It is easier to get a young German Shepherd into your cat’s den than an older one.
German shepherds are intelligent, loyal bitches with strong natural herding instincts and prey drivers. These qualities can make them somewhat undesirable as a companion to a cat that they consider to be worth hunting. But harmony can prevail, especially if you adopt the Shepherd as a puppy and socialize him properly.
Isolate your cat in a separate room that is equipped with a litter box, food, and water dishes. Feed your German Shepherd puppy into the room on the other side of the door so that he can smell the kitten, and the two pets can interact with each other safely. Your puppy will also have the pleasant experience of eating on the cat’s doorstep and associating the presence of the cat with something good.
Remember, during its first three months in the life of your German Shepherd, when the American Kennel Club says he’s most open to learning and socializing, you want your puppy to only associate your cat with good things.
Train your German Shepherd puppy with some basic commands as soon as it comes home. The basic commands include “sitting,” “staying,” and the all-important “leaving.” With these commands, you can control your Shepherd around the cat. Without them, you waste your time. German shepherds are highly intelligent; You learn quickly with positive training methods and treat rewards. Puppy kindergarten classes can also help your puppy with basic obedience training.
Keep your German Shepherd puppy’s instinct from chasing animals or objects so that he is less likely to chase your cat indoors. German shepherds have healthy prey and shepherd drives, which means that they see animals like kittens as something that can either be hunted or hunted. Say “no” to your Shepherd on a leash when trying to track a living creature and immediately end any fun game with him. Encourage him to fetch and return dog toys to satisfy this instinct.
Allow your kitten to meet and interact with your German Shepherd while the new animal is in a large, comfortable crate to ensure the safety of your cat companion. If your German Shepherd growls or shows signs of aggression towards the kitten, correct him by saying, “No.” If no, do not bring your Shepherd under control immediately, remove him when he is outside the box or take the cat out of the room. Leave the dog alone for a while to reaffirm the notion that a good thing – you – has been taken away because of his behaviour. If things go well after the introduction, keep the first meeting short – five or 10 minutes – and gradually extend it as your puppy shows little or no signs of aggression towards the kitten. Reward calm interaction with tasty treats.
Introduce the pets without the crate and leave the German Shepherd on a leash to check it. Allow them to make personal contacts. Encourage your dog to sit and stay during the first few sessions, and gradually let them approach the kitten if he stays calm, praise, and treat him. Otherwise, control it with “let it.” Only after consistently positive interaction over several meetings should you let your puppy off the leash.
Create a safe space for your cat that your German Shepherd puppy cannot enter. To do this, install a cat-sized pet door at the foot of the door to this room. Also, give your puppy a separate area, including a box. German shepherds can be territorially aggressive. So you want each pet to have its territory. This is especially important if your Shepherd is older and over 90 pounds.
Items you need
Food and water dishes
Large dog crate
Before adopting a German Shepherd puppy, ask the breeder or shelter behaviour researcher whether the puppy grew up with cats before adoption. If he were, he’d be more likely to get along with your cat.
German shepherds are energetic companions who need a lot of exercises to prevent behavioural disorders. Give your little puppy lively movement and play for an hour every day. A well-trained puppy will have less desire or energy to chase your kitten around the house.
Spay or neutralize your German Shepherd puppy before the age of 6 months when it reaches puberty to reduce aggressive and dominant tendencies towards your kitten.
German shepherds are natural prey and could seriously injure a kitten if, due to its size, it is only partially considered a hunting object. If, despite slow instruction, you have problems with your Shepherd and kitten, contact a certified animal behaviour researcher.
German Shepherd puppies do not respond well to harmful training methods or punishment. Negative reinforcement can cause aggressive behaviour and may make it dangerous for people and other pets.