Bernese Mountain Dogs and Cats?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by R1986, May 26, 2008.

  1. R1986

    R1986 New Member

    I was wondering how Berners do in relating to cats and if any users here have any stories or words of wisdoms in this regard? I only ask because we have one cat and I don't want to create trouble by introducing a Berner. I assume they're like other dogs in this respect but thought it would be good to see if anyone else had dealt with this before.
  2. bernermom

    bernermom Administrator Staff Member

    We dont have a cat, but just last week Riley and I went to visit a friend of mine that has 2 cats. I was a little nervous about how he would react. He was intrigued, but after the first minute or two of sniffing each other, he just went on about his business. These cats were already used to dogs though, so that probably helped.
  3. R1986

    R1986 New Member

    It probably does depend a lot on the cats in question. That's good to know that they can get along with them if the cats are okay with the dog's presence as well. Here's hoping for the best!
  4. tina

    tina New Member

    My father always told me (and I've been wanting to try this for a long time) that the best way to keep cats and dogs peacefully is to raise them together- from when they are little kittens and puppies.

    But I suppose there are other ways...?
  5. Brenda

    Brenda New Member

    Your father is probably right! I can tell you that I have 7 cats and when we brought our Berner home she bugs the cats non stop! it has to the puppy in her still. when we had our first dog who was an adult by the time the first cat arrived, the dog could of cared less. So, i think a puppy would bother the cat and an adult dog would be better :)
  6. momswish

    momswish New Member

    berners vs cat

    I can't answer for berners but I hope its true, but I have a golden retriever and 2 cats, one of which is 10 years old, my golden is 9. I had a golden who passed away at the time I brought the kitten home and they were amazing together. Alley cat, real original huh? was 1 when we brought home our golden puppy and they ADORE each other! They lay together, groom one another and drink from the same bowl! If I give Auggie chicken, beef or eggs, Alley is right next to him sharing! I swear! And as for Oliver,our 2 year old cat, he does pretty much the same things, even playing chase with Auggie! They are brothers and sisters so to speak and I am hoping to add a berner pup to my furry family in the spring. Every thing I've heard and read say they are very tolerent of other animals. Of course the puppy will try to play and chase the cats, thats what puppies do.......Part of my training her will be tolerance and gentleness with the others in her family......Good luck and enjoy! PS I also work from my home though, so they are rarely alone in the training stages.
  7. martykihn

    martykihn New Member

    I have a Berner female who was five when I brought home a little rescue cat on a whim one day. The cat is naturally on the shy/timid side, and I kept her in a back room separated from my Berner with a baby gate for a couple of weeks. I figured they could get used to one another's scent and presence. After that I supervised them together. My Berner is a sweetie but she's just so much bigger, and the cat usually hung out under the sofa. My experience is the dog loves the cat, but the feeling isn't always mutual. It was about a month before I left them alone together. They're not best friends, but they do keep each other company. The cat is now the alpha - my Berner will walk around her. Personally, I think it's fun having one of each.
  8. Lucky-Liz

    Lucky-Liz New Member

    We have 2 berners and a 6 mo old kitten who all get along famously. We brought the kitten home when he was 4 mo. It took only 2 days before he realized our dogs were big friendly goofs who just wanted to make friends. Now, the cat sits while the dogs sniff at him and I have not seen him react negatively to them for weeks. They also share sleeping arrangements on the mat at the front door; they don't "cuddle" together but I think it's only a matter of time before they do. The only trouble we have is that we have to guard the cat food from the dogs and the dog food from the cat! I have even seen the kitten eating from the same bowl as big boy Leo, completely unconcerned although Leo lives and breathes for food and gobbles his food - you'd think that little kitten would be worried he'd be eaten too, but no, they both had their heads in the bowl, completely unconcerned about each other. We just had the kitten neutered and the dogs seemed very worried that the kitten was missing for a day - when he came home, they greeted him like a long lost friend. I do think the cat will be the "alpha" of the animal pack even though he is about 1/2 the size of their heads. Another thing I've noticed; our dogs used to be quite skittish about our grandson, especially after he started walking, but now (grandson is 21 mo), they don't blink when grandson goes over and sits on them or decides to prod at their eyes or ears. I really think berners are just naturally so laid back and accepting that they will get used to almost anything!
  9. martykihn

    martykihn New Member

    Our cat actually prefers to drink out of the Berner's water bowl, even though she has her own little water bowl. I think she likes the big girl more than she's letting on :)
  10. frisssel

    frisssel Member

    my cat was 5 when i got Storm. I've had to watch Storm because he is a puppy still and so big but the training is working.

