Raising guinea pigs requires responsible and careful consideration, especially when introducing them to other pets such as dogs. Choosing the right dog breed is vital to ensure the safety and well-being of your guinea pigs.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 13 dog breeds that are known to do well with guinea pigs. These breeds have a gentle nature and are less likely to exhibit predatory behavior towards smaller animals.
In addition to choosing the right dog breed, it’s important to supervise interactions between your dog and guinea pigs to prevent any accidents. It’s also crucial to provide your guinea pigs with a safe and secure living space to ensure their comfort and safety.
Interesting fact: Dogs and guinea pigs can actually make great companions! In fact, there are some dog breeds that are specifically trained to assist people with disabilities in caring for their guinea pigs. These dogs are trained to help with tasks such as feeding, grooming, and providing companionship to guinea pigs, making them invaluable assistants to those who may have difficulty caring for their pets on their own.
The characteristics of a dog that can live with Guinea pigs.
Before moving into the best Guinea pig friendly dog breeds, it’s better to examine the characteristics and temperaments of such a dog breed.
So, here they are,
- The breed should be less aggressive.
- Especially avoid dogs with a high prey drive.
- Teaching a dog to live with Guinea pigs is a little bit tricky. So, the dog should be highly trainable and obediance.
- Dogs with low levels of energy can do well with them.
- The dog should be intelligent so they can understand what they should do.
- Having an affectionate dog breed makes your life easier.
- The dog should have a calm and quite temperement to live with guinea pigs.
- Most importantly, the dog should have a minimal prey drive.
These mentioned qualities are perfect temperaments of a dog breed that can live with Guinea pigs.
However, the main point to keep in mind is the individual personality of the dog. This means that even a dog with an aggressive nature can live in harmony with the guinea pigs with good training.
Major variable factors affecting dogs’ compatibility with Guinea pigs.
Resource guarding behavior: Many dogs can develop resource-guarding behavior. Typically they manifest food aggressiveness, toy aggressiveness, or any other resource guarding aggressiveness.
Training: The dog should have proper obedience training, early socialization, and proper introduction to your Guinea pigs.
Owner characteristics and capabilities: The owner should have sufficient time to set aside for their pets. So, the personality of the owner plays a significant role. This means you have to be highly patient, diligent, and cautious.
The dog’s needs and wants: The owner must be able to meet the dog’s needs and wants. For example, quality and enough food, adequate exercise, attention, and affection. Because the dog’s compatibility with Guinea pigs depends on how the dog was raised.
The dog’s health status: Your dog should be mentally and physically healthy. So, everything depends on how you gonna address psychological issues, the amount of exercise they get, frequent vet visits, and the mental stimulation they get.
Especially dog breeds that should be avoided.
Before moving into the best dog breeds compatible with Guinea pigs, I need to give a quick shout-out on the dog breeds you need to especially avoid.
Because most Guinea pig owners find a pretty much lower success rate with these dog breeds.
Take a look at the following list.
- Don’t buy terrier breeds. Because their prey drive is extremely high and originally bred to eradicate rodents and vermin.
- Sled dogs like Huskies and Malamutes.
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Irish Wolfhound
With this, let’s head over to the top dog breeds that are compatible with Guinea pigs.
Top 13 dogs that are good with Guinea Pigs.
Disclaimer: No one can claim for sure whether a single dog breed is compatible with Guinea pigs. Because it it depends on many different factors, especially on the individual personality. But we clearly know that chihuahuas are more aggressive than Labrador retrievers. Therefore, the dog breeds we gonna suggest here typically have a high tendency to get along with Guinea pigs. Note that, Even in the same dog breed, there can be two dogs with totally different personalities. We are not responsible for your choice.
After discussing many different Guinea pig owners, analyzing the factors mentioned above, comparing those factors with dog breeds, the Dog Breeds Experts team has come up with the top 13 dog breeds compatible with Guinea pigs.
