Are Golden Retrievers Good With Small Dogs?

If you’re considering adding a Golden Retriever to your pack, you might be wondering whether they’re good with small dogs. As the proud owner of two small dogs, I was in the same boat and did some research. The answer, like with most things dog-related, is not black and white.

That’s why I’m excited to share with you what I’ve learned about Golden Retrievers and small dogs. In this article, we’ll dive into the compatibility of the two breeds, the pros and cons of keeping them together, and tips for socializing and training them. Plus, we’ll debunk some common myths and share a personal journey of a Golden Retriever owner who lives harmoniously with small dogs.

So, if you’re ready to learn whether Golden Retrievers are good with small dogs, keep reading!

Golden RetrieversSmall Dogs
Friendly and SociableCan be intimidated
Trainable and ObedientTend to be territorial
Active and EnergeticLess energetic
Generally Good with ChildrenMay not be good with children

Compatibility with Small Dogs: What You Need to Know About Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are generally good-natured with a friendly personality, making them compatible with small dogs. However, it is important to note that each dog has a unique personality, and compatibility depends on individual temperament and behavior. It is crucial to introduce them to each other gradually and under supervision to ensure a positive relationship. Overall, if introduced and trained properly, Golden Retrievers can happily coexist with small dogs.

Golden Retriever and small dog sitting together outdoors.

Small Dogs and Golden Retrievers: The Pros and Cons of Keeping Them Together

Small dogs and Golden Retrievers can make great companions, but it’s important to consider the pros and cons of keeping them together. Here are some factors to keep in mind:


  • Playful and gentle: Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and playful nature, and they can make great playmates for small dogs.
  • Protective: Golden Retrievers have a protective instinct, and they may be more inclined to look out for smaller dogs.
  • Loyal: Golden Retrievers are loyal to their pack, and they can form strong bonds with small dogs.


  • Size difference: Golden Retrievers can accidentally injure small dogs during playtime, so it’s important to supervise their interactions.
  • High energy: Golden Retrievers are an active breed, and they may have too much energy for some small dogs to handle.
  • Prey drive: Some Golden Retrievers have a strong prey drive, which can be a problem if they view small dogs as prey.

Overall, keeping small dogs and Golden Retrievers together can work well as long as you take the necessary precautions and monitor their interactions. It’s also important to consider each dog’s temperament and exercise needs before deciding to keep them together.

The Golden Temperament: Why These Dogs Are a Good Match for Small Dogs

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and gentle nature, which makes them an excellent match for small dogs. Their temperament is incredibly adaptable, allowing them to get along well with all kinds of animals, including small dogs. These dogs are patient and tolerant, which means they are less likely to display aggressive behavior or harm their smaller counterparts.

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Moreover, Golden Retrievers have an affectionate personality, making them the perfect companion to small dogs. They often show love and loyalty to their small furry friends, which leads to a harmonious and enjoyable household environment.

Their eagerness to please their owners also makes them more trainable, which is essential when it comes to socializing them with small dogs. They tend to follow commands quickly, which helps to build a healthy and safe relationship between them and small dogs.

In summary, Golden Retrievers have an adaptable, friendly, patient, and affectionate temperament, making them an excellent match for small dogs. Their personality traits make them more trainable, making it easier to introduce and socialize them with small dogs within the household. If you’re looking for a furry friend for your small dog, a Golden Retriever might be the perfect match!

Goldens playing nicely.

Golden Retriever Socialization: Tips for Introducing Them to Small Dogs

Golden Retrievers are generally friendly dogs, which makes them great companions for small dogs. However, proper socialization is crucial to ensure a harmonious relationship between them. Here are some tips for introducing your Golden Retriever to a small dog:

  • Start Slowly: Start with a supervised and structured introduction in a neutral area, like a park. Keep both dogs on a leash and allow them to sniff each other. If there are signs of aggression, separate them and try again later.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Praise both dogs for calm behavior and reward them with treats. This will reinforce good behavior and build a positive association between both dogs.
  • Consider Size Differences: Be mindful of the size difference between the two dogs. Avoid rough play which can be dangerous for smaller dogs.
  • Watch Body Language: Observe both dogs’ body language for signs of discomfort, aggression, or fear, and adjust the introduction accordingly.
  • Be Patient: The process of socialization takes time and effort. Be patient and persistent in your efforts to foster a good relationship between your Golden Retriever and small dog.

By following these tips, you can help your Golden Retriever and small dog develop a positive and healthy relationship.

The Important Role of Training in Golden Retrievers Living with Small Dogs

Training is an essential factor in ensuring harmonious coexistence between golden retrievers and small dogs. By implementing proper training techniques, you can prevent conflicts and behavioral issues that could arise between them.

Training your golden retriever to interact and play safely with their smaller companions is crucial. You need to teach them the appropriate behavior when around smaller dogs, including the importance of gentle play, respect, and following commands.