    the cat tolerates Storm and acts like she hates him but she checks on him all the time. When storm was laid up she was right there to keep an eye on him. now that he is healed up the chase is on and she loves it. My furniture doesn't but she gets her exercise this way.
  11. ash1ey

    ash1ey New Member

    Actually, one of the reasons we chose the breed was because we have two cats and we wanted a dog who would most likely be safe around them. Our grown-up Bernese loves our kitties. Our puppy is still pretty annoying to them-but he's a puppy he annoys all animals, that's his job.
    Conversely we used to have a roommate with a Husky and a husky cross and that was a disaster. Husky have really high prey drives and may make your cat live in fear most of the time. Berners tend to be more laid back with a lower prey drive.
  12. linds_H

    linds_H New Member

    As cat owners first, we had the same fear of introducing a Berner to our home as well (it's the reason we didn't get a dog sooner)

    Our oldest cat recently died last March (which subsequently lead us to getting our puppy this summer) but we still have 3 cats over the age of 10, a 1-year-old himalayan and a 10-year old stray cat outside.

    Our older cats have always HATED dogs but we have been pleasently surprised that theyv'e made the adjustment well. Although Heidi (our 8 month old Bener) likes to chase occasionally, with supervision we can keep her calm and friendly and prevent any scratches :confused:. The main advice would be for older cats is to make sure they still have a safe place to escape to where the dog can't reach them. It really helps keep them happy and the dog safe. Our modo is, the cats rule the house and the dog must obey their rules.

    Funny enough, our himalayan kitten just LOVES playing with the dog. The two get into all sorts of trouble! (Sophie opens the dog cookie container and knocks it over so both she and Heidi can steal treats :p) Sophie's other favorite pass times are trying to catch Heidi's white-tipped tail (too priceless!) and licking off the yogurt we put on Heidi's food. Definitlely first-hand proof that younger cats/kittens are probably better adjusted than older cats who are not used to dogs.

    However, our best story is about the neighbourhood stray cat, Rory. This little cat is extremely aggressive to other dogs and protects our yard passionately. When we first got Heidi, she actually scratched Heidi on the nose (very mildly) but that was all Heidi needed to learn respect. Since then, the two have a mutual understanding. They sit in our front yard and stand gaurd together, side-by-side. No dog is allowed to enter without first passing inspection and the pair even sleep together (a real miracle). Although Rory will occasionally swat if Heidi gets too rowdy, the pair are now our unofficial guardians.

    With proper supervision, some rules and a good first introduction, both cats and a Berner can definitely live happily together - at least for us.
    Good luck with your cats!

    p.s. Here's a pic of Sophie trying to catch Heidi's tail :D

    Attached Files:

  13. mountndogmad

    mountndogmad New Member

    Its all in Personality

    My Berner has chased our barn cat but if they stopped he would just sniff them I wouldnt be too worried but i would keep an I on them.
  14. Jackiew

    Jackiew New Member

    Actually, we to have the same situation. We have an 8 year old cat, and were wondering how she would do if we brought a dog in. We also chose the Bernese breed for the fact that they are supposed to be good with cats and have a lower prey drive.

    Our cat has been the only pet in our house so far and she is very attached to us, so i want to make sure she would be accepting of a Berner. She has a great personality, and i think she might welcome having a friend.......I hope!.....LOL
  15. Sabogirl

    Sabogirl New Member

    Cat loves my dog!

    I got a kitten when my berner was 4 years old. The kitten loves the dog..they have some sort of secret communication going on. They sleep together and, I believe the cat may think it is a small berner..he drinks out of the dogs dish and the dog is very tolerent of the cats headbuts
  16. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

    When we brought Ollie home we only had one of our three cats left and he was getting on in years and not been use to facing a dog on his own without the back up of his two friends.

    It was fine Bruno soon showed Ollie who was the boss and when Bruno went out one day never to return Ollie did miss him they had been living together about two years by then. Ollie does not chase cats when he sees them and he loves to try to get near to black cats or rather he did when he was able to go on walks I feel sure he thinks every black cat may be his missing friend.
  17. rockon0159

    rockon0159 New Member


    We have two berners, one older and one just a pup. We also have two cats. The cats keep the puppy in check. Our older dog, Rio, is quite friendly with both the cats. They will lay together and nap. Thea, the younger, is still a bit curious but she is learning. It takes time for them to get used to one another, but I am confident a good relationship will come.

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