These Dogs Are Good With Cats

If you are a dog owner and you or a family member is wondering if bringing a cat into the household is a good idea, you may want to take into consideration the breed of dog you have. In theory, any dog can be trained to get along with, or at least tolerate a cat, especially if you introduce the cat to the dog while the dog is still a puppy. 

But if you are bringing a cat into a household with a mature dog, it’s best to keep the dog’s breed in mind, as some dogs breeds just seem to naturally accept cats, and others…well, not so much!

First of all, let’s mention the dog breeds that usually don’t do well with cats. You have to keep in mind that certain breeds were developed for certain tasks. Many breeds, such as the Terriers, were bred for hunting and killing all sorts of pests, such as rats. So a quick moving cat or kitten could, for a Terrier, trigger those hunting instincts and then you’d have trouble on your hands.

The same goes for the sighthounds as they are hard wired for a chase. And if you have a dog that is a herding breed, such as an Australian Shepherd, your dog will constantly try to round up the cat. Most cats really don’t appreciate this kind of attention.

So which breeds of dogs generally do well with cats? Please keep in mind these suggestions are generalizations and may not apply to an individual dog. And the personality of the cat has to be kept in mind as well. 

Basset Hound – These dogs have a reputation for being stubborn, but they are also low key and are usually very tolerant of cats.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – These little dogs are gentle and very affectionate. They get along with other animals, yet are not intimidated by them.

Golden and Labrador Retrievers – These big dogs are playful and friendly and both, with some training, accept cats as friends.

Pug – Even though they are about the same size as a cat, they are robust enough to have a cat as a playmate and seem to enjoy their company.

Bulldog – At first you might not think of this muscular breed as being good with cats, but bulldogs are very easygoing in terms of temperament and make great cat companions.

Beagle – Wait? Aren’t these dogs bred to hunt? Yes, that’s true, but they do so in packs. Individual beagles are very likely to get along with a cat just fine.

One caution: never leave a dog and cat alone with each other until you are absolutely sure they get along well and always make sure your cat has a way to escape the situation.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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