Large & Small Breeds Together

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Pay attention to- me!
Barked: Sat Aug 23, '08 11:45pm PST 
Does anyone have a small dog and a big dog? When I was growing up, we had a lab and a shih tzu and they got along really well. They would play with each other. We have a lab and in a few years I want to add a second dog. We live by a lot of great breed-specific rescue groups here for a lot of toy breeds that I am interested in (shih tzu, maltese, cavalier king charles spaniel, etc.).

So who here has dogs of different sizes and how does it work out?

Our dogs wouldn't have to be playmates but I want everyone to be happy.
Douglas Kekoa

dig, dig, dig,- bark, bark,- bark, dig,
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 5:43am PST 
We have several sizes. We have sizes 12lbs, 30lbs, 43,lbs and over 100lbs. All are beyond happy to have eachother and get along perfectly. Of course as I'm sure you know, it can depend on the dogs. I also know of people who have had different sizes and have had some sad things happen. For us though it works great and wouldn't have it any other way.
Dr. Zira-In- Memory

Welcome to the- planet of the- monkey dogs
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 6:01am PST 
Ive never had any issues at all with dogs of different sizes in the sam ehome. You do of course have to exercise common sense. Though I often feed all my dogs together I supervise very closely. Im careful about chewies and high value items. If one of my dogs where to be aggresive towards the other dogs, I would keep them confined when I was not home. I make sure that I can take anything away from my dogs and that helps inbreaking up a fight. I supervise all backyard play time.
Recently I adopted Zira from a breeder who had many large and small dogs together and I dont think she properly supervised. Perhaps the larger dogs took her food, as she is somewhat cautious about eating. Zira is nervous when any dog. particularly a larger one, comes too close to her and she will give a little warning growl/air snap. My dogs completely back away from this and within a few days she had adjusted to them being close and we have no more incidents, though she does make it clear to my young bulldog that she does not want to play. However she wont be going to the dog park or anything becuase she does nto enjoy having hte other dogs near her and snaps at them.
If you supervise your dogs and make sure that they all behave you wont have problems

Edited by author Sun Aug 24, '08 6:02am PST



The ledgend- lives on.
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 6:19am PST 
We always have miniature house guests here (my Mom's Shih Tzu on a very frequent basis, and we babysit a French Bulldog a lot) and my big guys love the little ones! We're planning on adding our first little one (a Frenchie) after our move sometime next April, but both of my big pups were raised and socialized around the little ones so we're not too worried about the addition and makes a big difference on the subject.
Sandy Baby- ♥

I may look- little, but I'm- ALL dog!
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 7:45am PST 
We have and have always had small and big ones together! Right now, we have a 10 lb, a 15 lb, a 35 lb, a 70 lb and a 80 lb. They get along great. They love playing with each other, they each have their own seperate toys and they love walking together. But, as another poster pointed out, common sense is important. Because, when you have dogs of different sizes living under one roof- a dog fight could end deadly. I feed mine in seperate areas so they can't get food aggressive. I make sure they know whos toys are whos and when they even LOOK at another dogs toy, I take that toy until they calm down. Okay, by look I mean look and growl. Whenever I hand out treats EVERYONE gets one. Even the cats. This makes it to where they can't fight over the treat as everyone has one. The list goes on. They can get along together as long as you do it responsibly.

I can definatly- fit in your lap!
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 8:04am PST 
I don't actually have both a large breed and a small breed "yet", but I've been planning it for almost two years now, and am about to get a small breed.

So, I have taken Zeke to be around small breeds, and I can say that he does very well. infact, he now has a small white pomeranian friend that comes over and zips around the back yard with him regularly.

He is a very mellow, gentle dog already, so he does great with anything smaller than him, be it a smaller dog, cat or even our parakeet which he lets sit on his back.

I think different sizes can be great together, however I think one should always be careful. A big dog even as gentle as Zeke could still accidently stumble or step on his little buddy, even though he is very careful around him. Accidents happen, and with really small dogs a simple accident can do alot of damage!
Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 8:57am PST 
I had a large and a small dog for about 10 years-- Ginger (Golden) and Pooch (Rat Terrier mix). They got along really great. I know several other people too who have Goldens and Rat Terriers and they seem to go well together for some reason. I think terriers in general go well with large dogs because they THINK they are large! I have also had other small foster dogs including a Shih Tzu.

