Do Big Dogs and Little Dogs Get Along?

Do big dogs and little dogs get along? The answer to this is sometimes. A lot of whether big dogs and little dogs get along with each other has to do with socialization and the disposition of both dogs.

For instance, if you have a Labrador Retriever and a Beagle living together you shouldn’t have any problems at all. Both breeds typically get along well with other dogs. However, if you have an Airedale Terrier and a Chow Chow you might not have very good luck and both breeds typically like to be the only dog in the household.

Socializing Dogs to Get Along with Other Dogs

If you want to have multiple dogs in a household that aren’t littermates, then you need to make sure that you socialize your dogs early and often. You want to do this with every dog you have, big or small, purebred, or mixed breed.

Socialization simply involves the controlled exposure of your dog to other dogs, people, and situations. It’s a good idea to socialize every dog, but if you want them to live with other dogs successfully socialization becomes even more important.

Choosing the Right Dog

If you are getting a purebred dog or a mixed breed where you know their breed background, you can help yourself get dogs that will get along by choosing breeds that are known for friendliness to other dogs.

If you are getting a mixed breed dog and you don’t know the breed background, watch carefully how the dog interacts with other dogs and see if there are any signs of aggression. You’ll want to see that the dog is friendly to the other dogs in their environment.

Breeds That Are Friendly to Other Dogs

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the more popular breeds that are friendly with other dogs. You can check any breed’s “good with other dogs” rating at They have a graph that goes with each dog breed.

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Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are tiny dogs with a funny and playful disposition. This breed gets along well with other dogs and likes nothing more than to be cute and adorable. They will get along fine with your large dog.

Shih Tzus have hair, not fur, and need regular grooming. Many people that own Shih Tzus as family pets keep their luxurious coats cut short for ease of management.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are large dogs that don’t know a stranger. They have wonderful personalities and are great with other dogs and love kids and their families. You should have no problems with a Labrador getting along with small dogs.

Labradors are loyal companions but don’t make very good guard dogs. They do need a lot of exercise and swimming is one of their favorite activities.

Golden Retriever

Like Labradors, Golden Retrievers get along with other dogs excellently, big or small. They are also great with little kids and people – including perfect strangers.

Golden Retrievers have long feathers on their coats and need to be groomed regularly. They need a lot of exercise and are joyful dogs that delight everyone who interacts with them.


Pugs surged in popularity when The Men in Black Movies came out. Pugs love their people and love to love. They get along very well with other dogs. They will mix well in a household with any other size dog.

Pugs can easily get fat, so they need to have their food controlled and are fairly temperature-sensitive. This smart and lovable breed can easily become your very best friend.


Dachshunds are also known as wiener dogs because of their unusual body shape. These dogs have big personalities in a little package.

They get along well with other dogs, but they can be very stubborn and bark a lot, especially when they are home alone. If you get a dachshund be prepared to have an occasional battle of wills with your dog and have strangers stop you on the street to comment on your dog when you are walking your companion.

It would probably be best to pair a Dachshund with one of the more friendly and laid back large breeds, such as a Lab or a Golden Retriever.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are well-loved by their owners, and it’s not unusual to see a single-family have 2, 3, or even 4 of these wonderful dogs.

Boston’s get along well with other dogs, small children, and people in general. They are known for their tuxedo markings and with regular walks do well in apartments and cities. They will easily adapt to having a large dog friend.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are also known as Frenchies and they are wonderful companions to other dogs and love people, including little kids.

One of the nice things about Frenchies is that they don’t bark much. These dogs are happy in apartments or just about any other location where they can hang out with their people. They have big personalities and are a lot of fun to be around.


Beagles are hounds that get along smashingly with other dogs. They are described as happy-go-lucky dogs and have easy and fun dispositions. They are happy to around and are not intimidated by bigger dogs.

Beagles have long droopy ears and they need a lot of exercise and playtime to be their best curious and wonderful selves.

Breeds That Can Be Friendly with Other Dogs

The breeds in this section can get along with other dogs but it will take some work. They need quality socialization, gradual introductions, and good training to have a harmonious experience.


Pomeranians are wonderful companions and can do well with other dogs when properly introduced and socialized. They aren’t great with young children, but with older kids, they make good family pets.

This breed has a long and fluffy coat that needs regular grooming to stay beautiful and unmatted. Poms have big personalities in a tiny body and will always keep you engaged and laughing.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terriers are tiny dogs that are surprisingly good with young kids given their small stature. They make great family pets and can be bossy and stubborn.

Yorkies can get along with other dogs, but it’s important to make the introductions slowly and to keep your Yorkie well socialized.


Notoriously hard to potty train, Chihuahuas make great companions for adults and older children, but they do not like little kids at all.

Chihuahuas can integrate with other dogs and will often boss bigger dogs around. Make sure that you take the time to introduce a Chihuahua properly to another doggy member of the family.

Breeds That Are Not Friendly to Other Dogs – big or small

Chow Chow

Chow Chows are unique-looking red dogs with black tongues. They are notorious for attaching to one person and disliking other dogs and other people.

If you are a single person looking for a guard dog, this is a great breed. Chows are aloof, but not typically aggressive with strangers and live well in cities and apartments.

Akita Inu

The Akita Inu is a handsome dog with a large, curled tail. They are intolerant of other dogs and other animals.

These dogs make great family guard dogs and are incredibly loyal and protective, but not super affectionate.

In Conclusion

The question isn’t so much “do big dogs and little dogs get along”.

Generally speaking, if a big dog gets along with little dogs, it probably gets along with all dogs. Similarly, if a little dog gets along with big dogs then it gets along with all dogs.

It’s not size so much that determines if dogs get along, but rather the breeds of the dogs involved. Some breeds are happy-go-lucky and get along with all dogs, while others are more aloof. It’s a personality trait issue, not one of size.

Your Labrador will welcome any dog into your house. Your Chow Chow, not so much!

Choose one of the more laid-back breeds and you’ll likely have no trouble with them interacting with any size dog.

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