Owners Comments About Dog Breeds Bad with Cats

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A few weeks ago – I wrote an article called "The Irreverent Vet Speaks out on Dog Breeds that are Bad with Cats". As I wrote to you, we had questions from users about what dog breeds are especially bad or aggressive to cats.

Go to my full article to read my list and comments. Go to The Irreverent Vet Speaks out on Dog Breeds that are Bad with Cats.

This article promoted a lot of emails and comments from dog lovers. To be balanced, I'd like to share some of those comments with you.

1. Weimaraners Bad with Cats – From Donna Keith.

Just thought I'd share my opinion on a breed that I feel is bad with cats - Weimaraners. We have a Weimaraner that killed my cat. I was devastated. I had the cat for years, and also had 2 other dogs that got along fine with the cat. But when I got married, my husband had a
Weimaraner puppy. I did my best to socialize him with the cat, just like I did with my other dogs. Things seemed to be fine, but he did always seem to have the instinct to chase her. One day I came home, and found my cat dead. I usually kept my cat in a separate area of the house when I wasn't home, just to make sure she was safe, so I'm not sure how he got to her. But anyway, it was a terrible thing. I do still love my Weimar very much, (although I'll admit it took me awhile to forgive him). He's really a truly sweet, lovable, and wonderful dog. But I think the chase and hunt instinct in him was too great, especially if she ran, or hissed at him. He loves to chase most anything, birds, squirrels (he recently caught one of those too), rabbits, etc. I think it's just his breed. I've heard stories of Weimars getting along with cats, but I would never take the chance again, nor would I advise anyone to get a Weimaraner if they have a cat. Just my personal experience, I thought I would share. Good luck to those who have cats and dogs. I'd love to have another cat, but I've learned a hard lesson with my Weimar.

Donna Keith

2. Irreverent Vet is unfair - From Michelle S.

This email is in regards to the article by "the irreverent veterinarian" in which he/she speaks of which dog breeds are good /bad with cats. He/she seems very convinced and emphatic about stating pit bulls in his/her opinion seem to be the worst with cats and I had to email and tell you that could not be further from the truth and I am personally offended by the article. I have 5 dogs and a number of cats. One of my dogs is a pit bull and the cats cuddle up and sleep with him rub all over him , walk all over him and he is great with them. My brother also has a pit bull though he does not have cats his dog has been around cats and she also is great with them. I think if the "irreverent veterinarian" wanted to appear intelligent he/she should have stuck with the original theme in that any dog can be good or bad with cats depending on the situation but he/she strayed decided to mention certain breeds and personally I think that was an irresponsible thing to do and really not very intelligent.

3. Greyhounds Not good with Strange Cats - From Lorraine

Hello, To add to your comments about "which dogs are cat/not cat friendly" – I have adopted two retired racing greyhounds, and they make excellent pets once they come off the track. I also have two cats, and was concerned over how they would take to each other, as greyhounds do have an extremely high prey drive. As with any breed, you have to introduce them properly, and supervise or keep them separated until you are absolutely sure they are ok together, but still give the cats an "out". In my case my greys don't do stairs, so the cats can escape if they need to. My hounds have come to ignore the cats completely, and accept them without question, because they are part of our pack. But lookout any outdoor cats! The prey drive kicks in, and I know my beautiful gentle sensitive dogs would kill them instantly. Not something I ever want to see, so I keep an eye out when we are walking, some outdoor cats have come very close to going to the bridge! Everyone needs to be vigilant, whatever the breed, especially if the animals have not been raised together, but they can be introduced and live happily together.

4. Never Trust a Schnauzer – from Michael Dacunha

Thanks for the heads up re: Greyhounds. I would never have suspected that. Greyhounds always seem so docile and calm when I see them on the street. I will say this much I would never trust my cat around a Schnauzer. We had one especially horrifying incident many years ago that I will never forget. I can't say this is a trait of the breed but I know. I will never take that chance again.

Regards,

Michael da Cunha

5. Pit bulls Not really Mean – from Juliana Elton

I suppose I cant disagree that pit bulls can be mean if people train them that way, but it is not the breed. I have a pit bull, and she is extremely well trained and was raised around cats, so of course she is good with cats, but she has never seemed to have that kill instinct that my roommate's shepherd mix, who has killed mice and squirrels and chases my cats when she doesnt think I am watching, has. Her natural disposition is calm and inquisitive, and she has never shown any sign of bad instincts from her breed.

