Some big breed dogs can be aggressive with other animals and will fight “like cats and dogs.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t have both a cat and a dog in your house that get along beautifully.
The trick is to pick the right large breed dog and to make sure that your dog is properly socialized with the cat. You want to select a dog breed that is known for getting along well with other animals.
Here are ten large dog breeds that are known for being good with having cats in the house.
Labrador Retrievers don’t know strangers. They will happily be petted by just about any human they encounter. But their friendliness doesn’t end with humans. They like other animals as well, and might just end up cuddling with your cat.
Make sure to introduce your Lab to your cat slowly and be gentle with the process. You want to keep their visits supervised until you are sure they are friends.
Labs are eager to please, gentle, and smart dogs. With a proper introduction, they’ll get along with one or multiple cats in your household.
Ideally, it’s best to introduce your Labrador (or any other friendly large breed) to a kitten. The kitten won’t yet be afraid of dogs and big, gentle dogs just seem to easily adapt to baby animals.
Case in point. My daughter once brought home a stray, feral kitten that she found. This kitten would not bond with any human but fell in love with Annie, our 80-pound Labrador mix. Annie took to her immediately and from then on they were best buddies.
That said, Annie would have probably made friends with any cat, as she had that gentle and forgiving Labrador personality, but the fact that this was a kitten speeded up the process.
If your cat is already an adult and you want to introduce a dog into the household, a puppy can be less intimidating, although it may want to play with the cat more than the cat wants to play!
The Golden Retriever is a dog that has a strong reputation for being friendly with both humans and animals, including cats.
Goldens love to play and can be quite exuberant, so you need to teach your Golden Retriever not to chase the cat in an effort to engage it in play. Making sure this breed has plenty of human play time and gets lots of exercise will also give them an outlet other than the cat to play with.
These majestic white dogs are bred as guard dogs and they’ll keep careful watch over you, your cat, and any other members of your family. They will even defend your cat if danger arises.
The Great Pyrenees is a quiet and noble dog. It’s important that you keep feeding areas separate for both the cat and the dog.
The Great Pyrenees makes a wonderful family pet that you can count on to be there for you.
Newfoundlands are huge dogs with massive black coats. They are intimidating to look at, but are exceedingly gentle in real life.
Newfoundlands are wonderful with small children and they are also very good with small animals including cats. A Newfoundland is likely to try to protect everything in its charge – including the cat.
The only real risk that Newfies pose to cats is suffocation due to their body size difference. If you have a Newfoundland and a cat in the same house make sure that your Newfie understands that they are much bigger than the cat before you leave them unsupervised together.
German Shepherds are fiercely loyal and incredibly smart dogs. That’s the reason that they are used so often as police and military dogs.
German Shepherds have strong prey instincts. They can be great with cats, but they must be socialized when they are young to be around cats. German Shepherds also need proper training to know how to act around a cat.
This breed also needs a lot of stimulation and exercise to be on its best behavior.
Most of the time the loyal Collie will get along with a cat in the house without any problem at all. Occasionally they will need more gentle introductions to get to trust each other. It depends on the individual dog’s personality.
Collies are herding dogs, so don’t be surprised if they try to herd the cat as well as any small children in the house. The herding behavior is protective and not aggressive, so it isn’t something to worry about.
Just like other dog and cat introductions make sure these two animals trust each other before you leave them alone together.
Like Collies, Shelties are herding dogs. They are smart, playful, and easy to train animals and they almost always will get along with cats in your house.
The best way to introduce a Shetland Sheepdog to a cat is to raise them together from puppy and kitten. When this isn’t practical make sure you are introducing them slowly so they get to know each other.
Shelties are high-energy dogs and need lots of attention and energy to be at their best.
This beautiful calm dog with a big, fluffy coat is great with just about every person and animal they meet.
They like to be around kids, cats, and strangers and are happy to serve their humans. Bernese Mountain Dogs are quite large, so make sure your cat and your dog are introduced at a slow pace so that your pup can understand how big they are in comparison to your cat.
This breed also has long hair that sheds profusely, so be ready to vacuum a lot and take a lint roller to your clothes regularly.
You may not think of a Basset Hound as a “big” dog, since they are so short. However, they can weigh up to 75 pounds, which puts them well into the weight range of many other large breeds.
Basset Hounds have an extremely laid-back personality, which means they get along well with other animals that are not on their hunting profile.
You will often see a Basset Hound and a cat cuddling together in the Basset’s bed.
Bassets are stubborn dogs and take patience and persistence when training. They can also have a hound dog type of smell.
The Standard Poodle is a regal dog and is known to be gentle around cats. Standards generally just pretend that the cat in the house doesn’t exist.
Poodles are highly intelligent and need lots of walks and playtime with their owners to not become destructive.
It’s important to introduce your Poodle to your cat slowly and make sure that they are comfortable with each other before leaving them alone together.