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Looking To Buy A Puppy - What Small Breeds Work Well With Guinea-pigs?

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BigAde

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Hi - We have two guinea pigs. They live outside in a cage and run most of the time, going into a shed for most of the winter, just coming inside for a few of the coldest nights.

We are now looking to add a small breed of dog to our family.
In many ways we'd like a terrier dog (border, norfolk etc), but I know they're born ratters so mixing with g-pigs is not a good idea.
I've heard good things about some of the larger dogs e.g. labradors mixing with guinea pigs, but we're not after something that big.

The hope is that by getting a young puppy and introducing it to the guinea pigs at an early stage the dog will learn to ignore them.
Obviously I'd never leave them alone together, but the hope is that I can encourage a mutual indifference early on.

Does anyone have any experience or advice in this area, not fussed whether the dog is a pure breed or anything like that, we won't be showing it or breeding from it, just a family pet.
Thanks :)
 

Wigwig

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this was before I had archie but i had a king charles cavalier who was the most gentle creature possible. He caught a squirrel once and nuzzled and licked its tummy so sweetly. I personally think it depends on the dog, some dogs will never be friend to small animals, no matter what you do, yet others have the sweetest personalities, like that american womans pitbull, sharkey?, theres videos on youtube of him, hes so gentle and relaxed all the time.
 

guineabecs

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I have a working cocker spaniel, she doesn't work and is just a pet. She is a small dog (11kg). She is brilliant with my guinea pigs, in the summer she lies out on the lawn with them whilst they happily wander around her munching. Obviously no guinea pig should be left unattended with a dog, and I know people will probably gasp at mine being on the lawn with my dog, but luckily she is a fantastic dog who would never and has never hurt them, but not all dogs are as good! But as far as dogs go, she is brilliant with them


 

maxdawn

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I have a 2 year old rescue dog. He's a spaniel x jack Russell. It took us a bout a week to train him using lots of love and buckets of dog treats. He is now very gentle with the pigs but I do have to watch the pigs don't hurt him as 1 of my pigs likes to try and nibble he's ears and tail
 

BigAde

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Thanks for all the comments - appreciate the advice.
The cocker spaniel looks lovely - size would be about right too.
Not sure I can give a working strain the extensive daily exercise it would need, perhaps a non-working one though?

I know someone with a Cockerpoo and that seems a very nice dog, perhaps that's an option.
Food for thought!
 

Julie M

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I have a Jack Russell and he doesn't bother with the guineapigs. When I first got the piggies I never let him go too close to the cage. Now he doesn't bother with them as he knows he's not allowed to touch them. He sniffs them when they are in their run for floor time. However I would never leave him unattended with them. My friends dog is a Labrador cross and she was visiting a few months ago, she disliked the piggies and started barking and jumping up at the cage(cage is up on a folding table). My Jack Russell attacked my friends dog as If he was chasing her away from the cage protecting the piggies. I think it depends on the individual dog.
 

Jennifer D

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Starting with a puppy is a good way to go! My labrador whom I've had since 3 months is decent with small animals, but she doesn't like when they scurry. The new cocker spaniel that I just got is NOT good with small animals of any kind lol- he wants to eat my rabbit who is practically the same size as him! I can't blame him though, it's in his nature and he had a different owner for the first 12 years. In my experience, terriers aren't fantastic with small animals just due to what they are bred for. But obviously that doesn't go for every terrier. And starting with a pup will definitely have a different impact on how your dog will behave around them. I'm a big fan of the giant breeds, but that's just me.
 

Julie M

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Yes every dog is different. my Max (Jack Russell) breaks the mould. We had a wild mouse in the shed and max was terrified of it he ran away shaking into the house and hid in his bed. Meanwhile I was left to empty said shed and usher the mouse outside. Lol. I got the piggies after we had max. I tested max with piggies before we got any with the pets at home piggies. Through the glass cage of course. He could see them from a distance he was fine then we went closer and closer as he was ok. We got right up to the glass one ran up to him, max about did a backflip and ran back away from the piggie. Then I knew we would be ok to get some piggies.
 

