A number of zoos are now raising puppies and cheetah kittens together to help combat the big cats’ stress and focus their wild energy.
Since the 1980s, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has had a zoo captivity program to let the cheetah cubs socialize with dogs. This helps the cubs to learn from the playful and friendly nature of the dog. Dogs are first introduced to the cubs by the time the latter is three to four months old. They are introduced by being placed on either side of the fence as a keeper walks the dog around on a leash. As they get closer to each other, and if the handlers feel it was safe for the dogs, they are allowed to play together as part of the socializing program.
The San Diego zoo's initiative has shown positive results. It has prompted other zoos to carry out such similar programs under strictly monitored environments.