5 Dog Breeds That Like and Are Good With Cats
Which Breeds of Cats and Dogs Get Along?
We've all heard the phrase "fighting like cats and dogs," but that doesn't always have to be the case. I have treated a lot of corneal lacerations over the years because people think that any old dog is suited for any old cat, but if you put care into the type of dog or cat you select, there are plenty of great pets out there willing to share their beds and blankets with other species.
Below, you'll find...
- a list of dogs that may get a long with cats,
- a list of dogs that usually don't,
- and the three cat breeds that are most likely dog-friendly.
The 5 Most Cat-Friendly Dogs
Often, those dog breeds that are known for being good with kids are also good with cats, though not necessarily—there is still a lot of debate in this area. The list of cat-friendly dogs here is not perfect, but it does reflect my personal experience. None of the dogs I have met from these breeds have had a problem with cats, but as I said, there are always sure to be exceptions.
So what are the five dog breeds that get along best with cats?
This small scent hound was originally bred to be a hunter, but beagles do amazingly well with cats. While they will usually chase cats while out in the yard, they treat cats gently inside the house and will snuggle up contentedly with any cat that shares their living space.
However, keep in mind that a beagle is not the right breed for everyone. They are okay as watchdogs but make friends too easily to be guards. They are also not easy to train, so if you are looking for a dog to obediently follow household commands, you need to search elsewhere. Beagles are famous for ignoring anyone calling them home when they have found an interesting scent and are following it where it leads.
This breed is also vocal; although they do not bark much, they do tend to howl. A lot. If you cannot handle the howling, you might look for another dog breed that will get along with your cats.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this breed tends to get overweight without exercise. If you get a beagle, make sure to exercise him daily.
This great dog breed will more likely wrestle with your cat than try to do her any damage. However, most boxers are strong and lively, so they need a tough cat to play with.
Unlike the beagle, this dog can serve as a good guard dog. Boxers are also fairly easy to train and almost always respond to their owners. If you want a big dog who is good with the family and great with your cat, this breed is a good choice.
3. Bichon Frisé
This is a very happy, very social dog breed that will likely view a cat as just another small playmate. Just make sure that you have a playful cat. For very laid-back cats, you will need to supervise their interactions closely, since the bichon may be a little too happy at times when the cat wants to be left alone. If the cat is not a cuddler, a bichon might find himself a canina non grata. Several sites also list this dog as one of the best breeds for a family. In fact, they are so loving, my main worry about the Bichon is that he might miss you too much when you're not around.
The bichon frisé is a small dog, and his white coat doesn’t shed much but does need to be taken care of. These dogs need to be trimmed and brushed like a poodle and bathed regularly; if they are ignored, they can develop some serious matts and skin diseases. They are easy to train, fun to have around, and will not bark excessively once they get to know the visitor.
Do you want a small companion to keep your house busy and your young cat occupied? The bichon might be a great choice.
4. Golden Retriever
This dog is one of the best dog breeds with kids and is also tolerant around most other pets in the household. They are excellent with cats of all sizes and ages. The golden retriever is unlikely to be rough with your cat even when playing, and, like most dogs, will just consider the cat part of his family if they are introduced while he's still a puppy.
They are not good guard dogs but they will protect a kitten that they have decided to nurse and raise. Goldens are considered one of the easiest breeds to obedience train and are willing to do almost anything, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. If you want a great family dog, a hard worker, and a good companion, the golden is an excellent dog.
The smallest of the dog breeds that likes cats, the Maltese is a slacker who sometimes just lies around on the couch and ignores anything else going on, including the activities of a cat. In fact, maybe this dog does not really like cats; he just knows better than to ask the cat to move off of his favorite spot. That is a good thing. It would take a tough Maltese to take on even a lazy cat.
Normally they are small lap dogs that don’t care for much more than hanging out, which makes them one of the best breeds for a first-time dog owner. However, if they have an opportunity to play and their opponent does not outweigh them ten to one, the Maltese can be an entertaining member of the household. This is a great dog breed for both new and old cats, because they are unlikely to mess with a new member of the family but are also fine with a cat that just wants to be left alone.
