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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I are considering getting another dog sometime in the next year and a half. We currently have a three year old chihuahua, a mini poodle who is almost two, and a four year old cat.

We love big dogs and are leaning towards getting a standard poodle next. Based on what we’ve read we think they would be a good fit for our lifestyle. We have a large yard, my husband runs, and I work at a dog daycare and training facility where I spend most of my day with 20+ large, off-leash dogs. I believe we have the resources to provide adequate exercise and training. However, I’m not sure how a standard would get along with our cat and small dogs. The safety and happiness of our existing pets is my top priority, and I wonder if a second mini would be a better fit.

Do any of you have standards living alongside smaller dogs and/or cats? If so, how has it gone for you? Do you think it’s fair to our boys to bring home a standard or would we be better off getting a second mini? Thanks!
 

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My experience with owning a Chihuahua is that they don’t thrive as much when they live with bigger dogs. They are fragile and one inadvertent step from a 50 pound dog could seriously injure them. They know it and want to protect themselves, so they become cautious about running and just being crazy when the big dog is around.

That’s my experience. My Chihuahua was 4 pounds, so maybe if yours is 8 or 10 pounds it’s different.
 

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Our first dog is also a mini and I too wanted a bigger dog for our second, but not so big that the two dogs couldn't play unrestrained safely together, so we went with a middle choice - medium (moyen) poodle.

Kevin
 

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Well I'mnot that experienced with poodles as mine is my first but I've always had dogs. For me I'd probably go with another standard, maybe a smaller one if thats what you really want. I think the play interaction to be better. Right now there are 4 dogs in my house. My standard, my daughters boxer..they are both large but play entirely different. Our boxer is laid back and lazy, my poodle is energetic and joyful...then I have a almost 17 year old chihuahua, who is about 8 lbs. They cannot play at all and the chi is fearful to get hurt. He spends most of his day in my bedroom m away from the other dogs. And we have a cairn terrier, she also is small weighing about 15 lbs. she does not like to play with the poodle but will hold her own and not be intimidated. I have to supervise all interactions so no one gets hurt.
 

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My experience with owning a Chihuahua is that they don’t thrive as much when they live with bigger dogs. They are fragile and one inadvertent step from a 50 pound dog could seriously injure them. They know it and want to protect themselves, so they become cautious about running and just being crazy when the big dog is around.

That’s my experience. My Chihuahua was 4 pounds, so maybe if yours is 8 or 10 pounds it’s different.
What about a 90 LB dog with a 5 lb Chihuahua? ROFLOL!:laugh: This guy was sooooo careful with the wee ones, such a gentle soul and very smart about not stepping on or running into when they were all playing outside. He'd dart around or jump over if need be but he would not step on the Chi's or knock into them. Not for 'nuttin. He ran into some railroad ties one time, bruising himself to avoid running into a Chihuahua. But he was clueless for the first couple months when I brought him home as a pup. He had to learn and mature a little first.

I know you've probably seen this 100 times Dechi. I just love showing these pictures to people who may not have seen them. :act-up:






He's kind of pinning her down a little, isn't he? LOL. She would have told him off if it bothered her and he would have complied.







I've always had big dogs and little dogs together...well, not always. But anyhow, they all learn (with some hovering when they're puppies) to be cautious and smart around the little ones. Of course, there's a slight risk of a mistake but I've never had a problem.





The tan one isn't the same as the above tan one. This one is my niece's dog. He was careful too and never stepped on the Chi's. I didn't have the one pictured above at that time. There in the back is my lab. She was smart about it all too. But was older when I got the Chihuahuas. So it was easy for her to get onto it.

But if you don't relish the idea of having to be a helicopter mom for the first few months while a bigger breed puppy learns the ropes, I'd stick with a smaller dog. I'm a glutten for punishment so it took some serious supervision and practice sessions with me sitting right down with the dogs and actively showing the Doberman puppy how to be gentle. Then a light bulb went off and he was good to go.:lamp:
 
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Thats pretty cool the large dogs getting on so well with the littles. It must have taken lots of time and patience. Renn at 15 months old still tempts fate trying to go after the cats. Though he is fairly good when I say "no cats". One of my cats is very laid back and gentle, she will just stop in her tracks and lay down , then he will sniff and I'm usually right there saying no cat, lol. But my other cats run and jump..while I still am saying no cats no cats..Renn takes a 2nd look before he give in to me. Now my boxer is fine with all the dogs even the chihuahua but I still have to watch as when they run in the backyard they do not always look where they are going and the chi could get stepped on. The boxer is a laid back boy and I think that helps.
 

