Can cats and dogs exist peacefully together under the same roof? This is a common question that many people ask considering that there have always been stories showing these two most popular pets as mortal enemies. The good news is, cats and dogs can get along fine, some even become the best of friends. If you have a resident cat and wants to bring home a new dog, knowing what dog breeds are good with cats will certainly go a long way toward ensuring that your pets can peacefully coexist.
It is a fact that not all breeds of dogs can get along fine with cats. For example, toy dogs and sporting breeds tend to be sociable and affectionate. They’d easily make friends with anybody, including cats. However, hyperactive terriers which were originally developed to hunt and kill rodents and vermin may not be as friendly. A cat’s fast movements could trigger a terrier’s predatory instincts. Just like terriers that, sight hounds and the herding group of dogs also possess hard-wired predatory instincts. Take note, however, that these personalities and instincts are generalizations. There are always exceptions in the group.
The keys to ensuring that a resident dog or cat will accept a newcomer will depend on several important factors such as:
Making the proper introductions
During the introductory period, never leave your new dog alone with your cat. You must be around to monitor their body language and be quick to correct any issues that may arise. Cats are sensitive creatures and they will need time to adjust to the arrival and presence of a new pet, especially of another species. Make sure that your kitty has an escape route, one that is easily accessible in case he feels threatened and needs to get out of the dog’s reach immediately.
The importance of socialization cannot be overemphasized. During this period, cats and dogs are exposed to various situations that include people, cats, dogs, and other animals so they will not be frightened or become aggressive when they encounter certain situations later in life. These interactions that take place early in life can help shape an animal’s personality and make them more social and accepting.
It will be easier to keep a tight rein on pet dogs that have undergone obedience training. A dog that heeds basic obedience commands such as ‘leave it’, ‘stay’, etc. is easier to control.
How quickly a cat and dog co-exist peacefully will also depend on their personalities. An older cat will be less reluctant to be the object of attention of an overly active puppy.
In addition to your research, there are other important sources of information that you could read up on, such as reputable dog breeders, other pet owners, and even your veterinarian. Any information that you could gather can help you choose the best dog breed to bring home without having to deal with major problems down the road.
Dog Breeds That Are Good With Cats
Beagles belong to the scent hound group that is composed of dogs that possess an exceptional sense of smell. These dogs were originally bred to help hunters by sniffing out prey. They hunted in large packs thus they need to be able to get along well with other dogs in the pack. With proper introductions, most beagles will be happy living with cats as they tend to view them as just another pack member.
2. Basset Hound
The basset hound is also a scent hound. These low-key dogs are friendly and patient. Cats would love them as they are mild-mannered and not as rambunctious as other dogs. But basset hounds have a stubborn streak and obedience training can be a tad challenging.
A bulldog’s heavy frame and appearance would certainly be intimidating for cats if not for their friendly and easygoing personality.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These gentle little dogs are very affectionate and can easily adapt well to any situation. They make loyal lap dogs and loving companions to humans, cats, and just about any animal.
5. Border Collie
Most members of the herding group do not live well with cats, but the mellower and exceedingly gentle Border Collie is an exception. You may remember “Lassie” the border collie who is very loving and affectionate not only with kids but of most pets.
6. Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is one of the most popular canine breeds in the world. They are well-loved for their gentle nature and good manners that know no bounds. Golden retrievers are friendly and good-natured. Most can co-exist successfully with cats provided that proper introductions are made.
All varieties of poodles -- standard, miniature, and toy varieties-- can usually live peacefully along with cats under one roof. They are smart and intelligent dogs with a calm temperament.
Similar in size to a toy poodle, the Maltese possesses an easy-going attitude. They love lazing around on the couch, without minding what is going on around them, including the resident cat running his claws at the scratching post.
9. Labrador Retriever
The high energy level of Labrador Retrievers equals their affectionate and gentle personalities. They are among the friendliest dogs around, getting along with everyone, humans, and animals alike.
Pugs are oozing with love and personality. They are not inclined to chase anything including cats. With proper introductions, they can live successfully with cats. In fact, they could keep each other company and could be left home alone without any problems.
Newfies are popular for being gentle giants, possessing a calm demeanor, and tons of patience. They make great pack members of multi-pet households. Even with their low energy levels, they are protective of their pack members.
Also read: Dog Breeds Suitable for Home