What Small Dogs Are Compatible With Great Danes?

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Small dogs can be naturally compatible with Great Danes
Small dogs can be naturally compatible with Great Danes (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

If you own a Great Dane and wish to own a smaller dog with your Dane, you may be wondering what small dog breeds will get along with a bigger dog. Before you choose a smaller dog, you will need to take into consideration many factors, including breed, temperament and personality of each dog. All dogs have their own personality, and it's the attitude of the dog, not the breed, that determines who gets along with whom.

Considerations

Before you look for the right breed of small dog, a major consideration is the personality of your Great Dane. If your Great Dane is quick to squabble with other dogs or doesn't get along with other dogs, you should not consider any breed of dog as the Dane can hurt or ever kill a smaller dog. Your Dane needs to be of good temperament and well socialized. The Great Dane needs to be calm and mature as an exuberant puppy may accidentally injure a smaller dog in play.

Breed Characteristics

Choose a smaller dog breed that is not aggressive and not known for being scrappy. Terriers are a poor choice as friends for Danes because they can take a Great Dane on without regard to their own danger. Avoid dogs that are snappy or will not get along. Active breeds such as hounds (beagles, foxhounds) may work as well as calmer small dogs such as bichon frise, poodles, or American Eskimo dogs.

Size

Size, is of course, relative, when talking about Great Danes. Most dogs are vastly smaller than a Great Dane, even though they may be considered medium-sized or even large-sized dogs. Choose a dog that would not be injured by play. For this reason, very tiny dogs such as Chihuahuas or light-boned dogs such as Italian greyhounds may not be suitable for Great Danes as buddies.

Breed or Individual?

When considering a dog to get as a friend to a Great Dane, take into account the dog's personality. The dog's breed is a nice starting point, but dogs are individuals and do not necessarily fit the standards or the expectations of the breed. Mixed breeds can often do well with Great Danes. Choose the opposite sex of the Great Dane and be sure to spay or neuter them both.

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