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It didn't take so long...maybe a couple months for the Dobe.

I think once your cats aren't so novel to Renn he'll lose some of that interest. Dogs and cats usually get use to each other in not too much time. Renn is still pretty darn young. But at some point they get some sense and are as careful as a mama horse with her new baby.

This dog is half pit bull, half GSD. She never had an aggressive bone in her body to anyone. Newly acquired cat. Was my son's. Awww.


So hopefully, in not too much more time your cat and dog will decide the other isn't anything to fuss about.

I had a Himalayan cat years ago when I already had my Lab. The Lab thought the little cat was sooooo cool. And she would push him with her muzzle all over our hardwood floors, of which there was quite a bit. She'd do sort of a serpentine course through the kitchen, hall, entry way and he would lie perfectly limp and seemed to enjoy the game. She'd go slowly, gently and carefully with him. Don't have a picture of that cat as it was back in the 90's.

Sorry for hijacking the thread. But anyhow, it would be easier for the op to get a larger, more sturdy dog so it wouldn't be as vulnerable and she wouldn't have to hover for so long or be sooooooo careful for the first while. But they do learn to play together and have fun while not crashing into the little ones.
 
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My wife got a cat. He lives indoors exclusively.

Then we got a Mini Poodle mix. The cat was not happy with the addition, but in time, adapted.

Then we got a Standard Poodle. The cat was not happy with the addition, but tolerates the addition. The Mini Poodle mix is not really a fan of the Standard Poodle, but she deals with him.

The Standard Poodle is not bothered by either of the other two pets. In fact, he likes to harass them sometimes.

The cat is happiest when both of the dogs are out of the house.

The Mini Poodle mix is happiest when the Standard Poodle is out of the house.

Our little family functions well enough. May wife and I don't regret adding the Standard Poodle.


Each dog has it's own personality, so it's hard to say what affect adding a Standard Poodle would have on your specific family of pets and humans.
 

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I have always had a mix of large and small dogs and have never had a problem. The little dogs quickly learn to stand up for themselves and the big dogs have always been gentle with the little ones.

Right now we have: a Lab - at least 60 lbs - maybe more, a border collie/whippet about 40 lbs, a miniature poodle - 11 lbs, and a chihuahua/pom about 7 lbs. The poodle harasses the Lab and the Chihuahua, but she is loving and gentle with the old border collie/whippet - he acted as a father to her when she was a puppy. The poodle and the Lab are energetic playmates even with a 50 lb difference - the Lab is slow and clumsy and the poodle is fast and agile. It's really fun to watch them play. The Chihuahua is typical Chihuahua - she does not tolerate fools! I think Zoe harasses Molly just to see her snap and snarl!
 

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I love the pictures of the Dobe and Chihuahua. They look like they really love one another.
Yes, they were best buddies. And she kept everyone in line, including him. lol. She was sweet and reasonable, but she was a no-nonsense kind of gal. :angel:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks so much for all the pictures and feedback! It’s great to know that some of you have had success mixing dogs with size differences. I’m already a bit of a helicopter parent, so I don’t think being especially attentive during the puppy phase will be problematic. Perhaps a small standard would be a good compromise. Do you have any advise for finding a breeder with smaller dogs?
 

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Try Betty Brown with Donnchada Poodles. I personally know PF member, WestU’s Lola and ran into this petite beauty in Santa Fe. Sorry she’s sideways. Her owner said she was a Texas poodle and was amazed when I guessed Donnchada.

How can a Texas poodle be on the small side?



She is indeed nice looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Mfmst Just wanted to thank you again! I followed you advice and reached out to Betty Brown last year, and we couldn't be any happier with our decision. We brought home our puppy this April and she is fabulous! She's 9 months now, weighs 31 pounds, and is the best tempered dog I've ever met
 
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