By Monday, March 13, 2017 9 No tags Permalink 0

Mail excites me! This week I wanted to share an email we received asking advice about dogs playing together.

Hi Cathy –

I have a three year old female Goldendoodle named Macey. I want to get another one, and wondered how you trained your two Boys to play so well together. They seem to share everything. What training tips can you give me? Stephanie Sinclair

Hi Stephanie –

I wish I could take credit for the relationship Harley and Jaxson have, but honestly I can’t.  They seemed to have found their own way, all on their own…


They had a rocky start in the beginning – Harley was 6 years old, (recently without Leo) when I bring home a super fired up 9 week old Jaxson #onepissedoffdoodle


Having an infant pup enamored with him seemed to agitate Harley. When I talked to Doodle Doc about it, she assured me Harley’s behavior was normal, and I should –


When it came to them finding their way – that was the best advice I ever received. Allow Harley to teach Jaxson about life in a multi-dog household.

It wasn’t easy – Harley was relentless in the beginning – growling, snarling and snapping at Jaxson. I was always close, observing and ready to step in “if” it got out of hand. But #thanktheDoodle it never escalated into anything serious. Turns out he was only teaching Jaxson the hierarchy of multi-dog household life.

Gradually, as Jaxson understood, Harley became less of a teacher and more of a sibling…


Before I knew it they were running around…


The wrestling started shortly thereafter…


And it still goes on today…



When you live in a multi-dog household, you must learn how to read the language of dogs interacting with one another.

Dog-to-dog play is a series of active and repetitive behaviors that have different meanings when performed in other contexts, but helps dog develop important life skills and experiences that promote good physical and mental health. Source: Victoria Stilwell

As Jaxson grew older and taller, I noticed they started playing more and even sharing toys…

Most dogs play safely with each other by relying on a series of signals to communicate peaceful intentions. Signals like play bows.

Sniffing, sneezing, yawning, itching and licking occur to communicate that any future action is still just play.


When both dogs understand how play works, they learn how to maintain a low level of arousal and accept both winning and losing the game. Understanding how dogs play ensures that play remains a fun and healthy activity for everyone.

Keep in mind, some dogs are “more” willing to share with one another. #knowyourbreeds Golden Retrievers and Poodles are two of many breeds that live well with others.


  • Introduce your new dog to Macey before bringing her home.
  • Know what to expect when they meet each other for the first time.
  • Prevent dominance shifts that can throw  “you” beneath the dogs in the pack.
  • Work towards letting them spend time alone together.
  • Know the the signs of aggression.
  • Give balanced attention, but reinforce the hierarchy.
  • Have fun with your multiple Doodle household 🙂

Stephanie – You know your Macey better than anyone, watch her with the puppy. Play together with the both of them – tug play, ball too, etc. Understand the signals, and look to your vet for advice. Before long, your Dood’s will be hanging out all the time, even when they sleep…


As with any behavior, prevention is always better than a cure. If you are concerned about the behaviors your dog is demonstrating it is always best to seek professional assistance.

Nothing will work unless you do❤️ Maya Angelou

  • Monika & Sam
    March 13, 2017

    We are big fans of the ‘let me sort it out on their own’ way of thinking. Luckily it’s worked out whenever we’ve had multiples but I always watch to make sure rough-housing doesn’t get carried away. No point letting things get carried away.

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    March 13, 2017

    Great advice!! I’m glad your boys get along so well.

  • Caren Gittleman
    March 13, 2017

    OMG OMG!!! Did you fix your scroll bar on the side? I hadn’t visited in ages because I couldn’t scroll before! YAY!! Now it works!

  • Tiffany Bennett-Cuartero
    March 13, 2017

    Great advice.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    March 13, 2017

    They look like two kids playing. A slow introduction works wonders
    Lily & Edward

  • Emma
    March 13, 2017

    It really depends on the dogs too. I really prefer to be more on my own, but my sisters are always together. Katie and I were always together. Maybe the third wheel thing played a role in my desire to not hang out much with my younger sisters. Some dogs really do love other dogs, and some don’t. You have to know your dog.

  • Lindsay
    March 14, 2017

    OMD, baby Jax is just so adorable <3

    Give your boys kisses from the boys and I, Cathy. xox

  • Jan K
    March 14, 2017

    I remember how watchful we had to be when we brought Luke home. I didn’t worry about Sheba, who loved everyone, but Cricket and Kobi were my concerns. We did just as you did, and everything worked out fine! It warmed my heart especially when Kobi accepted him, since he was so much older. Seeing him and Cricket playing together was the best thing in the world!
    I really miss watching him play with Sheba now though – they had so much fun together.

  • Jen
    March 15, 2017

    Such great advice Cathy. Sherman and Leroy have never been best buddies and there was a time when they didn’t get along at all, now they tolerate each other and I really think they would miss each other.

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