Are Golden Retrievers Good With Small Dogs? All You Need To Know

Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs and famous for their long dense beautiful golden fur. A beautiful, affectionate, and elegant looking dog, Golden Retriever’s characteristics are unmatched. Yet due to their medium size body and hunting ancestry traits, owners panic to get them around small dogs.

But all it leads to an important question, are Golden Retrievers good with small dogs?

golden retriever in grass

Can these popular small dog breeds like Affenpinscher, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Brussels Griffon, Chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dachshund, Pomeranian, Pug, and many more get along with Golden Retrievers?

Here’s a simple short and perfect answer whether small dogs are good with Golden Retrievers or not? 

Are Golden Retrievers Good With Small Dogs

Golden Retrievers have a well-deserved reputation for being wonderful and gentle with other dog breeds, in fact, they are one of the best companion dogs to have. Golden Retrievers tend to work well with other dogs but make sure that he is properly socialized before you get him introduced to small dog breeds.

Pretty understandable right? Golden Retrievers do get well along with small dog breeds.

Once you bring your new small family companion to the home, make sure you should have complete the 3 major socialization methods that I’ve shared in the further section.

If you have completed those socialization tips that I’ve mentioned below, your Golden Retriever will definitely get along with small dogs.

But sometimes, your Golden can be well-behaved and not your small dog so make sure you bring the new small dog breed from a good dog breeder.

However, don’t forget to go through the below listed socializing tips!

Socializing Your Golden Retriever To Be Around Smaller Dogs

Golden Retrievers are one of those dog breeds that easily gets along with people but they also get along well with smaller dogs.

As socialization teaches your Golden Retriever, how to react to the world around it in a healthy way without any fear or aggression.

Heavy socialization is necessary and I’ve jotted down some helpful tips below so that you can properly socialize your Golden Retriever.

Socialize Your Golden Retriever As A Puppy

golden retriever pup

The early you start to socialize with your Golden Retriever, the fewer challenges you’ll face as a dog owner in the future.

If you want your Golden to be a calm, well-behaved, happy companion you need to ensure that your Golden Retriever is properly socialized as a puppy.

By introducing your Golden Retriever puppy to dogs and people, he would be more familiar with people, dogs of all sizes and shapes. By this, he can get well adjusted to small dogs and would perceive them, as usual, as an ordinary part of the surrounding.

Rather than getting panic or frighten from smaller dogs, Golden Retriever will learn that small dogs are a normal part of everyday life.

This will help you to eliminate additional challenges for you and your Golden.

Socialize Your Golden Retriever With Other Small Dogs

As your Golden needs to get socialized with small dogs, you should prefer socializing your Golden Retriever with small dog breeds.

You can invite your friends with small dog breeds on a playdate with your Golden. Make sure to introduce them on leashes, let them sniff each other.

When they are friendly and comfortable with each other, let them play.

Try to introduce as many possible small dogs you can introduce to your Golden. Consider taking your Golden on frequent walks, hikes, or nearby trails.

Socialize Your Golden Retriever At The Dog Park

golden retriever on a walk

A dog park is really one of the best places for your Golden to get intimate with other dog breeds and even the small breeds which is our primary goal.

Dog owners love to take their dogs to the dog park, before you get in the dog park make sure your Golden Retriever is comfortable with other dogs of all sizes.

Always make sure that before entering the dog park for the first time don’t let your Golden be off-leash, it’s better to keep him on the leash and outside the fence during the first trip.

Recommended Top 5 Best Leash for Golden Retriever

golden retriever fetch

While it would be a safe option for your Golden to be on the leash and off the fence to get to know all the other dogs, especially let him see the smaller dog breeds.

Once he gets familiar with small dog breed size, and now you are sure that your Golden will remain calm and well-behaved, let your Golden explore inside the dog park but still let him be on the LEASH.

Let him be still on the leash during the second and third visit and let him sniff & explore inside of the dog park this time.

(Make sure to introduce them to small dog breeds)

In later days as you know that your Golden will remain calm, friendly, well-behaved you can let him roam in the dog park off-leash.

Also when he is off-leash, ensure that your Golden doesn’t get aggressive, as the dog owners of small dog breeds don’t want anything harmful to happen!

Suggested Aggressive Golden Retriever: Identify Aggression Signs & Fix it!

Once your Golden Retriever is properly socialized in the dog park, now he’ll be getting well along with the small dog breeds.

And that’s what we wanted!

Golden Retriever Personality

It’s important to know your Golden’s personality before you get him introduced to a new pet in your house. Let’s discuss more characteristics and traits of your Golden.

golden retriever

Golden Retrievers are popular for their fun-loving personality, they are friendly, affectionate, kind, intelligent, and the best companion dog breed. They are playful and easily get along with other pets and children.

Cute face, a dense beautiful golden coat which is one of the iconic things in Golden Retrievers compared to other dog breeds. They are sturdy, muscular medium-sized dogs.

Ranks third for the Best dog breeds for the year 2019 & 2020 on AKC & WagWalking.

They are known for their personality and that’s why I too have Max, an adorable Golden Retriever.

Well, just have a look at this short entertaining video where a Golden Retriever is playing with this small rescued dog.

How To Introduce Your Golden Retriever To A Small Dog?

The personality, characteristics, and traits do matter of your new small breed dog, as you know everything about the Golden Retriever it’s quite simple to introduce both of them but knowing the traits of the smaller one would make the process easy.

