The Victorian Bulldog is a relatively newer breed of dog that began in the 1980’s. These dogs were bred specifically to restore the look and health of the original English Bulldog. Families with cats that are considering a Victorina Bulldog should know how well they get along.
Do Victorian Bulldogs get along with cats? As a general rule well socialized Victorian Bulldogs can get along with cats just fine. The Victorian Bulldog, despite their large and imposing look, are generally friendly and can peacefully coexist with other pets such as cats when properly socialized.
The Victorian Bulldog at first glance does have an imposing look to them. They are larger and more athletic than the English Bulldog, so some may be wary about introducing them to cats. In this post I will go over a few tips and tricks you can use to help your Victorian Bulldog get along with cats.
Does Your Victorian Bulldog Get Along With Cats?
I conducted a poll in a Facebook group dedicated to the Victorian Bulldog. This group is full of devout and enthusiastic Victorian Bulldog owners that share pictures, stories, and seek each other’s advice where needed.
I ask the members of this group prior to writing this article if their Victorian Bulldog gets along with cats. The poll asked “Does your Victorian Bulldog get along with cats?” with 4 possible response options. A fifth was later added by a member of the group.
- My Dog lives with a cat and gets along fine
- My Dog doesn’t live with a cat but gets along with them fine
- My Dog doesn’t live with a cat and will chase/attack cats
- My Dog lives with a cat and can’t be trusted alone. They will chase/attack the cat.
Of the 31 people that responded to the poll 19 said that their Victorian Bulldog gets along with cats. 13 respondents live with cats, 6 do not. The other ⅓ of the responses claim to have never encountered a cat, and only 2 owners replied that their Victorian Bulldog does not get along with cats.
Admittedly this is not a scientifically valid sample size, but it does point to an obvious answer. Victorian Bulldogs overwhelmingly get along with cats both inside the home, and outside of the home with a few exceptions here and there.
Are Victorian Bulldogs Aggressive?
On average Victorian Bulldogs are not known to be aggressive. They are a loyal, loving, and affectionate family companion. When properly socialized with other people, dogs, and cats, the Victorian Bulldog is a friendly and outgoing breed of dog that will rarely display aggressive behaviors.
The Victorian Bulldog can make an excellent guard dog. They have a protective nature towards their family and will be alert to potential threats. As a result they can be wary of strangers and other dogs if not properly socialized early on.
Be sure to introduce your Victorian Bulldog to as many people and pets as you can while they are young. Teaching your Bulldog to be comfortable around others will ensure any protective behavior isn’t misdirected towards another person, dog or cat.
Some Victorian Bulldogs can have a high prey drive and be inclined to chase small animals like cats. Proper training and socialization can help direct these natural behaviors towards appropriate exercises and activities.
How Do You Introduce A Bulldog To A Cat?
Introducing your Victorian Bulldog to a cat should be a gradual process. There are several steps to follow to ensure a safe and positive interaction can happen. Introductions should first be made through scent, then meeting through a barrier, and eventually calmly together in a room.
Below I have outlined a great process to follow with some tips and tricks on making introductions. Follow along with these simple steps, remain patient, and you will ensure a positive experience in the end.
Step 1: Provide your cat with a safe space
Create a safe space for your cat in a room with access to food, water, litter box, etc…that is sectioned off with a baby gate with a small pet door. This gives your cat a comfortable place to stay for the time being. It will also act as a place to go when introductions are made.
Step 2: Bringing the dog home.
It is best to keep the cat and your Victorian Bulldog apart for a day or two in the beginning. This separation gives them both a chance to become aware of each other through scent and sound. The time spent in different areas of the home, and out of sight will allow a gradual awareness and comfort level to be established with each other. Meeting too soon face to face can be a recipe for bad first meetings.
Step 3: Teaching your Victorian Bulldog to focus on you.
At this point your Bulldog will be interested in where this cat stays. Curious behavior like barking, pawing, or just obsessing over the room where your cat is staying. Start to teach your dog to focus on you, and ignore the cat. Learning the “look” or “focus” command is top priority at this stage.
Redirection with treats, toys and lots of positive reinforcement is the key to this training. Teach your Victorian Bulldog that ignoring the cat and focusing on you is much more fun and interesting. This will become very helpful in the future when both pets are able to interact.
Step 4: Meeting each other for the first time.
The next step should take place with a baby gate separating the two pets. Further scent recognition along with a visual meeting of each other in a safe and controlled manner. Keep a loose leash on the dog for added safety and control. Don’t give hard corrections, we are looking to make this a positive experience. If your Victorian Bulldog is too excited, simply close the door and end that meeting session.
A first meeting can be a few seconds or a minute. Do this slowly over time. It can take a few days or a week. Take your time to get your pets accustomed to each other. The goal is to get your dog used to the cat and still gain their focus on cue.
Step 5: Let your cat dictate the interaction outside the room.
Finally it is time to open things up so your cat can come out when they feel comfortable. Do not force this interaction. Your cat should dictate when to come out when they feel safe.
Once your cat does decide to come in the same room as your Victorian Bulldog make sure your dog is calm. Rushing to play or chase the cat will send the cat retreating back to their safe space.
Have your Victorian Bulldog focus on you. Try to get them to ignore the cat as much as possible. Keep the baby gate up in case your cat wants to retreat or your Bulldog begins to chase them.
If the first interaction goes bad, which it can, that’s fine. Go back to step 1 and repeat the process over. Your Bulldog will eventually learn they need to give the cat space, ignore them, and not chase them. This can take some time, but with a calm, consistent and patient approach it is achievable.
How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Get Used To A Dog?
On average it takes a few weeks for a cat to get used to a dog being in the home. There are many factors that come into play, so there is no one answer. The process can take a matter of days in some cases. A few months in other cases.
Never force interactions between your cat and your dog. Allow your cat to get used to new dogs in their own time. Use the process mentioned above and you can shorten the timeline of how long it takes for your cat to get used to a dog.
Victorian Bulldogs are able to get along with cats just fine when set up for success. As an owner it is important to expose your Bulldog to cats from an early age if you want to avoid bad behavior down the road.
There are plenty of Victorian Bulldogs that live with cats, and in some cases are best buddies with them. Proper introductions when bringing a new pet into the home can help everyone adjust much faster. Give this process time in the beginning and in the end you will have a happy household.