German Shepherds with Little Dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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German Shepherds with Little Dogs

Hello all! I wondering if any of you have experience with GSDs and small animals. I'm looking for stories, advice, personal experiences and opinions! I have three Italian Greyhounds and a cat. I have confidence in my ability to train or I wouldn't even consider it, but it's still smart to find out what other people have done. We do not have a GSD yet, but I'd like to get myself as prepared as possible! Thanks and I hope to get some great tips on how to best make this work!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 10:45 AM
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I think it depends on the dog, and the breeder or rescue you get it from. If you get it from someone who knows how to evaluate their dogs, who understands that your other pets are just as important as "their" dog, they will be able to find a match for you.

I have had 2 GSDs, one adult rescue, and one 8 month rescue, with smaller dogs and cats. My girls were/are very sweet and careful. I also helped to shape their behavior and reward more gentle play with the smaller ones.

Also important are the behaviors of your current pets. How they do with other dogs, larger dogs in general, how the cat is with the dogs now...

I am sure others will comment.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 10:45 AM
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My GSD plays with Min Pins, Pomeranians and English Bulldogs, he also loves puppies. If you get a puppy and raise it with your Italians then it should be fine. Just make sure your puppy is respectful of your little dogs, if he/she gets too rough put him/her in a crate or seperate them.


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 07:13 PM
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My sister has two papillons,,Masi and the male pap, LOVE each other , they are to funny together,,the other pap well, he is rather stuck up and lets Masi 'hang' with him, but doesn't particularly want to interact with her..

Here's a pic of her and the "stuck up" one)

She is surprisingly very gentle with them lets them maul her ,,she is really good with my cats, and one she always hangs with )

She does tend to gravitate towards little dogs like the paps vs wanting to be buddies with larger dogs like herself

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 07:24 PM
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I only have my 90lbs German Shepherd. But his best buddy is a friends Mini Dachshund. A few weeks ago he met a 12 week old Apple Head Chihuahua and it was amazing to see him get at her level and how gentle and loving he was with her, even when she tried biting his lip! My dog isn't a fan of cats or birds though, he sees them as more of a chasing game than a friend. I believe, like someone before me said, it really depends on the dog and how they were socialized as pups.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 07:33 PM
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I agree that it's just another reason we need to REALLY research and trust our breeder and their dogs. My GSD's also get along fine with my cat and small dogs. But I know many that do not......


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 08:12 PM
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I've heard IGs are somewhat fragile ... is that true or just misinformation? I have a 16lbs JRT mix and she rules the house with an iron fist. But like everyone said, it really depends on the dogs. How are they with other dogs with now?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 08:15 PM
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IGs are somewhat fragile, its not just their bodies though but part of the problem is their personality lol. They are more cat like and have a tendency to climb and leap off things such as the back of sofas, and that combined with delicate legs can cause fractures.

I used to foster Italian Greyhounds, I never had a problem with my 2 GSDs. In fact Tessa has been great around all sorts of small animals, including rabbits and rats. Logan once killed one of my rats while I was out, he had escaped from his crate and knocked over the quarantine rat cage. I think it was an accident, as the rat was fully intact and not bitten or anything. He probably was trying to play

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 08:38 PM
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As you know, I have 3 Italian Greyhounds too. Mine are 10, 12 and 14 so they are a bit cranky. They all grew up with my wonderful Doberman, so big dogs are not foreign to them. However a puppy is a whole 'nother animal!

I won't let the puppy harrass the iggies. She is learning "leave it" - which applies to shoes, rolls of paper towels, and old Italian Greyhounds.

They hated Carly at first, but the more they have to be around her, the more tolerant they are of her. The oldest iggy will never like her, so I just make the puppy stay away from her. Which has become harder, since the puppy has taught herself how to use the doggy door (leads to a safe and very secure dog yard).

Niles, my 12 year old iggy, has decided he likes to hang out with the puppy, as long as the puppy isn't trying to slap him or chew on him (see photo below of Niles who has stolen Carly's bully stick).

Little dogs and big dogs - very doable! Just need some supervision and training.

~ Diane ~

CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 09:48 PM
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I agree with Diane... it can be done! Both my big GSDs love my little Boston Terriers. The older GSD was always respectful of size and was best buddies with the Boston who was 3 yrs younger and now that the GSD is a senior citizen and doesnt hear and see so well I find the older Boston looking out for him... its very sweet. The young GSD can be a bit much as he is just such a live wire... he and the younger Boston play hard and spar hard, so supervision and a bit of calm are called for but all in all they miss each other when apart. Tell your breeder you want a dog that will fit well in a pack scenario... and have a great time.


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