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Are There Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats?

What Breeds Get Along With Cats?

Do you have a cat in the house but also want to have a dog? Then you have probably considered the question: are there dog breeds that get along with cats? Since we all know how dogs and cats seem to be natural born enemies, we sometimes think that such a thing might be impossible. However, there are some dog breeds that can come to good terms with cats and save you from house trouble.

Having personally owned many dogs and cats over the years, I can safely say that just about any dog can get along with a cat, but there are some breeds that are better at it, and some that are not so good. However, you must keep in mind that even if the breed you have does relate and cope well with cats, the best way to keep them in good terms (for any breed) is early puppy socialization. When your dog knows how to deal with strangers and other animals, then any cat and dog fight is less likely to occur. Lots of times “coming to terms” with the cat happens when the cat claws the puppy across the nose!! And that is usually the end of the dog’s aggression.

A good way to help a dog be on good terms with your house cat is to socialize it with the cat as early as possible, preferably during the puppy stage. The process must be gradually done, and soon your two pets will be best friends.

Are There Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats?

However, there are some breeds that are known to connect well with felines. These include: Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Samoyed, Newfoundland, Golden Retriever, Old English Sheepdog and Labrador Retriever. These dogs are best known to be intelligent and with a good temperament, which makes them naturally friendlier towards cats and other animals. They can also adapt to new experiences more easily. However, the friendship and relationship between the dog and a cat may still vary depending on their personalities, past experiences, and new situations that may rise or occur in the household.

As there are dog breeds that are compatible with cats, there are also breeds that vets and other experts generally do not recommend being around felines. These are: Parson Russell Terriers or Jack Russell Terriers (the most cat-hating breed known), Pit bulls (as they are mostly depicted in popular media such as cartoons and TV shows), Greyhounds, Cairn Terrier, Weimaraners, Rottweiler, Welsh Terrier, German Pinscher, Border Collie and the Irish Terrier. Border Collies are actually friendly dogs but because they are often used for herding, they can have a certain hatred for cats.  Weimaraners are also known to be extremely aggressive towards felines.

These dogs can be a problem in your household if there is a cat. But there can also be exceptions, such as some reports of Pit bulls being friendly towards cats. However, one should also be aware that there are many cases of cats that were attacked by Pit bulls. Some dogs breeds are aggressive in nature, so this can be a problem — use your best judgment.

My own experience is that any dog can get along with cats if they have started with early exposure to them. As stated in a Suite101.com article:

Some dog breeds tend to be good with cats while others can be problematic, though almost any dog can be cat-friendly with the right upbringing.

Most dogs are good with cats if they have lived with them from an early age, but some dog breeds tend to be particularly cat-friendly.

So for the question are there dog breeds that get along with cats, the conclusion here is that no matter what your dog’s breed is, it still can depend on certain factors whether your dog will get along well with cats. Proper training and socialization is very important, as well as the temperament of both. Dogs can be trained to like cats, and vice-versa, so you can have a peaceful and harmonious life with them.

My cats and dogs have always gotten along well. How about yours?

11 Responses to Are There Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats?
  1. Julie Deschenes
    March 26, 2014 | 8:47 am

    In my experience, having had cats for 15 years, and dogs. The most protective and gentle toward my cats were Great Pyrenees. They have no prey drive, and were bred to care for sheep, goats and their young. They are also very tolerant of children. One I know lives with ferrets and lets them climb all over him.

  2. Bec
    March 23, 2014 | 3:05 pm

    Thanks for the insight. I have an active two year old rescue cat and was thinking of rescuing a Greyhound.
    You just reminded me that they are taught to race after a small animal. They may not be the best fit.
    Back to the drawing board……

  3. Maddie
    March 17, 2014 | 3:03 pm

    I am so angry about this Pit Bulls can get alone with cats fine! There is no certain breed where every dog in that breed gets alone great with cats. Some dogs just don’t like cats and some do.

  4. Eleanor
    January 20, 2014 | 11:02 pm

    I think that there’s no way of guaranteeing the outcome with this kind of thing, because so much depends on situation and timing.
    We had a Springer spaniel puppy and a kitten within about three months of each other, and because they grew up together they got along great. Unfortunately the Springer passed away last summer (just one month short of his 10th birthday :( ). We’ve since gotten a new puppy, same breed as the last dog, but the cat (who is now showing his age) is not a fan! New puppy just wants to play but unsurprisingly our cat is having none of it. We hope that once the puppy (who is now about six months old) calms down a bit they’ll be able to tolerate each other better, but it just goes to show that the relationship between our first dog and the cat was truly special – we don’t think that they realised they weren’t actually brothers!

