Although it’s widely believed that dogs and cats are natural enemies, several dog breeds can coexist peacefully with felines and even develop close friendships if raised together. Some big dogs that are good with cats can help make your home happy.
However, it’s essential to be cautious when introducing them to each other, especially when the dogs are big.
So, here are some examples of big dogs that are good with cats, including poodles, golden retrievers, collies, german shepherds, etc.
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Know Breed Groups
Certain groups of dog breeds tend to have better compatibility with cats than others. For instance, the Toy Group is of social and affectionate breeds, bred specifically for companionship and cuddling.
Meanwhile, dogs from the Sporting Group are generally outgoing and amiable, willing to make friends with anyone they come across, including cats.
Similarly, Sighthounds from the Hound Group have an innate desire to chase, and a cat could be a tempting target.
Dogs from the Herding Group are prone to herding any moving creature, including their owners and children, which some cats might find irritating.
However, these are broad generalizations, and most dog breeds can coexist peacefully with cats if they are socialized as puppies and trained to leave cats alone.
Teaching dogs to “leave it” and “stay” can also help maintain harmony. Proper introductions are essential, and it’s vital to ensure that cats always have an escape route. It’s only advisable to leave a new dog alone with a cat once you see their compatibility.
Ultimately, the individual personalities of both the dog and cat will play a significant role in their relationship. For instance, an older cat that prefers solitude may not get along well with an exuberant puppy.
Therefore, researching and consulting with breeders is crucial to determine which dog breeds are most suitable for a multi-pet household before bringing a new dog into a family that already includes a cat.
10 Large Dogs That Are Cat Friendly
1. Standard Poodles
Poodles of all sizes – Standard, Miniature, and Toy – generally are compatible with cats. However, individual poodles may respond differently to cats, with some content to coexist and others actively engaging in play.
Therefore, it’s crucial to introduce them early and provide proper training. In most cases, your cat and poodle can coexist harmoniously and may even form a close bond.
2. English Setter
The English Setter is a well-regarded breed valued for its exceptional sense of smell and impressive memory. These gentle dogs typically have a good rapport with other pets, including cats.
However, they are highly energetic and require regular exercise to maintain a calm and relaxed disposition. Since they lack a strong prey drive and are generally pleasant, your cat should be safe around an English Setter.
3. Bernese Mountain Dogs
The Bernese Mountain Dog, a breed hailing from Switzerland, was developed to perform various farm duties such as herding cattle, pulling milk carts, and serving as watchdogs.
Despite their large, fluffy build, they are known for their gentle and soothing demeanor. Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally compatible with cats, children, other dogs, and even unfamiliar individuals.
Nevertheless, beginning their training early and introducing them to cats during their formative years is essential.
4. Shetland Sheepdogs
Although the Shetland Sheepdog is a herding dog, they generally have a good rapport with cats. These intelligent, playful, gentle creatures are easy to train and can adapt to living with a feline companion.
As with any breed, it’s best to introduce them to a kitten at a young age and let them grow up together.
With proper training and patience, Shelties and cats can develop close friendships. However, taking time when introducing your dog to your cat is crucial.
5. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are known for their pleasant and friendly nature and tend to get along well with all types of animals. These intelligent, eager-to-please, and gentle dogs enjoy playing and snuggling, much like cats.
With proper training, Labs can develop a close bond and snuggle up on the couch with feline friends. However, introducing them to each other should be a gradual process, and taking your time and doing it is essential.
Wait until they become comfortable with each other before leaving them alone in the house.
Collies are typically for herding purposes. They have an instinct to herd various animals, including cats. Although Collies are known to be fond of children, some can also develop a close bond with felines.
However, the success of this relationship largely depends on the individual dog’s herding instinct, age, and temperament.
Proper training and socialization, especially during the early stages of their lives, are necessary to ensure that both pets can coexist peacefully.
It is vital to establish trust and familiarity between them before leaving them alone for extended periods.
7. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, but their instincts may cause issues when interacting with cats.
Due to their strong prey drive, it can be challenging for them to differentiate between play and prey. However, early socialization can help this breed become cat-friendly with proper training.
It’s important to teach your German Shepherd basic commands such as “stay,” “sit,” and “leave it” before introducing them to a cat.