One thing to note here, though. You don’t wanna necessarily get a small dog breed in order to protect your Guinea pigs.
Because these small creatures are very fragile and even a small dog can harm a Guinea pig in a snap.
1. Border collies.
This dog breed is the smartest dog breed in the world. Initially, the border collies were bred for herding purposes, and people still do.
They are loyal, kneen, responsive, alert, making them one of the best Guinea pig friendly dogs in the world. However, they are highly energetic dogs, so they require adequate exercise on a daily basis in order to burn off their excess energy.
Take a look at these two recommended articles if you decide to go with Border Collies.
2. Shetland Sheepdog.
The shetland sheepdog, also known as shelties, is an extremely loyal, affectionate, responsive, alert, gentle, intelligent, highly trainable, and reserved dog breed. Shelties also belong to the herding category.
Moreover, they are good listeners, and they can easily understand what you want them to do. So, the Shelties can be a great companion for your Guinea pigs.
Since these dogs are highly active, eager, playful, and strong dogs, the dog parents must be capable of meeting their daily exercise requirements.
- Here is whether Shetland sheepdogs are good for first time owners.
- Here is whether Shetland sheepdogs are good running partners.
3. Australian shepherd.
The Australian shepherd, also known as Aussies, is another excellent hearing dog breed. They are affectionate, good-natured, intelligent, highly trainable, and easy-going dogs, making them another great companion to live Guinea pigs.
However, the Aussies are another high energetic, playful, strong, and active dog.
If you decide to get one of them, having some spare time to set aside just for the dog to meet their high exercise, attention requirements can make your life easier.
4. Golden Retriever.
Even though the Golden retrievers belong to the hunting category to retrieve waterfowl, they also can be service dogs, therapy dogs, and a great emotional support dog breed.
So, they have a wide range of capabilities. Moreover, they are intelligent, reliable, trustworthy, kind, confident, and especially affectionate dogs, making them a great doggy friend that can live with Guinea pigs.
As earlier mentioned dogs, Golden retrievers are also highly energetic dogs. So they require many daily activities to burn off the access energy.
5. Labrador Retriever.
Although Labrador retrievers are also great hunting companions, they can make excellent service and therapy dogs. So, these dogs are compact with a wide range of capabilities.
The labs are very intelligent, trusting, outgoing, gentle, and especially affectionate dog breed, making them excellent companions for Guinea pigs.
One thing to note here, though. These dogs also have high exercise requirements.
6. Cocker spaniel.
Many Guinea pig owners have found success with cocker spaniels. They are extremely affectionate, faithful, friendly, quiet, and highly trainable dogs as far the temperament goes.
However, they are a little bit playful. So, you gotta spend some time regularly in order to fulfill the exercise, attention, food, and other necessary requirements.
Overall, the cocker spaniels can be brilliant companions for Guinea pigs.
7. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is another gorgeous dog breed and known to be a non-sporting dog breed with pretty much zero prey drive. Moreover, they’re friendly, devoted, steady, intelligent, extremely obedient, lively, spirited, and alert dogs.
However, they are a little bit playful, spirited, energetic, assertive dogs. So, you still have to set aside some spare time to fulfill the needs and wants of the dog.
Frankly, there is no reason not to adopt a Lhasa Apso as a doggy companion for your Guinea pigs.
8. Shih Tzu.
If you’re looking forward to getting a tiny dog that can live with Guinea pigs, Shih Tzus is a great dog breed to think of.
Shih Tzus are intelligent, lively, affectionate, clever, outgoing, friendly, happy, alert, independent, loyal, and gentle. I have no other words left to describe this excellent dog breed.
Even these dogs are tiny, they’re still playful, active, courageous, and spunky-natured. So, the dog parents have to supervise them to behave around Guinea pigs while fulfilling their necessary requirements.
9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
I can guarantee that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known to be one of the most gentle dog breeds.