  5. gls
    September 25, 2013 | 6:46 pm

    My 1 year old cat Sam(adopted from the pound when he was 10 months old) seems to actively seek out dogs as friends! I live on a golf course and in the evening many people walk their dogs on the paths, and my cat and I go out and greet the dogs!! Sam shows zero fear, even to the largest of dogs. My next door neighbor has Toby, an Australian sheep dog, who’d never been exposed to cats; and my cat now walks right over and joins Toby- he’ll hang out with him for hours! Meanwhile, my older cat wants nothing to do with even the friendliest dog.

  6. Valerie
    August 28, 2013 | 2:26 pm

    I have two standard poodles who did not live with any cats until they were 3 and 5 years old. The 3-year-old has a strong prey drive. Their first cat was older, declawed, small, and had lived with a very mellow lab. She refused to run from my dogs, even though she could not defend herself. It took a couple of months, but all settled in together nicely. My male poodle became a guardian for the cat, who napped against his stomach on the couch. The 3-year-old had to have some isolation time as discipline, but not much. If I asked the dogs where the kitty was, they helped me look for her. The second cat is twice as big, has claws, and had only been around one dog for a couple of months before we got him from his foster home. He smacked the dogs on the face with his paws when they bugged him, no claws used, and they adjusted to each other within two weeks. He walks between their legs and they hang out together as a pack very often, on the floor or in the yard. If we leave them all together, the cat is much more contented when we return. If we take the dogs, he is very unhappy about that! I have read that standard poodles are a good breed for cats, and given my dogs’ wildly different temperaments and their success in adjusting well beyond puppyhood, I think this is probably accurate. They are an intense breed, which can be intimidating to a fearful cat, so it takes a mellow, confident cat if all are adults when they first meet, but for us, it was quite an easy adjustment. The prey-driven one, now 8-1/2, brings a ball when we play with the cat, as she wants to be included!

  7. John
    May 27, 2013 | 7:10 pm

    We have a 21 year old female cat who has taken it upon herself to train any dog that happens to enter our house. All our animals are rescued and they have all come to respect her highness. She doesn’t suffer fools well. (Fools being any animal that enters here space without showing the proper respect.) We have a 7 year old female 3 legged Husky Mix who thinks she needs to mother any kitten we bring into the house and woe to any visiting dog that shows too much interest in her cats. She will growl and snap but never bite. We have a 100 lb. ridgeback who visits every day and is totally mesmerized by our feline companions. Our 3 year old male cat even goes out front to play with the fox. I think it’s just a matter of upbringing.

  8. Debbie
    May 10, 2013 | 4:27 pm

    Hello,

    I have a 3-year old male cat and a 1-year old female Samoyed. They met when my dog was a puppy (2 months old). In the beginning, my cat was aggressive while my dog wanted to play with him. After 6 months of living together they get along great, although my cat is not the playful type and is a little cautious when my dog runs towards him (there is a substantial size difference)

  9. kelli
    October 26, 2012 | 8:12 am

    I have to say this article was horribly written. Why? Because of the obvious, negative bias against pit bulls. Pit bulls are not inherently vicious, nor aggressive, and as the owner of a former fighting pit bull I can safely say that although they are powerful dogs, they can be just as gentle. My pit not only loves and respects my cat (less than 5 lbs. and declawed), he also respects the cats in the neighborhood who sometimes like to rub against him when we’re out on the porch. It all comes down to how they were raise and trained.
    The article means well, and yes, one need take caution with certain breeds like terriers and sight hounds that were bred to chase and kill small game, but there are no “breeds” that are better with cats than others and it truly depends on the dog’s drive, temperament, and how it was raise. These articles are very misleading to the average owner searching for a good companion as most dogs in general can learn to live peacefully with cats and non-canine pets if raise with them from a young age and monitored when playing together. So this article is nothing more than someone’s opinion (which reeks heavily of media bias, and negative stereotypes) on which breeds they would choose to own with a cat.

  10. Diva D
    October 3, 2012 | 2:04 am

    I have a Pit Bull and a Rottweiler/Shepherd mix. They are fine with my two cats, and with a stray young cat who recently adopted us. My Pitt Bull plays with the young cat, but never too aggressively. At bedtime, we usually have the Pit Bull and at least two cats, sometimes three in the bed with us. I have to agree whole heartedly that it is how you raise them and train them. I kept my grandson’s pet rats for about six months, and both my dogs appointed themselves guardians of the rats. They would give them kisses and let them crawl over them. It was something to see.

  11. MA
    September 18, 2012 | 6:30 pm

    Well, I have a Pit Bull and she not only respects my cats (the cats dominate the dogs in my family), when she was younger she tried to get them to play with her. I also have had Rottweiler and Rottweiler mix and Border and Border mix, and German Shepard/Chow/Char Pei who didn’t ever try to hurt my cats. So, regardless the breed, I believe it comes down to the individual dog and how you, as the pet owner, acclimate them to each other.

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