While it might seem very simple to list the best dog breeds to choose if you own cats, while researching this subject it became apparent that one owner or expert site will swear their breed is great with cats, someone else says "don't ever choose THAT breed".
If you are looking for a dog and you have cats, it might be more useful to consider the particular breed traits that would make an individual dog more likely to be cat-friendly.
1) Low Energy
All dogs need exercise, but dogs with an excessive amount of energy will find ways to get into trouble, and your cat may be just the sort of trouble your dog is looking for. Chasing the cat can quickly turn into a matter of life and death. Low-energy breeds you might want to consider include the Bichon Frise, Boston Terriers, Italian Greyhounds or Pugs.
2) Low Prey Drive
Some dogs live to chase and even kill small animals. Jack Russell Terriers and even Yorkshire Terriers are bred with a strong instinct to chase vermin, and may see your cat as a pest to be eliminated. Sight hounds - Afghans and Greyhounds - also have a strong chase instinct. Spitz breeds - Huskies, Chows or Akitas - are also keen chasers.
In general, family-friendly and companion breeds have a lower prey drive.
3) "Family" Dogs
Dogs that are frequently recommended for homes with children MAY also be good dogs to include in a cat-friendly household. Golden Retrievers and Labradors are frequently at the top of the list, and you may also want to consider a Beagle, Boxer, a Newfoundland or an English Setter. Pit Bulls have a a bad reputation, but a well-bred Pit has the potential to be a great family dog and may be good with cats too.
4) Companion Breeds
A breed whose sole purpose in life is to be a companion animal may be more tolerant of cats, if they aren't allowed to be come overbearing and jealous of their human. Pomeranians, Havanese, Cockapoos or King Charles Spaniels are "lap dogs" a cat owner many want to consider.
5) Easily Trained Breeds
Breeds that are frequently used for obedience trials or as guide dogs may be a good choice, however, these are also very intense dogs who NEED training to be good dogs. They're frequently just a little smarter than other dogs, and may be more prone to getting into trouble too. Rottweilers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Papillons, Dobermans and Poodles are on the list of highly intelligent and more easily trained dogs who might also be good with cats.
It cannot be stressed enough: breed is only a part of the equation, and a minor part at that - bloodline, early socialization and training are also critical factors in whether an individual dog will be good with cats. If you're selecting a puppy, find a reliable breeder who has quality dogs, and make sure you're puppy has been introduced to kitties at an early age.
While many people assume cats and dogs just don't mix, if you have the right cat and the right dog - and the right amount of patience - felines and canines can live in harmony, and can even become best friends.
Some additional tips:
~ Make proper introductions, keeping the dog on a leash as long as necessary to train your dog to accept the cat and to keep your kitty safe.
~ Always give your cat one or more safe bolt-holes to escape your dog, especially if the dog is much larger.
~ If you're considering adopting an older dog, have the dog "cat tested". Many rescue groups test their dogs with cats to make sure your kitties will be safe.
Dog Breed Info