A best friend of mine has a female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who is super gentle around other small creatures. Once she caught a squirrel, and can you guess what she did to it?
She gently licked and nuzzled its tummy so sweetly. What a beautiful scene to watch!
As far as the temperament goes of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, they are graceful, easily adaptable, gentle, highly sociable, affectionate, extremely patient dogs.
10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi or simply known as corgies, belong to the herding category. They are outgoing, tenacious, friendly, affectionate, and do well with small animals.
Another good advantage of owning a corgi is they short and stout. So, if you put the Guinea pig cage in a slightly elevated place, this dog won’t reach the cage.
One thing to note here, though. These dog breeds were bred initially as a herding dog breed, so they have a high tendency to nip at the heels of sheep and cattle.
What I wanna emphasize here is a small nip is more than enough to injure a delicate guinea pig. So, supervising the dog around these small nuggets is really important.
11. Great Pyrenees.
Despite the size of the Great Pyrenees, they can do well around Guinea pigs. Because they are really affectionate, trustworthy, and unbelievably patient.
Moreover, being a moderately energetic dog breed makes your life easier to meet their exercise requirements. Maybe 30 minutes of morning and evening walk with a small fetch session is more than enough for them.
Again, despite the size of this breed, the Bloodhounds are known to be remarkably gentle with toddlers, cats, Guinea pigs, and other small creatures.
Moreover, they are affectionate and please to spend most of their time with the family.
But, they are a little bit stubborn and even-tempered. So, early socialization, obedience training is a must.
13. Basset hounds.
Even though the basset hounds are initially bred for hunting small game like rabbits, they can make excellent companionship with Guinea pigs thanks to their positive temperaments like sweet-tempered, gentle, affectionate, devoted, friendly, and tenacious.
Things to be aware of.
There are a few more things to be kept in mind as a Guinea pig owner.
No dog can be trusted: You may own the most gentlest dog breed in the world, but still, you cannot trust it around Guinea pigs as they are very fragile, and a snap of time is sufficient to injure or even kill them. So, every time the dog is around these small creatures, the dog should be supervised.
When you’re a busy person: If you’re a busy person who stays away from home for about 8 hours, please do not get a puppy. Because you have to spend so much time on socialization, training, and the other vital aspects.
When you’re thinking of getting an adult dog: If you decide to adopt an adult dog, consider adopting one from a rescue that has evaluated temperaments. Don’t hesitate to kindly ask them, try matching with your requirements.
The cage: Get a well-balanced, strong cage for the Guinea pigs. Place it in an elevated spot where any dog cannot reach or knock off.
Don’t let them play: As I mentioned earlier, never let them play together. When you give some ground time for the Guinea pigs, consider keeping the dogs out of the room.
Know that they are vulnerable: Be aware that Guinea pigs are vulnerable creatures around dogs because they aren’t really fast enough to hide, and they cannot climb or jump.
Don’t obsess with the breed: As I mentioned earlier, don’t be obsessed with specific dog breeds. But try to get one of the above-recommended dog breeds. But, what’s far more important is the individual personality of the dog.
Hire a trainer: It doesn’t matter whether you’re gonna get a puppy or adult dog. As a Guinea pig owner, you don’t have much time to spend on the training. I guess you aren’t a dog specialist, and it really makes sense, right? So, spending time testing things is really unnecessary. Just hire a dog trainer, and you’re good to go! Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
When buying toys: Keep in mind that never buy a dog toy that looks like a Guinea pig or anything similar.
Suggested Reading: Why Is Your Dog Obsessed With Your Guinea Pig?
Many Guinea pig owners are curious to know what dog breeds are good with Guinea pigs. In this article, we’ve discussed the top 13 dog breeds that are compatible with Guinea pigs. Moreover, we’ve discussed other essential things you need to be aware of. Hope you found this helpful.
What is your favorite dog breed listed above? Comment down below and let us know!