By: Liz Reyes, CPDT-KA, B.S.
There is a lot of bad advice given about introducing a cat to your family dog or vice versa. Some remember the introduction as a stressful time or say it’s impossible to have both. The key to any introduction is time and patience. Here are some procedures and facts, which will make the transition smooth and help some households, have both species.
At this point, you are ready to put them in unprotected contact with each other. Have the dog on a leash and practice commands like sit, down stay and go to bed (place) with your dog while the cat walks around the house or room. Reward the dog for calm behavior. An additional great behavior to have strongly trained into your dog is the recall or the come command. Have your dog doing great recalls from hard distractions will help if something was to go awry during the training process.
Lastly, if your dog is calm with the cat with the last step you may start allowing the dog to freely walk around the house with the leash on but dragging. Intermittently, reward your dog for showing calm interest in the cat, or any calm behaviors such as lying down to take a nap or calmly watching the cat walk by. Finally, you may remove the leash.
It’s a Dog’s World K-9 Academy, Inc. can offer in-home assistance with socializing your dog and cat. It’s a Dog’s World’s professional, certified trainers can help the socialization experiments be a success and can assist further if your dog is a breed with a high prey drive that likes to chase cats or if you just adopted a dog and the cat bonding history is unknown. Socializing the two calls for some extra dog training, this will help your dog calm down and listen during the introduction process. Visit us on-line to schedule a free consultation or to find out more info about It’s a Dog’s World, http://www.itsadogsworld.biz/.