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Whether you are looking for your first dog or looking to add a new four-legged friend to your family, it’s important to consider all of the characteristics you are looking for so you can determine which breed of dog might be the best fit for your family. While it’s important to look at the individual dog rather than just going off of breed alone, understanding the breed traits can help you make a more informed decision.
For many people, they are looking for a dog that is outgoing and affectionate and that they can trust will get along with anyone and everyone it meets. For others, they are looking for a more aloof dog who is good with family members but can be a fierce protector when called upon.
With more households having more than one dog, many dog owners may want more information on dog breeds that get along well with other dogs and avoid ones that generally don’t.
So which dog breeds are not known to get along with other dogs?
While all dogs should be treated as individuals, certain breeds have been bred to be indifferent or wary of other dogs. These breeds generally include dogs that have been traditionally used as guard dogs, livestock dogs, and hunting dogs. Many of these dogs are affectionate with their family but can be difficult around other dogs.
In the article below, I’ve listed several breeds of dog that are historically not very friendly with other dogs. The list is not in any order, and again it is important to remember to look at individual dogs rather than exclusively at the breed as a whole. While these dogs may not be a good fit for some owners, for others they may be the perfect companion and just what they were looking for!
9 Dog Breeds That Don’t Like Other Dogs
While this list contains some breeds of dogs that are genetically and historically not considered great with other dogs, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual and should be treated as such.
Some individual dogs that are of a breed on this list may do very well with other dogs, the same as how some dogs that are traditionally very friendly with other dogs (such as Labs and Retrievers) may have individuals in their breed who are not dog friendly.
A dog’s breed can help guide you in what some typical breed behavior traits might exist, but it is not the end all, be all when choosing a new pup to add to your family. Genetics do play a role in a dog’s temperament, but their environment and how they were raised also play just as large a role (if not larger).
A poorly socialized puppy of any breed will likely not get along with other dogs or may struggle with proper social cues. Poorly bred dogs or dogs who have purposely been bred to be aggressive towards other dogs may also show deficiencies in their temperament, no matter what breed of dog they are.
A dog who has had a negative experience with other dogs that caused trauma (such as a bad dog fight or a scary experience around other dogs) may be distrustful of or reactive towards other dogs. Many dogs on this list may get along with only certain types of dogs, such as small dogs. Some others may be fine with dogs of the opposite sex, but not of the same sex.
As you’ll see in the list below, many of the dogs listed have a history as working dogs, livestock guardians, or household protectors. Many of them also come from very ancient lineages, and tend to bond very closely with only one person. A lot of them may not like to cuddle, and most of them are likely not good off leash when in open areas.
Use the below list as a baseline in your research, but please remember to look at the individual dog and do your due diligence when it comes to adding a new four-legged friend to your household.
This large breed dog that originates from Japan is regarded as a symbol of happiness and good health, and is one of several breeds from Japan that are listed as national monuments in the country. They have been utilized as guard dogs for generations, and have an instinctive nature to protect their home and families.
The history of the Akita is interesting in that there are actually two breeding lines of Akitas, with one being the American Akita and one being the more traditional Japanese Akitainu. Both lines share similar characteristics, and both types have contributed to the breed as a whole.
While well-socialized Akitas tend to be great with people of all kinds (they’ve even been used as therapy dogs for use with children), they are also known for not being very tolerant of other dogs or animals. Their history as guard dogs can cause wariness around any strange dogs.
While there can definitely be exceptions, even with lots of socialization the Akita is generally best suited for a single dog home, or one in which they are raised around other family dogs.
If you are enthralled by the looks of the Akita but are not too keen on some of their typical personality traits, you might also check out our list of breeds that look like the Akita.
Hailing from South Africa, the Boerboel is experiencing a popularity boost in many locations across the world. They are ferocious protectors of their homes and livestock, and despite their large size (they’re one of many supersized breeds) they tend to be quicker and more agile than many other mastiff-type dogs.
They have characteristics that indicate they still closely match their ancient ancestors, and this shows in not only their looks but their attitudes as well. Unlike many other mastiffs, though, which can be fairly tolerant and even friendly to other dogs, the Boerboel is usually the opposite.
They can be intimidating to other dogs, and their no-nonsense attitude as a household protector can cause issues with strange dogs. While they may be able to get along with dogs they have been raised with, or smaller dogs, it might be risky to have them around dogs they do not know well.
If you are looking for a steadfast companion who takes his job seriously, though, the Boerboel might just be the dog for you!
3. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog (sometimes also referred to as the Caucasian Ovcharka) is a member of the livestock guardian group of dogs. In many parts of the world (including their native Eastern Europe) still use them as livestock guardians today, though their role in other countries (including the U.S.) has become that of a companion animal and household protector.
This large breed of dog comes in two types: Mountain and Steppe. The breed type is indicated by both their coat type (longer versus shorter) and their overall body size and muscle mass (larger versus smaller).
Both breed types have similar personalities and can be counted on as devoted guardians of their homes and families. While a well socialized Caucasian Shepherd Dog can get along with other family pets (including other family dogs), they do not do well with strange dogs and issues can erupt if a strange dog enters their territory.
