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I dont plan on getting another dog any time soon but am preparing for the possibility. Dh would like something a bit smaller. Pug size maybe. Who knows when... Could be a few years from now. But since the topic came up here at home I have been wondering about size comparisons. Does anyone here have any info/experience with smaller dogs? for instance, do you have a gsd and a boston terrier or pug sized dog? Can the smaller dog hold its own? Do they play well? Do you think its all about attitude of the dogs and training? Can your smaller dog go on super long walks or do you have to call it quits earlier for the smaller one? Supervision is a must as well I would imagine. Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't have my GSD yet, but will be getting her this fall. I also have a 9 pound Papillon. I'll let you know how that goes.

But as far as big dogs/little dogs in general. My dog has no problem playing with big dogs. He loves other dogs and they play, if it gets too rough, he lets them know. I've yet to see a large dog that didn't seem to have a concept that Jester was smaller and they had to be more gentle. I would never leave him unsupervised with a dog that was substantially bigger, but when I'm around they seem to have a ton of fun.
 

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Originally Posted By: JenniferH Can your smaller dog go on super long walks or do you have to call it quits earlier for the smaller one?
If it is a Pug or Boston, most likely they will NOT be able to handle super long walks. Not due to their size, but due to their breathing "issues". There are other smaller breeds that could do more than "handle" super long walks though, they could "walk" you AND the GSD into the ground!
 

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We have a 9 year old Jack Russell along with our German Shepherd. Because the JR is a female, she gets away with a lot. Elmo is good about putting her in her place when she pushes him too far. But, he knows not to hurt her. They get along better than I would have ever expected.

Since Molly is a JR, she never tires so she is great for long walks. Smaller dogs learn what they need to do to show some control. Molly hides Elmo's toys in places where he can't get to them sometimes. Elmo adores her so he messes with her more than she would like. He'll sit right next to her and it ticks her off.

When we introduced Elmo to Molly, we let them work out their own relationship with some supervision. They need to figure out the pecking order amongst themselves.

Personally, I think the sex of the two dogs makes a huge difference. If we brought a female shepherd home, I don't think the situation would be as peaceful as it is right now.
 

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My GSD is a two year old, so still a pup by most measures. But I waited until he has very solid obedience skills. Down, Gentle, Wait.

Our newest family member weighs 6 pounds. The GSD is 80 lbs, but very gentle with her. So friendly:




I supervise them, and I watched extremely closely at the beginning. Sometimes, he plays with an open mouth, but such a gentle mouth. Now, the Beagle Baby at 10 weeks old is my little Schutz-Hound.




The only times there's been squawking is when she's rolling around (she starts something, then feigns innocence by rolling on her back all submissive) and he accidentally steps on one of those floppy ears). Otherwise, no incidents to speak of. When he starts to get a little too excited, I put him into a Down or Wait, and pull her away. Play time gets suspended until they BOTH calm down.

She'll weigh 23-25 lbs at adulthood, which I think is a great size to accompany a GSD everywhere (and beagles have non-stop energy). But I see no reason why a smaller dog (as long as it's the right breed) couldn't be incorporated into your pack just as well. The key really is that your GSD has to be able to know the commands and listen to you while he has a squeaking little playmate at his feet. Otherwise, you may have chaos at your feet. But then again, with a larger dog, you would have chaos knocking you over. So either way....



(My Dogster pages are often updated with photos so you can watch their progress... which should be enteraining.
)

Ed to add: I have a 40 lb mix that rules the house. She's older, and has dominated since the GSD came home. She'll tell you that size doesn't matter at all. Not at all. Not one bit. Then she'll chase the GSD into a corner just to prove it!
 

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Well, we recently got a female Border Collie (a medium breed) and it's been going really well. I personally wasn't too keen on a getting a really small breed as I was worried about Cherry being a bit rough and squashing it or something! I guess it really depends on the personality of your GSD. Cherry for example, is still young herself (18 months) so she's still playful and boisterous. She likes to play rough games and she wasn't allowed to while the Border Collie was very small. Now our BC plays back and jumps all over Cherry
And my mind's a lot more at ease as she's growing. Cherry is a very well-behaved dog, but she still has puppy tendencies and I don't think she's aware of her size. I know she'd never intentionally hurt the BC, but accidents will happen.

