Big Breeds Good With Little Dogs

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by JacksonsMom, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I know that almost any breed CAN be good with little dogs.

    But in general, I guess I should ask, what breeds would you NOT want to live with a little dog?

    I'm not gonna lie, I don't think I'd ever get a Pit Bull so long as I have a little dog, just from everything I've read about DA problems.

    I <33 German Shepherds but since my uncle got his girl, even though they DO get along, I think I've changed my mind on wanting a GSD and Jackson at the same time, lol. It would be too much work for just me, as the GSD is too mouthy still and bats her paws constantly and is very slowly learning how to be gentle with Jackson, but yeah, it would just be too much work by myself - I can only do it when my uncle is here with her.

    I don't know, in your experience, what larger breeds always tend to be pretty good with little dogs and aware of their size? I am in love with English mastiffs as of late and almost every one I've seen on youtube and in real life, is pretty gentle (even as pups for the most part) and often lays down to play with little ones.

    Most Goldens I've seen have always been great with little ones, but most Labs I've met have NOT simply because they have sooo much energy.
     
  2. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Siberian Huskys, and any of the sight hounds come to mind. And, believe it or not, I'd also be hesitant about JRTs.

    On the "clumsy, not knowing how big they are" side, I do worry about Caleb hurting smaller critters just by simply being too rough. The funny thing is, tho- he adjusts how rough he plays to be safe with whatever size dog he's playing with.
     
  3. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I wonder how much of it is even breed tendency.... I mean, Juno is fantastic with little dogs, but I can very easily see how boxers in general could be really freaking rough if they aren't taught otherwise. But she was raised with a small dog and a cat so I think in our case, the key really was just training.

    Great danes at the park always seem pretty gentle. Really, compared to a Dane, EVERY dog is a little dog. :D

    I guess for me it's definitely an individual dog thing, and I wouldn't trust the two alone unless I knew the big one and felt that I could.
     
  4. mollygirl1975

    mollygirl1975 New Member

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    I have a pitbull and a chihuahua/dachshund mix. Molly is a pitbull and she is 9 months old, and Wiggles is the chihuahua/dachshund mix and he is 3 years old. There are no issues with dominance or aggression at all. When they play, Molly is very gentle with Wiggles, although they sound ferocious with all the play growling and snarling that they do. If Molly accidentally gets too rough and Wiggles lets out a yelp, she will immediately stop and will lick him in the face as if she is apologizing to him for hurting him. Then when they go back to playing she will lower herself to his level and let him "beat her up" for awhile. They get along very well together and are the best of friends. When we rescued Molly, it never even crossed my mind to be concerned about having a pitbull in the house with a small dog. This is the only time we've owned two dogs at the same time so I don't have any other experience with a big dog living with a small dog. Hopefully others can give you some insight on a few different bigger dogs living with a smaller dog.

    Kimmy
     
  5. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    I think most dogs CAN be good, but breeds with significant prey drive run the biggest risk of problems. I think of Danes as being generally gentle dogs, and in fact we have one at work who plays with dogs of all sizes, but as Keeva and I found out, sometimes that prey drive kicks in and... lol

    How do you feel about LGDs? We have a Great Pyr mix at my work named Darcy who is one of my favorites and my god does she LOVE Keeva. Yesterday she was getting grumpy because she didn't like how the other dogs were playing with Keeva and Ellie (rat terrier). But she plays super careful with the little ones and just seems to adore them, and I know that's pretty common for the breed. I had a lady at an APDT trial tell me that the breeder her daughter's Pyr came from (who is some top breeder, won Westminster, impossible to get a hold of, blah blah) gives each Pyr its own cat to look after - LOL.
     
  6. PatchworkRobot

    PatchworkRobot New Member

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    I know many people with dobermans and small dogs but I would not get a doberman puppy if I already had a small dog. They're all over the place, full of energy, and SUPER clumsy.
     
  7. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    Well Scamp has somehow survived 2 labs, a springer, a GSD/BC mix, a Newfoundland and is currently tutoring 2 lab mix puppies in how to treat a small dog. On top of that he manages to terrorise the neighbourhoods population of dogs whenever possible. ( I swear that dog has more lives than a cat).

    It really does depend on the dog though because Scamp is a very rough dog and more than capable of looking after himself. He views Tika jumping on top of him and dragging him backwards by the tail as play. All the dogs Scamp has played with have all seemed to moderate themselves except for the puppies. Puppies are naturally going to be quite rough and you just have to manage that. There's also the individual dogs to consider. Although if you're still set on a GSD perhaps an adult rescue would be better than a puppy?
     
  8. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I've never had a problem with Luna and Keegan. But then, collies are generally good with other animals, Keegan was 8 weeks old when I got him (though still larger than Luna, LOL), and Luna's VERY good at letting Keegan know when he's invading her personal space.

    I do think it depends on the individual dog. There are so many factors that could make the relationship work or not.... If the large dog is not very body aware it might not work. If the large dog doesn't listen when the small dog tries to let him know he's being annoying - or if the small dog isn't good at communicating that he's uncomfortable - it might not work. Of course if DA or prey drive kicks in, that's almost beyond your control as well.

    I'd suggest just ruling out dogs that are prone to DA, and then look at each one as an individual after that.
     
  9. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Leonberger. They win hands down. lol

    A small-dog-safe sighthound is extra great with small dogs because sighthounds have excellent body awareness and are very aware of their size and strength, vs. some of the derps you get with other giant breeds.
     
