The German Shepherd is a breed of dog that is very careful with strange dogs and people that are not from their closest environment and for being highly perceptive of their surroundings.
For these reasons, owners may wonder what the German Shepherd’s relationship with a young puppy will be like, especially when they intend to get a new dog.
Are German Shepherds Good With Small Dogs?
The answer is: Yes, of course! German Shepherd can be very good with smaller dogs, as long as both are well socialized and educated.
But it is important to know that sheepdogs, guard dogs, or fighters (although no longer used for this purpose today), retain a less sociable attitude towards other dogs in the home.
Most times, it has nothing to do with the size or breed of the other dog, simply the personality of the German Shepherd can be distant as they are protective and alert to strangers.
It All Depends On The Personality Of The German Shepherd
If you educate your German Shepherd from love and with patience, it will develop a friendly and calm character regardless of its breed.
Much of a dog’s character comes from the care given to it by its owner. For a dog of this breed to have the necessary canine codes to communicate with others of its species, it will be necessary to promote socialization as soon as possible.
Socializing An Adult German Shepherd With Other Dogs
Socializing your German Shepherd is probably the best thing you can do for your dog.
Through socialization, your German Shepherd can make the right decisions if it learns to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening animals and situations.
Moreover, this is beneficial not only for human-dog relationships but also for dog-dog relationships, especially with small dogs.
The best time to introduce and socializing your German Shepherd is between 8 and 12 weeks of age when your puppy is already protected by vaccinations.
After that, invite your friends with dogs for a play date. Be sure to take it easy by putting your GSD on leashes, letting it smell and interact with other dogs.
You can also take your GSD for frequent walks and try to introduce it to other dogs of different sizes as possible, especially the small ones.
If you have ever tried to walk with a dog that throws itself and barks at every dog it sees, you will understand the importance of having a well-socialized German shepherd. Your neighbors will appreciate it too.
Bringing Home a New Small Dog
If you are considering a new dog partner for your German Shepherd, you should know that dogs, including German Shepherds, are very territorial animals..
Small and large dogs can live together, but it is important to try to know what your German Shepherd’s reaction would be if you decide to take a new dog home.
Knowing your pet’s behavior with respect to other dogs is an excellent way to verify if it could be emotionally available for the arrival of another dog to its territory.
If a dog feels that a new animal is invading its space or taking all the attention, there can be problems of aggressiveness and even try to attack the other dog and most of the time we don’t know what to do when two dogs get along badly inside the house.
For that reason, it is essential that before introducing the new tenant in the house, first both know each other in a neutral land, like a park, for example.
It is also important to supervise the activities of both dogs together. Separate the small dog and the German Shepherd when you cannot supervise them and do not allow the GSD to harass the new dog or play too rough with it.
Some tips to find a good partner for your GSD:
Dogs of different ages: when there are two dogs in the same home of different ages, they tend to get along much better even if it is a small breed dog or not.
This is because there is a clear hierarchy that is established. With dogs of the same or similar age, there may be some posture problems in the pack.
Get partners of the opposite sex: generally, male dogs tend to be better with other dogs of the opposite sex and vice versa.
Matching personalities: If your dog is old and quiet, don’t bring home a hyperactive dog, look for one with a quiet character. We must try to make everyone feel at ease.
Enough for everyone: Toys, beds, food bowls… We also refer to your presence. They need you and now your hands, kisses, and caresses must be multiplied by two, as well as all the personal objects of each one.
A study conducted by the University of Vienna and published in the journal Plos One shows that dogs can be jealous when they feel that they are not receiving a fair reward or when they feel that another person or animal is receiving more than they are.
Coexistence of a German Shepherd With Puppies
Adult dogs are much more permissive with puppies. For this reason, it would be very strange if your German Shepherd has a bad reaction.
The puppies have more energy and courage to play, but they don’t usually control the limits of the game because they are in the learning stage.
Also, Playful adults may enjoy the energy of an unruly one, but quieter, calmer ones may find it extremely unpleasant.
Anyway, you must remain alert, because puppies are more delicate. Besides, if we see that the little one is overwhelming the GSD with its games, the best thing to do is to intervene.
We can distract the puppy by playing with it for a while so that it lets the German Shepherd rest.
It’s Good To Keep An Eye Out
If all goes well and your German Shepherd gets along with the small dog it will be great, but you should still be on the lookout.
Sometimes the play between dogs of different sizes can be too much and can cause conflict between them. So, you will have to be alert in the case at some point it is necessary to intervene.
If you see that your dog is bothering the other one and doesn’t let it go, you will have to call it and propose another game.
Likewise, if it is your dog that wants to escape from the other one, it is better to get it out of that uncomfortable situation as soon as possible to avoid any problem.
Why Wouldn’t A German Shepherd Line A Small Dog?
The Hunter Instinct.
German shepherds have a strong hunting instinct which makes them aggressive when faced with prey, this is dangerous when dealing with small strange animals.
For this reason, lack of exposure to small dogs and training from an early age can also make the situation worse.
Whether the German Shepherd is aggressive or not with others, will depend on how it is taught as a puppy and how it is treated by its owner as we mentioned above.
Be Careful With the “Small Dog Syndrome”
The “small dog syndrome” is the inadequate consented behaviors that harm the sociability of the dogs of small size, turning them into temperamental animals and in addition, annoying at the time of coexisting with them.
German Shepherds are more calm, serious, and disciplined, so a small dog with this type of behavior can create uncomfortable or complicated situations for them.
Not All Dogs Like Each Other.
Many times it is not a question of whether the dogs are socialized or not, or whether their breeds are different or not.
This is something absolutely normal, just as it happens to us people there are dogs that get along better with some than with others if you know that there is a dog that you can’t even see with yours, look for other dog friends for your best friend. This kind of case is not a problem of socialization; it is a normal attitude.
A German Shepherd with a good personality, educated, and socialized is good with small dogs.
For your dog to strengthen its social skills there is nothing better than allowing it to play and interact with other dogs, allow it to be more of a dog!
But remember that if you detect that the socialization problem is more related to an aggression problem, don’t hesitate to go to an expert.
We hope this information has been useful to you, especially if you want your GSD to share a little more with other dog breeds not as big as it.
Why does my German shepherd attack small dogs?
Being a German shepherd means you have to defend yourself, whether from other dogs or people. The aggressive nature of the breed has been passed down through the years and is still prevalent today.
They are very territorial and protective dogs, and one of the reasons why they act aggressively toward small dogs maybe because they are the ones protecting their territory.
Is German Shepherd’s dog friendly?
Yes, German shepherds are very friendly. German shepherds love to play and frolic outdoors, and they are great family dogs. They’re also fine in apartments as long as they have exercise and plenty of time to run around outside.