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Hi,
Me and my husband are picking up a Golden Retrvier/Lab mix puppy, 8 weeks old on Friday. We already have two cats, a Guinea Pig, a Gecko, fish and a hamster (although at least the Guinea Pig, hamster, Gecko, and fish all have cages or tanks up high) but I'm worried about how he'll interact with my cats, especailly after my mum had to get rid of her cat because of how horrible her dog treated her cat. Whats the best way to train the puppy to look at the kitties as part of the family and something he needs to treat just as kindly as he does the people of the household?
 

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Well you'll want to first introduce him on a leash, so you can stop bad behavior if he starts to exhibit it. I've never actually introduced a dog and cat before. However, I did see a show on tv about it. The trainer put the dog on his back and then showed him the cat. That way the dog is being submissive to the cat. It's good that you're getting a puppy. That way you can start good habits now. Don't let him get away with any aggressive behavior towards the cat. You're going to be setting the rules and you don't want him to get the wrong idea.
 

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With a puppy it's less of a problem. Puppies just want to play with everything.

You'll need a puppy fence anyway to control your puppy's location while you're potty training. When you bring the dog home bring the fence in first and set it up inside the door to separate the dog from the cat. Don't use a leash just bring the dog in and let the dog and cat meet through the fence first. Given it's a puppy, I expect the dog to want to play with the cat. However the cat won't so just make sure he has places to go to get away from the dog.

I would refrain from punishing your dog, especially around the cat. If your dog associates the cat with punishment and he wants to get rid of the punishment, well, you can see where this is going.

Also a good six week puppy class (one hour each week) will teach you to have some control over your dog as well as allowing your dog to play with and get socialized around other dogs. This will prove helpful not only with regard to the cat, but just with life in general.
 

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Dinky Corsetkisser
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I have introduced tons of kitties and dogs, we always make sure for the first week that the cat and dog are never left alone (don't tempt fate) it is so much easier with a puppy, trust me, you can correct all the negative problems alot easier lol. I have used a leash, it just depended on the dogs energy level, we also almost always try to take the puppy/dog on a long walk and run to get the pent up energy out first, makes for a calmer situation, remember when correcting behavior don't yell or panic, that will just scare and confuse the puppy, you have the be as calm as possible, both animals will feed off your energy...I also never force it, if neither care to sniff around I let them do their own thing, I also crate trained so that at night the puppy and kitty couldn't hurt each other...there are alot of great books and web sites with alot of useful information...


My cat is so inlove with the dogs now that he plays fetch with them, sleeps with them and tries to eat with them loland since my puppies are crated at night he will sleep with one paw in each crate lol...remember to be patient and calm, and you will be ok
 

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Hello Earthling
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The way I've introduced kittens to my dogs was put the crate on the floor and open the door.

Obviously that's not going to work with a puppy.

Keep the puppy separate from the cats for at least a few days and everyday rub a blanket or towel on the cat and let the puppy sniff it etc.. and same with the puppy. Rub a towel on the puppy and let the cats smell it.

When you introduce them have the puppy on a leash and let the cats come to the puppy and be sure that they can get away if they want to. For the first while I wouldn't let them be along together.
 

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Can't Stop Touching Her Eyes
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Carie - that is so adorable that Frahnz sleeps with one paw in each crate!

If the kitties have their claws they can show the puppy who's boss. My cats do not have claws but Tyler still showed Frank who was boss by smacking him a few times and biting him once. I didn't let Frank chase the kitties. I was crazy with him and housebreaking so he was on a leash most of the time and kept close to me. Sometimes though Frank would get a little too rough with Tyler and that is when Tyler smacked him. Unfortunately, Bean our other kitty would threaten to smack but then run away. This resulted in Frank having respect for Tyler but none at all for Bean. When Belle came along she just followed everything Frank did.

And crating the puppy is the BEST thing you can do.
 

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You should let them get used to each other. Don't try to force them to get along or interact. Sometimes I find that cats can be testing and they take time to get used to such an intrusion. They will hiss and make a fuss at the pup for a few days usually, even if the pup is being ever so sweet. It is good that your pup is young as socialization and learning from a pup can be a big help once they are older. Although you should supervise their interaction. My pup killed one which got over our fence. Even if its by accident they can still hurt a cat, especially if its just kitten size. So its best to make sure he doesn't play too rough and understands boundaries. There is still some bite inhibition that might need to be learned. With his breeds he may be more likely to have an inhibited but, but dogs are individuals too and I wouldn't let him use his mouth to play with the cat (think how they wrestle with each other, sometimes pups bite, but a cat can be hurt easier).
 
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