Post # 1
DH & I have a 2 year old black lab. We want to get him a friend… we’re always home, but he is getting more and more clingy out of nowhere and I think if we get him another dog it will make him happy.
The thing is, we don’t have enough room for two large dogs(our lab is bigger than average). I wanted to get a small breed. My parents have shi tzus and our dog has been around them. He is very friendly, he just doesn’t realize how big he actually is. He doesn’t growl or anything like that, he just hits his paws on the ground and plays like he would with a dog his size.
My parents are breeding their dogs and we are considering getting one.
My question is: Can we teach our dog to be gentle to the point where they can be alone together? Or is this a bad idea?
Post # 3
I’d probably pick a larger breed of dog… But when I had a pug, my dog’s BFF was a HUGE shepherd-mutt mix. He used to SERIOUSLY rough-house with my dog (could fit my dog’s head comfortably in his mouth), but never hurt him, accidentally or on purpose!
Post # 4
@abc123joanna: I had the opposite experience of a previous poster- my maltese mix used to regularly play with a rot-mix puppy, but he got bigger and bigger and, while he was a sweet dog, he also liked to play and he eventually injured my dog (playbiting got him in the eye and he ended up with an ulcer.) He wasn’t aggressive at all, but he was just too big to be around my smaller guy. I don’t know if I would trust a large breed home alone with a small-breed puppy for only that reason (labs are super sweet!)
Post # 5
Maybe get a small breed that’s a bit hardier and able to play rough without getting hurt. Terrier breeds could be a good way to go! Our Jack Russell is TOUGH and plays with dogs many times bigger than him with no problem.
Post # 6
@abc123joanna: I think you are okay with a lab and a little dog because of the lab’s friendly demeanor.
I’ve been around a chocolate lab quite a bit and he is a sweet and as docile as can be. Is a chocolate lab different than a black lab?
Also….we have a boarder dane (big dog) and had him for a little over a year before we got our little one. I was concerned too….and we monitored their play time the first couple of times. They cuddle together, sleep together and are adorable together. They act just like brothers and usually when we take the big dog on his long walks, the little one will cry a bit (but the little dog cannot always make the entire walk so he gets left at home lol).
I’d do your research first. I’m not sure if there is a way to find out which dogs will interact well together…but I have a maltipoo and the demeanor of a maltipoo is gentle, docile, loveable. Not sure if this is the direction you want to go. I do know that chihuahuas and shitzu’s can be territorial and aggressive, so maybe a little dog of that nature is a bad choice.
@BrandNewBride: My family used to have a pug as well and we LOVED her. She also interacted well with other dogs, however, the other dogs were medium breeds not large breeds.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia
My Scottish Terrier is a bit submissive to bigger dogs. You probably could get away with having a terrier, like a PP said. However, when the new small dog is growing up in a new environment, you might want to separate them for a while until both dogs get to know each other really well.
Your current lab might be the alpha or the new dog might impose his/her superiority. So, it might take time to introduce the two before you can let them hang out with each other.
Post # 8
We have a larger dog and a smaller dog, and we do fine.
We have a year old female Lab mix who is roughly 50 lbs, and a 4 year old male Pomeranian who is roughly 5 lbs. We had the Pom first. He’s relatively submissive, and so is the Lab mix. When we got the lab, she was 6 months old, so we had a relative idea of her personality, how she interracted with other dogs, etc. While you are in the opposite situation (have a large dog and looking for a smaller one), I still think it’s a good idea to get an older dog who’s personality is a little more established (also, rescuing is AWESOME).
My two get along well. I NEVER leave the two of them unsupervised though. The lab isn’t aggressive, but they play (or as FI and I put it, wrestle dogs lol) and accidents happen. If she starts getting rough, I know to seperate them and I play with her to get all that energy out. If no one is home, they go into seperate crates. I know some people don’t like crates, but they are large enough for much larger dogs. I prefer to know my dogs are safe, and haven’t ingested a stray dirty sock or something much worse.
So, it’s definitely do-able, but for the safety of the little one, I’d just never leave them alone unsupervised together.
Post # 9
Maybe get a medium size dog? My beagle is pretty solid, and plays with a black lab all the time unsupervised. She’s actually dominant over him!
Post # 10
@abc123joanna: Sometimes dogs learn from each other – you may end up with two clingy dogs! lol Labs are great!! Every one I have ever met has been so sensible!!
Post # 11
I have a 12 year old mini poodle and initially I was concerned how he would be with a big dog. My dad had a pom and lab and the pom terrorized the lab, while my poodle didn’t show a lot of interest either way. But fi wanted a big dog and we adopted a lab/pit mix that’s the most docile dog you’ve seen. And the poodle loves his ‘big brother’, it’s hilarious watching them play. The pit can be so gentle with the poodle, then turn around and hold his own with a rott or husky pack at the dog park. Definitely do your research and introduce them carefully, but in most cases big dogs and little dogs get along great.
Post # 12
I’d go for a medium size breed of the opposite sex (they get along better). I have a medium sized dog and she gets a long best with dogs that are her size or only slightly larger or smaller. She doesn’t get along with those little dogs at all really – they are less “dog like” i guess you could say. I don’t think a Shitzu is a good idea with a lab – not if the point is to get your dog a friend. They might tolerate each other – but i’d be surprised if they played that well.
your best bet is a medium sized dog or maybe a lab mixed with a smaller size breed like a beagle or something of that size. And remember you’ll want to get a girl dog next because they get along best and females are smaller then males.
Post # 13
We have two very large dogs and a smaller dog. Well, she’s small to us but probably “normal” to other people.
She is sturdy enough to stick up for herself if the big ones play too rough. She’s bossy enough to tell them when she’s fed up.
I’d say to get a small-ish but not small dog. Something like a Corgi (very, very high energy) or a Beagle, maybe a herding dog like an Aussie or Border Collie.
ETA- the dogs I mentioned are all high energy (except maybe the beagle… they tend to be more laid back than the herding breeds) anyway, they will need lots of play time, walks, runs, etc and do better with training since they like to have a ‘job’ to do.
Post # 14
I think you will be fine with a small dog and a large dog, especially since your lab is good natured. I don’t think dogs really care about size – they have their own way of communicating and if the lab is playing too rough with the little dog, I am sure she will let him know!
We have a 85lb golden retriever and her best friend is a 200lb great dane – they get along great!
Post # 15
I think in general, you would be fine with a smaller dog. However, I would caution against a Shih Tzu or similar dogs with short muzzles and eyes that bug out (brachycephalic dogs). If they play too roughly, their eyes can pop out. Literally pop out of their head and hang there.
My parents’ neighbors have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that was playing with an Australian Shepherd and it happened to his left eye. They were able to do surgery and keep the eye, but he’s blind on that side now.
Other breeds that are especially prone to this are pugs, pekingese, and lhasa apso.
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2012 - Sunset Harbour
We have a 45+ lb dog with a 13lb dog. THey got along just fine. The little guy will let the big one know when he is getting too rough and snap back at him to let him know he needs down time. Just keep an eye on them for the first few weeks to make sure the little guy knows he is allowed to fight back to a point.