9 Breeds of Dogs That Get Along Well With Ferrets

Best Dog Breeds for Ferrets

Ferrets are fun and friendly pets that love to play and explore. They can be a bit shy at first but soon become very attached to their families. You might wonder if dogs and ferrets can live together. Yes, they can! It mostly depends on the dog’s breed and how well they’re introduced to each other.

Some dogs, like terriers, love to chase and might not be great with ferrets. Plus, it’s very important to carefully introduce your dog to your ferret, which could take days or weeks. Always watch them together to keep both safe.

Guidelines for Introducing Ferrets and Dog

Let’s check out nine dog breeds that are great friends for ferrets, helping you have a happy, peaceful home with all your pets.

Best Dog Breeds for Ferrets

1. Bichon Frise

best dog breed for ferrets

The Bichon Frise is a small, strong dog known for its warm personality. These dogs love being around people, including kids and can get along well with other pets like ferrets, especially if they grow up together. A Bichon and a ferret can become best buddies, playing together often.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says Bichons are alert and curious, making them good little watchdogs. But they’re friendly, seeing everyone as a potential new friend. They’re confident and perfect for living in the city because they don’t need a lot of space and are usually quiet, which is great for neighbors.

Their curly coat doesn’t shed much, which might be good for people with allergies. Bichons enjoy learning and performing tricks for their families. Plus, their cheerful nature makes everyone around them happy.

2. Golden Retriever

dogs and ferrets

Golden Retrievers are perfect family dogs because they’re calm and smart. If you introduce them to new friends, like ferrets, when they’re puppies, they’ll usually get along well. Just remember, it’s important to watch them when they’re together, even if they’ve been friends for a while.

Golden Retrievers love to stay active. They enjoy playing fetch and swimming, thanks to their love for water and their thick coats that keep them warm and dry.

PDSA points out that these dogs do shed a lot, so they might not be the best choice if you don’t like cleaning up hair. They need to be brushed a few times a week to keep their coats nice.

Golden Retrievers are great with kids, especially when they’ve been around them from a young age. They’re usually very gentle and patient, making them a lovely part of the family.

3. Japanese Chin

can i get ferrets along with dogs

The Japanese Chin is a calm and quiet toy breed, perfect for those looking for a less active and noisy pet. Bred for companionship, this affectionate and friendly dog gets along well with ferrets, cats, and other dogs, making it a great addition to most homes.

This breed enjoys playful time in a fenced yard but doesn’t require a lot of exercise. Just keep an eye out, as their curiosity might lead them on a chase after birds or butterflies.

Japanese Chins love being part of the family and thrive on attention. They’re especially good for seniors but might find the energy of small children a bit too much. Gentle interaction is key with this breed.

While they’re usually kind to strangers, some may be shy, so early socialization helps. Their silky coat needs regular care to stay neat and tangle-free, and they tend to shed a moderate amount.

4. Maltese

dog ferret

Maltese dogs are wonderful companions that are friendly, adaptable, and definitely catch the eye. If you’re looking for a furry friend to keep you company, a Maltese could be the perfect choice. They love meeting new people and are great with other pets like ferrets, making them ideal for families with more than one pet.

Thanks to their small size, Maltese are easy to take along wherever you go, as long as pets are welcome. They don’t require much space, so they’re perfect for apartment living. These dogs form strong bonds with their families and love to be involved in daily activities. Just make sure not to leave them alone for too long to avoid separation anxiety.

Maltese dogs enjoy a bit of pampering and need more grooming than many other breeds. Their stunning appearance is a wonderful payoff for your grooming efforts. They’re full of energy but don’t require a lot of exercise to stay healthy. A little playtime in a safe, enclosed space or some fun games inside can keep them happy and healthy.

WebMD notes that getting along with other dogs can sometimes be a challenge for Maltese, depending on their socialization as puppies.

5. Pug

can ferrets get along with dogs

Pugs are small but sturdy dogs known for their friendliness, making them excellent companions for both humans and other pets like ferrets. Their love for attention means a Pug and a ferret can enjoy each other’s company. Pugs are gentle by nature, making them safe playmates for smaller animals such as guinea pigs as well.

While Pugs can show a stubborn streak, they generally aim to please their owners. They’re quite relaxed pets, not prone to excessive barking, digging, or chewing, and they usually get along well with other dogs and children, thanks to their robust build.

Pugs are low-maintenance in many ways but need careful monitoring of their diet and activity to avoid obesity. Their short muzzles make them sensitive to hot and humid conditions, increasing their risk of heatstroke. Snoring is common among Pugs, again due to their facial structure.

Regular exercise is beneficial for Pugs to manage their weight. Grooming is also important, not just for dealing with shedding from their dense coat but also for keeping their facial wrinkles clean.

