Q: What is the best small dog breed to be a companion for my 7-month-old labrador?
I currently have an 11-year-old M Sheltie.. who doesn't like to play with our 7-month old F labrador.. am looking for another small dog to be a playmate, but don't want her to be hurt by my "playful" lab!
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Answers and Views:
Answer by Reality Check, Please!
How about another lab? Small dogs are hyper & often quite fragile, and can teach your bigger dogs BAD habits (I watched it happen with my mother’s Akita when she introduced two Jack Russels into her house). I would recommend a medium-sized breed because your lab isn’t going to be small forever
Answer by Lauren P
There really is not a good small dog for a lab puppy. I would recommend something closer to your Labs size or you risk serious injury or possibly accidental death. Labs play hard and do so for quite a few years; you may actually benefit from getting another Lab or LabX
Answer by Marilyn M
13-inch bench beagle. Border collies are not small but they love to play, play, play..Your sheltie is beyond playing. She is older and settled down. Your lab will get there one day too. My border collie plays all the time with my daughter's little terrier. Terrier is 10 lbs and collie is 50lbs. How gentle is that?
Answer by Emily D
Shih Tzu's are kind of like little kids, mine loves my lab and makes her play with him 24/7. Don't look for one that's too small. Look for a sturdy one. Maybe a Westie. Definitely don't get a dog under 5 or 10 lbs if your dog plays rough or is a really big lab.
Answer by Theo16
Then why not take another Sheltie? You know the breed already.
Answer by rabid
I always recommend people wait till their first dog is at least 18 months before adding another.
The thing is: Yes, he might enjoy playing with other dogs. But that's not necessarily a sign that you should go ahead and get another dog. Think about it: The more he finds other dogs fun to play with, the less fun he is likely to find you. Buying him a doggie pal could well be a recipe for disaster since he will get all his kicks playing with them, and you will become something of irrelevance for him. It's impossible for a person to want to play tuggy quite as much as another dog will want to play, and we just can't compete as play partners.
Instead, if you're finding him under-stimulated, then I'd suggest you look into more training for him, or participating in a dog sport like agility or gundog work. That will stimulate his brain but it will also be something that involves working closely with you - a human - and so learning that people can provide rewards and fun also. Dogs turn to other dogs for stimulation if owners aren't providing enough...
At 11 months, he's only at the beginning of adolescence and you may not yet have seen all that adolescence will unleash on you.
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