Monday 10 June 2019

Dogs & Cats- The Hardest Relationship in The World

The dogs with cats debate often turns into a battle worthy of Game of Thrones, but it is something that needs to be discussed. I test ALL the dogs that come into my rescue with cats, and I'm not talking one cat here, I'm talking a lot of cats, however, I know what I'm doing.

Everything I do is based on my experience, AND mistakes along the way, dogs chase cats it is in their nature, so any intro with cats MUST be slow. You have to remember that me testing the dogs is not in a home environment, it is based on temperament testing.

When I rehome a dog, and people ask me if they are good with cats, I often wonder what does that mean? I have dogs they live with cats, 99% of the time they don't even lift their heads when the cats walk past, and that 1% they chase. Yep, they chase a cat they have lived with for months/years. Does that make them bad with cats?

When I test my dogs, it is about body language, how they react, the interaction between the dog and cat. From this I can make an assessment on whether this dog wants to kill a cat, or is likely to live alongside one. However, it still needs work on the adopters part to make sure the transition goes smoothly.

Cats are incredibly territorial, therefore, when you bring a new, stinky dog into their home, they will be pissed off. Even if they currently live with a dog, that is their dog, and a new one, well that's fresh meat to terrorize. Cats hate change, so slow and steady is what is called for, not open the door, throw them in the same room and hope.

So, it comes back to listening, asking advise, not thinking you know best as the adopter. Not throwing the dog back at us within 48 hours because you didn't want to slow intro. Some dogs will gel with your cat quickly, others will hate each other for eternity... thats life!

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