6. Boxer

ferret playing with dog

Boxers are full of energy and love to play, their patience and protective instinct mean they do well with kids. Boxers can get along with other pets, including ferrets, especially if they grow up with them. However, they might not be as friendly towards dogs they don’t know. It’s important to help Boxers learn to be gentle with other animals from when they are young.

These dogs are smart, full of energy, and very loyal to their families. They enjoy being around their people and can be a bit cautious around strangers. Thanks to their intelligence and curiosity, Boxers are good at learning new things.

Because they have so much energy, Boxers need plenty of exercise, like long walks or playtime, to stay happy and avoid getting bored.

Caring for a Boxer’s coat is easy. A quick brush a few times a week keeps their coat looking good and reduces the amount of hair around the house.

Boxers have short noses, which makes them part of the brachycephalic breed group. But Orvis points out that they handle exercise and heat better than other dogs with short muzzles, like English Bulldogs or Pugs.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

do ferrets and dogs get along

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the epitome of loving and devoted lap dogs, known for their friendly nature. They get along wonderfully with almost everyone, including other pets like ferrets, thanks to their adaptable and gentle personality.

characteristics of ferrets

Perfect for those new to dog ownership, Cavaliers are flexible companions, equally content with cozy cuddles, playful games, or walks. Petplan states that they’re very smart and learn quickly, especially when training is done with lots of love and affection. However, they don’t like being alone and may show their unhappiness through barking, whining, or chewing, so they thrive on close companionship.

Despite their petite size, Cavaliers enjoy staying active and require regular exercise and mental challenges to stay healthy and happy.

Their medium-length, thick coat is surprisingly easy to care for, requiring minimal grooming, and they typically don’t shed much.

8. Great Pyrenees

are ferrets good with dogs

The Great Pyrenees is a large, noble dog originally bred for guarding livestock. Despite their size, these dogs are calm and composed, showing deep loyalty and a protective instinct towards small animals, kids, and their families. They’re good with other pets, including ferrets, but they also appreciate having their own space to relax away from more energetic friends.

These dogs are known for their serene nature and strong loyalty to their families. They’re gentle, making them a good fit for families with children who know how to interact respectfully with dogs. As guardians, Great Pyrenees aren’t very high-energy. PetMD notes that they conserve their strength for guarding duties, reflecting their heritage of working independently in mountainous areas to protect sheep.

True to their guardian roots, Great Pyrenees may bark to alert their family of perceived threats. This breed values independence, developed over years of solitary guarding work.

Their coat, though long, is relatively easy to maintain. A weekly brushing is typically enough to keep their fur in good condition and reduce shedding.

9. Old English Sheepdog

ferret with dog

The Old English Sheepdog is like a cozy, walking shag rug—friendly, easygoing, and sure to catch the eye. They usually get along well with other dogs and pets, including ferrets, although they may sometimes show aggression towards dogs of the same sex. With their herding background, they might try to herd their pet companions if things get too chaotic.

Originally bred for herding cattle in England, these dogs have evolved into beloved companions known for their playful and sometimes goofy personalities. They’re relaxed around the home and welcoming to strangers, making them great family pets. The Old English Sheepdog is protective and will look out for family members, especially children, and might bark to maintain order or express stubbornness.

Despite their sleepy appearance, thanks to the hair covering their eyes, Old English Sheepdogs are lively, energetic, and need plenty of activities to stay happy. They’re known for heavy drooling, so it’s a good idea to keep a drool towel nearby to clean up any messes.

They shed a moderate amount but require a lot of grooming to keep their thick coat free from mats. Regular combing is essential to maintain their distinctive look.

Key Considerations for Harmonious Dog-Ferret Relationships

Factors for Dog-Ferret Suitability

When introducing a dog to a ferret, it’s important to consider various factors that determine how well they may coexist. This chart highlights critical elements to evaluate, ensuring a safe and friendly environment for both your canine and ferret companions.


When a new pet, like a rescue ferret, joins a household, the existing dynamic can shift significantly. Terrier breeds and big dogs like German Shepherd dogs may have strong instincts that could lead to serious injury for a small animal. With proper introduction on neutral ground, consistent veterinary care, and a patient foster family, many other dogs can adapt and potentially become best friends with a new animal.

It’s all about understanding the personalities within the same household and guiding interactions to foster a safe and loving environment.

Mahvash Kazmi
Mahvash Kazmi, with a rich academic background in English Literature and Journalism, is not just a master of words but also a passionate advocate for the voiceless. Her vast experience, from teaching to insightful content creation, is underpinned by a profound love for animals and an unwavering commitment to conservation. An ardent animal lover, she often finds solace in nature's tales and the gentle purrs of her beloved Persian cat, Gracie. Her dedication to the environment and the written word combine to create truly compelling writing. With a heart that beats for the wild and the written word, she crafts compelling stories on animal issues, urging readers to coalesce for a cause.

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