Like Cats and Dogs
You’ve probably heard the phrase “fighting like cats and dogs” before, and if you’re a cat or dog owner, you’ve probably seen it in action once or twice too. Well, what else can we expect from the descendants of two of nature’s most lethal and efficient hunters?
Can Dachshunds Get Along with Cats?
Take the Dachshund, for example – can a hunting dog such as this get along with cats? The answer is surprising, yes – absolutely, they can get along! But a few factors play into dachshunds co-existing with cats – such as training, socialization, upbringing, and the age at which they are initially introduced to one another.
The Dachshund is a beautiful breed that is also is very smart and loyal. To get a better idea of how it interacts, it gets along with other pets; it helps to understand the breed’s history a bit better.
The word Dachshund is a German word that translates literally to ‘Badger Dog.’ That’s right – Dachshunds have been bred to hunt and capture one of nature’s most notoriously vicious and aggressive animals – the badger. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, packs of Dachshunds are also believed to have hunted wild boar as well!
It, therefore, takes a special breed (literally) to wrangle and contend with such ferocious and dangerous animals. The Dachshund’s physical characteristics are designed to extract badgers from their burrows, and the same can be said about their temperament and personality.
The Dachshund is, first and foremost, a hunting dog – it is in their DNA. However, Daschunds are highly intelligent and also very stubborn. This can make training a bit more difficult than with other breeds. However, with the right conditions, the Daschund can be an excellent friend and playmate with other pets, including cats.
A theory on why cats and dogs don’t usually get along actually has to do with their communication. Both species have very different ways of expressing their temperament, from a dog’s growl to a cat’s purr – it can be confusing (and dangerous) for both animals if they misread the others’ signal. However, this isn’t to say that they cannot learn each other’s language. There are some things you can do to make your pets understand each other much better!
One of the most effective ways to ensure your Dachshund will get along with a cat is to make sure they are introduced to one another at an early age. This allows each animal to learn the signals and language of the other and is a very simple way to create a bond between the two that can make them the best of friends (if you’re lucky), or, at the very least, co-exist in harmony. This is called socialization.
This exposure to other pets, and even children, teach the dog how to behave around other animals and humans. If done effectively, your puppy can become acclimated to meeting new people and pets, and, instead of instinctively attacking or guarding you against them, they will be much more friendly and pleasant.
However, it is much easier to do this when both the dog and cat are still young. It is much more difficult to socialize or acclimate a grown dog with a new pet, especially if they had no prior experience with co-living with one before.
Old Dog, New Tricks
If you are looking to introduce an older dog to a new pet, it will most likely be a bit more challenging and requires special care. Daschunds are natural hunters at their core, and if they perceive your new pet as a threat or as prey, they will follow their instincts.
Therefore, it is vital to ensure that any introduction or meeting between the Daschund and the new pet is closely supervised. Although cute and friendly to you, the Dachshund can be dangerous to a new cat or kitty.
If your Daschund is used to living on his own and being the only pet in the household, then chances are he has claimed it as his territory and considers it his own. And Dachshunds are incredibly territorial. Therefore, it is setting yourself up for conflict to introduce your new pet to the Dachshund on their territory.
Instead, arrange for a meeting between the two in a place where neither has been before. This will change the entire dynamic of the encounter for your Doxie – instead of having an intruder in their home, on their turf, they are now meeting this new creature on neutral ground. Here, they are much less likely to act aggressively or defensively toward each other and, instead, will be more open to meeting and getting to know the other animal. However, it is important to emphasize again that this should be done under strict supervision, lest the Dachshund reacts and harms the kitty or vice versa.
Once the two animals have been introduced to each other for the first time, you can begin acclimating the newcomer to the home. This should be done carefully and methodically. For some Dachshund owners, it can be as simple as bringing the cat home, and there are little to no issues. However, it can be a bit of a process for others to get their Doxie to finally accept their new housemate.
A popular technique is to set up designated areas for both your Doxie and the cat where they cannot get at each other, but they can still see and smell them. This setup allows the animals to get used to the other safely.
Happily Ever After
While getting a Dachshund to accept a new family member can be challenging, it is certainly not impossible! Try your best to introduce them while they’re young. This makes the process much easier.
And, although an older Dachshund may take significantly more time and effort to acclimatize to their new friend, the bond they create will be well worth it. You will have your very own Disney movie within your home before you know it!