  10. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Most retrievers (goldens, labs etc..) I've found to be good with little dogs. They develop soft mouths and prefer games of fetch to games of chase and other prey games.

    Dobermans! especially when passed the crazy puppy age, I have never met a dobe that wasn't very sensitive and in-tune with their smaller companions. (Check out Ramsey and Pablo on youtube) Maybe it's a coincidence but I've noticed at the park and otherwise that dobermans always are good at self-handicapping (making themselves weaker to play with other dogs)

    St.Brenards, danes.. other gentle giants.

    I would stay away from most terriers/breeds that are bred to hunt small game/have a lot of prey drive.. that kind of thing.

    Romeo is pretty small, love to run around and play keep away and frankly, is not much bigger than your average rabbit/squirrel. I have seen quite a few dogs terrier like dogs see him running around in the small breed area of the park and their eyes just lock on.

    BUT I would say it also greatly depends on the little dog.
    A young, active, hardy little dog I would say is a good fit for most. Romeo can stand playing, wrestling, is quite used to having giant paws swatting at him and other big puppy behaviors

    but some low-key little dogs (especially older/more fragile).. I don't know if I would bring a boistrous large breed puppy of any breed and expect them to get along at first
     
  11. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    Well, Missy is excellent around little dogs - but I have no clue if that's just her, or Rottweilers in general. She and Jack are best friends (he's 22 lbs), and I currently have a foster Pomeranian mix (who's 7 lbs), and she's perfect with her as well.
     
  12. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I would definitely caution against dogs of breeds with high prey drive. Knox can play with (and will, quite often) smaller dogs, he actually prefers to play with them. I have to watch him very very carefully though, because the ones he plays with tend to break off play to do zoomies, and it can turn into predatory drift extremely extremely quickly. I do NOT let him play chase games with smaller dogs, ever. He's shown me that he's willing to run down and kill cats, so I know he's got prey drive and I would hate for it to kick in with a small fuzzy dog. You also need to be aware that the barking/squeaking noise some small dogs make will turn a dog on quickly.

    He's very good at self handicapping, much more so than Enzo, even, and will often lay down to play with smaller dogs.
     
  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I wouldn't commonly get a small breed with malinois.

    I had and know a lot of people who pair pit bulls with chihuahuas.

    I agree that Leonbergers are pretty rock solid dogs with anything if you go to a good breeder.
     
  14. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Wow, think I have a new obsession. Leonbergers! Never looked into them much before.

    A large breed dog is far far off in the future for me, but it's fun to imagine.

    Jackson loves big dogs who are respectful. He loves to play back with them and stuff, and he's definitely not a snippy little dog who will start stuff. But there's been some big dogs who don't know when to stop or take his signs and he doesn't like that and gets irritated quickly. But he's never done anything more than a growl to warn them to back off - and when they don't listen, I just take him out of the situation.
     
  15. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I dogsat a Rottie for a long time who always did very well with Jackson. He displayed lots of resource guarding though, sometimes with REALLY stupid objects (like I dropped the poop bag holder on the ground once and he growled at me when I went to pick it up) so the guarding concerned me and I never let them off leash together in the house. They went to a dog park a few times when it was empty and always did great; he was always very respectful of Jackson, never did any major pouncing or wrestling, etc, when around him. Never saw any kind of predatory drift (or whatever it's called) or anything of the sort.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I've noticed this with my uncle's shepherd so I always watch very closely too. Although one day Jackson was chasing her around the field, and that was pretty funny. They both were enjoying themselves.

    Thankfully, Jackson doesn't really have a squeaking kind of noise, and he's not extremely small (16 sturdy pounds) and he can be rough and tumble when he wants to be.

    Also, Jackson's luckily always been pretty aware of his size as well. He knows better than to get involved in a wrestling match with two much bigger dogs or whatnot. He tends to enjoy just greeting with some sniffs, maybe some play bows, and then he likes to be the one to chase the big dogs if they encourage it.
     
  17. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    My best friend's Rotts were always really good with cats. After her female died, they got a Mini Dachshund. The male Rott she had at the time was great with the Dachshund, too.

    ETA- to me, there's a difference between being aggressive with smaller animals and being rough/clumsy.
     
  18. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    My greys are good with small animals, but Lucy can get carried away in play, I think that's why Kyle the Corgi doesn't like her much. She doesn't mean him harm, just doesn't realise her own size.
     
  19. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    My Sibe/GSD mix is fantastic with small dogs. She's neutral to the not so nice tempered off leash toy breeds that have charged us in the past and she's utterly fantastic with all well mannered toy breeds, even playing with toy breed puppies very appropriately.

    Scout is also very good with small dogs. One of her best buddies was a pug that someone I knew had for a while (long story there!). I would totally trust her with male small dogs, but perhaps not completely with female. Thats not the same thing as predatory drift though because I wouldn't trust her with any size of strange female dog both because of her social ineptness and GSD tendancy to not like the same sex. But she's very well mannered just like Lily is around strange dogs... its never my dogs that I have to worry about in social situations.

    Both girls are fantastic with my cats if that has any bearing. Both will go after strays with no hesitation too... they definitely know the difference between "their" cats and some random cat.

    I've also had them both around ewes and lambs and they did fine. Just dang good dogs. Sure do like this mix.
     
  20. momto8

    momto8 New Member

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    my Great Pyrenees is excellent with small dogs, my Ibizan Hound is not :( I would not recommend any sighthound at all.
     

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