6. All Hounds as "baddies" – from Lorayn Walser

I would probably add hounds to the list of cat "baddies". Most of the hounds we rescue were trained on caged cats, and like nothing better than to tree your tabby.

7. Pit Bull/Lab Mix – Bad with Cats? – from Anne Hall

In regards to dog breeds that are bad with cats; I have a pit bull/lab mix. that has adapted quite nicely with a kitten we acquired a year after getting the dog. We also recently adpoted a new kitten and the dog gets along well with the new kitten as well. However, if our dog Rocky sees a strange cat, he goes for the chase, and I'm sure if he ever got a hold of a strange cat, he would definitely shake the stuffing out of it. He caught a baby bunny the other day, and that's exactly what happened to the bunny. Got the stuffing shook right out of him.

8. Your list Isn't Long Enough – from Lynn Stacey

I don't disagree with the breeds listed, but your list isn't long enough! I would include any breed of upland bird dog-GSP, Weimaraner, Viszla, etc any dog hunting type dog with generally high prey drive as being iffy around cats. Alot of terriers too, not just Parsons or Pits.


9. Can Old Dogs Learn New Tricks? - from Jeremy Lies.

Just a thought, I grew up with German Shorthairs and am in the process of getting one for myself after mine died last year. I do not have cats, my mother was allergic to them so they never really grew on me. So my dogs in the past and now have never been socialized with cats and boy did they love the chase. Just from past experiences with dogs, I would make a rather strong guess that any dog that has the chase instinct in its background, hunting type dogs most importantly would have the draw to chase "prey" to some degree. As you said though socializing is very important to any outside item. Cats, children, neighbors, car rides, other dogs just to name a few. I would agree with the vet that when he said that getting an older dog that was not with cats could be detrimental to the cats. I do not believe that old dogs can't learn new tricks, but does the owner have the time to train when new tricks will take longer time to teach and bad habits are hard to rise above for any animal, including people.

Jeremy Lies

10. It's All in the Training - from Cara Sims

I just want to comment on your article about certain dog breeds that are bad with cats. I have 2 German shepherds and 1 pit bull that are extremely affectionate and kind towards my 2 cats. When they were puppies my husband and I were very consistent and diligent about training them to be kind to the cats. I made a point to show them that the cats were very important in our house. I read an article that said in the wild the alpha dog eats first then the other dogs eat. So, I made the point to feed the cats before the dogs and I let the dogs see this and also made sure the dogs were reprimanded verbally if they ever tried to run after or nip at one of the cats. However, I completely agree with the point you made about some dogs do well with the cats they are raised with but not others. If a neighborhood cat comes into our yard, my dogs will chase it. I believe that all dogs and cats can live together if they are trained appropriately.

Thanks for the terrific article. - Cara Sims

11. Pitt Bull reputation is Unfair - from Kim Novins

Regarding your article about "bad breeds" with cats, I have cats and both a large pit bull and a Jack Russell terrier. Both are very well-mannered with cats. The cats are more unpleasant with each other than the dogs, whom, for the most part, ignore the cats altogether.

My rescued pit bull is the BEST dog I've ever had, and other people in my neighborhood agree about theirs (pits are popular in Long Beach). I wish that people would stop demonizing the breed into extinction.

Kim Novins

12. Chow-Chows Can't Be Trusted – from Mary N.

Chow-chow are also bad with cats as they also kill them, ask me I know as I have 2 chow chows.

13. I disagree with Your Article - from Vicky Whiting

I totally disagree with most of the article. The only part I agree with is the section about adopting an adult dog. And, that is only because people adopt the dog without researching the breed and the type of handling needed for that breed to make it a "good dog"

My neighbor rescued a one year old Staffordshire terrier after his owners were trying to fight him. He was torn up and had facial scarring. She took him straight into her home filled with 4 cats and a runt 17 pound cocker spaniel that thinks he's a trained attack dog. (the cocker was on oxygen at birth for 30 minutes and the vet didn't think he'd survive, so he is off a bit)

Any way, the staffy was named buddy and after extensive "training" and the loss of 3 entire couches, buddy fit right into the neighborhood weighing in at 110 lbs. He never once went after any of the cats, cocker, or any other living thing. Why? Because my neighbor made it known she was the pack leader, alpha of the home.

People get dogs without not knowing how to handle the breed. Pitts already have a bad rap because of the idiots that are getting them for status or fighting. Buddy lived on our street for 9 wonderful years and recently lost his battle to cancer. First impression was fear when you
saw him due to his massive head size and body tone, but after that, he would just give your face a good washing with his tongue.

