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Bringing a puppy into the mix

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Has anyone here added a puppy into the home with adult savannas? If so, please share experiences. I've been trying for 5 yrs to get over the idea of having a dog (it's one of the reasons I chose SVs -- dog-like behavior without all the other hassle), but I can't seem to shake the idea.

After endless hours of research, I've settled on the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as the best option as far as a temperament that historically gets along with non canine pets. Ironically, I spoke to a few Cavie breeders at a dog show this past weekend and they described some of their behaviors as "cat like."

I'm scheduling a consultation with an animal communicator I've used in the past to see if I can get the cats' opinion on the prospect. Won't do it if they don't agree. And I'm still weighing the pros and cons. Ideally, I would prefer an older puppy or an older dog but thought it might go easier if I started with a young pup.

Any advice, tips, suggestions?
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
Wish I could offer advice for you. The only thing I can say is that when I worked for years as a caregiver for a young quadriplegic man who owned a cat and thought he wanted a dog, he found through research that Cavs tended to be accepting of and fit in well in an existing cat household, though he did not follow through with getting one.

It will be intriguing to see what the communicator says...keep us posted! I think the King Charles Cavaliers are a very attractive dog :)
 

Trish Allearz

Moderator
I'm sure you already know, but watch heart health with the Cavs- but I'm sure you already noticed that.

As far as introducing, I really think it depends upon your cats. For the most part, my cats will befriend or tolerate any animal, but an itty puppy would need to be protected until they could hold their own against the bigger cats. Cavs aren't teeny though so that'd be a week or two or three at most.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I ADORE Cavs, I had the cutest one (Samuel Taylor) when I first graduated college (he was my gift to myself) and my mum used to breed them too...as Trish mentions you do want to make sure they heart test them. But considering the ones I've known, they are pretty soft and gentle doggies...I wonder if a Cav puppy might be terrorized by some Savannahs? A Cav definitely wouldn't be the aggressive one in that household, but it might be horribly bullied. Our beagle is definitely bottom of the pile here but his personality doesn't mind that... I just think it worth considering how strong their confidence level might be if one of the kitties was a bit bullying with it...

I've been thinking of this somewhat as our beagle is getting on...and when he goes I was wondering how a puppy would go here. We got Cooper the beagle at the same time as we got our first Savannah so he wasn't so much introduced as they were...
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Thanks Trish and Brigitte. I found 2 breeders -- one in Oregon and one in Washington -- who test for MVD, syringomyelia, dry eye syndrome, and use OFA for knees. I would definitely ask to see certifications for grandparents and parents at the least.

I am torn on this issue. One minute I'm making plans on how to reorganize the house to accommodate a puppy and the next I'm convinced that I don't want the hassle of house training and caring for another animal in general.

What a journey. First there's finding a breed that has the temperament to fit in with the cat family, then there's trying to find a healthy puppy. And then I have to find a way to put the issue to rest -- either get a dog or get over it.
 

Angie Panczak

Savannah Super Cat
I raise parson Russell terriers. Sometimes I have an adult PRT from another breeder stay with me while I show it. None of them have ever been around a cat before. Well I don't know if it's my cats or just the breed, but they always get along. You definitely do not want a soft breed to come into a house with a group of Savannahs. My Savannahs and PRT love each other, sleep together, the kittens play tug with the puppies. I find SV and PRT have similar personalities. I also think the PRT is smart enough to respect the cats. The funniest thing is when I am working my dogs on a table to practice stacking them or training them obedience, the cats are right there. I do not think that every breed of dog will play with a Savannah, but this is my experience with a breed that has energy and prey drive. Now the breed your describing is a toy breed, they might not care about the cats quite as much, or they might snuggle. But definitely don't jump in until you feel 100% sure your ready for a dog. They are a lot of work.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I understand, Deborah, every time I think about having to toilet train another puppy, ugh :-( My beagle was SO hard, he was badly raised (my fault for choosing a crappy breeder) and so was more resistant than many...coupled with the beagle attitude to "obedience" he just was a long-winded project that almost broke me. I remember being at a point where I considered giving up on him and I've never done that to an animal. After that first year he has been great, it was just getting through that first year.

So every time I consider getting another dog, I wonder if I am strong enough to go through it again! LOL! Chances are it would be easier, I hope I'd do better choosing the breeder this time around (nearly 13 years later).

I've been enthralled recently with the idea of getting a beagle rescued from laboratories... but know it would be a bad idea. Poor beagle would not understand my kitty household, I think it would be so hard for them to adjust. Plus that would be taking on an untrained adult (they don't get toilet training or anything in the laboratories) and I can only imagine how hard that would be if you didn't have the ability to keep them solely outdoors at least at first... so will likely limit myself to donating money to their cause instead..
 

Kristin

Animal Communicator
I am sure your cats will be mad when you first bring the puppy home, but Cavs are so gentle and little and cute....absolutely no threat.
I want to get a Border Collie when I leave my parents house. I asked Zeddie about it and she was like "no way! No dogs!" but I know she will get used to it. I will be getting a puppy so Zeddie still feels in control. I think this is the best way to go about introducing, unless you find an older dog that is cat proofed.....but more SV proof since they are a bit....more haha.
I think with proper introducing, you can make it work. I always value Zeddie's opinion...but its not always...accurate? For instance she gave me a "hierarchy" of the way my house works. I'm boss....then Zeddie, much to my mom's dismay LOL. She also says I'm not allowed to get another girl cat because "they are sissies and annoying"
 

Jacq

Savannah Super Cat
I had my dalmatians before the cats, so they got acclimated to the dogs as kittens. Then Burgie, the rescue basset. Both dogs were very docile to the cats. Burgie keeps trying to get the cats to play with him, and sometimes they enjoy being chased, but mostly hiss and spit. I think an adult dog who has been raised with cats is your best bet IMO.
 
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