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Old 05-21-2010, 12:52 PM
dipflop dipflop is offline
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Default New Dog to Resident Cat Introduction

Hi all. I've been volunteering with a local rescue group and doing some training with them. I have been working with a dog that might be getting adopted next week. They are going to be doing a introduction between the resident cat and the rescue dog. She is a 3 y/o lab mix.

My plan was to have her on leash in the house and give both her and the cat plenty of room to feel each other out. If possible, I would try to utilize a baby gate to allow them to smell each other. One concern I have is that the dog has shown some leash frustration with other dogs when on walks. I have had the foster parent working on some loose leash walking exercises.

Do you think this will transfer over to the cat if she is pulling to try to get to it?

How do you prefer to do dog to cat introductions?

Thanks for any and all help!
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:30 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Yeah, I do think the leash frustration will transfer when she's pulling to get to the cat.

To work on that, I'd suggest using a front-clip harness.... IME dogs are less stressed on the front-clip harness than they are on a collar. Obvioulsy do not use choke or prong collars on a leash-reactive dog.

I'd also suggest using the game "Look at That" for the cat introduction. THis tends to keep the dogs' frustration levels down so that they don't get all worked up.

Besides that, I'd definately use a baby gate to keep them separated.... and I've also done this where I put the cat in a large dog crate and desensetize the dog to the cat. But that can be a tricky method if you don't know how your cat is around other dogs, because it might stress him out so much that he will end up hating dogs, too.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:00 PM
Dagny Dagny is offline
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I suggest crating the new dog rather than the cat. That way, the cat feels safe and unrestricted in its own territory. It can approach the dog at its leisure. It could take a while, but it's best not to force the issue. In addition, this often gives the message to both pets that the cat is dominant. It could be particularly beneficial if the dog is much larger and could pose a threat of accidental injury to the cat during even minor tussles. A dominant cat will seldom interfere with a dog as long as it left alone.
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