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Introducing new chihuahua to cats? is it ok to leave home alone aswell?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by becci-x, May 16, 2012.

  1. becci-x

    becci-x PetForums Newbie

    May 1, 2011
    Likes Received:
    sorry it's long!!

    we were thinking of getting a dog to complete our pet family, we didn't want anything big, and after alot of thought settles on a chihuahua, what i want to know is if anyone has got one when already having cats?

    we have two, one male and one female, they're not brother and sister, and have only lived together for about 6 months, at first the male (whos live here longer) didn't like the new female, but eventually after a lot of sniffing and staring became best friends, will the same happen with a chihuahua? do we just give them time to suss(sp?) each other out?

    and my other question is....would it be unfair to leave the new dog at home alone? i'm a community carer and leave for work about 6.30am, come home again at lunch timeish, then leave again at about 4pm until 10pm, partner gets home about 8/9, as well as both of us being home for 2 days a week.

    so, if this all sounds okay, how would you go about it, ie. keep the dog in a cage when were at work, let it run free, keep it seperate from the cats until they're settles?!

    any advice is much appreciated!
  2. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    are U both dog-novices?
    have U ever reared a puppy before, or have U lived with a young dog into & thru adulthood?

    are U aware of the flaws of Chis, as well as the facts that they're cute & portable?
    IOW, the barking, tendency to obsessively attach to ONE person & be snappy toward all others
    [unless the Chi is specifically & consciously socialized to like ppl in general, not just her
    or his favorite One], their sharp voices used freely when excited, alarmed, or frustrated,
    their alert & reactive attitude - thin-skinned & sharp-eared, suspicious of strangers?

    despite their small size, Chis can be predatory - but aren't much of a threat to a normal-sized adult cat.

    the Chi, however, could be at real risk FROM the cat, if the Chi makes the kitty nervous, or chases,
    & the cat lashes out - Chis have large protuberant eyes, easily scratched, & large thin ears, easily torn.
    their skin, too, is thin & rips like silk. Rather than stitches, most vets opt to glue Chi wounds.
    can't answer that one - altho i'm sure some folks have.
    frankly, U were lucky. :eek: Cats are way-more territorial than dogs; a new cat can cause major problems,
    the most common being litter-box troubles, as cats often avoid the litter-box when they're feeling
    social stress. I wouldn't bet that U'd be that lucky, TWICE - by introducing a new dog,
    no matter what size or age, & simply "letting them get on with it". :eek: Bloodshed might not occur,
    but out-of-the-box experiences aren't very nice, either - spraying or stooling away from the box are
    both common symptoms of stressed-out cats! :(
    basically, U're gone about 12-hours of the 24, 5 days of 7 - that's a LOT of dog-solo time.
    that's a 60-hour work-week - which is half-again MORE than full-time hours.

    how many hours per week does the other-half log at work?
    how many hours does s/he spend AT HOME after work, AWAKE?
    does s/he leave later than U do, come home at a different time for lunch, etc?

    when U come home, U'll go to bed in a couple of hours, in order to get up & do it again...
    & again. At 10-pm with a morning departure at 6:30, U only HAVE 8.5 hours to eat, relax,
    exercise [if any], sleep, get brekkie & git the H*** out. Where & when will U spend time with a dog?!

    the other-half gets home 1 to 2-hours before U - but what if s/he wants to go out for dinner,
    a drink with co-workers, a film, etc? Who's there for the dog?... & who wants to spend TIME
    with the dog, after a full day's work?
    it doesn't, IMO - unless the other-half wants to be the dog's primary caregiver,
    & already spends the majority of her / his OFF-work hours at home - by preference.
    if s/he has an active social-life outside the house - or pretty much any social life, outside of work,
    i think Ur dreams of a dog are unkind to the dog. Dogs need time with their humans, more than
    almost anything - other than food, water, & vet-care, TIME is a dog's critical need.