I think that you need to take into account the personality of your GSD and what sort of dog would fit best with it. Getting a second dog for us was a wonderful experience. They play together all the time and are great company
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. we havent decided when or what to get. Just one of those things we talk about every now and then. My only issue is that Bella has no interest in other dogs big or small. At puppy play time she is not agressive or scared but just plain uninterested. My trainer thinks another dog would be good for Bella at some point in time. On walks, she could care less. She just wants her people. She met a pom last week at my office and he wanted to play with her and she just ignored him. Whatever dog we add, whether big or small, has to able to keep up with us. I guess another herding breed would be good. Or a mix of some type.
 

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We have two GSDs and two "small" dogs (one is 30lbs and one is 6lbs, so very different sizes but both smaller than the Shepherds). We also foster mainly GSDs and small breed dogs so we do a lot of the combination you're describing.

GSDs vary somewhat in their tolerance and attitude about small dogs but most of them do quite well. Supervision is, of course, very important. Small dogs vary widely in their exercise requirements and compatibility with big dogs but there are plenty of them that would do just fine for your situation.

As another poster mentioned, I'd stay away from any of the breeds with pushed in faces if you're looking for a dog with stamina and hiking ability. Herding breeds, terriers, and some of the spitzs - and mixes thereof - are more likely to be what you need. Schipperkes are a breed you might consider.

Renny, our BC/Sheltie mix can hike/jog any GSD we've ever had under the table and she does it on an unbelievably small amount of food each day.


Hector, our Chi/Pom can go for a hike of up to about 6 miles before pooping out but he's small enough that we can carry him if and when that happens. I like small dogs, but I prefer 'em sturdy, which we have definitely found Hector to be.

Some dogs just don't play much with others but some dogs will play, they just take a while to get comfortable and warm up to their new friends.

If you're open to adopting and open to mixes, I feel sure you can find exactly what you want - a dog with good stamina and energy levels, that feels comfortable with larger dogs, and who will encourage Bella to play without being annoying about it.
 

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I have a Pug & Puggle right now. The Puggle is looking for a home.
My Pug & DaKota are my babies. Both are female & the Pug does walk with us without tiring so easily. They are inseperalbe.

Justa question, Have you thought about a Corgi?
 

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I have a 33 lbs mixed breed (looks like a large whippet, delicate and fine-boned) and a 77 lb GSD.

They get along fine, they mostly respect each other.

BUT, I can't let them play together because the GSD is a dork. He's gentle with his mouth, but will barrel into her, and often send her tumbling in an uncontrolled manner. He gets over-excited and doesn't know his limits, and it becomes dangerous. It's sad, because they would like to play together; I just can't let them for more than about 5 minutes.

OMG 3K9, those pics are sooo cute.
 

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I have seven dogs in total. I have two German shepherds. Three of my dogs are Japanese chins, very small. Under 15 pounds. One of them is 7 pounds and they do great with the two German shepherds . The only thing that you have to worry about is if they play rough .One of my German shepherds is a little over a year old and sometimes she likes to play and wrestle a little rough so I do have to make sure that the tiniest chin doesn't get hurt.
Otherwise, they all get along fantastic and I haven't had any problems. During the day I crate when we are not home so nothing can happen. That's only thing I would recommend is that you separate them, at least at first to see how they interact with each other.
 

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Quote:Can your smaller dog go on super long walks or do you have to call it quits earlier for the smaller one?
After reading Yvette's post I realized that in my last post that I made an assumption about what you meant by "super long". Can you clarify how long you're talking about and at what speed? Because your plans there will definitely affect the suitability of different breeds.

Pugs are pretty sturdy little guys and if you're talking a couple of miles at a moderate pace, I would expect (many of) them to do just fine.

If you are talking 5-6 miles plus at a fast pace, then they might not be your best bet although if you adopt one, hopefully the foster person should be able to tell you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Originally Posted By: pupresq
Quote:Can your smaller dog go on super long walks or do you have to call it quits earlier for the smaller one?
After reading Yvette's post I realized that in my last post that I made an assumption about what you meant by "super long". Can you clarify how long you're talking about and at what speed? Because your plans there will definitely affect the suitability of different breeds.

Pugs are pretty sturdy little guys and if you're talking a couple of miles at a moderate pace, I would expect (many of) them to do just fine.