Worst Dog Breeds Around Cats
My personal observation is that almost any dog is willing to accept cats in his environment, as long as the cat is willing to accept him. When I owned Siberian Huskies, even they would leave the cats alone because my cats were able to move around our garden and remain aloof. Terriers have a bad reputation when it comes to cats, but I have often spoken with owners of Westies and Cairn terriers that get along fine with mellow cats. The sighthounds might be an exception to the rule, since they have been bred with a very strong prey instinct, but I have heard stories of retired greyhounds that do okay with cats in their house. It is important that the cat does not run and act like prey; some dogs never seem to understand the concept that all pets are part of the family.
Anyway, although there are sure to be plenty of people who disagree, here is my list of dog breeds that do not usually do well with cats:
- Sled Dogs (Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, etc)
- Sight Hounds (Whippets, Salukis, Azawakh, and some others)
- Terriers (Jack Russel Terrier, Rat Terrier, etc)
- Guard dogs (this can vary a lot but some breeds like the Presa Canario, Cane Corso, and Fila Brasileiro usually do not do well with small animals in their territory.)
But, as I mentioned above, a lot of those dogs can do okay if introduced to a cat early in life.
Cat Breeds That Do Well Around Dogs
If you do not yet have a cat, it is also a good idea to get a cat breed that like dogs. Not all cats will put up with a canine companion in the house, and some dogs (especially breeds like the pug, with its protruding eyes) can be hurt by an aggressive cat.
Ragdoll, Siberian, and Maine coon cats are all muscular cats that are large enough to feel confident around dogs. This means they are less likely to feel threatened and try to run away when your dog approaches them. There are many other breeds to choose from, of course.
Questions & Answers
My dog is half Maltese and half white highland terrier. Do you think she will get along with cats?
Although Maltese get along with most cats, many Westies do not. This is not a rule, by any means, since some lines have had the terrier bred out of them and are mild and do well with cats and other small animals.
If you bring home a cat, you need to think about adopting an adult that is already used to dogs, and preferably a Ragdoll or one of the other cats on the list. Let her around your dog, but only under supervision until you are absolutely sure the dog will not chase.Helpful 10
I have never owned a dog before, and I have a seven-year-old cat. Which breed of dog would you recommend?
I do not know if you prefer big dogs or small dogs, hairy dogs or dogs that do not shed much, if you rent or own your own house, if you live in the country or city, etc.
My personal recommendations are the dogs on this list. I had a Maltese, one of the best dogs ever, but he passed away several years ago. If you want small, the Maltese is a great choice.
I also have a Boxer mix. She is a great dog, so if you like big and do not mind a bit of slobber, they are a fun dog you can wrestle around with and still trust with your cat.Helpful 27
My parents have a bichon poodle, four years old, very fluffy and sweet and get along with kids very well. I just moved into their house with my cat Goochi who is four as well. Do you think these two pets will get along?
The best thing you can do for cat is keep him calm and try to encourage him to hold his ground. If he runs from the dog it will stimulate his prey drive and he will chase. If he chases, he will most likely chase every time unless he gets bored of the game.Helpful 7
I have two cats that are about 3 years old and have been together since birth. I really want to get a dog also, I’m just not sure which would be a good choice to have with two cats. Any recommendations?
Yes, this article lists five dog breeds that usually get along with cats. If you choose one of the breeds on this list you will probably have success.Helpful 17
Will a Yorkshire terrier get along with a cat?
Yorkies were originally bred to hunt rats. They have been selected to have a high prey drive and to chase and kill things that run away from them.
Some Yorkies will do okay as this has not been an important factor in their selection in some time. I would not want to risk my cat´s well being on a Yorkie, however. If you do decide to get one, and own a cat, make sure that you monitor them when together.Helpful 12
© 2012 Dr Mark