    U don't have any to give, from this summary. :nonod: i'm sorry - but that's how it appears to me.
    unless the other-half REALLY wants a dog, & has more time than U do to offer, i'd skip it.

    if U do decide to get a dog, i'd choose one who is at least 12-MO & has lived happily with cats -
    a dog who LIKES cats, not one that ignored the cats in their previous home, but loved their kitty-friends.

    a puppy is IMO way too-demanding for 2 folks who work full-time, & U work MORE than full-time,
    to properly housetrain, socialize, habituate, take to puppy-playtime & basic-manners classes,
    introduce to the vet / groomer / sitter / neighbors / kids from birth to 12-YO, adults of all colors,
    genders / sexes, sizes, ethnic groups, able / disabled, ages, with weird hats & O2 masks, canes,
    walkers, skateboards, bicycles, 1000-cc Harleys, etc...

    go for a young adult who adores cats - & cuddles them. EVEN SO - U must introduce the cats
    & a new dog very cautiously, with the dog leashed & cats in carriers, elevated so the cats look down
    on the intruder from a safe height: a desk, cat-tree, or the top of a kitchen counter / china buffet, etc.

    i'd lay in a stock of catnip-spray & Feliway spray, too - & dose the cat-trees & resting shelves,
    2x or 3x daily. I'd give the dog a room of her / his own, their CRATE inside & the door of the room
    firmly closed to keep the kitties out; the dog would be out with the cats only when the humans are home,
    & only IN THE SAME ROOM, at first with the dog on a 6-ft leash while the cats get used to the idea.

    i'd take it slowly. The cats are the ones who determine how quickly this progresses, not the dog
    & not the calendar, either - it might be 2 weeks, it might be 6-mos before the cats accept the dog.

    they might NEVER really accept the dog, either - in which case, then what?...
  3. becci-x

    becci-x PetForums Newbie

    May 1, 2011
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    OK, not sure what you're trying to do here, what with editing my original posts that you've quoted?

    you're replies also seem to be in a "sarcastic" like manner.

    but thanks all the same.
  4. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

    Aug 27, 2008
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    TBH I dont think a Chi would be right for you as your situation stands.
    I have 2 Chi;s and a Chi x, also 6 cats. My lot dont get on at all, the dogs bully the cats and the cats fight with the dogs!! Its a miracle that one of them hasnt lost an eye. I have had to basically give the cats their own bedroom (losing my spare room) so they can have a safe haven.
    Also Chi's are very people orientated lap dogs and leaving one without any human companionship for over 10 hours a day just isnt feasable, it would be a very miserable dog.:(
    Maybe you should wait for a dog until your situation would better support one?
  5. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

    May 23, 2010
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    I believe they are editing your post when they quote, so that each part makes sense in isolation.

    To Becci-It does seem like a long time to leave a dog. I work, but when I'm not at work my life revolves around my dogs. If I have to be out later than normal I pay for doggy day care. Maybe you could think about getting a rescue that is known to like cats of your working hours are not too long?
    #5 Jobeth, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  6. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    sorry, no. :( just factual.
  7. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2011
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    Way, way too long to leave a puppy imo. Too long to leave an adult dog on a regular basis too imo. Unless of course your partner is home a lot more than you are.

    I've owned a dog while working 12 hour shifts and my life revolved around work and the dog. I had absolutely no social life as it wasn't fair for me to work all that time and then go out on days off or in the evening. I got up at 5am, walked the dog for about an hour, showered, went to work. Worked 12 hours, came home, took the dog out for about an hour, had dinner, did some training with dog, showered, took the dog out for a last run before bed, went to bed. Repeat the next day.

    This was an adult dog who was already house trained and didn't need feeding 4 times a day the way a puppy will. If you're not there how will you house train a dog? How will you fit in the training and exercise a dog needs? I already had Rupert when I started working 12 hours a day, if I hadn't had him there is no way I'd have gotten a dog in that situation.
  8. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
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    I have to generally agree with the others - it's WAY too long to leave a dog, let alone a puppy.

    But, it IS possible, if you were prepared to take the dog to doggy daycare or get a dog walker in every single day. An adult dog would still be more suitable than a puppy though.

    However, it's still not really ideal. Even if the dog was cared for while you were at work, it doesn't seem from what you've told us that you'd really have that much time to train/play with/enjoy the company of a dog.
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