To avoid dominance aggression, obedience training is also critical. It will help your golden retriever understand who’s in charge and follow your lead. Consistency in training is key to their success, so be sure to establish a schedule and stick to it.

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Additionally, training your golden retriever to be calm and relaxed around small dogs will benefit them both psychologically and emotionally. This can help reduce anxiety, fear, and excessive barking, which can often happen when they feel threatened or unsafe.

In conclusion, proper training is necessary for golden retrievers living with small dogs. It can help them develop positive behavior, improve their mental and emotional health, and prevent conflicts and stress between them. By fostering a safe and nurturing environment, you can ensure that your furry companions live together happily ever after.

Foster a Positive Environment: Key Factors to Consider when Keeping Golden Retrievers with Small Dogs

Creating a positive environment is crucial for keeping Golden Retrievers with small dogs. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Supervision: Always supervise interactions between your Golden Retriever and small dog to prevent any unwanted behaviors.
  • Size and Energy Levels: Ensure both dogs’ size and energy levels are compatible. A high-energy, large Golden Retriever may accidentally hurt a small dog during play.
  • Training: Train both dogs to follow basic commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘come’ to keep them under control.
  • Personalities: Consider the personalities of both dogs. If your Golden Retriever is aggressive, it can be a problem.
  • Food and Water: Make sure each dog has separate food and water bowls to avoid competition and any potential fights.

By considering these key factors and providing a safe and positive environment for both dogs, it is possible to keep Golden Retrievers with small dogs without issues.

Common Misconceptions: Debunking Myths About Golden Retrievers and Small Dogs

There are some common misconceptions about golden retrievers and small dogs that need to be cleared up. Let’s debunk these myths and provide you with some clarity.

Myth 1: Golden Retrievers and small dogs don’t get along

This is not true. Golden retrievers are a friendly breed and generally get along well with small dogs. However, introducing them to each other should be done carefully and gradually to avoid any conflicts. Proper socialization and training can ensure a harmonious relationship between them.

Myth 2: Small dogs are fragile, and Golden Retrievers can easily harm them

It is true that small dogs are more vulnerable to injuries than larger dogs, but that doesn’t mean they cannot live with a Golden Retriever. It all depends on the temperament of the individual dogs and their energy levels. Supervision and proper training can prevent any accidents or injuries from occurring.

two cute Golden Retriever

Myth 3: Golden Retrievers are too big and require a lot of space, making them unsuitable for living with small dogs

While it is true that Golden Retrievers are larger dogs, they can adapt to living in small spaces if they are well-exercised and stimulated mentally. They can live in apartments or small homes as long as they get their daily exercise and playtime.

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Myth 4: Golden Retrievers are not good with children and small dogs

This is not true. Golden Retrievers are known for their gentle and patient nature, making them great companions for both children and small dogs. However, it is important to supervise their interactions and teach both the dogs and children how to behave around each other.

In conclusion, golden retrievers and small dogs can coexist without any problems, as long as proper precautions and care are taken. Don’t let these misconceptions prevent you from adding a new furry member to your family.

From Personal Experience: One Golden Retriever Owner’s Journey Living with Small Dogs

As a proud Golden Retriever owner for several years now, I can confidently say that living with small dogs alongside my pup has been a rewarding experience. Of course, there have been some challenges along the way, but with patience and understanding, we’ve been able to create a harmonious home for all of our furry friends.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my experience is that socialization is key. From day one, I made sure to introduce my Golden Retriever to our small dogs slowly and carefully. I always closely monitored their interactions and made sure that they never felt threatened or uncomfortable around each other.

Training has also played a significant role in ensuring that everyone gets along. Positive reinforcement training has been particularly effective in helping my Golden Retriever understand what behavior is expected of him around small dogs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that every dog has their own unique personality and temperament. While Golden Retrievers are generally great with small dogs, it’s essential to be aware of any signs of aggression or discomfort and take appropriate action to keep everyone safe.

Overall, my journey has shown me that with the right approach and a willingness to put in the effort, Golden Retrievers can live happily and harmoniously with small dogs.


In conclusion, Golden Retrievers can be great companions for small dogs. While it’s important to consider individual temperaments, socialization and training play a crucial role in promoting a positive environment for all pets. Introductions should always be supervised and done gradually, allowing both dogs to acclimate to each other’s presence.

It’s also essential that owners foster a peaceful environment by providing sufficient space, resources, and attention for all their pets. And finally, common misconceptions about Golden Retrievers and small dogs should be debunked, as they can lead to an inaccurate assumption about these breeds.

From personal experience, one Golden Retriever owner suggests that keeping small dogs with Golden Retrievers can be quite successful. The key to success lies in understanding each dog’s individual temperament and needs, and providing them with proper love, care, and attention.

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