1. Take your new dog on a long walk before you enter the home for the first time. When you do enter the home, keep your dog on leash for better control. Remember, it will take time for your new dog to listen to your commands and understand that you are their new pack leader.
2. DO NOT allow your dog to approach your cat yet. Dogs show respect by keeping distance. Keep your dog on a short leash and practice walking by your cat a few times. When you walk by the cat with your dog, don't just walk straight by; rather, ask your dog to give the cat a little extra space as you walk by--dogs always give a little demi-circle of space around an animal they respect, so as you walk by your cat, with the leash, ask your dog to give that little half circle. If your dog stretches his nose towards the cat, that is a social behavior and praise your dog, but still do NOT let them meet face to face yet.
3. Keep your voice tone low, soft and quiet. This will keep your dog much calmer than a high pitched excited voice.
4. Ask your dog to sit, and stay, while on leash, and then YOU step forward and pet your cat withOUT letting your dog approach. This shows your dog the cat is to be respected.
5. Give your cat a high spot to sit on in all areas of the house, or at least the areas most frequented by the family, so that your cat can look down at the dog and feel more secure.
Tips to help introduce your new dog to your cat (peacefully).
6. When your cat comes up to be affectionate, ask your dog to stay two to three feet away while you give affection to your cat. This once again shows the dog the cat is to be respected.
7. Practice this for a least 1-2 days before you let your dog get face-to-face with your cat. Dogs tend to react most when a cat is running, so a good way to get over that is to put your dog on leash, have a strong-smelling treat handy (cheese or meat), and keep his focus while using a cat toy to make your cat run around. This will help desensitize the dog to the cat's motion, and help your cat get comfortable around the dog as well.
8. BE PATIENT. Cats will usually hide for a while, so make sure they have lots of high areas in which to feel safe. If they don't, they will hide under things, and that encourages the dog to seek out the cat, as dogs are natural diggers and like to hunt things that are hiding. Giving high spots for your cat to be comfortable will eliminate that problem.
9. When in doubt, put your dog on a leash around the house and ask him to stay with you. You can clip the leash to your belt and simply ask your dog to follow you around the house for a while until you feel more comfortable about the cat-dog interaction. The less chances your new dog has to make mistakes in the beginning, the less likely problems will occur.
10. Don't hestitate to give more affection to the cat than the dog. The cat should be ABOVE the dog in hierarchy, as this will make them get along much better and more quickly. The more you ask for your dog to give distance to the cat while you are petting them, the more respect your dog will show to your cat. Keep your dog in the same area, though, so they realize they are still part of the family, and get a good chance to watch your interactions with the cat and learn the desired concept more effectively.