There are dog breeds good with cats, and other breeds that are not good at all. I have introduced over 30 different pure and mixed dog breeds to my cats while testing them out for dog boarding.
I cover 12 dog breeds that I have direct experience with and another 12 breeds that are known to be great with cats. But it is an individual thing and you have to carefully test out and introduce any dog to a cat.
The best 12 dog breeds good with cats from my experience
There are 12 dog breeds that I’ve either brought into my place or that I walked that lived with a cat. By the way, This is when I had a dog and 2 cats. I only have 1 cat now.
So I can vouch that these particular dogs were fine with my cats. I’m only going to cover relevant points about each breed and important characteristics worth knowing.
1. Boxer: Working Group. They are very family-oriented, gentle, loyal, easy to train, and one of my favorites. I boarded a huge boxer, well over 80 pounds, named Ben and he could be classified as a gentle giant. He was fine with my cats but he also lived with a cat.
2. Collie: Herding group. They are mellow members of the herding group, known to be gentle with children and that extends to cats, I’ve boarded Collie mixed breeds and they are sweet dogs.,
3. Pomeranian: Toy Group. They are very small so no threat to any cat. I boarded two different Poms but they also lived with two cats.
4. American Staffordshire: Terrier Group. Or maybe just Staffordshire. Besides my own dog which was great with my cats, I know of a few other people with Amstaff \ Staffies that also had cats. This is the only terrier that I know of that has a good track record with cats. Note, that these are the smaller pit bulls so if their history is questionable, you may want to pass on them. They are a misunderstood breed.
5. Golden Retriever: Sporting Group. They are outgoing, playful, great with cats, patient, obedient, very social, and energetic but gentle. Goldens are the 2nd most mentioned dog breed that is good with cats. I’ve boarded one Golden that was fine with my cats.
6. Labrador Retriever: Sporting Group. They are outgoing, get along with everyone or thing they meet, gentle, easy to please, great with kids, view cat as part of the family, easy to train, and tied with 2 other breeds for the 5th most mentioned dog breed that is good with cats.
7. Boston Terrier: Non-Sporting group. They love all family members, some may be scared of cats. I walked a dog named Super who was part Boston and part Chihuahua and he lived with two cats.
8. Boykin Spaniel: Sporting Group. They are easy to train, good with kids and other pets. I walked a Boykin named Rosie who I would sometimes bring into my yard with my dog. She had no interest in my cats, but then she was extremely shy. They are not considered a good dog breed with cats, but she was fine with my cats.
9. Dachshund: Scent Hound group. I did pet sitting for a Dachshund named Rosie who peacefully lived with a cat, though the cat food had to be up high where she wouldn’t get it.. But that goes for any dog. They are small but can have a feisty spirit.
10. French Bulldog: Non-Sporting group. I boarded a Frenchie named Bruno many times and he was only interested in my dog. I currently walk another French Bulldog that I am testing out with my cat. After months of bringing thru my place, he finally does not seem to care about my cat. One was easy, one was difficult. This is the individual testing that is involved with testing dogs with cats.
11. Giant Schnauzer: Working Group. Now, this breed didn’t make any list on cat-friendly breeds, but I have experience with a Giant Schnauzer who lived with a cat. He was fine with his cat but then the owners had him on meeds to calm him down. I can vouch for Duke, but not for any other dogs in this breed, so be wary of this large dog.
12. Goldendoodle: Sporting Group (I think). They are affectionate, easy-going and social dogs known to get along with cats. I walked a doodle named Riley who I sometimes brought to my place – no problem with my cats.
The next 12 dog breeds good with cats
I only have experience walking 3 of these breeds. The first 6 breeds are the top most mentioned dog breeds that are good with cats.
13. Beagle: Scent Hound group. They were bred as pack hunters so they tend to be social and friendly towards other animals. They like to smell everything and may howl a lot, are curious and happy. This is the #1 most mentioned dog breed good with cats.
14. Basset Hound: Scent Hound group. They are loyal, patient, low-key, friendly & tolerant of other animals. Their social behavior stems from hunting in packs (3rd most mentioned dog breed good with cats).
15. Bichon Friese: Non-Sporting group. They are very social, a great family dog, but can be too playful with cats. Tied for the 4th with Pugs as the most mentioned dog breeds good with cats.
16. Pug: Toy Group. They love attention, are great with kids, gentle natured, have no chase instincts, friendly, love attention, and the list goes on. I’ve walked 3 different pugs. Though none of them lived with cats, they are very friendly dogs.
17. King Charles Cavalier: Toy Group. They are known to be gentle & affectionate, great with all family members, great with cats, and get lonely easy so a cat makes a great companion, This breed and Maltese are tied with Labs for the 5th most mentioned dog breeds good with cats. I walked a Cavie once and I fell in love with the breed – they are super sweet and gentle!
18. Maltese: Toy Group. They are happy, social, sweet and affectionate dogs that are great with cats but can be lazy and just around all the time. Also, they are smaller than cats, so no worries with them hurting the family cat.
The final 6 dog breeds are not mentioned as much but I can see why most of them are good with cats.
19. English Bulldog: Non-Sporting group. They are known for a friendly temperament, great with all family members including cats, are generally docile and easygoing, affectionate and loyal.
20. Papillon: Toy Group. They are about the size of a cat, happy, curious, friendly, easy to train, and intelligent.
21. Poodle: Non-Sporting group. They are smart, tend to be calm, smart, and easy to train. I grew up with a miniature poodle as a child named Charlie. We did not have a cat but we did have a rabbit and he did not show any aggression towards the rabbit.
22. Newfoundland: Working Group. They are gentle giants, typically good with all people and pets, calm, friendly and tolerant, and easy to train.
23. Shetland Sheepdog: Herding group. They are smart and sweet, though this is a herding dog. Herding dogs like to herd children and other pets. I walked a Shelty named Stella who was a super friendly and gentle dog.
24. Welsh Corgi: Herding group. They are great with all family members including other pets, affectionate and friendly.
Worst dog breeds for cats
There are a lot of specific dog breeds that are not good with cats and they tend to fall in the Terrier, Working, Sight Hound and Sporting groups. Here are some of the most commonly mentioned dog breeds that are NOT good with cats:
Manchester Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Toy Manchester Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Manchester Terrier.
Whippet, Afghan Hound, Greyhound, Scottish Deerhound, Pharaoh Hound, Irish Wolfhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saluki.
Akita Inu, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Bullmastiffs, Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky.
Weimaraner, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Exception from my experience of dogs bad with cats: Siberian Husky
Huskies are considered a bad choice for cat owners, but I walked one for a short time and the owners had a couple of cats. She was a puppy and was kept in a crate, but she did not seem aggressive as we passed the cats on our way out the door.
But like every dog on this list, you have to test the dog out to make sure no “fights” occur. That goes for the other questionable dogs on this list: American Staffordshire and Giant Schnauzer. If you have any doubts, try a different breed.
Now, most of the dog breeds mentioned are pure breeds. Most people can afford $1000 or more for that. But I have experience with mixed breeds that are good with cats.
I mentioned the Boston Terrier Chihuahua mix, but I also boarded a Shih-Tzu Chihuahua mix that was good with my cats. The others are the mixed Collies and the Golden Doodle.
Try to adopt from a dog rescue that has a dog behaviorist who tests their dogs and cats that are up for adoption. You don’t need a pure-breed dog to get along with your cat.
Take a look at my article How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog to make sure all pets are safe. If you want to learn about these dog breeds in detail, go to the Dog Group page on the American Kennel Club website.