Are Pit Bulls Good With Small Dogs? [Full Guide For Owners]

Are pit bulls good with small dogs

It’s no secret that pit bulls often get a bad rap in the media and in the minds of many people. But what about their relationship with smaller dogs? Can these pups learn to get along with their smaller counterparts? We’re here to answer that question and more!

The truth is, many pit bulls struggle to get along with smaller dogs due to their stubbornness, wild nature, dominance, lack of training, or even health issues. But don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom! With some socializing, positive reinforcement, parallel leash walking, obedience training, and mental stimulation, pit bulls can learn to live peacefully with smaller dogs.

Of course, there are a few important factors to consider when introducing your pit bull to a smaller dog. It’s important to make sure everything is okay and that there’s less risk involved. So, what are these factors? Well, we’re glad you asked!

Firstly, it’s important to ensure that both dogs are well-socialized and comfortable around other dogs. Positive reinforcement and obedience training can also go a long way in helping your pit bull learn to behave appropriately around smaller dogs. Additionally, parallel leash walking can help the dogs get used to each other’s presence without feeling threatened.

Lastly, it’s important to make sure your pit bull is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation to prevent any unwanted behavior. With a little patience and effort, your pit bull can learn to live happily alongside their smaller furry friends.

So, don’t believe the negative hype – with the right training and socialization, pit bulls can become great companions for smaller dogs.

How do Pit bulls usually behave around other small dogs?

Although pit bulls simply do not get along with other small dogs, they tend to be more happy and comfortable around dogs they are familiar with.

But mostly, our pit bulls get along with the opposite gender or else only with a few selected small dogs.

As pit bulls are less tolerant and arrogant, at first, they do not accept small dogs directly.

So, at the first moment, we have to introduce a small dog very carefully as pit bulls show poor welcome behavior. But thereafter, both of them may end up building a good friendship them.

This amazing creature, “pitbull”, who is not really aggressive as they are called, can be more friendly with small dogs than some of the other dog breeds.

So, we have to consider how our pitbull become aggressive in front of small dogs and why they attack them. Let’s see!

While pitbulls are labeled as “aggressive” and “conflicting” by years of breed-specific legislation and several myths, it doesn’t say that pitbulls are totally aggressive. They are “less tolerant” and “more tenacious”. It doesn’t mean that they can not associate with smaller dogs. Through proper practice, a good environment, and socialization, we can make our pitbulls friendly with other smaller dogs as well as any dog.

Miss. Thilini Anuradha

Why do some pit bulls tend to attack small dogs?

Pitbulls do not attack or snap at anyone without reason. But when considering all the dog kinds, pit bulls are somewhat aggressive in nature.

Do pit bulls attack small dogs? YES! Maybe! So, let’s find out why some pit bulls tend to attack small dogs.

1. Defensiveness

Our pitbull can become defensively aggressive in front of small dogs like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Beagles, and others, as small dogs are also aggressive towards him.

This will be more prominent in puppy pit bulls. No matter the size of the opponent, the opponent can always be dangerous. So, no matter what, pit bulls create their own defense.

But it can lead to a threat to the small dog as pit bulls are powerful. So we must be cautious when introducing small dogs to our pitbull.

Here is whether pit bulls can live with Dobermans.

2. Not every pitbull likes other dogs.

Some pit bulls do not prefer other dogs by nature. Your pitbull can also be like that. Therefore, they can attack small dogs even without a visible reason.

Not only small dogs. But maybe a human. This is dangerous. So this kind of pitbull needs the support of a professional trainer to make him less aggressive.

3. They can be over dominant.

Almost all pit bulls are dominant and powerful because of their heritage. They have stronger jaws and teeth, which can pulp and tear what they bite.

That’s why they are more dangerous. If they become too dominant, they will react badly towards other dogs. They will tend to attack smaller dogs. They can kill them too.

4. Over protective towards the owner

Pitbulls mature into affectionate, loyal, and attached dogs who soon develop a fondness for their owners and a willingness to protect them, as they consider their owners as their family.

So, if they feel immediate danger, they become aggressive and attack others to protect their owners. This is the same with small dogs too.

If our pitbull feels like there’s a threat to us from any small dog in front of us, he prevents that by attacking the dog.