Mars is covered- in BBQs!
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 11:37am PST 
Tank and Lobo get along GREAT. smile He's 15lbs, and she's 45lbs, so she's literally three times his weight. We're away at school right now, but when we get home (next week! cheer), we'll have Jack the Aussie to look forward to. (He's a rescued mini at 25lbs.) I'll post here again when we experience that. way to go

At first I was a bit skeptical about Tank going from being an only child to sharing the house. At first they loved each other and spent all their time playing. After a few days Tank got a bit ticked that this
"visitor" was taking up all the attention. Soon he found that she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, and went back to loving her like a good brother should. big grin
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 1:14pm PST 
Firstly....those are some outrageously darling puppy pictures!

Secondly, I am really old hat at this....I've done it for the longest time and have consulted many others. And I am gosh darn RAUNCHY about it as concerns my own crew laugh out loud....the Giant Schnauzer is considered not to be a good multi dog (extremely dominant and pushy) and many would say he is way too vigorous for small dogs. Tiller shares his life with two Am Cockers, Onion before him as well, and prior to that I kept a mini Dachs with a GSD and a Doberman.

It depends on the breed how cautious you want to go, and also the breed MIX is very important. The great news for you is that you have a Lab, so he's taking a lot of the complexity out for you - Labs are GREAT multi dogs. What you need to keep an eye on, in terms of the breeds you consider, is that Labs are not ballerinas, they play vigorously and they have lots of energy (particularly off your boy's pedigree). For you, my advice is to stay away from breeds that are sharp or soft....the former may get temperamental with an eager, playful and young Lab and the latter may get overwhelmed. If your boy is one of those Lab gentlemen, the door opens wider, but at his age I would figure he is still full of verve and enthusiasm.

Do you want something for YOURSELF? A particular kind of dog? Maybe something mellower, softer? A good lap dog? A snuggler or cuddler? I myself like having a different type of dog around...I appreciate it, and it helps me cope of the various stresses of both better as it's not more of the same. Giants and Cockers offer me very different things. I can appreciate my Giant's seriousness more given that my Cockers are so naive and undiscerning, I can appreciate the soft sweetness of my Cockers more because my Giant is so hard. The stress of a Giant being hard to train is lightened because my Cockers are so easy, and the Cocker propensity to be a little iffy on the housebreaking stuff is eased by the Giant being so reliable. And YES....it is nice for me as a Giant owner to have soft, cuddly jesters. These breed get along because, yes, a Giant is too much, but Cockers are rowdy and playful AND (very important!) almost obtuse when it comes to dominance struggles....it is just not what where their head is at, so Tiller's cute dominance plays are really a party of one. Any politics he plays goes right over their heads. For a while he was trying to do the whole hog bit, straddling Daniel then lowering down to sit his chest on Daniel's head, and all Daniel does is "he, he....that's FUN!"

Of the breeds you've given, the Shih Tzu is a standout. The Maltese has WAY too much opinion (they often consider other dogs, well....the REST big laugh) and a Cav may get overwhelmed if your Lab is bombastic. Shih Tzus are really good joes, little party guys, and tend to play well with larger and more vigorous dogs. Spaniels get along with Labs typically, but Am Cockers are best because they are rowdy (particularly the buff color). Bostons will do fine although things may get keyed up....they can show lots of impish energy! Pekes also seem to tolerate larger dogs well and have enough attitude to rule the roost. Pugs....Pugs are one of the ultimate toy breeds with larger dogs, and they have the vigor for anything.

That's a quick list. Hope the comments were helpful big grin

I have my own- reasons.
Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 1:38pm PST 
My friend has a Pomerianian mix and a Saint Bernard! They are pretty good together, but I imagine even if they weren't she'd still have more ways of escaping due to her size and ability to jump and climb!laugh out loud
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