Additionally, feeding them near each other can help your dog associate the cat’s scent with food. Finally, your German Shepherd can learn to behave appropriately around cats with patience and training.
Despite being one of the giant dog breeds, the Newfoundland breed can still live with cats.
Although their massive size may seem intimidating, they are generally kind and protective towards small-sized creatures, including cats.
Rather than harming the cat, a Newfoundland is more likely to become its protector due to its gentle, protective, loyal, and friendly nature.
However, even if unintentional, their size can still pose a risk to cats. Hence, proper training and supervision are necessary until the dog understands its size and learns to interact safely with the cat.
9. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is known for its friendly nature and ability to get along with cats. This breed is empathetic, kind, and always eager to be part of your family, which includes your feline friends.
Golden Retrievers are highly trainable and eager to please, making it easy to teach them not to chase your cat.
They love making new friends and can even become buddies with your cats, given their affectionate and friendly nature.
10. The Great Pyrenees
Despite weighing over 100 pounds, the Great Pyrenees is a patient, loyal, and calm dog that can coexist with small animals.
Originally bred as a guard dog, the Great Pyrenees is watchful over its flock, including cats and their owners. This breed is quiet and tolerant and will not hesitate to defend all the pets and livestock in your home.
With separate feeding places, the Great Pyrenees can quickly get along with cats and even protect them in case of danger.
Some FAQs About Big Dogs That Are Good For Cats
Can a big dog and cat live together?
Yes, big dogs and cats can live peacefully in the same household.
Still, it depends on several factors, such as the temperament of the individual animals, their past experiences with other animals, and how they take the first step toward each other.
Introducing a big dog and cat should be done slowly and carefully to prevent aggressive behavior. Supervising the interactions and providing separate areas for each animal to retreat to if they feel stressed or overwhelmed is essential.
It’s also important to note that some dog breeds have a high prey drive and may see cats as potential prey. In these cases, successfully introducing them to cats may be more difficult.
Overall, big dogs and cats can coexist happily in the same household with patience, proper introduction, and supervision.
What dogs are aggressive to cats?
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, certain dog breeds may have a higher prey drive or be more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior toward cats. Some of these breeds include:
Will my dog ever stop chasing my cat?
A dog can stop chasing a cat, but it depends on the individual dog and its relationship with the cat.
If your dog has a high prey drive or has yet to be around cats, it may see the cat as a potential target for chasing or hunting.
In these cases, it’s important to supervise their interactions and provide training and positive reinforcement to teach the dog appropriate behavior around the cat.
One way to discourage chasing behavior is to reward the dog for calm behavior around the cat.
You can also provide the dog with plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to help reduce its energy levels and make them less likely to chase the cat.
It is important to remember that chasing behavior is an instinct for many dogs, so changing their behavior may take time and patience.
However, a dog can learn to coexist peacefully with a cat with consistent training and positive reinforcement.
What dog is best with cats?
Some dog breeds are known to be more friendly and compatible with cats than others. However, it’s important to note that dogs can have varying personalities and temperaments regardless of breed.
Here are some dog breeds that are generally known to be good with cats:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This breed is known for being affectionate and gentle, making them a good choice for households with cats.
- Bichon Frise
These small dogs are friendly and playful and tend to get along well with cats.
This small breed is generally friendly and gentle and can often form close bonds with cats.
- Shih Tzu
This breed is often affectionate and gentle and can be a good match for cats in a calm household.
What Big Dogs Are Good With Cats?
It is a common misconception that dogs and cats are natural enemies.
While some breeds of dogs may have a higher prey drive or instinct to chase, many large breeds can coexist peacefully with cats and even form close bonds with them.
Proper training and socialization ensure a harmonious relationship between these pets.
In addition, introducing them at a young age, providing adequate training, and ensuring cats always have an escape route are ways to promote compatibility between them.
Ultimately, the individual personalities of both the cat and the dog play a significant role in their relationship.
So it’s essential to research and consult with breeders to determine which dog breeds are most suitable for a multi-pet household before bringing a new dog into a family that already includes a cat.
If you find this guide, “Big Dogs That Are Good With Cats,” informative and helpful, you can check out these other cat-related articles from our team:
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- My Cat is in Heat and Won’t Shut Up – What Should I Do?
You can learn more about which dogs get along with cats by watching “Top 10 Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats” down below: