favorite cat died. She would herd him back inside when he bolted from the house.
As said up thread, if a dog likes A cat doesn’t mean he’ll like ALL cats. My Great Dane absolutely loves our kitties, yet if a strange cat walks on our property he’ll give chase. When we introduce a new cat to him we show him how much we care about the kitty by holding it and petting it. As soon as he sees the cat is important to us, the cat is now a full fledged member of the clan and Gunner the Great Dane will care and protect his newest kitty member.
Yes, you can test whether a dog will get along with a cat, at least generally. At shelters there is frequently a resident cat, or known mellow cat, who gets to be the test subject. The cat is loose in a room and able to retreat to a safe place if needed. The dog is introduced while calm and on a leash. Depending on the dog’s reaction you can tell if they will ignore cats, if they are interested in cats but willing to come when called, if they are obsessed with cats, or if they want to kill them.
I think any reaction except the last one is something that you can work with if you want to introduce a cat. If you don’t have a friend with a suitable cat for the test, you can try talking to the rescue group or shelter who might provide your new cat.