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Hello! I have a 6 month old standard poodle puppy and she is the light of my life. I would love to add a miniature poodle to my family once my standard is a little older (closer to 1 year). I would like to start searching for breeders now to get on a waiting list, but I was curious about others' experiences with standards and miniatures together. I'm a little nervous about the size difference while my standard is still fairly young. She loves other dogs and can get rambunctious. If I was bringing a standard puppy in with an adult miniature, I think I would be a little less concerned. I've never had a small puppy before. All of my previous dogs have been big breeds (100 lb lab, 160lb Komondor/Great Pyrenees & now 38 lb standard poodle puppy). Should I wait until my standard is even older and a little more calm or is waiting until she is 1 year ok? Here's my girl getting ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas!
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So I know some people here have different experiences with dogs of different sizes living in the same house, but I will share my experiences. I have an almost eight year old poodle or poodle mix the size of a mini, and at times, she still has a lot of energy. When she is excited, she races around the room and jumps on furniture without looking. I also have a maltese/poodle mix that is about 3-4 pounds smaller (toy size dog). On numerous occasions, she has almost jumped directly on him because she jumped on the couch without looking, and two times she has already landed right on him. Now, he is a year older than she is and has some health issues, so he can't get out the way very fast, but Miracle has even surprised the humans she lives with and has landed on them. I would worry about the size difference between a mini and a standard, but that's just me.
 

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We currently have 4 dogs: a 60+ lb Lab, a 40 lb border collie/whippet, a small miniature poodle, and an overweight Chihuahua. The miniature poodle and the Lab are best buddies and play wild games together. The Lab could certainly injure the poodle, but the poodle is so agile that she avoids hard contact. The minipoo likes to harass the Chihuahua, so I have to correct that behavior whenever it occurs. I don't care if she harasses the Lab - big dog can take care of herself! The border collie/whippet is almost 14. He took on the role of daddy dog when we got Zoe 2 1/2 years ago, so Zoe is very loving and gentle with him.

All this to say that it's certainly possible to have dogs of varying sizes in the home. The person, however, must make the ground rules and enforce them appropriately.
 

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I was told horror stories by a local trainer about dogs inadvertently hurting smaller dogs. I'm talking broken backs and euthanasia. Absolutely devastating and all purely unintentional.

I, too, would love a mini, but don't personally think it's a risk worth taking. Not meaning to be morbid or a downer here, but just because others haven't had any incidents, doesn't mean they never will.

What about a moyen?
 

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I have a friend who shows whippets. She had an Italian greyhound once and that poor little guy had several fractures (including his tail!) from playing with the bigger dogs.
 

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I was told horror stories by a local trainer about dogs inadvertently hurting smaller dogs.
That's what I would be concerned about. And it can be something such as a broken bone, but that's a big deal to a dog.

I wouldn't worry so much if we were talking about two lower energy dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you, everyone, for your input! I think we will not get a mini as sad as I am to come to that conclusion, but obviously I already had some hesitation about it. Maybe another standard is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you, everyone, for your input! I think we will not get a mini as sad as I am to come to that conclusion, but obviously I already had some hesitation about it. Maybe another standard is a good idea.
 

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Interesting because I am the other way around. We have a 6 months old mini and I was thinking of getting a standard at some point. I can see how it could either go great or pretty terrible. I frankly hadn't thought of injuries to the smaller dog. Good luck with your decision, it's nice and smart that you are taking the time to research it.
 

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I have a friend who shows whippets. She had an Italian greyhound once and that poor little guy had several fractures (including his tail!) from playing with the bigger dogs.
Some IGs are very delicate. I used to have whippets and IGs, but my IGs were fairly sturdy. The only broken leg I ever had was when an IG jumped off the grooming table while I was removing the noose. It was after midnight, so I splinted the leg, gave him aspirin for pain, and took him to the vet early the next morning. (This is what the emergency clinic recommended).

The risk of a broken leg is exactly why poodles from show kennels are trained from earliest puppyhood to not ever, ever jump off a grooming table. My current mini is fearless about jumping, so I really had to work to teach her that once on a grooming table she was to stay put.
 

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I was told horror stories by a local trainer about dogs inadvertently hurting smaller dogs. I'm talking broken backs and euthanasia. Absolutely devastating and all purely unintentional.

I, too, would love a mini, but don't personally think it's a risk worth taking. Not meaning to be morbid or a downer here, but just because others haven't had any incidents, doesn't mean they never will.

What about a moyen?
Why did that trainer tell you those stories? I suspect that for every horror story there are many, many stories of dogs of varying sizes playing well together. As I mentioned above, my 11 lb mini poo plays with the 60+ lb Lab. When we first got the Lab (she was about 4 at the time), I would go outside with them and correct the Lab verbally if she got too rough. I still do that, but it does not often occur, and the mini poo is so fast and agile that she takes good care of herself.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why did that trainer tell you those stories? I suspect that for every horror story there are many, many stories of dogs of varying sizes playing well together. As I mentioned above, my 11 lb mini poo plays with the 60+ lb Lab. When we first got the Lab (she was about 4 at the time), I would go outside with them and correct the Lab verbally if she got too rough. I still do that, but it does not often occur, and the mini poo is so fast and agile that she takes good care of herself.
This is what I was wondering. My friend has an 8lb chi/dachshund, a 601b pitbull, and an 80 lb Great Pyrenees and they all play together well. I see lots of people with small and large breeds together and they're all fine. I'm sure stuff happens, but I would think that bad incidents would be the exception rather than the rule. I expect to monitor interactions of course. There's gotta be other people out there with minis and standards in the same home. I'm waiting for Patriot Poodles to respond to me. They breed minis and standards and I plan to ask her about their interactions. However, as someone else mentioned, it's not a risk worth taking for me if there is a good chance that major injuries will occur. My husband and I are going to put a lot of thought into this before we make a decision. A lot of back and forth has occurred since last night even. Lol.
 

