What Dog Breed Should I Get When I Already Have a Cat

Hi everyone!

I am interested in getting a small dog. I already have a Maine Coon and I am confused about different breeds. I'll prefer adopting one. The breeds I am looking for are a Pug, Groodle, or Poodle. What breed do you guys think would be suitable for me?

Thank you


Poll Options

  • 9
  • 61
  • 11


  • +50

    Lol. None of these are available in the shelter. Did you mean:

    • Staffy
    • Kelpie
    • collie?
    • +4

      Ha, probably no Collies though. Just Staffys and 15 year old German Shepherds.

    • +9

      More like: Staffy X, Mastiff X, or non-descript medium-sized, short-haired, brownish Bali dog.

    • +10

      You will succeed in finding poodles or other non shedding dog breeds, but they’ll likely be senior, or have chronic high-maintenance health problems.

      I’d recommend trawling sites like Savour Life Adoption page, and Pet Rescue. Those rescue listings often give a good description of dog personality and temperaments.

      Also, I wouldn’t put too much of your decision on breed alone. It’s more about upbringing and their experiences. In my experiences there are just as many bites and nervous small floofy dogs as big German shepherds - just have the common denominator of poor training/socialisation. I’d suggest being open-minded about other dog breeds

    • he also isnt a dog owner, could be a tough sell for adoption shelters.

    • I own a Collie and it require lot of work as they are known to be very high energetic dog.Require at least 2 hours of exercise a day.Could be very destructive if they are bored.

  • +8

    Don't be boring with your Poll .
    Pit Bull for great entertainment .

    • Owners or neighbours?

      Jk- looking to get one soon

  • +4

    Thanks for the quick reply guys. We can ignore the poll. Staffy, Collie, Kelpie, and Pitbull are good, but I am looking for a smaller breed with relatively low energy.

    • I have 2 shihtzus (pure) and they're a small low energy breed that doesnt yap and wont leave hair everywhere. I dont have a cat but shihtzus are a relatively chill friendly breed so they won't kill your cat.

      They cost $4k though nowadays.

      Look on dogzonline.com.au if you want a purebred.

    • +1

      Is size or energy more important? Greyhounds are meant to be pretty lazy and they are easily adopted. Otherwise I think Cavoodles are great, small, low energy, don't shed hair like some dogs, doubtful you could adopt one though and they are pricey.

  • +1

    Not sure you'd be able to find any of those breeds at the shelter, those are more designer dogs. Can cost around 5k from a good breeder.

    Seeing as you already have a cat, it's probably worthwhile seeing how the cat is with other small dogs first aswell, cats can also be quite reactive to dogs
    Want to make sure they can cohabitate

  • +43

    Rescue greyhound. They are very low energy couch potatoes.

    • +22

      who better to ask than another cat?

    • +7

      They're not small but damn they're chill

    • +16

      The waitlist for Greyhounds who pass the cat test is years long (would hate to be the test cat)

      Would never get a greyhound that isn't certified as being cat friendly though, I'd consider that animal abuse for both of them

      My (future) FIL's rescue greyhound would have killed our Ragdoll when we went to visit for a few nights, assumed they'd be fine with the cat inside and dog outside as he's one of the most timid dogs I've ever met

      And they were fine at first, seemed happy and calm through glass, the dog couldn't give less of a damn about the cat for most of the night. But you could tell something snapped when our cat bolted out of the room after some sound, and he damn near would have broken the glass if he wasn't pulled away. FIL said he had never seen him this worked up before, and was scared he'd be bitten trying to get his dog to stop

      Rest of the trip was spent with our cat locked in our room for safety, and even then the dog got inside once and went right for it, scratching at the door and barking and trying to force it open, so we can't ever bring our cat around again

      • +3

        Wow I had no idea, thanks for sharing. I have never had a greyhound but just assumed they were placid. I should have realised though, racing greyhounds have to have a strong prey instinct to chase the pretend rabbit thing.