By the way, here is why some big dogs get obsessed with small dogs.

5. Lack of training

Pitbulls must have proper training since their puppy age. Although he is very lovable at an early age, the owner must train him to be an obedient, disciplined, and well-behaved dog. If not, he will become furious and violent.

When it comes to the relationship between small dogs and our pitbull, it is dangerous to introduce a small dog to our pitbull without prior training. It leads him to be aggressive towards the small dog.

6. The dog may have been abused/neglected before.

This is something to look at emotionally. With the statement “pit bulls are aggressive”, more people misunderstand pit bulls.

They stay away from pit bulls. No exercise, no attention, sometimes starving. Some are thrown into fighting rings. They are forced to fight. How bad! So this loving animal can be more vigorous.

He may remain with those painful memories after rescuing them too. He tries to attack all the dogs and humans too. Small dogs will be killed by them. An abused/neglected dog can hardly be trained to be expected.

7. Irresponsible ownership

Irresponsible ownership also leads to the aggressiveness of pit bulls. If the owner brings another small dog to the house suddenly, sometimes the pitbull will attack him.

The owner does not care for the pitbull’s daily needs, food, exercise, and maybe his sanitation while caring for the newcomer. Both need attention equally.

Pitbulls aren’t as tolerant as other dogs. So if we want a pitbull as our pet, we should be a responsible owners. That is a must.

By the way, read this to understand what to do if your pit bull attacked another dog.

8. Health and temperament issues

If our pitbull is suffering from a disease or has any kind of pain, he can be aggressive towards the other dogs.

His reaction towards small dogs will not be good. As well, environmental factors can also be affected by this. If the pit bull didn’t bear the temperament factors, he would not be suitable for small dogs.

9. Possessiveness

This is common for every dog. If we have 2-3 dogs, including a pit bull, we must have separate bowls, play kits, and leashes for each one.

If the feeding bowl has to be shared between a pit bull and a small dog, there could be a conflict between them. So it leads to long-term anger between them. So it is compulsory to have his own possessiveness for our pitbull.

How to train pit bulls to get along with small dogs?

First, Pit bulls that have never been trained to fight will be safe around other dogs. But so far, we have discussed how pit bulls impel to attack small dogs.

We must take steps to reduce this stimulation through training. How can we train our pitbull to get along with small dogs? Let’s have a discussion.

1. Parallel leash walking

We can take our pitbull armed with a leash or a harness to the park and let him walk parallelly with any other small dog that he likes.

We can see he is sniffing the other dog. If he doesn’t show any signs of aggression, he may be ready to walk along and accompany the smaller friend.

2. Socializing training

This is a must. By the puppy age of the pitbull, he/she must be trained to be socialized.

He wants to get the training to tolerate many things to some extent, as well as accept smaller incidents. Otherwise, he may attack smaller dogs easily.

3. Start with friends who own friendly

This method also works well. We can use dogs who already get along with our pitbull to introduce new small dogs to him.

When our pitbull is with his older companion, it won’t be so difficult to introduce a new small dog to him.

4. Find chances for the pitbull to encounter other friendly dogs.

We can find chances for our pitbull to find or accompany new friends. It is much better when he finds smaller dogs as his companions than introduced by us.

We can provide him with the environment to make his companions. Then pit bulls get along with small dogs so quickly.

5. Keep our pitbull on a lead in unfamiliar places.

As our pitbull is first introduced to a park or a walking way, keeping him on a lead is better to change his mind.

Although something happened, if he is convinced that we are always leading him, the aggressiveness may decrease. So this method is so good for avoiding attacking small dogs by our pitbull.

6. Treats and rewards to be offered for his calming down.

We are offering our pitbull what he prefers the most. Can we use this to train pit bulls to get along with small dogs? That’s perfect.

We can offer him something if he listens to what we say. We can give him something special when he gets along with a new companion. We can praise him and call him with love.

We can give him a soft touch by praising what he does. That makes our pitbull so close to small dogs too.

How to get pit bulls to stop attacking small dogs?

We gonna see what actions can be taken to stop pit bulls from attacking small dogs.

