My Sirius Life: My Dogs Have a Better Social Life Than Me!
May 21, 2012
I love the fact that my dogs have friends. It warms my heart to no end. When I take Lupin to doggy daycare he has certain dogs that he plays with every time he goes. They see each other and go bounding off to play all day long. I don’t know why this makes me so happy, but it does. Lupin has a best friend, and he even has a "girlfriend." Sirius has a buddy that always runs up to meet him and kisses him on the muzzle in greeting. Sirius is a bit more anxious at doggy daycare than Lupin, and Sirius’s buddy is there to help keep him calm. I love it. Dogs need to be around other dogs in my opinion. How boring would it be for us if we were the only human around? No one around that speaks our language or plays the way we want. I think it would get incredibly lonely sometimes.
Not all dogs, however inherently get along with other dogs. It is our job as their pet parents to make sure they are well socialized as young pups to other dogs. Get them around big and small dogs, fluffy dogs and short-haired dogs, dogs with smushed in faces and dogs with long snouts. They are all different and can be scary to a dog who has never seen them before. Lupin has never liked the breeds that have the short smashed in faces. I’m not sure what happened to him as a pup, but he’s never been fond of them. Even though I’m pretty sure Lupin is part boxer, he wants nothing to do with the Boxer breed. This extends to Pugs, Bostons, Bulldogs, etc. Through socialization and positive rewards, he has learned to tolerate these dogs. But, he just doesn’t want anything to do with them, which is a shame because they can be so much fun to play with! He doesn’t believe me when I tell him that though. Sirius, on the other hand, who I rescued at eight weeks old, rarely comes upon a dog that he doesn’t like. I can think of two dogs that Sirius just immediately didn’t care for, and this is a dog that went to the dog park nightly for a year and regularly goes to doggy daycare. Dogs, like humans do to other humans, have different tolerances for other dogs. Some dogs are immediately friends with each other, and some dogs immediately take offense to each other. It’s a wonderful thing to watch two dogs play and romp with each other. However, if you have a dog that maybe didn’t get the socialization that they needed and now really doesn’t want to be around other dogs, that’s okay too. Listen to him and read his body language. Don’t push him too far. He may be perfectly content to just hang out with you, and there is no need to change that.
My boys go to great-grandma’s house; they travel to their Uncle's house. They take regular trips to PetSmart, hiking, and the dog park. They hang out with their buddies at doggy daycare several times a week. They go with me to pet festivals and out walking around shopping centers. They are busy boys! They can do this because they’ve been socialized and are okay with going everywhere with me. It’s wonderful to be able to take them when I can. You’ve got to work with your dog though to make sure they handle it okay. Lupin still gets a little nervous in confined spaces, so I’m sure not to overdo it with him. Being able to take your dogs with you is great. With just a little bit of time and practice, you can do this too! The Library has many great resources about dog training, so come on in and check them out.