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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We are getting a house this fall, moving from an apartment. Right now we have two small breed dogs. Cooper is an 11 year old poodle terrier mix we rescued two years ago. Scout is just over a year and a mini-schnauzer that we got from someone who was going to take her to the pound. Cooper and Scout get along great but we went to Europe a few weeks ago and left Cooper with my husband's parents while Scout stayed with mine. My parents have a three year old mini-schnauzer mix and since we've been home Scout is really missing having a dog who is willing to play with her. That said, we have decided that once we get settled in we would like to adopt a 3-5 year old dog that could play with Scout since Cooper is so old. We've been contemplating getting a larger breed dog. Is there anyone who has experience with both large and small breed dogs in their home? What precautions are necessary to insure safety for all the members of the family?
 

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Mostly the precautions are making sure everybody understands how to play correctly, so nobody gets hurt :)

The first dog my Shepherd ever met at 8 weeks old was a 1 or 2 year old Papillon. Strauss was bigger than Dusty even when he (Strauss) was 8 weeks old, and he learned early on how to properly play with a small breed

He understands that he is to lie down to play with small dogs, and he uses his feet very lightly, but mostly pokes with his nose and gives them licks.

Playing nicely can be taught, but supervision is important (whether you have dogs of mixed sizes or the same size).

What breed are you considering?
 

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That said, we have decided that once we get settled in we would like to adopt a 3-5 year old dog that could play with Scout since Cooper is so old. We've been contemplating getting a larger breed dog. Is there anyone who has experience both large and small breed dogs in their home? What precautions are necessary to insure safety for all the members of the family?
I have a Collie, an 18-pound over-sized MinPin, and TFTs ranging between 5 pounds and 8 pounds in weight. All of them manage to get along just fine and, in fact, the littlest TFT plays regularly with the Collie. It's a trip watching them chase each other around the house!

I would not, however, suggest adopting an older dog if your intention is to have a large dog with your small ones. If you want an older dog, you might want to consider adopting a retiring show dog that has been raised with small dogs or getting a large breed puppy (even one from a shelter). Glitter was raised from puppyhood with the small dogs and knows her limits with them, whereas a large adult dog might never understand how to properly interact with a small one if he's never done so before.
 

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I have a Chihuahua and a Rotti. The Rotti learned very quickly to play with the Chi by nosing her and licking her. It can be done.:)
 

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I posted something similar to this, as we're looking for a large breed right now. Well, an EXTRA large breed, as what we'd really like is an Irish Wolfhound. I'm fighting for a Doberman, but we're still scouting rescues. Our biggest concern is having a sight hound with a strong prey drive and a tiny dog. If we rescue, we'll meet the dog with our dogs and the first few months extreme supervision. If we raise a puppy, training will be extremely important.

My main concern is I have a 11 lbs Miniature Dachshund. My other two are 50 lbs, and Smalls plays pretty rough with him (he's an instigator :p) Clearly you have to make sure they mesh and make sure play doesn't get very rough, and it depends on the breed and their personality.
 

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I have an 80 pound AMerican BUlldog and I watch my MIL's 3 pound yorkie puppy all the time.
 

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The 2 dogs in the picture were the best of friends. Inga the Rottweiler was a very gentle spirit but as a youngster she liked to rough house with the best of them. She learned very quickly to play very gently with her new little friend. I started by having her lay down when Shanea was around. Shanea could then initiate the game as she saw fit. Inga would lay on her side or on her back for hours mouthing and playing with this little Shih Tzu they loved each other and I never had any issues with them.

I think the biggest thing is getting a dog that already gets along with little dogs and making sure they get a chance to meet before you make any decisions. Let your current dogs give the yes or no to the adopt. :) Good luck to you. It is good to hear that you are going to be giving a home to a dog in need. ;) :)
 

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This is my 75 pound Plott hound, Esther, with my daughter's 17 pound miniature schnauzer, Zeke. They lived together for a while and became pals and still spend time together when my daughter visits or needs us to dog-sit. They rough-house and tear around and I don't think either is particularly aware of their size discrepency.







They were introduced slowly with Esther as a young adult and Zeke as a pup. Esther seems to think Zeke is her pup.

And there isn't much size difference between them now, but Molly was a pup when we brought her home (after taking Esther along for the interview.)

 

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Ron: I didn't realize Esther was so big!

Butch's best friend was a 70# Lab...Butch weighs 13#. It was so funny to watch them run around...Cole chasing Butch. Then Cole would lay down and Butch would run all over him. Top that off with the fact they were both the same color...:D And you should see Cole with Mortimer (the cat). That's quite a site too.

It can be done...if you're careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We are looking for a mutt to be honest. Although we have been leaning towards a German Shepherd or GSD Mix. We always had a least two when I was a child and my husband is completely infatuated with the two my parents have now. We would of course take both our dogs with us when we went.

I appreciate all the replies. I will take this all into consideration before proceeding further.
 

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My parents have a Black Lab/Pit mix and he plays very nicely with my 8 week pup, Aiko. Usually he just sits there.. and every now and the he will poke him with his snout.

Here's a video of them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW67SmQdTYE&NR=1
Another video of them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu54F7Xq85A&NR=1

Frankie my parents dog, isn't used to be around little dogs but he handles him well. I guess it depends on one main thing.. The dog you are getting should be used to and like other dogs.
 

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Very good comments so far. I love the pictures of the little dogs playing w/the big dogs! I have a 12 year old chihuahua who has a way with big dogs. We had a 90 lb doberman rescue who lived w/us for a year and Rocket was the boss. More recently we have added a medium sized pit bull mix to our family. This dog tends to not be very good w/other dogs, but he worships Rocket! The only bad thing i've had happen in owning small and large dogs is that the small dog occasionally gets stepped on by mistake :(

Be very cautious, especially right at first. But know that it definitely can be done! Best of luck to you!
 

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Like other have said. Just have to make sure they play well together, make sure the big one knows his or her size is alot bigger then the wee ones.

Growing up we always had a collie, so a 70+lbs dog, with toy poodles about 7lbs. all 3 got along well, played well, lived together great. The big girl (lassie the colle) was the boss, but that was ok, the little ones knew that.


I should find the picture I have of my friends Irish wolfhound, and my other friends chi, both of them up on the couch, wreastling around lol. t o funny to see, as 1 is one of the largest breeds of dog and the other is the worlds smallest breed of dog.
 

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This thread has made me feel somewhat better. We have a 4 year old Yellow Lab (90 lbs) and 2 weeks ago my wife found a 14 lb ShihTsu/Dachshund mix in a rescue shelter that she fell in love with. The dogs started off with Tucker (the mix) bullying Sophie (the Lab) until the Lab realized she had 80 lbs on the little guy, now when the "play" the Lab noses the little guy all over the place and even puts her mouth around his neck (not biting though). They get going pretty good and it does make us a tad nervous but I'm assuming the little one will let us know if it hurts, hopefully.
 

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Its a bit intimidating at first



But after awhile its all family..



Its fun to watch the big guy tip toe around the little ones. At first he was like a statue around them then he got the hang of having 2 terriers tearing around his feet. 2 years accident free!
 
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