1. Can use strong leash or a harness

If we feel like our pitbull is getting aggressive or when he sees a stranger dog or a person, we can use a strong leash or a harness to control him without hurting him.

2. Verbal reprimands or physical corrections

Positive reinforcement is critical when correcting our pitbull. No Verbal reprimands or physical corrections are allowed when the pitbull is in his aggressive mood.

So the first thing is to calm him down through positive reinforcement. Then we can do the correction or give the advice when the dog fully understands the correct behavior.

3. Use a head halter or a harness

Using a head halter or a harness is safer when the pit bull is pulling his leash, and he must be slowly trained not to pull it.

If he tries to attack small dogs while the owner holds the leash or the collar, the situation may be more dangerous.

4. wear a muzzle

Wearing a muzzle prevents a pitbull from attacking and biting dogs or even humans. So, if you feel like the pit bull could be more vigorous, you can use a muzzle until he gets control of himself.

It will prevent the damage caused to small dogs by pit bulls to a larger extent.

5. Give your dog a suit that warns other dog owners not to let their dog come at you.

This is like announcing that “be aware”. So small dog owners become more careful about their dogs.

Therefore, wearing a shirt on our pit bulls, which informs other dog owners not to allow dogs to reach our pit bull, reduces the percentage of attacks.

Which small dogs are perfect companions for pit bulls?

Although pit bulls are somewhat aggressive, getting along with other dog breeds isn’t getting along if our pitbull is properly trained and well behaved.

They can be very friendly with other small dogs too. Let’s see who are the pitbull compatible small dogs…

1. Basset Hound

This long ears breed may not be the best choice when taking a new small dog home. But if we already have a pitbull with us, the basset hound is ideal because of its laid-back personality, calmness, and gentle tendency.

And this short creature will not make our pitbull aggressive. The Basset Hound is a perfect breed for building companionship with your pitbull with proper training.

2. Beagle

Beagles are so good with any dog as they are extremely friendly and very gentle. So they can get along with pit bulls so easily.

As the size of the beagle is also small, the pitbull won’t try to attack him to get dominance or whatever. As well, beagles seek out dog companions. So a beagle would be a good companion for our pitbull.

3. Cocker Spaniel

The small cocker spaniels are also an amiable breed of dog. They could easily get along with dogs as well as humans too.

So, the Cocker spaniels are a fantastic companion dog for pit bulls because of their friendly temperament and high intelligence rating.

4. Basenji

Pitbulls don’t like aggressively barking dogs. A basenji never barks as he has a too shallow larynx to make the noise of barking. Instead, he makes only a sound if he needs something.

This is why the basenji is good for getting along with our pitbull. They mostly like to be alone. So there is a good chance of having a basenji as a pet where a pitbull is.

5. English Foxhound

English Foxhounds also love to be around other dogs. If they are let alone for an extended period of time, they become harsh.

Foxhounds also need companionship. So selecting a Foxhound is a good decision when blending Pitbulls with small dogs.

6. Boston Terriers

Boston terriers are also very friendly companions who are small in size.

Although they were trained to fight against dogs in the past, the new era has identified their characteristics as good, intelligent, and balanced dogs. It never exceeds hyperactivity in any instance.

So, with proper practice, Bostons are good companions for pit bulls.

There are so many dog breeds that can be very friendly with our pitbull. But if you are more interested in small dogs, consider the above breeds when selecting a companion for a pitbull and as a new pet in the house.

Things to be aware of.

More attention should be concerned to the following factors.

  • Identify what makes the pitbull more aggressive and distract those things from him.
  • Always use your voice and body language to train the pitbull. Never use punishments.
  • Always concerned about his needs: vaccinations, medicine, food, as well as trimming his nails, cleaning his ears, etc.
  • If the dog is involved in a fight, it’s your responsibility to act without agitating it.


Although Pitbulls used to be known as aggressive, they are not the same as that. They are good companions. They will not attack small dogs unnecessarily. Sometimes, a pitbull’s best companion can be a small dog like a beagle or a Basset Hound. No one can guarantee that Pitbulls are not good with small dogs. So we have discussed many facts about Pitbulls and their companionship with small dogs. You can get a crystal clear idea of what kind of small dog you are going to take home with the help of this. So I hope to bring you another useful article on pitbull matters!