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Easy Ways Your Dog Can Make Friends

Easy Ways Your Dog Can Make Friends

Critter Culture Staff



Dogs crave companionship, but it's not always easy for them to make friends with other dogs. That's where you come in! Getting your puppy to bond with other dogs can be challenging, depending on your pooch, but with a little bit of support, your dog will be ready to play with its pals in no time.


Do a proper introduction

Rottweiler and White Swiss Shepherd dogs facing each other in the field. Dog socialization concept. sinseeho/ Getty Images

You can't just put two dogs together in the same space and hope they'll get along. A proper introduction is an important part of the process, and one of the best ways to introduce your pooch to other dogs is to meet for a walk in neutral territory. Make sure each pup is on a leash and walked by a different person. Keep them separated at first to ensure neither one feels threatened, and separate them if there's any tension. Don't bring a new pup into your home, and expect your doggo to be friendly. It's more likely to feel like another dog is trying to take over its territory.


Schedule playdates

Two English Bulldogs dog puppy outdoors meeting Lakshmi3/ Getty Images

Playdates are a great way to encourage your dog to make friends. One-on-one play times are usually more effective than getting multiple dogs together at once, at least until your pet is comfortable being around each of the other dogs individually. To encourage dogs to bond faster, it helps to make sure they're of a similar size and temperament.


Let them know you're the alpha

Cropped image of handsome young man with labrador outdoors. Man on a green grass with dog. ynologist Vasyl Dolmatov/ Getty Images

Dogs are pack animals, and they need a leader. One of the most important parts of introducing your pooch to a new friend is ensuring both animals know you're in charge. When you do, the dogs will know that you are the leader. They'll be less likely to see each other as rivals and may even feel like they are members of the same pack.


Watch your dog's body posture

Puppies playing at the park Capuski/ Getty Images

One of the best ways to determine how your pup is coping with meeting a new potential friend is to watch their body language. If you notice aggressive or defensive behavior, like the hair rising on their back, baring teeth, staring, or growling, separate the dogs immediately. Wait until both pups calm down to try again.


Consider obedience training

Young woman playing with her dog at the public park - Sunset time. FilippoBacci/ Getty Images

Consider obedience training if you're having difficulty getting your pet to listen or calm down enough to make friends. Doing so can help you control your pooch better, making it less likely that fights will happen. To increase the odds of success, your dog should know basic commands, such as sit, down, and stay. These commands help your pooch stay still and will discourage them from chasing or running after the other pup.


Give attention to both dogs

Woman feeding treats to dogs in kitchen The Good Brigade/ Getty Images

When bringing a second dog into your home, paying attention to both dogs is essential. If you give more time to the new pet, the other one will get jealous and feel neglected. If you pay more attention to the existing dog, the new one may not feel welcome in your home. Either way, the relationship between the two dogs will be tense, which you want to avoid if you want them to be friends.


Make friends with other dog owners

A beautiful golden retriever is the focus of the image as he enjoys a walk in the countryside. Catherine Falls Commercial/ Getty Images

A great way to make new dog friends for your pet is to make friends with other dog owners. If you already have friends who have canines, try to set up walks and play dates to allow your pups an opportunity to form a bond. If you don't have any friends who have dogs, try to get to know someone better who does. A perk of making friends with other dog owners is that they will understand if your doggie is anxious or acts out when introduced to other pooches.


Never leave them unsupervised

Jack Russell Terrier dog meets mixed breed dog alexei_tm/ Getty Images

Never leave your doggo unsupervised with another person's dog. Dogs are unlikely to become friends quickly, and it may take multiple walks or playdates to start to warm up to one another. It could take months, or it may never happen at all. Always supervise your dog when with a new friend to make sure that no fights break out.


Be patient

A French Bulldog and Golden Retriever greet each other while their owners wait and chat. PamelaJoeMcFarlane/ Getty Images

Dogs are just like people. Some warm-up immediately. Others take a few meetings to open up. Every person and dog has their own personality, and some may not accept new friends quickly. Some dogs will warm up to others immediately, others need more time, and some may never get along. Dogs with opposing personalities may not click right away, and they may need time to really get to know one another before forming a bond.


Don't push it

Meeting of two dogs in the street pedrojperez/ Getty Images

As much as you want your pup to make friends with other dogs, don't push it. Follow your buddy's lead. If your pet isn't into meeting a particular dog, don't force them to. Try to understand your pup's mood and personality. Even friendly dogs won't get along with every other pooch they come in contact with, and a negative experience can cause big problems for you and your pet.



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