The Korean Jindo is prized for its loyalty to its owner. They are intelligent, alert, and brave, and are used for hunting and protection.
The Jindo is known for being a “one owner” dog and they can form lifelong bonds with the one who raises them. While they can tolerate different family members and can even do well with children, they may not be the best choice if you are looking for a dog who is comfortable no matter which person he is with.
Due to their loyalty to their owner and their history as a protection dog, they are also known for not tolerating other animals and can be aggressive towards other dogs (particularly unaltered males). While early socialization and keeping only fixed Jindos of opposite sexes can help, there is a possibility for aggressive behaviors in certain situations.
The Tosa is a lesser-known breed from Japan, and goes by many names including Tosa Ken, Japanese Fighting Dog, and Japanese Mastiff. They are the largest of the Japanese breeds, and tend to mature later than other dogs as well. In their native Japan, the Tosa is regarded very highly and is considered the equivalent of a Sumo wrestler.
While this breed is affectionate with its family and is normally quiet and calm, they can be fiercely aggressive towards any dog they consider an intruder or threat. Depending on the breeder, there could also be more preference towards breeding dogs with more protective instincts, which can sometimes cause the dogs to be more reactive than those puppies from breeders who focus on other traits.
As part of the breed’s nature, they do not take kindly to anything that appears threatening to their home or families. The Tosa is an excellent family guardian but should be watched carefully around any dog it does not consider a member of its household.
6. Chow Chow
Often recognized by their lion-like coat or their blue-black tongue, the Chow Chow is a regal breed originating from China. These versatile dogs have been used as everything from household protectors to loyal companions.
These beautiful dogs can be quite cat-like in their mannerisms, and this makes them a great choice for those who live in apartments or who want more independent dogs. Chows are very affectionate with their owners, and this could be why they don’t tolerate other dogs as much…they don’t want to share!
Well-socialized Chows can actually tolerate dogs but in general they are wary of strange dogs and are not suited for owners who wish to bring their dog to lots of public places where other dogs may be encountered on a frequent basis. When interacting with other dogs, Chows tend to be more low key and disinterested, but if they feel threatened they may react aggressively.
7. Bull Terrier
The iconic Bull Terrier is a family favorite, but their antics are usually a little too much for other dogs! These dogs are high energy and require a lot of time and training in order to be polite members of canine society.
These lovable goofballs are great with children, though socialization and training should begin from a young age to prevent any issues. If you are looking for a dog with personality, the Bull Terrier is that dog! With proper socialization and training, you will find no loyaler companion than the Bull Terrier.
While a well-socialized Bull Terrier may get along with some other species of animals within the home, they do not generally like other dogs and may only tolerate them at best.
As these dogs can have significant energy levels and be difficult to manage during bouts of energy, they run the risk of being pushed over threshold when interacting with other dogs and reacting in an impolite (and potentially aggressive) manner.
8. Kerry Blue Terrier
This striking medium-sized dog is a fun loving and exciting companion for the active owner. Kerry Blues are exuberant and elegant and love being with their owners!
Originally used as a farm dog, this member of the terrier family now spends its days as a family companion and has growing popularity in the dog sports world (especially in barn hunt sports). Like many other terriers, they require quite a bit of training.
The Kerry Blue Terrier, while affectionate with its owner and friendly with dogs it knows, is wary and standoffish to strange dogs. This breed of dog prefers the company of their owner and family than that of another dog.
Kerries should be socialized early and often to prevent reactivity towards other dogs, and good impulse control should be established from a young age. If you are an active, fun-loving owner who likes a dog with personality and energy, then the Kerry Blue Terrier might be a great pick for you!
This Hungarian livestock guardian is noted for its unique coat, which helps keep it warm while protecting its livestock. Like many other livestock guardians, the Komondor takes his job seriously and can be suspicious of anything they feel might pose a threat. They’ve also been utilized more recently in various parts of the world to help with predator control practices.
The Komondor is not a breed for first time dog owners and requires a lot of care and patience. But for those willing to put in the work, they make great farm dogs and family guardians. Despite their large size, they also tend to be fairly quick and agile and may also do well in certain dog sports like agility, nosework, or barn hunts.
They show no tolerance towards strange dogs, so are best suited for a single-dog home or one in which they are carefully introduced to other dogs as a young puppy. Komondor puppies should be socialized from an early age, and it is suggested that they go through group classes to help with early socialization and impulse control training.
While the above dog breeds may not always be the best choice if you want more than one dog, it doesn’t mean they are bad dogs!
It’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and it’s not just their genetics that plays a role in how likely (or unlikely) they are to get along with other dogs. Many of these dogs may do well with other dogs in their own immediate family but react to strange dogs.
They might not be good choices for owners who are interested in having a dog that can accompany them to restaurants, breweries, and events but they might be perfect for the owner who is independent and looking for an equally independent companion.
When considering what kind of dog to add to your family, research the breed and interview breeders and those from breed clubs carefully. Discuss how the dog was raised and how it acts around other dogs (both familial and otherwise). Observe with your own eyes how the puppy or adult dog interacts with other dogs.
By gathering as much information as possible, you can get a better idea of how your potential pup might do with other dogs, even if they are of a breed that historically is not known to be friendly with other dogs.