        • +3

          Most greyhound rescues won't even let you adopt one that isn't cat friendly if you tell them, and you have to be incredibly lucky/fast/patient to get one. Check this list from GRV: gap.grv.org.au/available-dogs/#, out of 47 dogs only 2 are cat-friendly, and both are already taken

          Greyhounds are incredibly rejection sensitive, and being put in a forever home and then being given back creates a lot of trauma. Tragedies like that often lead to an otherwise great dog being put down or made unfit for adoption, which is heartbreaking for the fosters who worked so hard to get them adoptable in the first place

          Even cat-friendly greyhounds can still kill roaming cats outside, they'll learn that specific inside cats are friends, but outside cats fleeing are still prey drive triggers

          • +6

            @Jolakot: No great loss if they kill roaming cats. I'd consider that an environmental service.

        • Grey's are ultra lazy usually but the prey drive is strong even in the tiny versions.

          OP - a whippet or Italian Greyhound?

          Both are lazy as heck, more delicate personalities than a grey (the IGs especially are extremely shy) so if the cat hisses at it once it'll probs run off to its bed/to you for cuddles.

          My whippet gives all cats except my mum's youngest cat loads of room since he's been swiped at before, they play together but he only bats with his paws and prances around with his ears up.

        • +1

          Greyhounds and their smaller cousins whippets are sight hounds. Their instinct is to chase anything that is running from them. Not to say you can't have a cat friendly greyhound - but instinct is instinct.

        • +2

          Greyhounds placid? No way, especially if they see a cat! We use to keep up to four greyhounds years ago as we raced them and looked after others. I remember as a teenager, part of my chores was to walk them every evening (my bro did the morning walks) Holy hell! When four greyhounds see a cat on the other side of the park it took everything to hold them back.

          Sometimes we would let the greyhounds off the leash if the park was quiet. The amount of ground these animals can cover in a short space of time is something to behold. Calling them back from the other side of the park and having 4 greyhounds bolt full boar towards you does tend to tighten the sphincter a tad. You're never 100% sure they are going to stop in time but they always do……mostly ;) Same with chasing the cats, they always get away…..mostly!

      • May depend on the rescue agency you approach. Occasionally some pop up with the group I follow on FB and they state whether they are good around young kids/cats. (Rescue group: Friends of the hound)

    • +1

      Terrible idea. Racing greyhounds are trained to chase the "rabbit." Put them next to a cat and there's a chance their predator drive will go nuts.

      • This. Unless you want your greyhound to wear a muzzle at home.

  • +4

    @NotDaedarus - I have a Maine Coon, well-mannered and friendly. It does well with my friends' dogs. I was considering a Mini Poodle or Mini Groodle first, but now open to many other options.

    @Quantumcat - Yes, it is a good idea. Let me do a quick research on Greyhounds.

    • +21

      I’m offended by the name Maine Coon, how about we call it a Maine Cheer

      • +3

        You have some extraordinary dislike of racoons?

    • +3

      Greyhounds would be a great option, but 100% make sure you get one that at a minimum has cat potential, or even better has been fostered with cats

      They're pretty rare so you'll need to go on a waitlist though, but it's a good option if you're set on adopting and happy to wait a year or two

  • +16

    Those are all disgusting yappy dogs.
    Get a labrador or something similar that will happily allow your cat to bully it.

    • +10

      I am literally imagining my cat bullying my dog. :)

      • +1

        Reverse food chain bullying happens - my parrot bullied both my cats, who were each ten times her weight

      • +3

        Our cats have always bullied our labradors. Labs are pretty chill, it's why they are one of the most popular breeds.

      • Pugs dont yap, they just snore, snort and snuffle their way through life. While shedding a LOT of hair.
        I still adore them though. They shouldn't annoy a cat either. The only rescue ones I've seen are inbreed ones with cleft palate's that will have a lot of health issues in later life :( Poor things.

  • +3


    OP, you are thinking of Otis in "The Adventures of Milo and Otis".

  • +2

    Maine Coon is on my wish list
    You would have no doubt seen Omar

  • +4

    My pug gets along great with my cats. Both my cats love her more than they like each other.
    Only slight concern is when she gets too excited she tends to forget she is a mini bulldozer.
    In the past I had a very placid German Shepherd who was always very careful and calm with the cats. So honestly it's the dogs personality that matters more than the breed/size and I would be more likely to get a female dog over a male.

