Big Dog With Small Dog: Do Big Dogs Know to Be Gentle With Small Dogs?

Do big dogs know to be gentle with small dogs? If you’ve been worrying about whether or not you can have a big dog with a small dog living together and getting along, this article will teach you everything you need to know.

We’ll start by explaining if little dogs and big dogs can coexist peacefully and how to safely introduce a small dog to a big dog. We’ll then go over common concerns like whether big dogs naturally know to be gentle with smaller ones, the potential for harm, and which big dog breeds are good with small dogs (and vice versa).

Finally, we’ll address the tough issues like why big dogs attack small dogs, the reason behind small dogs barking at big dogs, and why some big dogs are little dogs. Let’s begin!

Big Dog With Small Dog

Big Dog With Small Dog

Pairing a big dog with a small dog can lead to a harmonious household, but it requires careful consideration, understanding, and patience. Differences in size, energy levels, and play styles can present unique challenges.

However, with the right approach and training, large and small dogs can live together happily and form strong bonds. The key to success is ensuring both dogs feel safe and respected, which will promote positive interactions from the start.

Small Dogs With Big Dogs: Can They Live Together?

Small dogs and big dogs can live together harmoniously with proper introduction, socialization, and monitoring. Understanding each dog’s personality, setting clear boundaries, and providing individual attention are crucial steps to foster a peaceful coexistence.

It’s important to supervise their interactions, especially in the early stages, to prevent any accidental harm due to size disparities.

Can Big Dogs Play with Small Dogs?

Big dogs can play with small dogs safely by engaging in activities that do not rely on physical strength or size. Games like “find the treat,” where dogs use their sense of smell to locate hidden treats, or gentle tug-of-war with rules can be enjoyable for both.

Ensuring playtime is supervised and teaching both dogs gentle play behavior are key to preventing accidents.

How to Introduce a Small Dog to a Big Dog

Introducing a small dog to a big dog requires patience and careful steps to ensure a positive relationship:

  1. Start with neutral territory, like a park, to avoid territorial behavior.
  2. Keep both dogs on a leash and allow them to observe each other from a distance.
  3. Gradually decrease the distance between them, monitoring their body language for any signs of discomfort or aggression.
  4. Allow them to sniff each other, which is a natural greeting behavior among dogs.
  5. If the initial meeting goes well, consider a short walk together, keeping them parallel to minimize direct confrontation.
  6. Continue supervised interactions, gradually increasing their duration and intensity as the dogs become more comfortable with each other.

Training both dogs to respond to basic commands like “sit” or “stay” can also help manage their interactions and prevent overwhelming situations.

While big dogs and small dogs have their differences, with a thoughtful introduction and ongoing management, they can coexist peacefully and even enrich each other’s lives. The key is to respect their individual needs, provide appropriate training, and supervise their interactions until you are confident in their relationship.

It’s important to remember, however, that any underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, fear, dominance, territoriality, etc.) that were contributing to any issues between the dogs will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your big dog and small dog not getting along and all problematic issues using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your little dog with your big dog ever again!

Do Big Dogs Know to Be Gentle With Small Dogs?

Do Big Dogs Know to Be Gentle With Small Dogs?

Many big dogs seem to have an innate sense of their size advantage over smaller dogs and often exhibit gentler behavior around them. This ability, however, is not universal and can depend on the individual dog’s temperament, socialization, and experiences.

Proper introduction and socialization from a young age play crucial roles in helping big dogs understand how to appropriately interact with smaller ones, ensuring they are gentle and do not inadvertently harm them.

Will My Big Dog Hurt My Little Dog?

While many big dogs naturally modulate their strength when interacting with smaller dogs, there’s always a risk of accidental injury due to size disparity. Supervised interactions, especially in the early stages of their relationship, are essential to ensure safety.

Training your big dog in obedience and gentle play can significantly reduce the risk of harm. Learn about safe games they can play together in the first section now.

Big Dogs That Are Good With Small Dogs

Certain big dog breeds are known for their gentle demeanor and better compatibility with small dogs. Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Boxers often show patience and a gentle approach towards smaller animals.

However, an individual dog’s personality and upbringing play significant roles, so it’s important to focus on proper socialization and training regardless of breed.

Small Dog Breeds That Are Good With Big Dogs

Similarly, some small dog breeds tend to do well with big dogs, adapting to their presence and even bonding closely. Breeds like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, French Bulldog, and Beagle are known for their adaptable nature and ability to coexist peacefully with larger dogs.

Again, individual temperament and socialization experiences are key factors in developing a harmonious relationship between dogs of different sizes.

In summary, while many big dogs may inherently know to be gentle with smaller counterparts, ensuring a safe and positive interaction between dogs of differing sizes requires responsible pet ownership.

This includes proper socialization, training, and supervision to foster mutual understanding and respect between the dogs, thereby minimizing the risk of injury and promoting a peaceful coexistence.

Why Do Big Dogs Attack Small Dogs?

Why Do Big Dogs Attack Small Dogs?

Big dogs attacking small dogs can be a distressing situation, often arising from predatory instincts, territorial behavior, or lack of socialization. Understanding the root cause is crucial for prevention and ensuring the safety of all pets involved. Proper training, socialization, and supervision can mitigate these risks and help big dogs and small dogs get along.

Small Dogs Bark at Big Dogs

Small dogs may bark at big dogs due to fear, territorial behavior, or even excitement. This reaction can sometimes provoke a larger dog. To manage this behavior:

  1. Identify triggers that cause your small dog to bark.
  2. Use the “quiet” command when your dog begins to bark. Wait for them to stop barking, then immediately reward them.
  3. Repeat this process consistently to reinforce the behavior, gradually extending the quiet time before rewards.

Training your small dog to respond to a “quiet” command can help manage their barking and reduce potential provocations towards larger dogs.

Big Dog Aggressive to Small Dogs

When a big dog is aggressive to small dogs, it’s important to address the behavior right away. Training to calm aggression and control is vital, alongside desensitization exercises that gradually acclimate the big dog to the presence of smaller ones under controlled conditions. Learn how to introduce them in the first section.

Always reward calm and non-aggressive behavior to reinforce positive interactions between the two.

Why Are Big Dogs Scared of Little Dogs?

Big dogs are scared of little dogs sometimes because of the unpredictability or high energy of smaller dogs, which can be intimidating or unsettling, and even cause the big dog to run away. Additionally, past negative experiences with small dogs can contribute to this fear.

Understanding and patience, along with controlled socialization, can help big dogs become more comfortable around their smaller counterparts.

In conclusion, whether it’s addressing the barking of small dogs, managing the aggression of big dogs, or understanding why big dogs might be scared, behavioral training and proper socialization are key. By taking proactive steps and employing positive reinforcement techniques, owners can foster peaceful coexistence among dogs of all sizes.

You’re probably ready to get going now that you have all of your questions about little dogs and big dogs answered, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Big Dog With Small Dog: Do Big Dogs Know to Be Gentle With Small Dogs?”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.