Question for people with large and small dogs

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Boemy, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Boemy

    Boemy New Member

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    How hard is it to train a large dog to get along with a small dog and not accidentally hurt it during play?

    I want to eventually get a papillon (probably from a breeder) and a large dog (probably a retriever mix from a shelter or rescue). I thought I'd get one dog, then get the second dog a few years later when the first dog is settled. Would you get the small dog first or the big dog? :confused:

    I was thinking if I got the small dog first, I could let it meet shelter dogs I was interested in to gauge their reaction . . . Then again, if I got the big dog first, I could do all the basic obedience training like sit and leave it before getting the small dog. :confused:
     
  2. oc_spirit

    oc_spirit Snow Girl

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    I would get the small dog first and not even think about a big dog till the small one is an adult. Then bet a large breed puppy or (especially if the breed is known for high prey drive). Anytime the pup gets too boisterous around the lil dog take it for a time out. Be consistant and the pup will learn he must be gentle if he wants play time to conitnue.
     
  3. Ranchnhoney

    Ranchnhoney New Member

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    I agree I would get the small dog first but try to stick with a hardy breed. In other words don't go to small, or frail. 'Cause they will play and it looks pretty rough but they set up there own ground rules on what's ok. Let that dog grow up and then see about getting a bigger one. I have a Jack Russell and a Lab mix from a shelter and they are the best of friends, plus my sisters yorkie always comes over to play. My freind has a Great Dane and a Yorkie type dog and they also do well. She got the Yorkie first. The only issue is your big dog may think they are small like the other and try to go in the same places and sit on laps....that kind of stuff.
     
  4. Charliesmommy

    Charliesmommy I run with scissors

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    The ideal solution would be to get an adult large dog that has already been around small dogs from a rescue or shelther.
     
  5. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    We have a high rabbit drive beagle/ greyhound mix and a 5lb mix of some sort, in addition to Buster.

    Its never been a problem. The small dogs are not quite as frail as they seem for the most part, and do not seem bothered by telling the other dogs to back off- it's loud, and will never be mistaken for a rabbit.

    Getting stepped on by the other dogs does not seem to be a huge problem, the large ones try to avoid it to keep their footing and the small one is tough enough to soak up any mistakes. It actually sent Buster flying once when it went after his legs, both dogs, head on at full speed. There was a nice spray of melting slush when Buster fell, but otherwise both were unharmed.

    Things like not pouncing in play would just have to be taught, or avoided by screening the large dog. Some will want to play too rough, but ours were never interested in using it as a toy, in fact they are normally the prey in chase games.
     
  6. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    We have 2 large dogs and a small one. The small one is the oldest. I'm not sure I would bring a small dog pup into my house at this point. The 2 large ones get real rough with each other, and the small one will run for cover! We have to keep an eye on how they play with the small dog. He's pretty robust and will give it back, but it's better to be safe and calm them down when they start getting to rough with him.
     
  7. klaker

    klaker New Member

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    Well I have two smaller dogs that are 4 and 5 years old respectively. Then I came home with Polly my Olde English Bulldogge puppy 7 months ago. The only problem I see with having the bigger dog after the smaller ones is that polly will want to play and she has gotten to the point where she is way bigger than the other dogs and plays a little rough. I do find myself having to seperate the dogs for a while till Polly can calm down and relax.
     
  8. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    We have four small and smallish dogs, but I know plenty of papillon people that have big dogs with no problems. Papillons are not as frail as many people make them out to be. I'd just keep an eye on them- especially at first, and I agree getting the smaller dog first would probably be the best thing to do.

    Heck our vet has a couple BBDs (big black dogs as she calls them), a lab, a shih tzu, and a papillon with no problems.
     
  9. Boemy

    Boemy New Member

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    Thank you, guys! That does make sense. :)

    Another thing I was wondering is . . . if you have a big dog that needs more exercise than a small dog, how do you walk them together? Are small dogs hardy enough to walk X number of miles along with the big dog? Or do you walk them separately? Or carry them partway?
     
  10. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    My two walk the same - I think people underestimate how much exercise small dogs need. It depends on the individual dog and breed. I think most of them need more than they receive, and get away with it simply because they're smaller and not as "destructive" (lol), but that's JMHO ;)
     
  11. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    I'm not a small dog fancier , but all my Goldens got along with dogs of any size . It was the small dogs that terrorized them ! I had a lost pug here for 2 days and boy was Ollie glad when I found a home for him !!!
     
  12. Squishy22

    Squishy22 Guest

    I currently live with my mother and sister. My sister has a 7 pound adult female chihuahua and I have a 45 pound male pit bull who is about 7 months old. They do great together. They have been together since my dog was 6 weeks old. They constantly play around. Sometimes the chihuahua will yip and thats when I tell Reggin to be easy. He knows what that means and he listens. The chihuahua is very dominant to my pit bull. sometimes she puts reggin in his place when he gets too rough, lol.
     
  13. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    One of our members had a Chihuahua and a bullmastiff, I just thought this video was the cutest thing, they really can learn to be gentle with each other.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=bv5Jo4-OKiU
     
  14. SisMorphine

    SisMorphine Your Mom

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    I have a boisterous Alapaha puppy who can play with the small dogs any day! Basically she was raised playing with adult dogs of all sizes who had no problem correcting the hell out of her if she got out of hand. We use her now, at 8 months, to introduce all new dogs to the kennel. Her doggy communication is spot on and she can tailor her play style to any dog she is playing with. She was brought up going to daycare 5+ days a week from the time she was 9 weeks old. I believe that this is why my 50 pound puppy can play with the 90 pound GSD and then immediately switch to playing with a 12 pound Doxie.

    In addition you need to be sure that BOTH of your dogs are super socialized with all dogs of all sizes. It helps if you choose a puppy (if that's the route you're going) who is outgoing and curious, but not super pushy or scared. Though those dogs CAN learn how to play appropriately, it's easier if they already have an easy going temperament to begin with.

    I would also stay away from larger breeds with a high prey drive. Though many can live peacefully with small dogs, I have heard of far too many stories of that larger dog one day killing the smaller dog because hey, prey drive is a natural instinct and though you can suppress a natural instinct to a certain extent, you can NEVER train it out of a dog.
     
  15. CelticxConnections

    CelticxConnections New Member

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    I have two big GSDs and a med. sized Doxie. They get along just fine for the most part. Some times the GSD pup gets a little pushy and the doxie tells him off before we can.

    It was not to hard to train everyone to get along but when we got the doxie our first GSD was 5 y/o and well trained. He already knew how to play gentally because he grew up around little kids. We also got our GSD puppy a few months ago from that experince I would have to say I liked introducing a older big dog to a little dog.

    As for walking everyone together I think it depends on the breeds and the dogs. While my doxie would love to go on walks with the GSDs he just can't if we go on big walks. He's got 3 inch legs and is a quarter of the size of them, he ends up jogging to keep up with them at a walk. Then again I do have complete oposites, I think aretriever mix and a papillon would be more alike than mine are.
     
  16. squirtsmom

    squirtsmom New Member

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    I have a tiny toy poodle, and a Great Pyrenees puppy. Constant supervision is required in our house, because when Baby wants to pl ay, she is reallly rough and tumble. Poor Jessie gets caught underneath her all the time. Baby loves it.
     

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