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How to Help Your Pup Make Doggie Friends

How to Help Your Pup Make Doggie 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! Helping Mr. Sniffles make friends with other dogs can be challenging, depending on your pooch, but with a little bit of support, your pet will bond with other canines in no time.


Do a proper introduction

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 helping your dog make friends! One of the best ways to introduce your pet to other dogs is to make arrangements with other dog owners to meet for a walk on 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 is any tension. Don't bring a new pup into your home, and expect your dog to be friendly. It's more likely to feel like another dog is trying to take over its territory.

Two Dogs on a leash sniffing each other Philippe Gerber / Getty Images


Schedule playdates

Playdates are a great way to encourage your dog to make friends. One-on-one play dates 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 the dogs to bond faster, it helps to make sure that they have a similar size and temperament.

two puppies walking together K_Thalhofer / Getty Images


Let them know you're the alpha

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

woman with her two dogs Juan Hernandez Carmona / Getty Images


Watch the dogs' body posture

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

two puppies on the grass Rohappy / Getty Images


Consider obedience training

If you find that you have a hard time getting your pet to listen or calm down enough to make canine friends, consider obedience training. Doing so can help you get better control of your pooch, making it less likely that fights will happen. To increase the odds of success, your dog should know basic commands, like sit, down, and stay. These instructions help your pooch stay still, discouraging them from chasing or running after the other pup.

Man training dog in a field Gary Yeowell / Getty Images


Give attention to both dogs

When bringing a second dog into your home, paying attention to both hounds is essential. If you give more attention to the new pet, the other one will get jealous or 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 doggies will be tense, which you want to avoid if you want them to be friends.

woman with her two dogs Lucia Romero Herranz / EyeEm / Getty Images


Make friends with other dog owners

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 pooches, 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 with a doggo, try to get to know someone better who does. A perk to making friends with other dog owners is that they will understand if your dog is anxious or acts out when introduced to other canines.

man and woman talking with their dogs in a leash Thinkstock / Getty Images


Never leave them unsupervised

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 pup when with a new friend to make sure that no fights break out.

two dogs playing with a woman in the background Georgy Taktaev / EyeEm / Getty Images


Be patient

Dogs are just like people. Some warm-up immediately. Others take a few meetings to open up. Every person and canine has their own personality, and some dogs may not accept new friends quickly. 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.

Dogs playing tug-of-war with a toy Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images


Don't push it

As much as you want your pet 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. Let them take the lead. 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.

two dogs looking at each other Denys Rzhanov / Getty Images


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