BigAde

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Thanks again for all the input - it's very much appreciated.
Would love a labrador, but it's going to be a little on the large size for us unfortunately.
Going to look at a few options over the next few days.
 

Galaxy&nibbles

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We have a Labrador and a King Charles spaniel. They both don't really do guinea pigs. Though they come up at night and my guinea pigs are covered and the dogs just ignore them and their squeaking
 

C&&Frank

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I used to have a staff x bullmastiff, was basically a giant staff! Had him since I was around 2 and unfortunately he died when we were both 14 but he was the most gentle dog I've ever had or know in my life. When I had a hamster he used to clean it's belly for him -.- which when you picked the hamster back up my god was it soaking... He used to save the rats and mice from my cats then let them free in our house, bit of a nightmare but it's the thought that counts haha. So from my experiences staffs/bullnastiff are the most gentle and relaxed dogs you can have although in a lot of cases it does depend on how they were brought up!
 

scottishthistle

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It really is down to the individual dog, not just breed, though getting them as a puppy definitely makes it easier.

I have a shih tzu and a west highland terrier (my avatar). Outside the house my westie will chase anything furry/feathery (not other dogs) that moves and is smaller than him, and would most likely kill them if he ever caught them. However, he has always seen all of the other pets I've had over the years (cats, guineas, rabbits, birds, chinchillas, hedgehogs, snakes, etc) as part of his pack and therefore not to be chased. He will carefully step over the guineas and Effy will happily sleep beside him.

We do have to be very careful if looking after anyone elses animals as he sees them as not part of his pack and so fair game.
 

Tbag

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I used to have a staff x bullmastiff, was basically a giant staff! Had him since I was around 2 and unfortunately he died when we were both 14 but he was the most gentle dog I've ever had or know in my life. When I had a hamster he used to clean it's belly for him -.- which when you picked the hamster back up my god was it soaking... He used to save the rats and mice from my cats then let them free in our house, bit of a nightmare but it's the thought that counts haha. So from my experiences staffs/bullnastiff are the most gentle and relaxed dogs you can have although in a lot of cases it does depend on how they were brought up!
He sounds adorable bless him!

I love dogs and miss having one around (had two dalmations and worked in a kennels growing up), would love to get one of our own but we just don't have enough time for it to be fair :(
 

C&&Frank

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He sounds adorable bless him!

I love dogs and miss having one around (had two dalmations and worked in a kennels growing up), would love to get one of our own but we just don't have enough time for it to be fair :(
He was haha :D

aww don't really see many Dalmatians around here! I imagine that was great working in the kennels with all the dogs :) ah yes, the only problem with animals, you need quite a lot of time to spend with them and especially when they're Young and your training them etc.
 

Tbag

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Dallys are daft as but really lovely dogs. Then again there's not a breed I don't think is lovely ... apart from Labradors when they're not properly trained!
And the kennels was the best job I've ever had hands down :D
 

BigAde

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It really is down to the individual dog, not just breed, though getting them as a puppy definitely makes it easier.

I have a shih tzu and a west highland terrier (my avatar). Outside the house my westie will chase anything furry/feathery (not other dogs) that moves and is smaller than him, and would most likely kill them if he ever caught them. However, he has always seen all of the other pets I've had over the years (cats, guineas, rabbits, birds, chinchillas, hedgehogs, snakes, etc) as part of his pack and therefore not to be chased. He will carefully step over the guineas and Effy will happily sleep beside him.

We do have to be very careful if looking after anyone elses animals as he sees them as not part of his pack and so fair game.
Good to hear that someone has successfully managed to get a terrier and guinea-pig to live together.
Went to see a Norfolk terrier tonight (as it was local), would be ideal if it wasn't for the uncertainty around the piggies.
 
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