Introducing A Dog To Cats
Step 1) If you already have cats in the household, make sure they each have their own space where they feel safe in. Ensure there is somewhere to hide if they want to get away from the dog. Do not try to force a friendship! One way to do this is by using boxes or simply putting blankets over some furniture so that they can climb up into them and feel comfortable there when needed. They need a space just for them, so they are not always on the run.
Step 2) Next, make sure the dog is trained well: it should know the commands “sit” and “stay,” which will be used later.
Step 3) After you have spent some time getting your dog to understand what a cat is and how to act around them (i.e., leaving them alone when told), take this opportunity to let your cat get used to being around the dog while they are sitting or lying down. Do this in a place that feels safe for your cats (such as a bathroom). Have treats ready so that you can give them as rewards for coming near the dog without being afraid or acting scared. Continue until your cat becomes comfortable enough around the dog to be rewarded with a treat, then take the cat away from the situation for a while and repeat.
Step 4) Over time, you will find that your dog can sit or lie down next to your cat so that they can share space without it being an issue. Once this is achieved, you can let them interact for more extended periods while still keeping them separated by using boxes or blankets if needed.
Another tip: if you have more than one cat in the household, keep them separated when introducing them to one another. It helps, especially when you have an older cat who might not have much patience left for a younger kitten who doesn’t know any better!
Step 5) Once your Dog has learned good behavior around cats, you can let them have an area of the house in which they are allowed to run loose and play. Make sure there is a door or gate available for them if they need to retreat quickly from any other animals that might be in the home!
NOTE: If your Dog growls at some point when trying to get used to a new cat, make sure they know this is unacceptable before continuing with any more training.
Some dogs can have issues with anxiety, and it’s important not to push the issue too hard if you sense this being an issue. They will feel much more comfortable once they get used to having another animal in the home. You will be able to tell when they are now relaxed about the new situation.
Step 6) The next step is to let them have a free run around in the house. At the same time, there is a barrier between themselves and any other animals in your household. Make sure this keeps everyone safe! Some dogs may need to stay on a leash, but with time, training, and love from you, they should learn how to act around your cat. Do not try to force this issue: if they aren’t ready yet or if it seems like they could become aggressive, simply put them away for now until they are feeling more comfortable or until you can get some help from someone who knows more than you.
Step 7) Once the Dog is comfortable enough with being in a room where your cat has adequate space and hiding abilities, you can slowly move on to putting them together while giving the separate dog time when they are not together. This way, both the dog and cat get plenty of alone time along with having the chance to share time together. Make sure you don’t leave them alone right away: you should start out by making sure they are only around each other for a few minutes at first, then gradually increase this amount of time over a few weeks or so until they can spend whole days together (or even better, nights!). If things seem like they’re not going well and neither animal appears relaxed and happy about the situation, don’t force it. Make sure they are okay with what’s going on, and then try again once they’re more comfortable around each other.
Step 8) When you feel that the two of them get along well enough to be left alone together, this is when you can consider allowing your dog a free run of the house without any separation between him/herself and your cats. Like in step 6, make sure there is a way to escape if needed!
Some dogs may never have problems being around cats or other animals, while others might take some time to get used to everything. Don’t forget to ask yourself if your dog will be fine living in a home where they don’t have the opportunity to be around small animals or other pets. On the other hand, they may be perfectly happy living with just you as an owner. This alone is something you should consider when considering getting a pet dog.
In any case, make sure that both your dog and cat come first in this situation and that all of them are comfortable with where they stand together before anything else!
Be patient, good luck!
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