Bringing a new protection dog into the home can be a wonderful experience, and a great addition to the family that adds both loyalty and protection. However, it may take some time for family members to adjust to a new dog in the home. More so than the humans in your family, pet cats may have the most difficulty adjusting. However, making the right preparations can help ensure that your pets and your protection dog can live together peacefully.
The first step is always to educate oneself on canine and feline behavior. If you can predict how the animals in your home are going to react to one-another, then you can make the right preparations to ensure that initial introductions go smoothly. First and foremost, understand that canines are social creatures. When introducing your new dog to your cats for the first time, you must ensure that you have complete control of the situation at all times. Under no circumstances should the animals in your home be left alone to sort things out for themselves.
The initial introduction between your new dog and your cats should be done in an environment where you control the safety of your dog and your cats at all times. The use of a dog crate is extremely helpful. To a dog, the crate is a comfortable and relaxing place. Keeping your dog in its crate while inside the home will help it to associate the smell of your cats with comfort of its crate. It is important that your cats recognize the new addition to your home as a safe companion, and not a threat. With time, you can allow your dog into the home while on a leash. Take your time, and don’t rush the process. Remember that you must be in control at all times.
Some cats may insist on instigating problems even after all the precautions you take. Be aware of your pets’ behavior, and how they seem to be handling the new situation. Fortunately, given time, the majority of pets should be able to live in harmony with your new dog. Whether you have a new German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd, taking it slowly and remaining in control are key to ensuring a peaceful and happy bond between your protection dog and your pets.