Are German Shorthairs Good With Cats

Are you considering bringing a German Shorthair into your home? One of the top questions people have when considering this breed is whether they get along with other animals, particularly cats. After all, the last thing you want is to bring home a new pup only to discover they don’t get along with your beloved feline friends.

So, are German Shorthairs good with cats? In short, unless trained and socialized properly, German Shorthairs may not get along with cats and can be quite territorial. This is because GSPs were bred to be hunting dogs, which means they are naturally more territorial and can be quite protective of their owners and home.

Fortunately, with the proper training and socialization, these dogs can learn to be tolerant of cats and even become great friends with them. Read on to learn all about how to introduce a German Shorthair and cat in your home.

Are German Shorthairs Good With Cats: At a Glance

The short answer is no. German Shorthairs are not naturally good with cats. While they are highly trainable and even-tempered dogs, German Shorthairs can be territorial and display aggression towards cats due to their powerful prey drive.

GSPs have a prey drive that makes them want to run after and even kill smaller animals, which can make it difficult to get them used to cats. This prey drive is why they are so sought-after as hunting dogs.

Additionally, German Shorthaired Pointers are classified as a Sporting breed, which is known for their ability to hunt and track small animals. This means that GSPs are naturally inclined to chase cats, and their strong instinctive behavior may cause them to act out if left unchecked.

To reduce the likelihood of aggression, puppy owners need to socialize their pups as early as possible. Introducing them to different sounds, smells, and animals helps them learn about the world around them in a safe environment so that they don’t become too scared or hostile when faced with something unfamiliar in the future.

A Closer Look at the Prey Instincts of German Shorthairs

German Shorthaired Pointers are a hunting breed of dog and thus have all the instincts and abilities to be excellent hunters. While many GSPs today are kept as beloved family pets, their prey instincts still remain strong and active.

When it comes to hunting small animals like cats, GSPs have an innate instinct to hunt that requires considerable supervision and training to control. Hunting is bred into GSPs and is always present in their genes. Their natural prey drive kicks into gear when presented with a potential target; they become hyper-aware of what’s around them and will immediately focus on the animal in question.

GSPs also have an impressive level of alertness and intensity when pursuing their target. They possess extraordinary stamina, physical strength, speed, agility, scenting ability, and intelligence – all essential traits that make them formidable hunters when unleashed on unsuspecting small animals.

Even if they don’t catch their target every time, these traits allow them to flush out any small creature within reach with ease.

How to Train Your German Shorthair to Get Along With Your Cat

As mentioned earlier, with proper training and socialization, German Shorthairs can learn to tolerate cats. Here are some tips for introducing a German Shorthair and cat in your home:

Start the Training Process as Early as Possible

It is important to start the training process as early as possible when introducing a German Shorthair and cat in your home. Proper training and socialization will help ensure that the dog and cat get along better, making it easier for them to live together peacefully.

Starting early is best because it will give you enough time to create a bond between the pet and your GSP. It’s also important to start early so that you can do small steps of introducing the pets to each other without overwhelming either one.

For example, setting up a gate or baby gate between them can allow them to get used to each other without being in direct contact. Another tip is to keep the GSP on a leash during the first few introductions.

Assign Territories To Each Animal 

Assigning each animal its own space can help prevent any aggressive behavior between them and make it easier for them to live together peacefully. By assigning individual territories to your German Shorthair and cat, they will be able to form their own safe spaces where they can relax without the possibility of confrontation or aggression.

Training your GSP to respect the boundaries of a cat’s territory is also key in getting them to get along. Teaching commands such as “leave it” or “stay away” will reinforce the idea that cats have their own space and should not be disturbed.

Additionally, positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise when your GSP respects the cat’s boundary, will help them learn quickly.

Provide Distractions and Encouragement

Providing distractions and encouragement is an effective way to train your German Shorthair Pointer to get along with your cat. Distractions can be anything from playing fetch, tugging on a toy, or going for walks outside in the yard. This distracts their natural prey drive from focusing on the cat and will allow them to focus their attention elsewhere.

Encouragement is also an important part of training as it allows your GSP to understand that they’re doing something right while around cats. Dogs are incredibly intelligent animals which makes them capable of learning not only when they do something wrong but also when they do something right.

Positive reinforcement, such as treats or verbal praise when your GSP behaves appropriately around cats, will help them learn quickly and understand that this is the behavior you expect from them.

Regularly Monitor Interactions

Once your German Shorthair and cat are accustomed to living together, it’s important to regularly monitor their interactions. Doing so will help you stay on top of any issues that may arise between the two pets and help you address them immediately.

Regular monitoring can provide insight into when the GSP is most likely to become aggressive toward the cat. If you notice signs of aggression, such as growling or barking, it’s important to intervene immediately. Other signs of aggression from a German Shorthair include lunging, snapping, or biting at the cat.

It’s essential that these situations are addressed quickly and consistently in order to ensure that your GSP learns how to behave properly around cats. The best way to do this is through positive reinforcement training, which involves rewarding and praising good behavior while also ignoring bad behavior.

Utilize Training Aids to Discourage Unwanted Behavior

It’s important to use training aids when it comes to teaching your GSP how to get along with cats. There are a variety of tools available that can be effective in discouraging any unwanted behavior from your German Shorthair.

Bitter apple or hot sauce sprayed on furniture, toys, or other items that the GSP may want to chew on can help discourage them from chewing on objects they shouldn’t be. Additionally, using sound deterrents such as citronella collars or even a whistle can be useful in distracting them from misbehaving around cats.

Using these tools alongside other methods, such as positive reinforcement and regular monitoring, will ensure that your GSP learns how to behave properly around cats.


While the hunting instinct of German Shorthairs makes them prone to chasing cats, it’s important to remember that with patience and consistent training, they can learn how to get along.

By taking the time to train your GSP to respect the boundaries of a cat’s territory, providing distractions and encouragement, and using training aids to discourage unwanted behavior, you can be sure that your German Shorthair will learn how to live peacefully with cats.

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