Are Cocker Spaniels Good with Cats?
We’ve all heard the phrase, “fighting like cats and dogs.” It’s a go-to when describing inevitable scuffs between any two counterparts. Per common belief, cats and dogs simply don’t get along. But is it true and are Cocker Spaniels Good with Cats?
But what if that belief came around because of a misunderstanding?
Sure, there are plenty of cats and dogs that would do anything not to have an encounter with their furry, domesticated cousin. What if all that could be completely avoided altogether, though?
Believe it or not, with some key knowledge, proper planning, and controlled introductions, dogs and cats actually can get on just fine. This goes for both the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel.
Understanding Cocker Spaniel Temperament with Cats
Just like you, your dog has a personality as unique, vibrant, and different as the next. Each breed has specific traits and characteristics that make them who they are, but their individual personas vary greatly, often depending on how they’re raised.
Take the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for example. Their general personality is loyal, happy, trusting, and playful. They tend to be quick learners and often get on quite well with cats because of it.
On the other hand, some dogs of this breed can be more stubborn and a bit hard headed.
The trick to raising a dog who is the perfect addition to your family is to start by training them young.
Implementing good behavior as puppies will keep them from giving you too much push-back.Of course, there are hundreds of different breeds, and they all come with unique personalities of their own.Understanding the temperament of your dog's breed is important. Know what to expect going in, especially if you already have a cat or plan to introduce your dog to one in the future.Look for traits that stand out in a breed.
Characteristics of a cat friendly dog might include:
- A laid-back temperament
- Being tolerant of other animals
- Having a gentle and loving personality
Dogs that might have a harder time getting along with cats might be categorized as:
- Hunters or “chasers”
- Herders (this one is more about the cat not finding much enjoyment in the quality)
- Trackers (of prey)
With that being said, even breeds with fewer cat-friendly traits can still be adamant feline-lovers with a little planning and the right introduction.
Planning for Your Dog and Cat to Get Along
On top of realizing whether your dog’s breed mixes well with cats, you should know how to plan for the initial introduction. Even breeds not known to get along with other animals can be turned into a cat’s best friend with a little work.
- Start Young - Both puppies and kittens, like humans, are impressionable at a young age. Introducing a puppy to a cat is much easier than introducing a grown dog to a cat. Puppies will be open-minded, curious, and eager to get to know another furry creature.
- Give Them Their Own Space - Allow your cat and dog to have separate spaces if they need it. Often, a puppy will vie for more attention than a cat has to offer. Providing them both with spaces to call their own will leave them feeling safe and protected.
- Give Them Equal Attention - Just like young kids, cats and dogs will need equal attention from you. Being adamant about showing both animals an equal amount of affection will prevent any feelings of jealousy or resentment from forming.
- Plan the Initial Introduction - No matter what age your cat or dog is, you need to plan a proper, monitored introduction the first time you bring one or the other home.
Before introducing your Cocker Spaniel with Cats, make sure to:
- Provide elevated spaces for your cat to escape to, if necessary
- If you have a puppy, keep its pen (if you have one) in a separate room to allow for restful, distraction free sleep
- Put your cat’s litter box in a place your puppy or dog can’t get to
Once you’ve made sure the area is introduction friendly, you’re ready to go.
Introducing a puppy to a cat will be slightly different than introducing an adult dog to a cat. Puppies have an easier time because of their impressionable nature at that point.
Introducing your puppy to a cat:
A good way to start would be with your puppy in your lap. Let your cat make its own decision on when to come over and take a look. If you let your puppy on the floor, keep it on a lead so that it can’t chase or aggravate your cat. Let them get used to each other before allowing your puppy off lead, and always make sure to supervise the two when they’re together.
Introducing your dog to a cat:
With an adult dog, the process is similar, but instead of holding him or her, start by putting your dog in its crate with a favorite toy. Let your cat come into the room on its own, do some exploring, and get comfortable before letting your dog out.Once you do, keep your dog on a lead in case it tries to chase your cat. Make sure not to force the interaction between your dog and cat; let them come around on their own.Giving your dog treats to reinforce good, calm behavior is also a great idea. Of course, continue to monitor their interaction and use the lead until their friendship and actions toward each other have progressed.
Some final tips for a successful Cat and Dog friendship:
- Have patience - let them come around on their own terms
- Always use positive reinforcement - show them that good behavior is rewarded
- Give them space - some alone time when they need it is invaluable
So, are Cocker Spaniels Good with Cats?
Dogs and cats get a bad rap for being eternal enemies, but rest assured that the stereotype doesn’t always have to be true.
Get to know your dog’s breed and understand what traits to look out for. Plan ahead before bringing your pets together to make sure your home is appropriate for new introductions. Let them take their time when getting to know each other, and try not to force any interaction.
With the right knowledge and a little planning, your pets will be set up to have the best relationship possible.