Opposites may attract. Would a mighty Mastiff appreciate the friendship of a little Maltese? Would a Great Dane relish a Yorkshire Terrier pal? I can’t speak for the Mastiff or Dane, but these six breed reps eagerly named possible complementary breed buddies. A caveat: All dogs are individuals. No guarantees any one dog will love another breed! Who is your dog’s best friend?
I’m a high-energy, outgoing sporting breed, developed to entice ducks close in range of hunters, and to retrieve. I appreciate active breeds that want to run and play with me. One of my friends is a hard-working (too smart for his own good!) Border Collie. Developed by the British for herding, he has an intimidating gaze indeed. I also appreciate active wee ones, such as the delightfully diminutive Papillon. Developed in Europe as companions, they’re remarkably light on their feet. When we chase squirrels together, my own excellent agility helps me avoid stepping on my little buddies.
We’re athletic, confident, hard-working and yet sentimental about family. Developed from ancient Roman drover dogs, we worked in Germany as all-around farm dogs, often helping the farmers pull carts to market. Today our work drive facilitates any sport, such as carting, swimming, protection sports or rally. We’re true-blue loyal to family and friends. We’re alert, but not overly reactionary, to newcomers. We enjoy calling the shots, but we respect other self-confident breeds. As long as I’m careful with the size difference, I find the Pomeranian a wonderful buddy. Descending from larger Spitz breeds, the Pom is small but brave and hardy. He’s also (like me!) full of himself for good reason: Poms are magnificent climbers, and often the stars of agility competitions. I appreciate his petite athleticism and mighty spirit. And I’ve got his back when the going gets tough!
We’re an ancient breed developed in China to ride in the sleeves of imperial robes. Today we delight in a wide array of friendships. Meet a favorite friend of mine: the Boxer. Although I was bred for a life of ease and he was developed to work hard in Germany, we share some wonderful attributes. Don’t let our distinctive worried brows deceive you; the Boxer and I generally have a mutually merry outlook on life. Although he has a clownish streak, my Boxer friends view themselves as alert and elegant. As for me, I deem my expression more childlike and solicitous. Both the Boxer and I dislike hot weather. Because we’re bracecyphalic dogs (short heads and muzzles), we tend to overheat easily. We both like to play in air-conditioned houses!
I was developed for great hunting speed in Egypt. Renowned for my great eyesight and ability to withstand tough conditions, I’m yet polished and sensitive. I’m not the dog park’s most rambunctious participant, but I’m generally polite to new dogs. Some of my cousins chase small dogs, but I’m well-socialized and well-supervised, so I name the Russian Toy as my buddy. He’s a toy breed, popular historically with Russian aristocracy. Originally developed from gutsy rat-chasing Terriers, the Russian Toy is spunky yet social and playful. I have to be gentle since he’s a mere 5 pounds, but I’m fortunately light-footed myself. My friend is a good watchdog, which is great since I don’t bother with that duty. And best yet: He agrees that chasing gerbils is fun!
Monks developed us for search and rescue on the Great St. Bernard Pass. We’re patient, strong and tolerant around most any dog breed. But my own favorite friend is the sweet and dedicated Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. My ancestors were bred to trudge through snow and the Cavs were developed to sleep with the aristocracy, but we both take care of our people. Not much ruffles either of us. As best buds, we’re an ideal calm and collected pair.
An All-American breed, we were developed to work on farms, herd livestock, hunt game and protect families. Well-known for keeping our families’ world safe and orderly, we prefer breed friends who accept our bossiness. I’ll announce wake-up times, which path we follow and our bedtime routines. My ideal friend is an energetic and respectful sporting breed such as the Golden Retriever. Intelligence matters: Following all my rules is a challenging endeavor. And there’s no doubt the Golden, bred in Scotland for retrieving, is up to the task. He’s biddable, agreeable and sensible. My tattletale nature comes in handy when my sporty friends wander off, find trouble or forget to make a photo shoot date (notice the missing Golden in the above photo! He’s in trouble with me!).
Homepage photo: Boxer and Pug courtesy Robyn Ginther