    • +1

      Always best to get the opposite-sex of your current pet, as it'll make them much less territorial (especially if you have a male cat)

      In general female dogs tend to have an easier time entering a new household, while male dogs have an easier time adjusting to a new member of a household. Females are less accepting of newcomers but integrate easily, while males struggle to integrate but have few issues with newcomers.

      • +2

        It depends on the female. Sometimes you get the opposite effect where she will mother the newcomer.

        The most important thing is to ensure that when the new one is around the original pet gets a lot of attention and treats. The original pet should associate the new pet with positive things.

        • More so for new adults, but you're definitely right that females are better with new puppies

  • +16

    Isn't a pug just nature's failed attempt at making a dog?

    • +6

      Pug is more than a dog. And I guess it is also called the clown of the canine world.

      • +2

        As a pug owner I whole heartily agree with this comment.

      • +1

        Is that because they have to have a sense of humour to make up for their face?

    • +12

      It is not nature but human vanity that has bred these monstrosities with all their associated health problems,

      • I had a purebreed from a reputable breeder about 20 years ago and there were no health issues that came from genetics. We definitely got lucky though, as they are quite common.

    • +6

      Ummm no. Man mad facial deformities, that can't breathe.

      • +6

        I do prefer the crossbreeds where they are bringing noses back.

        • Crossbreeding for the sake of health. I strongly agree with this.

    • +1

      Actually pugs are people. Any owner will tell you that. The problem with a pug is they are very stubborn and try to take on animals much larger than themselves. We had them when I was a kid. We didn’t have a cat, at that time, so I’m not sure how they would get on. I think you need a puppy and socialise it with the cat. Give the cat somewhere it can get up high to avoid the dog, if necessary. Talk to your vet before going ahead to see what they think. They know your cat. My mother’s dog was a bastard around people but he melted around cats. My sisters cat would wrestle him to the ground and lick his face. He loved it. Best of luck.

  • +1

    What Dog Breed Should I Get When I Already Have a Cat


  • A Shit Zoo

    • -1

      Dubbo Zoo ?

      • +2

        Costa Zoo

        • -1

          Costa Rica

  • +4

    Your best bet is to go to shelters and talk to the staff about what dogs are available and their temperaments and how they would go with a cat. Even among the same breed, different dogs will have different temperaments so it’s best to start with what’s available and work from there.

    • +3

      doesnt every god dam shelter just have staffies?

      Its like Australia's bogan dog - and Australia's favourite throw away dog :-|

      They should have a special surcharge on the breeders.

      Anyway they actually have some options here: https://www.rspcansw.org.au/adopt/

      Have a quick look.

      • Its like Australia's bogan dog - and Australia's favourite throw away dog

        It's mostly because bogans aren't responsible. They're trailer trash who can barely look after their kids, let alone an animal.

  • +5

    I have a Coon, and got myself a miniature Dachshund earlier this year. Dog wants to play with the Harry all the time, but Harry is big enough to push him away if he doesn't feel like playing. If Harry is in the mood though, the dog and cat have great chasing games. At other times they'll just sit quietly together. (Also Harry now has the cleanest cat ears in history, thanks to the dog's long snoot).

    • -1

      Isn't that cat a bit…. racist?

      • Yes, from now on you must refer to Harry as a cheese cat.

        • I thought it was a cheers cat tbh…..

          who knew…..

      • +2

        Uggh, more anti-racoon sentiment.

        We used to have a Maine Coon in our family and I never once heard him say a negative word about anyone, except dogs.

    • +1

      2nd This - Dachshund mini also.

    • A lot of daachshunds in my area and they all seem super aggressive. I guess you got lucky

  • +3

    Pretty much any dog would be fine, as long as IT IS A PUPPY when you get it. The older cat will set the hierarchy and it will stay that way even after the dog is 4 times bigger than the cat.
    Getting an older dog from the shelter is pretty risky as far as your cat is concerned. And as others said, the listed breeds can't be found at a shelter.

