Not every dog offers a warm welcome to newcomers. Alpha-male canines will often vie for the master’s attention, lay claim to certain toys, and may behave in a dominant or territorial way when another dog moves in. We generally advise people who are getting a second dog to choose an animal of the opposite sex (preferably one that is fixed), and one that is much younger than the other dog, to lessen the competitive aspect of cohabitation. Once these considerations are accounted for, you may want to choose a breed that is known to mesh well with other canine roommates. Below is a list of dogs that tend to be most compatible with other pets.
Tips About Dog Breed Compatibility
- Large dog breeds should be paired with bigger or medium-sized dogs or breeds. Unless the animal has a very mild temperament, having a small “prey-like” pup around could trigger a larger dog’s predatory drift instinct, putting the little dog at risk.
- Labradors are highly adaptable dogs that partner well with most breeds. While they are a perfect match with Golden Retrievers or other Labradors, their protective instincts do not mix well with aggressive, loose-cannon dogs like Pit Bulls or Shar Peis that might do something to incite a loyal Lab to defend someone he loves.
- Pit Bulls rank the lowest on compatibility with other dog across the board, no matter what breed. Even the well-trained Pits tend to be territorial and unreliable.
- Husky Breeds and Malamutes are very compatible house mates; they are best paired with similar breeds only (such as Alaskan Huskies, or other large “spitz” dogs).
- Dogs that get along well with other small dogs (or even small cats!) are: Papillons, Pugs, Pomeranians, Shetland Sheepdogs, Basset Hounds, and even the gentle-giant Great Danes. If you have a tiny pooch or a family of cats, these mellow dogs would be a good fit.
- Best dogs for multi-canine homes:
- Australian shepherds
- Cardigan Welsh Corgis & Pembroke Welsh Corgis
- Border Terriers
- English Springer Spaniels
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retriever
- Curly-coated Retrievers
- Irish Setters
- Portuguese Water Dogs
- Redbone Coonhounds
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- Basset hounds
My much loved 2-yr old Pomeranian, 6-lbs, is lonely. I live on a lake. Is a poodle a good or bad choice for second dog?
Paul, as long as both dogs are well socialized a toy or miniature poodle could be a good companion for your Pomeranian.