The first impression matters, so always make sure that you introduce them in the right way. The first meet will set the color of their relationship for the entire life, so follow the below-listed steps to accomplish a successful relation.

  • Let both of them get to know each other slowly and carefully, don’t rush on the first meet, it might turn out unsatisfactory.
  • Have both of the dogs on leash, keep the meeting in the commonplace like in a training center, or a tennis court, or your backyard. During the meet, both of the dogs should be on the leash.
  • Take both of them on walks together, by keeping a definite distance between them so that they can’t meet, here our goal is that they should feel the presence of each other without any cause of anxiety.
  • Avoid meeting in a close compact area, make them meet in a common area that is wide open. Wait for a minute or two and let them sniff each other, then call them away but if the situation is good and they start to play then wait for a short while let them play and then end the session.
  • Each beginning session should end on a good note.
  • First, let both of them meet in the common neutral place and then take your Golden to the back yard and then introduce the new house to your small dog. If it is introduced when the Golden is at home then it might cause a negative reaction.
  • Keep the interaction short and pleasant, if the signs of tension arise, separate both of the dogs and try again later.
  • Both of them should be separate when you are not at the home. Either in a separate dog bed for Golden Retriever or separate rooms.
  • Reward the polite behavior and manage the environment to prevent conflicts from developing.

Make sure you also shower the same love to the new small breed and don’t let your Golden feel neglected. Don’t change any of the schedules whether it is food or walks let it be the same.

A small change can lead to the anxiety of Golden Retriever towards the new pup, so stay on the same routine to ensure your Golden does not feel threatened.

References – How To Introduce Dogs by Animal Humane Society

List Of Small Dogs Breeds Who Get Along With Golden Retrievers

Small dog breeds do get well along with Golden Retrievers. If you are a Golden Retriever owner and looking forward to getting a small dog breed like Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Pug or any other small companion dog breeds then refer to this list!

List of small companion dog breeds for Golden Retriever:

  1. Miniature Poodle
  2. Pug
  3. Beagle
  4. Boston Terrier
  5. Pomeranian
  6. Chihuahua
  7. Bichon Frise
  8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  9. Dachshund
  10. Brussels Griffon
  11. Affenpinscher 
  12. Yorkipoo
  13. Pumi
  14. Yorkshire Terrier
  15. English Cocker Spaniel
  16. Border Terrier
  17. Havanese
  18. Jack Russell Terrier
  19. Lhasa Apso
  20. Pekingese
  21. Shih Tzu

And a few more…

From the above list, a few dog breeds would require more socialization and average for others. Jack Russell Terrier, Dachshund loves to take things slowly and happily so don’t think that you’ll get a quick OK from these.

As they are tiny dog breeds they need proper socialization and training at a younger age itself.

What if your Golden is well-behaved and socialized but not the small breed? So, make sure to give the new small breed adequate training so that you don’t face any challenges when both of the dogs that you own grow.

Must Read – Best Companion Dog For Golden Retriever (Also mentioned some small & medium size dog breeds)

Exercise For Your Golden Retriever vs. Smaller Dogs?

Golden Retrievers are active dogs and they do need the hard exercise of 40-60 minutes daily. Goldens thrive on obedience training, agility classes, and other canine activities, which are great ways to give your Golden physical and mental exercise. 

golden retriever running

Your golden may need more exercise compared to the new small breed that you’ll be having now or soon. Also, most of the experts claim that the best way to avoid the aggressive behavior of the Golden Retriever is to provide them with physical activity.

Golden Retrievers need hard consistent exercise daily of 20-30 minutes twice a day which is usually sufficient. As they were originally bred to help hunters to find birds or other game and bring them back undamaged.

Smaller breed would not require this much exercise as much a Golden Retrievers needs, a 30 minutes of exercise for a small dog breed would be enough.

If your Golden Retriever is not exercised then he may put on too much weight, become frustrated & bore, or he can release this pent-up energy in undesirable ways and that could be a dangerous situation for your small dog breed.


Will My Golden Retriever Hurt A Small Dog?

golden retriever aggressive

The size matters, an average Golden Retriever weighs 55 to 65 pounds, but a Golden Retriever can unintentionally simply hurt the small dog due to the size difference. They can accidentally roll over or paw on small dogs.

Goldens can playfully nip only to end up hurting the smaller one, so due to the size difference, it’s essential to monitor when your Golden is playing with your smaller dog.

Can A Small Dog Cause Anxiety In My Golden Retriever

Just like us, Golden Retrievers can suffer from anxiety. When you bring a tiny new companion, there’s a change in Golden Retriever’s environment and that can trigger anxiety in Golden Retrievers.

As I’ve mentioned in the article that when there’s a new companion in the house don’t try to neglect your dog, either by changing the feeding schedule or the schedule of walks. Shower equal love, keep the feeding schedule consistent and stick to the daily routine.

Even the slightest change matters, so be careful of the environment of your Golden Retriever which can lead to anxiety.


Are Golden Retrievers good with small dogs”, I hope that now this query is solved. As I’ve mentioned how important is socialization, and also I have shared some amazingly helpful tips that would help your Golden to get introduce to small dog breeds.

According to my experience, Golden Retrievers are one of the sweet dog breeds and they will definitely get along with smaller dog breeds.

But always keep in mind that your Golden should be properly socialized and trained, if you are a new pet parent then you can refer to these Golden Retriever Training Books if you are interested.

Once well trained and socialized your Golden can successfully play with smaller dogs.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions related to small dog breeds in the comments. 


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