Dog breeds that are good with cats?

I am going to go against the grain here and stick my neck out. It is the wrong starting point to ask if there are some dog breeds that are good with cats. It is branding dog breeds as having one character that is favorable to the cat-dog relationship. I am not saving that people should ditch the idea of selecting a cat-friendly dog breed as there are many internet pages on that topic. I just don’t think it is the right way to go.

Cats like bathrooms when occupied and used
Cats (and dogs) like bathrooms when occupied and used. Photo:
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Pick an individual dog instead and I am relying on myself for that advice backed up by Nathan Winograd, who’s one of America’s most outstanding animal advocates, and Jackson Galaxy, one of America’s outstanding cat behaviourists.

RELATED: “My neighbour’s dogs keep attacking my cats, is there anything I can do?”


In his book Total Cat Mojo Jackson says:

While it’s true that certain dog breeds might be more prone to having a heightened prey drive, for instance, I believe it does a disservice to the potential match to judge a book by its cover, or a dog by its breed.

He advises going for a personality match between dog and cat although he believes the breed of dog can be one of the criteria. I guess the primary criteria for selection is the individual dog’s character.

Age, breed and energy level should be at least part of your adoption criteria.

Cats and dogs together are great to see
Cats and dogs together. Photo: Pixabay.


Nathan Winograd has written about dangerous dog breeds a lot as they are often euthanised at shelters even when the individual dog has a great character. He says that public safety is enhanced when dogs are targeted by behaviour not appearance. Like Jackson he’d rather we focused on the individual dog’s behaviour as dictated by their personality.

In the case of dangerous dogs one issue is identifying a dog breed when there are hybrids. The lines between purebred ‘dangerous dog breed’ and a non-dangerous breed are blurred. This makes it impossible to identify them sometimes.

But the same philosophy applies to selecting a dog for a cat. The starting point probably should be a shelter dog that has a history of getting on well with cats. That makes sense to me. This is bypassing the breeds and focusing on personality. Jackson endorses this in Total Cat Mojo when he writes:

Certainly, you’d want to avoid adopting any dog who has had bad experiences with cats. Prey drive is an important factor. Similarly, if the shelter received information about a tendency towards resource guarding in the dog’s previous home that too is a red flag.

RELATED: Why do cats bully dogs when living in the same home?

Most shelters do their due diligence when evaluating dogs for adoption into homes where there is a resident cat. I’d interview them as a starting point.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
Scroll to Top