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Old 07-28-2007, 11:41 AM
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Default Question for people with large and small dogs

How hard is it to train a large dog to get along with a small dog and not accidentally hurt it during play?

I want to eventually get a papillon (probably from a breeder) and a large dog (probably a retriever mix from a shelter or rescue). I thought I'd get one dog, then get the second dog a few years later when the first dog is settled. Would you get the small dog first or the big dog?

I was thinking if I got the small dog first, I could let it meet shelter dogs I was interested in to gauge their reaction . . . Then again, if I got the big dog first, I could do all the basic obedience training like sit and leave it before getting the small dog.
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Old 07-28-2007, 12:17 PM
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I would get the small dog first and not even think about a big dog till the small one is an adult. Then bet a large breed puppy or (especially if the breed is known for high prey drive). Anytime the pup gets too boisterous around the lil dog take it for a time out. Be consistant and the pup will learn he must be gentle if he wants play time to conitnue.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:41 PM
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I agree I would get the small dog first but try to stick with a hardy breed. In other words don't go to small, or frail. 'Cause they will play and it looks pretty rough but they set up there own ground rules on what's ok. Let that dog grow up and then see about getting a bigger one. I have a Jack Russell and a Lab mix from a shelter and they are the best of friends, plus my sisters yorkie always comes over to play. My freind has a Great Dane and a Yorkie type dog and they also do well. She got the Yorkie first. The only issue is your big dog may think they are small like the other and try to go in the same places and sit on laps....that kind of stuff.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:43 PM
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The ideal solution would be to get an adult large dog that has already been around small dogs from a rescue or shelther.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:16 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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We have a high rabbit drive beagle/ greyhound mix and a 5lb mix of some sort, in addition to Buster.

Its never been a problem. The small dogs are not quite as frail as they seem for the most part, and do not seem bothered by telling the other dogs to back off- it's loud, and will never be mistaken for a rabbit.

Getting stepped on by the other dogs does not seem to be a huge problem, the large ones try to avoid it to keep their footing and the small one is tough enough to soak up any mistakes. It actually sent Buster flying once when it went after his legs, both dogs, head on at full speed. There was a nice spray of melting slush when Buster fell, but otherwise both were unharmed.

Things like not pouncing in play would just have to be taught, or avoided by screening the large dog. Some will want to play too rough, but ours were never interested in using it as a toy, in fact they are normally the prey in chase games.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:56 AM
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We have 2 large dogs and a small one. The small one is the oldest. I'm not sure I would bring a small dog pup into my house at this point. The 2 large ones get real rough with each other, and the small one will run for cover! We have to keep an eye on how they play with the small dog. He's pretty robust and will give it back, but it's better to be safe and calm them down when they start getting to rough with him.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:24 PM
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Well I have two smaller dogs that are 4 and 5 years old respectively. Then I came home with Polly my Olde English Bulldogge puppy 7 months ago. The only problem I see with having the bigger dog after the smaller ones is that polly will want to play and she has gotten to the point where she is way bigger than the other dogs and plays a little rough. I do find myself having to seperate the dogs for a while till Polly can calm down and relax.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:35 PM
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We have four small and smallish dogs, but I know plenty of papillon people that have big dogs with no problems. Papillons are not as frail as many people make them out to be. I'd just keep an eye on them- especially at first, and I agree getting the smaller dog first would probably be the best thing to do.

Heck our vet has a couple BBDs (big black dogs as she calls them), a lab, a shih tzu, and a papillon with no problems.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:07 PM
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Thank you, guys! That does make sense.

Another thing I was wondering is . . . if you have a big dog that needs more exercise than a small dog, how do you walk them together? Are small dogs hardy enough to walk X number of miles along with the big dog? Or do you walk them separately? Or carry them partway?
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boemy View Post
Thank you, guys! That does make sense.

Another thing I was wondering is . . . if you have a big dog that needs more exercise than a small dog, how do you walk them together? Are small dogs hardy enough to walk X number of miles along with the big dog? Or do you walk them separately? Or carry them partway?
My two walk the same - I think people underestimate how much exercise small dogs need. It depends on the individual dog and breed. I think most of them need more than they receive, and get away with it simply because they're smaller and not as "destructive" (lol), but that's JMHO
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