T Nation

Should I Get a Dog?


My wife wants a dog. We found one that is over a year old at the pound, but we keep backing away. The problem is that we have a cat. He's been our only pet for 8 years. Would it be wise, healthy, etc....to introduce a new pet at his age? Especially a dog. Would this be too traumatic? Anyone have any pointers or suggestions?


what kind of dog is it?


Is your cat male or female? In my experience, male cats are way more laid back. There is a book on dog training that was written by monks that says you are asking for trouble if you don't have the opportunity to shape the dog's behavior during the critical impressionable period of between 2-8 months (if memory serves).

The name of the book escapes me offhand, but most dog owners I know who have read the book swear by these guys' methods. See if you can google it and do your homework before you make this kind of commitment. Don't underesimate what a consuming endeavor this will be. You owe that consideration to yourself and the dog. My .02


this is a tough question. is the cat 8? if so, thats not too old, but then it all depends on its temper. has it been exposed to other animals? how did it react to them? also, a smaller dog would be better. stick to a medium size if anything at this point (i.e. roughly 50lbs). i would say it wouldnt be traumatic for the cat, it just might get a little pissed off lol. If you introduce them correctly it shouldnt be a problem at all. good luck with the new pet, should be a fun ride!


Appreciate the advice guys. The dog is a 1 year old Lab/Chow mix. I'll google for that book.


Monks of New Skete. Good books...


It will probably be traumatic for the cat at first. But he/she should come around.



I think it depends on the dog's temperment. I've heard that chows can be pretty vicious, though my uncle's Lab just attacked a smaller dog, so...There's some anecdotal evidence for you, for what it's worth.


that was the funiest fucking thing I have seen in awhile. I am sitting in the computer lab on campus and just started bagggin up. def get some strange looks when a 300Lb man starts laughin for no apparent reason, if I get thrown out it's your fault. BB


Yeah, I've been doing some reading this afternoon and apparently the lab/chow mix is very territorial and a aggressive. I'll have to think this one over.


The lab/chow mix is designed to make a chow more mellow. Chows where used as Guard dogs in China and they are very territorial and dominant. They bond with one owner and are not the friendliest to other people. Many vets require chows to be muzzled when they check them out because they bite.

Chows are also very aggressive with other dogs and will take on larger dogs and do quite well because of just how aggressive they are. They have the same biting strength as a pit bull.

But, being part Lab it may be that it is more mellow and less aggressive, like labs.

Just so you know, I have had two full Chows and they kill most anything that gets in the yard, particularly cats. They have killed cats, rats, squirrels, possums, birds, etc. Anything in their space is pray.

So you are taking a risk if you get this dog while having a cat. But, they could get along fine or the Chow could take the cat out in about 2 minutes.


Most adult dogs end up in pounds because they behave badly.

I'd get a puppy. The cat will own it.


I have 3 cats and one dog.
My cats live in a huge,clean shed outside and my dog lives in my house.
Nothing happens.
Go buy the dog before it gets put down.


haha that sounds like a rabbit hutch or something. Anyways, I would think that his cat has seniority.


You mean like your neighbor's pet cats or wild ones?

If I ever found out a dog had killed my cat I'd go after the dog and gut it.


Damn! Yeah, I think I'll keep looking. I really don't want a puppy or a "yippy" dog. Maybe a blood hound. That's a dog you can drink a beer with!


Does Kitty still have it's claws?


I think i'd go after teh neighbor too