Denali was adopted on June 30th of 2021 at around a year old. He is thought to be a shepherd/husky/akita cross. He was already 65 pounds and nearly 3 feet tall when we got him.

Our other dog Cailin got along with Denali fairly well, despite being half his size. We were more concerned about our three cats. He seemed interested, and not aggressive, but he could have easily hurt them by accident. While we got everyone acclimated we made sure the cats could keep their distances if they wanted. Part of the time we gated off the downstairs, with them upstairs, and let him loose. Part of the time, particularly at night, we kept him in a crate.

We have multiple crates and cages, but we had to buy a much larger one for him. It would only fit in the living room. Our first few nights when went upstairs he would cry and howl. He kept that up for most of the night, leaving us desparately short of sleep. Finally we tried getting another cage, small enough to fit in our bedroom (just barely) but big enough for him to sleep in (just barely). When we went to bed we took him upstairs with us he was fine. He had separation anxiety.

Our two older cats took the initiative in introducing themselves. The first night Abby stuck her paw into his upstairs cage and let him sniff it. That got her a gentle lick. The next day she hopped the gate on the stairs, landed next to him, licked him on the nose, and went about her business. Kaylee did the same a while later. Our youngest cat, Sue, was still nervous and would hiss at him from a safe distance.