So please, in the future, be more specific when writing about certain breeds because townships in Wisconsin are outlawing pits, pit mixes, rotts, rott mixes from the township and people have to get rid of their beloved dog.

14. A long Time and Still Not Friends - from Jason M Babbage

I have a Jack (Parsons) Russell Terrier and also have two cats. My Dog seems to be getting along with one cat (BeBe) good as long as the cat doesn't run. I still haven't been able to stop my dog from chasing the cats when they run. but usually BeBe will just turn around and swat the dog. My other cat Butters (Siamese) however growls when the dog is near and every time they are around each other it seems like a fight is about to happen. Butters still hides in what i call the safe room a baby gated room all day until the dog is outside or out of sight then she wanders around. I thought since my dog can tolerate BeBe Sometimes they even sleep on my lap with each other she will start to get along with butters. But after about 8 months they butlers and the dog cant be around each other.

Note: I got my dog as a 4-year-old from the humane society. And the two cats are 4 and 3 and have been together there whole lives.

15. Small Children Causing problem? - From Tiffany Roe

About two weeks ago, my husband and I adopted a 6 wk old kitten and our dog, Anakin (pitbull), was ecstatic about the new arrival but was actually more scared of her hissing and spitting than she was of his size. They get along great now, with Nikki being the antagonist. It is important to note, that Anakin had never seen a kitten before, and I believe it's how you raise your pup to handle situations where he LISTENS to you. I have a strict kennel and "NO" rule that has worked with all of the pits I have raised and have never seen a killed cat(thank God). My precious baby, Damien(also pitbull), was older and passed away this past Christmas is what prompted us to adopt for Anakin's companionship. Our dogs thrive in an accepting and laid-back household and I have always believed that patience and understanding from day one is what matters most to socializing the family to a new addition. And as far as facts go, I'm
certain that small children are the leading cause of animal abuse and accidental death against cats, not dogs.

16. Strange Cats NOT Safe - from Liliane Laufer

Hello, I have read your list of dogs which are considered "bad" for cats. I've personally always had both cat and dog. My Husky/wolf dog enjoyed being around cats, he played with them. My Rottie also played with them and little itty bitty Yorkshire Terrier. Now I have a female Staffie pitbull, and she is now playing around with cats and also the Yorky. The problem is that strange cats are naturally afraid of dogs and tend to run away and dogs tend to run after them, and I guess some of the times rough plays them a little too much, but deep down, I'm sure it is just play they had in mind at the begining. As long as my dogs get along with my cats and hamsters, I don't really care if they run away strange cats from my back yard, they are not supposed to be there in the first place. My cats are both operated and never leave my back yard where they are safe. People are the problem!!!

18. Some Ridgebacks Like Cats...Others Don't from Vas Demetriou

I have 3 large Rhodesian Ridgebacks, 2 Maine coons, 1 Siamese, 1 Persian & 1 alley cat. My Maine Coons love my male ridgeback and rub up against him and play with him. My female ridgebacks just hate cats, however they are petrified of my Siamese, he rules the roost. The dogs are terrified to come into my house if he is around. Funnier though is that they are all scared
stiff of my cockatoo, dogs and cats alike!

19. The Irreverent Vet is Wrong –from Marrianne Robertson

Hi, I have to speak out against your irreverent vet, he is wrong by calling out specific breeds as being bad with cats. It is up to the owner to provide leadership and boundaries for the dogs, and to ensure that cats and dogs when living under the same roof are safe above all else.
My pit bulls are great with our cats. The cats (2 siamese and 1 DSH) eat, sleep and hang out on the couch with the dogs all day and night. The vet is a little out to lunch with their BSL (a knee-jerk reaction), and should take more care and address the root cause of issues with dogs, cats, and yes, even children. Most often you would likely trace problems back to the owners or parent's behaviour. Regards, Marianne Robertson

20. I also Disagree with the Irreverent Vet – from Emma Johnson

My name is Emma Johnson and I too disagree with the vet on what dog breeds are good/bad with cats. I have a pit bull mix and she is great with my cats. She cleans them and tones her energy down when she is near my older cat. She plays with the kittens and will sleep curled up next to them. I think the most important thing is if the dog is raised/socialized with cats. We got Bonnie, the pit bull mix from the local shelter when she was only 4 months old. She learned from a young age about cats and other dogs. My other dog, Bailey, who is a lab mix is also good with the cats, though doesn't interact with them very much. I adopted her when she was 1.5 years and she hadn't been around cats during her puppy stage. She tolerates them, but does not go out of her way to be near them.

