Will a Golden Retriever Get Along With a Smaller Dog? (Explained!)

Golden retrievers are known to be among the most loyal and affectionate dog breeds in the world. They are also versatile, gentle, playful, and tend to get along well with people and other pets but how do they do with small dogs?

A golden retriever will get along well with any small dog breed. Golden retrievers are very social dogs. When left alone for an extended time, a golden may become sad and even depressed. Getting your dog another companion could be the solution and it generally will not matter if the new dog is much smaller.

In this article we’ll discuss smaller dog breeds that make excellent companions for your golden retriever, and we’ll look at a golden’s compatibility, temperament, and ability to adapt to new environments.

A small dog companion with a Golden Retriever.

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What Are the Benefits of Getting a Companion Dog?

You don’t know what you’re missing until you get your golden and a new companion dog together. It’s so much fun to watch! Let’s look at some reasons you might want to get a smaller companion dog.

  • Your golden retriever’s loneliness will be minimized.
  • Having two dogs is better than one. Your house will have more life and joy.
  • Your dog will have a playmate—increased mental and physical stimulation results in more fulfillment for your dog because golden retrievers are a high energy sporting breed.
  • Your golden retriever can train its new companion. Your retriever’s behavior and routine can help guide your second dog on many things, including potty-training and mealtime routine. 
  • Dogs are pack animals and when the human members of their pack are away from home it’s very comforting to have a buddy (who’s also a member of the pack) to spend time with.

Best Golden Retriever Companions

As previously mentioned, Golden retrievers can become lonely when left alone for too long but how long is too long?

If your dog is above 18 months of age, they can remain alone for about six hours a day, depending on other factors such as medical needs. Leaving your golden retriever alone for more than eight hours could result in different behavioral problems caused by anxiety and stress.  

Luckily there is a way to maintain your dog in a happy mood without compromising your career and other engagements. A companion dog can provide a much-needed play partner and housemate while you’re away.

Some smaller breeds are great for multi-dog households and will provide your golden with a friend. Some notable breeds include:

  • Basset hound
  • Pug
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Beagle
  • Goldendoodle
  • Maltipoo
  • Peekapoo
  • Coton de Tulear

These dog breeds are incredibly versatile and social, making them great companions for golden retrievers.

Basset Hound

Basset hounds are adorable dogs. They are relatively easy to please and are usually in a good mood. Their relaxed nature makes them compatible with other dog breeds. They also bark only when necessary and don’t bark for the sake of barking at other dogs. Their relaxed personalities mean that golden retrievers have an easy time interacting and connecting with them.


Goldendoodles are a cross between golden retrievers and poodles, and they are a family favorite. They get along well with children, but they also quickly create friendships with pets, including dogs. Their sweet and playful nature makes them extremely compatible with golden retrievers.


Maltipoos are a fun-loving and affectionate breed that is also adaptable. They do well in a wide range of environments, including single homes and big families. Additionally, Maltipoos are known to get along well with other dog breeds.

These two are going to be the best of friends!


Bolognese is a small companion breed that is originally from Italy. They were popular among royals and noblemen in Roman times and were typically gifted to the wealthy and influential. Bolognese dogs are curious, intelligent, comical, and devoted. They are great with kids and families. 

The breed can be an excellent companion to golden retrievers. Though they are shy towards strangers, they warm up quickly when they are properly socialized. 


Peekapoos are crosses between the Poodle and the Pekingese. It’s a versatile breed that is known for its intelligence and loyalty. They do well with families, apartments, houses, children, singles, and seniors. Peekapoos also make great playmates for other dogs, such as the golden retriever. However, they need to undergo early socialization. It is also important to note that they can get very protective of their owners.


Pugs have comical personalities. They are known to be playful, silly, and quite mischievous. All these traits should not come as a surprise as pugs were initially bred as companion pets. 

Although pugs can be quite shy, they love different experiences, sights, sounds, people, and pets. They are also generally welcoming to interactions with other dog breeds. Owners can always increase their energy levels through training so that both your retriever and pug can have a great time.  

Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulears or cottons as they are popularly known, are regarded as smart and warm. They have a clownish and funny personality, which makes them everyone’s darling. Coton de Tulears get along well with other dog breeds.

Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodles are among the most popular breeds in America. They are adorable, fun-loving, and energetic. Poodles are known to be well-behaved. Their fun-loving personality makes them great companions for the golden retriever. Some poodles might be shy around other dogs at first, but once comfortable, they will bond quickly.


Beagles and Golden retrievers pair well. The breed is described as “merry” by those who fancy them. They are loving, lovable, and companionable, making them excellent family dogs and companions for your golden retriever. 

Beagles are also active and energetic. They enjoy walks in the park and are happiest when they have a companion. However, you need to be vigilant around them as they are well-known as excellent escape artists. 

They require an exercise area with a fence that is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and should extend underground to prevent tunneling. During walks, they should always be on a leash.

Bringing Home a New Companion Dog for Your Golden Retriever

Not all dogs are friendly to new pets. And while the golden retriever is known for its welcoming, warm and easy-going personality, one should always expect a bit of hesitation from both dogs in the initial stages.

Your dog might also seem confused at first when you introduce the new companion dog. Rest assured, this is normal. With a bit of space and time, the two dogs will strike up a great friendship.

A golden retriever and his best little doggy friend

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Here are a few tips on how to introduce a new dog to your golden retriever:

  • When you bring home a new companion dog, have the golden retriever meet their new companion in a neutral environment. The space should have ample room for them to roam as they get to know each other. A park or other outdoor space is preferred.
  • Don’t be in a rush to get them to play together. More importantly, don’t force your retriever to accept the new dog. The process should be gradual. Allow them time to establish a relationship and get comfortable around each other.
  • Don’t get upset when they don’t immediately bond and act playful. You should try to manage your expectations. At this point, everyone, including your two furry friends, are anxious. Adequate time is, therefore, needed to get everyone settled. 
  • Always keep an eye on both pets for the first few days until you’re confident that they get along well.
  • When it’s time for feeding, you should consider separation. A baby gate can be used for this purpose as it provides an easy and safe feeding boundary. The strategy allows your dogs to see each other while preventing food protection behavior.


Golden retrievers are among the most affectionate dog breeds. They are sociable and can get along well with other small dogs. Some small breeds that can make a good companion for the golden retriever include Basset hound, Pug, Poodle, Beagle, Goldendoodle, Maltipoo, Peekapoo, and Coton de Tulear.

You also need to know how to introduce your new dog to your golden retriever and establish a cordial relationship. Before long they’ll be the best of friends and excellent companions when you’re not around.

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Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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