If you are talking 5-6 miles plus at a fast pace, then they might not be your best bet although if you adopt one, hopefully the foster person should be able to tell you.
We most often go out "exploring". My dd is 4 and we are hoping to have another child soon. So we cant go out for too long or at a high pace because dd gets tired. as she gets older things will be a bit more high speed. We go to state and county parks and take long walks. We go to the beach often. Although I would like to go on day long hikes we just cant right now so its broken up with a walk with Bella through the neighborhodd while dd rides her bike. Down to the swamp to look for snakes. Shell hunting on the beaches. We spend most of the time outside. So although "super long" may have been an overstatement we are out many times per day. Thats how I should have probably said that. Home for a short rest and then on to the next thing! Basically, we try to be very active.

So I bet we could work our lives around any type of breed. Personally, I dont know why dh is thinking of anything but a GSD but I think its mostly cause of the size. Again, its a thought we have tossed around. I mentioned in another post somewhere about a WGSD that I just wasnt sure I was ready and I still havent decided. I know that at some point another dog will be added. I want to do my homework and talk to people. Pick brains so to speak and be ready before we do it.

Thanks to all of you for your replys. I had sort of thought that only another large dog would work but you never know. We might find the right dog in a small package.
 

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I have a JRT who is about 18 months old now and 15 lb. I got him as a puppy and boy was he tiny! My GSD's are all female and learned quickly to be gentle with him.
Now that he's grown up he'll tell them off if they play too rough. They love him and he gets away with murder!
I never leave them unsupervised together, only because he is so much smaller and if something was to happen he could get seriously hurt and he probably wouldn't back down!

He can go all day on hikes or walks. He actually seems to have just as much stamina as my very high energy GSD! Even after very long hikes (where he zips around off leash the whole time) he's never shown any signs of tiring!

I wouldn't get anything that's delicate, but I think a terrier is a great match for a GSD because they are tough but high energy. I couldn't be happier with my little guy!
 

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I have a beagle, if Brenna is too rough or boisterous she lets her know. They get along great, Brenna just loves Mollie. In fact, if she sees someone bend over too suddenly to pet Mollie she will jump forward barking at them.

Mollie does tire out a little more easily than Brenna, but both last longer than me so it works out in the end. haha

I would just research any breeds you are interested in. As with all breeds, a lot of the smaller ones can have health issues. Many small breeds are prone to luxating patellas which is expensive to fix and may affect your active lifestyle.
 

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I have a 7 month old Golden as she plays just as rough as Diesel does! Every Wednesday I go for a walk with my cousin's and their dogs. All much smaller than Diesel but he is gentle even with the JRT puppy.



 

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I have a 5lb yorkie, and a mini dachshund with my gsd. DH has a rat terrier, 2 labs. they all get along great. the yorkie has to be careful and she has learned to make sure she gets out of everyone's way!
 

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I think for "super long" walks, it's a matter of training and conditioning, same as any other dog. My 38 lb beagle/spaniel (likely cocker spaniel) used to go on backpacking trips with me -- often up to 15 miles a day, and of course, she was doing the up-and-back, and "wait, what was, that? I better do check it out!" thing. So how many miles was she actually running? 20? 30? We'd get to camp wiped out, and she'd still be checking things out.

I didn't have my GSD then, but she was in killer shape (sigh...so was I...
). She easily kept up with my lab/otterhound mix that was 60 lbs (also in great shape). There's no doubt in my mind that Zamboni, in her youth, could easily have kept up with Camper, who's exactly twice her size. I think that had she not had two ACL surgeries in the intervening years, she probably would still give him a run for his money!


Lisa, I love your pack photos!
 

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I have 4 German Shepherds, a Chihuahua, a JRT and a Cairn Terrier. The little dogs do great with the big ones, the Chihuahua has to be watched as he is actually the aggressor and not overly playful. The 2 terriers however can take anything the Sheps dish out and in fact run them into the ground as far as energy goes, it's quite hilarious to watch them play, the Sheps are very gentle and if they become too clumbsy and rough, the Terriers let them know right away!
 

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Shilo is 95lbs and I have 7lb Chihuahua. She tolerates him to say it best but she has never been aggressive towards him. She just gives him a warning growl when he gets in her face. She will play with him on a rare occasion but she typically ignores his existence. I would have to say it all depends on your GSD's personality and tolerance of things. Shilo is tolerant but she really is a 5 feet bubble kind of dog.
 
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