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D2006-43

Dear Daisy Dog

I just adopted an 8-week-old kitten, and my 5-year-old German shepherd keeps trying to put him in his mouth. How long will it take them to get along?

Christopher cat Responds

Once your kitten is grown, everything will be fine. Until then, supervise the kitten and the shepherd when they’re together.

When you’re not around, confine the kitten to a separate room with food, water, a comfy bed and a litter box.

Daisy Dog joined our family a year ago, when she was five years old. She had never seen a cat, so she chased me and tried to play too roughly.

I had to arch my back and hiss only once before she got the message that I’m the master of our home.

Now when she dashes around the house and plays too hard, I need only glare and she settles down.

I am certain your kitten will train your shepherd just as well in the coming months.

daisy dog Responds

I confess: I bounce into a play bow to entice Christopher Cat to roughhouse with me. But he starts it by rubbing against me.

Besides, he puts his arms around my neck and nibbles my lips and ears.

My golden retriever brother Sam puts his mouth around Christopher’s head, nearly engulfing it. Christopher seems to enjoy it, and perhaps your kitten does, too.

At this age, your kitten is small enough for your shepherd to carry him by the scruff of the neck, like his mother once did. As your kitten gains weight, that behavior will stop.

Mom taught all of us dogs the word “easy,” and she uses it when we’re overly exuberant in the house.

Teach your shepherd the same word, and use it whenever you want him to be gentle.

In no time, your cat and dog will be best friends and you’ll be able to trust them alone together.

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