Just because a dog loves you, doesn’t mean they’ll be into your feline friend. Thankfully, it’s far from impossible to have both kinds of fur babies in your home. The first rule of thumb is to introduce the animals calmly and keep them separated at first. This can be easier if a dog is already trained or you adopt a kitten (they’re more adaptable), but a lot of it simply comes down to what kind of dog you have. According to pet experts, certain breeds make better canine companions than others. Read on to discover the best dog breeds that get along with cats.
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Golden Retrievers famously love everyone they come across, and this includes kids and cats. “One of the most gentle dog breeds out there, the Golden Retriever is as good with other animals as it is with humans,” says Sabrina Kong, DVM, a veterinarian at WeLoveDoodles. Kong credits this friendliness to their “loving and tender nature” and says it allows them to easily accept cats “as part of the family, to the point they even defend and take care of them just like they would do with their owners.” Consider a Golden Retriever if you want a high-energy hound that plays well with others.
Goldendoodles also do well with cats, as they’re friendly like Golden Retrievers with the intelligence of Poodles. While Goldendoodles might not be best friends with your tabby, they’ll both happily do their own thing. This might be a better fit for an older cat who doesn’t have as much desire to run around.
These floppy-eared sweethearts won’t cause you any problems because they’re so laid back, making them another solid option if you already have a feline friend. “Basset Hounds have the personality to get along with cats,” promises Dwight Alleyne, DVM, a veterinary advisor at Betterpet. He describes this breed as “generally mild-mannered, low key, and having the reputation to be friendly with other pets.”
It helps that Basset Hounds are not as active as some other breeds, so they won’t be chasing after your cats constantly. They’re also short—the American Kennel Club (AKC) says they stand “no higher than 14 inches at the shoulder”—so they’ll be at a similar level to a kitty.
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Labrador Retrievers aren’t just cute and cuddly, they’re also perfect pets for families who already have a cat (or another dog!). After all, they are the most popular dog breed in the US, according to the AKC. “Labs and cats can live under the same roof and, most of the time, they even become good friends,” he says Aaron Riceexpert dog trainer and co-owner of training site Stayyy.
“Even though Labrador Retrievers are very active breeds, they tend to be loyal, especially to other pets in the household, and therefore they can make great companions to cats,” Alleyne adds. You just need to make sure you have time to devote to both of your pets because Labs require lots of long walks and activities.
Beagles are hunting dogs, which might make them a bit threatening at first, but they have a soft side that could even lead them to adopt a cat as their own. “Even though Beagles are designed to hunt in packs, they tend to have a happy-go-lucky attitude that allows them to get along with cats,” Alleyne explains. “They like to express their love for others, and will likely accept a cat as a member of their pack.”
Kong agrees, adding that Beagles’ pack mentality actually makes them get along better with other animals. They are also good with young children and other dogs, according to the AKC. Like Labs, Beagles require a lot of physical activity, but it’s well worth the effort to give your cat the companionship they’ve been longing for.
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Corgis’ calm demeanors make them perfect for multi-pet households. “Corgis are such a great breed… if you already own or are planning to add a cat to the family. Due to their similar temperament and size, corgis and cats really can get along well with each other,” says Alex Crow, a veterinarian affiliated with Happiest Dog. “When together, Corgis and cats tend to be playful and can chase each other around your home. It can be fun to watch, and will help to keep each other entertained.”
However, Crow warns that when you first introduce the pair, “a Corgi might try to herd the cat or think it is a pest, not a friend,” acting off instinct. Be sure to introduce them slowly and cautiously in the beginning.
The AKC says Pugs “live to love and to be loved in return.” This curious breed is happy in a small city apartment or with loads of space in the country. They also get along well with kids, older folks, or a big group of other Pugs. They adapt easily, which means they do well with another pet in their house. “Arguably one of the most friendly dog breeds… pugs are almost guaranteed to always get along with cats due to their social and welcoming attitude,” says Kong. “Most pugs hate fighting and chasing and love to snuggle and sleep, which makes them the perfect companion for felines,” she adds.
As long as you stay away from pups known for being aggressive, and give the cat and dog a relaxed space to get to know each other, your transition to a two-pet household should be relatively seamless.