How many times have we seen cute videos and pictures of dogs and cats getting along on Instagram? The answer is way too many. I recently came across an image of a huge dog sleeping and a cute teeny tiny kitten snuggled up next to the dog’s face. Never believe everything you see on social media, that’s my sincere advice.
However, if you are one of the few people who like cats and dogs alike, there are ways to make your cat and dog get along. Where there is a will there is a way. It is hard to believe but even a German shepherd can be trained to live in harmony with cats. I know this from experience that a vicious guard dog like German shepherd can learn to be with cats without attacking them.
Reason why a German shepherd won’t get along with cats:
It is quite simple. Cats who are unfamiliar with dogs are usually afraid of them, especially if it’s a big dog like a German shepherd. German shepherds are usually guard or attack dogs and it’s in their instinct to pounce. If a cat makes sudden movements or runs away, it is natural that this canine will attack.
Teaching your German shepherd not to stack cats:
German shepherds are huge, strong, active, dominant prey driven canines. Teaching one to abstain from pouncing or chasing a cat might take some extra effort but it is totally doable. What you want to teach your dog is to either ignore the cats or approach the cat in a friendly and non-threatening manner. One other factor to be kept in mind is that cats are not all that innocent. They might even try to provoke dogs. It has been observed that cats become rather uncooperative, especially if the dog is trying to b friendly.
It might take some time of the dog is not fond of cats and has been chasing and attacking cats. One way to make sure your dog and cat get along is to introduce them at early stages. Meaning, when a puppy and a kitten are introduced they will probably be friends when they are all grown up. However, if that did not happen and you need to teach your grown up dog to not attack cats, following are a few steps you can follow.
Steps to train your German shepherd:
- Ø Down- stay technique:
The first and most important thing is that your German shepherd knows the stay-down command well. The dog should be aware of what tone and gesture means down stay. Since German shepherds are highly intelligent and loyal canines, they are pretty likely to learn it quick. Use positive reinforcement and practice these commands in different environments.
- Introduction of cat:
The next step is the introduction of a cat. Make sure that it is volunteer cat, who is familiar with big dogs and can stay in a hard sided carrier.
- Correct your dog’s behavior:
Now the next step is to bring the dog over to the cat, preferably on a leash. If and when the German shepherd sees the cat and pounces on it, say “NO” in a loud and firm voice. Make sure the leash is intact. Reinforce positive behavior of the German shepherd.
- Release cat:
This is the last but critical stage, releasing the cat so it can approach the dog. Let the cat approach the dog at its own pace. Continue the down-stay position of the dog and be alert with the leash. Let the cat approach the German shepherd and be sniffed and be friendly with each other. Ensure the dog is lying down or is down stay position. If your dog maintains proper decorum and does not attack, give him a treat.
You can achieve you desired results however this will need a lot of practice and patience on your part.