Are German Shepherds Good with Cats?

photo by BuzzSharer

For devoted pet lovers out there that are planning to have more than one kind of pet in their house, surely they have asked the question, “Are German shepherds good with cats?”

Handling German shepherd and cats that don’t do well with each other is just as tiresome as having two children fight each other constantly.

You love them both, but you can’t do anything to make them get along.

Some may think of it as an act normal with dogs, but should German shepherd and cats really be fighting?

Today we’ll talk about the right reaction of your dog when these two pets are bundled together, and how you can make it possible for German shepherd and cats to get along.

Are German Shepherds Good with Other Pets?

For some pets, getting along is only natural since German shepherds are calm and friendly. They are, after all, a social animal.

However, for some pets especially cats, being friends isn’t the first thing to come in mind.

German Shepherd and Cats

German shepherds and cats are not supposed to be the best combination, that is if we’re talking about how nature works.

However, they can live under the same roof, eat side by side, and sleep beside each other. This can be done with proper training.

Obviously, it won’t always be like that. They will sometimes have some conflict.

Either way, the German shepherd is usually the older sibling since he’s bigger and more capable of protecting the cats, or at least that’s how it looks like.

Let’s not forget the issue if a German shepherd are good with other dogs or breeds.

German Shepherd and Other Dogs

As previously said, German shepherds are social dogs. Plus, they are not aggressive. While they may be to cats they don’t know, they wouldn’t be even for other dogs they’ve never seen.

However, just like how even a trained German shepherd gets along with even cats, an untrained and improperly handled GSD may become aggressive to other dogs.

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In short, German shepherd temperament may be changed through training. So to prevent that from happening, let’s tackle how you can train a German shepherd and cats to get along.

Training a German Shepherd to Get Along with Cats

Remember, cats are the least likely pet to be buddies with German shepherds. So once you successfully do this, you don’t have to worry about German shepherds getting along with other dogs.

Regardless, there are many aspects of “getting along”. You don’t have to focus on your German shepherd. In fact, it would be better if you understand cats first.

Understanding Cats

For the third time, German shepherds are social animals, so why do they chase cats?

You might think that they simply hate them, but no. German shepherds are herding dogs. As herding dogs, it’s their natural instinct to chase anything that is running at high speeds.

If that’s the case, then their target is likely to be the quick and nimble cats.

So your first mission is to teach your German shepherd not to chase cats. And you’re going to do this by teaching them the basic commands.

Teaching Basic Commands

A dog owner knows how to teach basic commands such as sit, stand, and more. But some aren’t aware that such commands can be used to stop the German shepherd from chasing the cat.

Here’s a look at the essential commands for a German shepherd and how it can affect the interaction of German shepherd and cats.

  • Watch Me: This is what you say if you want to tell your German shepherd something. It compels your dog to look at you in the eye. The least it can do is buy time for your cat to get away.
    It’s not exactly the best method for stopping dogs that are chasing cats, but its main purpose is that it’ll make it easier to teach a dog the next commands.
    It’s also the core of how to introduce a German shepherd to a cat peacefully.
  • Sit: This one might already be obvious. It’s for making sure your German shepherd won’t go anywhere when he sees your cat.
  • Stay: Stay is also an alternative to sit since it won’t allow your dog to go anywhere. It’s much faster to initiate since they just have to stop in a specific place instead of sitting.
    Either way, the Sit and Stay command should often be used since it improves the self-control as well as the obedience of your dog. Eventually, you won’t have to say these commands since the dog already knows the drill.
  • Break: This is often used to break your previous command. Obviously, you say this command after making your German shepherd Stay or Sit. After all, you don’t want your dog to stay still for the whole day.
  • Leave It: This command is mainly used for leaving an object that your German shepherd clearly wants to approach.
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That means it would work well when your cats caught your dog’s attention. It’s basically saying they shouldn’t even think of chasing the cats.

  • Drop It: Sometimes, you’ll find your German shepherd and cats playing, but it can get too rough. In this case, your dog may carry the cat forcefully, and that’s where this command comes in handy.

Teaching these essential commands is not easy. It doesn’t take overnight. So to improve your productivity, make sure you have some tasty treats for your dog.

Set Boundaries

However, training may not be enough. Remember that the more rules and commands you put in place, the more likely your dog will obey.

So in addition to telling your dog to sit or stand still when they chase cats, it will also help if you set boundaries for your German shepherd and cats.

For example, if your cat’s hangout place is the balcony, show your German shepherd that they can’t go there.

This can be considered as separation in one way, but there’s a better way to do this.

Separation and Unification

The first step in this procedure is making sure the German shepherd and cats cannot be together, just like what we talked about before.

This time, however, they should at least see each other.

A great way to do this is by putting both in a crate and make the face each other. That way, they can familiarize the physical characteristics of the other, especially the scent.

The final step is getting them together without any obstacles. At that point, they should already have what we call mutual understanding.

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However, just like I said, if the cat tries to run, the German shepherd may chase them. This only proves that basic commands are truly helpful for handling German shepherd and cats.

Remember that these are tips for teaching a German shepherd to get along with cats. If you want to know more about training, check out our article about Training a German Shepherd.


No one in their right mind would want their German shepherd and cats to be fighting all the time. That’s precisely why we ask the question, “Can German shepherd and cats get along?”

However, we often find ourselves struggling to come up with answers. Some say their pets get along, but yours do not. So how are you going to turn it around?

This blog post was made for this purpose. It’s possible for German shepherds to get along with cats, or even other dogs, but this can only be done through training. Fortunately, you now know how to do this after reading the blog post.

The most important part is that you are now ready to have a quiet place, without any conflicts between your German shepherd and cats.

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