  • -1

    A hot dog

  • +2

    Maybe get another cat friend for the mainecoon? A friend of ours was thinking of getting a dog but ended up getting another cat from the shelter. The cat is super awesome! It goes for walks on a lead, welcomes him when he gets home, plays fetch, sits on his shoulder the entire day, and is a complete snuggle bug. It gets along with his other cat and has even made the other cat more affectionate and playful.

  • +2

    Shiba because they are literally cats in dog bodies. They're also difficult and can be super stubborn though.

    • +1

      Depends, I have two, both completely different. One listens all the time, is super friendly to other dogs, can free feed, very low maintenance apart from the shedding. Other one is the complete opposite (except the shedding part)

      • the shedding is so hard to stay on top of, a have a furminator but any session after 10 mins (sometimes 5min) he just gets the sh1ts and its game over. Treats work but he's already a little chubby and on diet dry mix. I want to see girlwiththedogs on youtube have a Shiba on.

    • +2

      The order of priorities for my Shiba inu are
      1. Cats
      2. Food
      3. Walks

      Trained him off leash as a pup so he follows commands relatively well however big pray drive for cats.

    • As far as I'm aware, Shiba Inus (dogs or puppies) are ridiculously difficult to find in Australia. If you don't mind me asking, how did you all come to find yours?

  • My in laws have two cats and they have a Spoodle who is great with the cats. Don't get something too big.

    However, I had two border collies and they were great with our cat (who now lives with the inlaws) .

  • +3

    Groodle, small? Mate, they're Golden Retriever Poodles. As in, they are the size of a GR.

    • There are several sizes in Groodles. Standard, Mini, Tiny, depending on the size of Poodle.

      • Tiny, depending on the size of Poodle

        So, a Golden Retriever with a fetish for small dogs?

      • I have 2 spoodles (poodle x cocker spaniel) and they are the best. ABout 13kg. Very expensive though these days

  • +1

    Jack Russell Terrier - it will deal with your cat problem

  • We love our little pug. Lots of character but I am not sure he'd get along with a cat. Depends on the dog's personality I guess.

    • My pug hates cats. If the cat was there first I think there would be problems.

  • +2

    Italian Greyhound - Santa's Little helper small good natured short hair dogs.

    • Do all Italian Greyhounds sound like they have laryngitis or pharyngitis when they bark or is it just my neighbour's dogs?

    • They’re still a sighthound and there’s a chance it would chase anything that runs.

  • +3

    None, look after your cat

  • +1

    We have (well, had, the poor old guy passed away :( ) and a cat and one thing to be careful of is pugs have big protruberent eyes and are an easy target for scratching when the pug and cat are not used to each other. Fortunately, they both learn easily to get on and whose territory is whose.

  • +1

    I adopted an older staffy x a couple years ago and he’s great with my cat (who I had before I adopted the dog). I honestly think the temperament of the dog and their energy level will be the main factors that dictate whether they get along well. My family brought over their lab puppy one day and the cat absolutely hated him purely because of how high energy the puppy was and him just wanting to play.
    I must say though it’s always a risk with a rescue because you never know what their history is and how they’ll go with certain animals so I didn’t leave my dog alone with my cat for the first couple weeks.

  • Thanks for the suggestions friends. I will be visiting the shelter soon and will let you know about the progress.

  • Go the other way and get a dog that hates everything. Chihuahua comes to mind…

  • pound.

  • Maine Coon? Don't you mean Maine Cheers lol?

  • From personal experience, any Maltese cross-breed seems to do really well with cats. I have a Maltichon and is best friends with the cats, mum has a Maltese X and also introduced really well to her cat. Friend has a Maltese purebred and also great with her cats.

  • cavoodle - smaller and less energy

    • +2

      I'd be very surprised if you're going to find a cavoodle at a shelter that isn't adopted within days.

      • Yeah I didn't think OP is going to end up with a dog from the shelter given the option they highlighted so I thought I might as well put Cavoodle in case he ends up going to a breeder

  • I saw my friend's collie trying to hump the cat once…

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