Sincerely,
Emma Johnson

21. I disagree About Pitbulls Not Being Good with Cats – from Rae Ann Cote

I would have to also disagree about Pit Bulls not being good with cats. I have a 3 year old male Pit Bull and a 7 year old male tiger cat. They are the best of friends. They sleep together, eat together, and play together. When we first got our cat (he was 5), he was a bit skittish. But now, nothing seems to startle him.

One other story I have was a friends of mine had a pit bull some years ago who gave birth. A litter of kittens were abandoned by their mother somewhere new my friends yard. As a result, the pit bull took care of these kittens as if they were her own.

I have never had a bad experience with pit bulls. They are loving, gentle, kind creatures no matter how the public portrays them. They listen very well, are very attentive, and are willing to die for you. My pit bull is my best friends and he is great at changing any bad mood. He's very high energy, but he's worth it!

I'm not sure if this is specific to my pit bull, since I had rescued him from the Animal Rescue League (and he's more grateful because of it), but I have never had an animal more appreciative of being part of a family.

22. No Bad Dogs – Only Bad Owners – From Linda Raedel

I agree with the pit bull owner in regards to cats. We have a lab boxer mix and a pit bull. The pit bull is the most gentle dog you would want to meet. we have 6 caats and the pit bull will cuddle up to any of them.A former purebred chocolate lab was our cat killer. I believe in the saying Their are no bad dogs.... Only bad owners. Thanks Linda Raedel ( grandma to mia and forrest )

23. How My Rottweiler Deals with My Cats from Mary Ann Vass

My Comment is to address the the Irreverant Vet's article on the breed of dogs that are bad with cats. I just wanted to share something sweet in general.

I have 6 cats which were all taken in as strays. My husband wanted a dog, but we both had our fears on how that would play out with the cats. I wanted to rescue a dog and did a lot of research on-line about different breeds. After a lot of research and looking at many pictures, I came
across the sweetest face. I was on a site called orphanedpets.com and saw a 4 month old male Rottweiler. He has a rough start with owners that were not particularly nice. My husband and I went to see him and fell in love.

Speed ahead 8 years and here we are. Ruckus, our 130lb Rottweiler loves all of the cats and they love him. It is so cute to watch them lay on his big dog bed and when he comes along and see that, he just lays on the floor next to the bed, so they can have it. He licks their little faces
so gently and in return, they like to lick him back. He also allows them nuzzle in and try to eat food out of his bowl with him as he eats. They have their own food, but for some reason they love to get in his bowl while he eats.

Moral of the story, as the Irreverent vet stated, it really does depend on the situation. I always smile when I see how sweet and my big Ruckus is with the cats.

24. You hate Pitbulls – from Dawn Stretar

Dear Editors,

Why don't you come right out and say you hate pit bulls? Again, you have managed to offend me with your article through your implication. I am canceling my subscription and will never patronize your store again. It is because of people like you that I am in constant peril of losing my dog, whom I love deeply. And you call yourselves animal lovers.
Dawn Stretar

25. Labels are not Necessary – from Vicki Fitzpatrick

Hello there,

I too have a pitbull and a cat. My cat is 14 years old and my dog is 12 years old. They get along just fine and always have.

I don't believe in putting labels on dogs and I have to say that I'm surprised that your irreverent vet feels it necessary to. As a vet, they should know that the way a dog behaves has everything to do with the way the dog owner relates to the dog. I understand that the breed of dog should be considered as there are certain traits that have been bred into dogs. But to make a blanket statement about which dogs are the worst with cats, or with anything else, seems very outdated and irresponsible.

I assume that part of the reason for the irreverent vet to do this is to provide copy for your website. However, if the irreverent vet wants to be taken seriously and have credibility among the readers, the articles provided should be intelligent and not possibly encourage negative opinions about any breed of dog.

The first time I took my pitbull to the vet, I asked her if she gets bit alot by her pitbull patients. She told me that it was quite the contrary. She said she had never been bitten by a pitbull but almost always got nipped by the smaller breed dogs like Llaso Apso and Chihuahua.

