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Westies and Other Pets

Introducing Two Dogs
Cats and Dogs
Other Animals

Introducing Two Dogs
Whether you are introducing dogs, puppies, males, or females, the scenario is usually best if both dogs can meet on neutral ground, off-lead.

If possible, spray both dogs with the same dog cologne before the meeting. The similarity of the scent will help to make the other dog seem more familiar. Alternatively, allow each dog to smell the other's favorite toys before meeting.

Next, the ideal meeting occurs when two unleashed dogs enter an enclosed fenced area, unaware of each other. If they can meet each other naturally, on their own time it usually works best. If the enclosed area is too small for them not to notice each other, but has enough space that it is not crowded, bring them both in the area on opposite sides, on lead, heeling. Place them in a sit and do a few obedience commands so their attention is focused on you. Make the commands extra fun and happy. End on a "Good Boy!" Then give your release command, "OK!" If your dog knows the Say Hello command, you can tell him to Say Hello to the new dog. If not, let both dogs wander over to each other. You need to stay put! Don't follow your dog. If you are too close to your dog you may trigger his protective instinct, you want your dog to be relaxed and meet and greet on doggie terms. Proper doggie greeting is side-by-side, each sniffing each other's backsides.

If you sense that the dogs do not like each other (hackles are raised, and neither one is demonstrating submissive behavior) both handlers should call their dogs to them in a happy voice and give them a food treat and praise when they get there. Back to top

Cats and Dogs
Kittens and puppies will get along famously. A cat and dog, who were raised together or introduced very early in life, can remain best friends for life. However, bringing a dog into a cat's established area can be very stressful for both the cat and the dog.

The cat should be given free reign of the house (or what ever is usual) when the dog comes home. After the dog has explored the new house, it is best to confine the dog to a room (with some one in it with him) and let the cat smell where the dog has been in the house, under the door, etc. Also, pet the dog and let the dog lick your hand - then let the cat smell your hand. It is not advantageous to try and "stage" a meeting of a dog and cat unless one or both of them is very young. If they are too adults - it is usually best (after the initial dog's confinement to let the cat smell stuff) to let the dog out and about. The cat will usually sit up high somewhere and stare or glare at the dog. Sometimes it takes hours or days before the dog even sees the cat. But they should be supervised at all times until they meet.

Many times a cat will bop a dog on the nose - or even claw him. When this happens the best thing to do is to take the dog's mind off the incident by playing with him. It is not a bad thing for a cat to bop or claw a dog. The cat needs to establish its place in the house and the dog sometimes needs to learn that they need to respect that cat. Don't punish or give any attention to the cat if he bops or claws the dog. Simply give attention to the dog to take his mind off of it. It is the cat's right to protect itself, and to show the dog (or pup) who he's dealing with. Back to top

Other Animals
Westies prey on birds, rodents other small animals. Although there are cases where friendships have been built between a Westie and these other animals, the normal, expected response of a Westie seeing a rabbit, hamster or parakeet is to kill it. In other words-just forget it! It is best to keep them apart. Back to top

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