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Why did that trainer tell you those stories? I suspect that for every horror story there are many, many stories of dogs of varying sizes playing well together. As I mentioned above, my 11 lb mini poo plays with the 60+ lb Lab. When we first got the Lab (she was about 4 at the time), I would go outside with them and correct the Lab verbally if she got too rough. I still do that, but it does not often occur, and the mini poo is so fast and agile that she takes good care of herself.
I'd reached out to her regarding an adolescent GSD I was fostering. We had family coming to visit with a very small Yorkie, and I was looking to discuss the best way to introduce them.

She was kind and helpful, but very blunt: It's easy for dogs to unintentionally hurt other dogs when there is a large size difference. All it takes is one errant paw on the back.

It would have been irresponsible of her not to share her professional opinion with me, and her experiences have led her to the professional opinion that these dogs should not play with one another.

(And yes, this is despite the fact that often—thankfully—there will be no serious incidents.)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'd reached out to her regarding an adolescent GSD I was fostering. We had family coming to visit with a very small Yorkie, and I was looking to discuss the best way to introduce them.

She was kind and helpful, but very blunt: It's easy for dogs to unintentionally hurt other dogs when there is a large size difference. All it takes is one errant paw on the back.

It would have been irresponsible of her not to share her professional opinion with me, and her experiences have led her to the professional opinion that these dogs should not play with one another.

(And yes, this is despite the fact that often—thankfully—there will be no serious incidents.)
I think you touched on something important with the "adolescent" part of the situation. It's probably better if I get another standard at 1 year or wait until my standard is more mature and calm if I want to add a mini.
 

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I think you touched on something important with the "adolescent" part of the situation. It's probably better if I get another standard at 1 year or wait until my standard is more mature and calm if I want to add a mini.
I agree that adolescence adds a variable to the equation, but my mini was pounced on by my neighbour's otherwise very chill 70 lb golden doodle. He's around 8 years old. I had almost no warning. The doodle had left his blanket in the doorway to my bedroom. My senior mini was coming into the bedroom to see me and stepped on the blanket. The doodle has a history of guarding his food, and I was watchful for signs, but it all happened so fast. I could only react quickly enough to pull him off her.

She wasn't visibly injured, but her health declined shortly thereafter. I'll never know if there was a connection.

Note: His "pounce" wouldn't have had any impact on a larger dog, other than letting them know he was NOT comfortable sharing his blanket. But it could have killed my small dog.

This will be my last comment on the subject. I don't want to be divisive. Just felt I had to share, as this subject has oddly come up a couple of times for me this past year.

Good luck making your decision :)
 

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I agree that adolescence adds a variable to the equation, but my mini was pounced on by my neighbour's otherwise very chill 70 lb golden doodle. He's around 8 years old. I had almost no warning. The doodle had left his blanket in the doorway to my bedroom. My senior mini was coming into the bedroom to see me and stepped on the blanket. The doodle has a history of guarding his food, and I was watchful for signs, but it all happened so fast. I could only react quickly enough to pull him off her.

She wasn't visibly injured, but her health declined shortly thereafter. I'll never know if there was a connection.

Note: His "pounce" wouldn't have had any impact on a larger dog, other than letting them know he was NOT comfortable sharing his blanket. But it could have killed my small dog.

This will be my last comment on the subject. I don't want to be divisive. Just felt I had to share, as this subject has oddly come up a couple of times for me this past year.

Good luck making your decision :)
I so appreciate everything you've had to share. I completely understand that there needs to be an end to the conversation eventually, but I wanted to let you know that I have not perceived you to be divisive at all. I posted this for real and honest feedback because I want to make the best decision. It's nice to hear comments that encourage me to do what I want, but I also need to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly so that I can do what's best for everyone involved. Thank you! :)
 

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Good luck with your decision.

I have a one year old mini poo who is 15 lbs now. She is small, but is actually a very sturdy little dog. From a pretty young pup, she liked playing with bigger dogs and has this very funny way of dive bombing underneath them! She is a super confident young dog and I could see her loving a Spoo for a permanent playmate.

The dogs in my household are currently all small dogs, but I think my mini would integrate nicely in a house with bigger dogs.

I think you have to watch it, but I don’t see the sizes to be a deal breaker. Maybe with a tiny toy, but a nice mini poo is a sturdy little dog.
 

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If I got a second dog, it would likely be a mini. My 50lb spoo unexpectedly grew up with my mom's 11 lb Yorkie. My mom's 11 lb Yorkie lived with my dad's 185 lb St. Bernard as a baby. Depending on the personality of the dogs involved, it can work. I would much rather a mature large (3+) dog with a foolish small breed puppy than what I did, a spoo with a Yorkie. But we made it work. As Johanna said, lots of verbal correction, and redirections. They adore each other. The Yorkie also grew up with an aunt's lab.... We don't, however, let the Yorkie play with large dogs we do t know well.

I am always very impressed by how dogs modulate their strength. The St. Bernard and Yorkie used to play tug.... The Saint stood still, or gently raised a toy in the air as the Yorkie pulled and thrashed for all her might. My spoo isn't quite as polite, but also will modulate her strength for games of tug or batting with her feet.
 
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