Dogs are dogs. And while we do have to consider the traits bred into a breed, one cannot make a blanket statement about any certain behavior. Golden Retrievers are supposed to be one of the top dogs for overall friendliness and good behavior. However, our neighbor has one that no one can go near for fear he'll bite them because he's very aggressive and tries to attack. But the dog is kept in a kennel all day and only gets out when the guy takes him for a 5 minute walk. You'd probably be a little grouchy if you were kept in a kennel all day too.

I believe that everything depends on the Owner of a pet. The dog will respond to the Owner in direct correlation to how the Owner treats the dog. The articles by the irreverent vet should focus more on the proper ways to live with a dog, no matter what the breed, and less about frivolous things like which breed of dogs are the best or worst with cats. It takes more than food, water, and shelter to raise a healthy dog and my neighbor and his Golden Retriever prove that everyday.

Thank you for listening and considering my comments.

Vicki Fitzpatrick
Orange, California

26. Don't Worry About Pitbulls – Think About Other Breeds – from Bonnie

Hi,
In response to Michelle's letter re the pit bull and cats. I too have 8 dogs, one of which is a pitbull. I strongly agree with Michelle. My pitbull is the only one of my dogs which cuddled with the cats when we had them. (They were 16 when they passed away).

One of my dogs is a husky and she would kill any small mammal including cats! I know quite a few people with pit bulls and every one of them are great with cats and with children. Maybe your irreverent vet could own his own pitbull before making judgments on them.

I have discovered that the only people who have a pitbull with an 'attitude' are the owners who have the same attitude! These sort of people would make any dog unpleasant.

Our pit bull loves small animals and has his own fluffy toys to cuddle with since we lost our cats.
Good on Michelle for writing back to set the record straight!

Kind regards,
Bonnie

27. Be Careful of Mixed Breeds – from Lauren

I'd just like to say in response to the previous email that i do agree with Michelle. The irreverent vet claims that any dog can be good or bad with cats depending on the situation, but then goes on to mention specific breeds, thus contradicting his/her first claim. This is a serious flaw in
his/her arguement. Although i don't doubt the irreverent vet's intelligence at this point, i do doubt his/her credibility. I am also disappointed to see that bias has crept into his/her argument, which in my opinion, makes it weaker. That said I would also like to mention that although certain individuals of those breeds probably don't get along too well with cats, there are just as many individuals of other breeds with the same characteristic. Unfortunately we hear little of this because negative reports against the more "family freindly" breeds such as the Labrador Retriever tend to be swept under the rug and go unreported.

It also seems many people don't know what a pitbull is these days, and anything with the word "bull" in the breed name translates to many people as "pitbull" as opposed to "bulldog" or "bull terrier". So since many of these vets don't actually see the attacks, it is unwise to rely on
completely inaccurate recollections of the general public as witnesses to dog attacks upon cats and other dogs when they unable to accurately identify the breed without proof. It is unfortunate to know that many of my non-animal friends walking down the road will avoid such dogs as
Boxers, Ridegbacks, and Bullmastiffs because they thinks they are pitbulls, and I believe this is true of the general public (not just people i know). Most of the dog attacks I myself have witnessed have actually been from mixed breeds. Go figure.

Lauren

28. I am inclined to agree...Somewhat – From Sue

Hi...I just read the Irreverent vet article and yes I am inclined to agree...somewhat. There are certain breeds that just tend to not be trustworthy around smaller animals. For instance, we bought an Akita as a puppy and raised her with my toy poodles and cats. At the age of 8 months she snapped at a poodle. Though the poodle was not hurt, we never gave the Akita the opportunity to snap at her again. The dogs and cats were always kept away from her from that day on. On the other hand, we have a Rottweiler that is very good with our cats and baby kittens.

It would depend somewhat upon the breed and the way it is raised, etc....but all dogs can bite. It is unfair to say that any one certain breed will generally "always" kill cats but it is fair to say that there are certain breeds that tend to be predisposed towards aggressive behavior.

Sincerely, Sue Harrison

29. You Offended Me – From Ann

Seriously, a few degrees does not make one an expert in how different animals are with other animals. That is the stupidest thing I have read on here, other than the article by this idiot. WE have several pits and cats. It is how they are raised and what they are used to. Good Lord, I have daschunds and Lhasa Apso' s that are far more dangerous with my cats, than the so called dangerous pit bull breed.

This article totally pissed me off and offended me! Now I know why people want to ban pit bulls because of the articles and horrible things written about them, that make them all seem like such bad dogs. Way to go guys! It just fans the flames and gives these poor dogs more bullshit to contend with.

Ann Ursiny

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