CAN DOGS BE FRIENDS?

By Wednesday, July 1, 2015 49 Permalink

In four months, I’ve witnessed the bond between my two dogs develop and strengthen.

While their daily shenanigans resemble kids in elementary school, I cannot help but wonder – are they really friends? Can dogs be friends?

Initially, Jaxson’s arrival in early March made inside the house just as cold as outside.

Harley’s not a fighter, more like a lover, but when it came to Jax – he was neutral.

Jax was relentless. He worked so hard for Harley’s “friendship#overtime

I put on a good front for the rest of the family, but secretly I questioned my second doodle decision. #bigtime #daily

I know the “bond” between humans and canines have been dissected and deliberated time again.

Most would agree –

it’s a dynamic relationship that is mutually beneficial for both…

difference

Some people feel that  –

Dogs must have canine companions because they are derived from wolves, which are cooperative hunters and are supposed to form deep lasting friendships and allegiances within their packs.

While others believe –

This is a misinterpretation of the social structure of wolves.

Sorry to report, my attempts to find what I call “satisfying” clarification on this subject, revealed no conclusive evidence about dogs forming bonds of friendship with other dogs.

But it does give us something to think about doesn’t it?

Your thoughts?

freinds

 

It’s Wednesday, do the “hump” dance today! 

Can Dogs Form True Friendships with Other Dogs

Do Dogs Need Canine Friends?

This is our contribution in the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

49 Comments
  • Monika & Sam
    July 1, 2015

    I think dogs can be ‘buddie’s because the pack instinct is strong. Some may never be close, but others seem quite bonded to each other. Dynamic and ever evolving are probably the two best ways to describe dog/dog relationships. A thought provoking post! Nice job. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Thanks Monika – I personally have no reason to believe otherwise. I also like your two descriptive words, “dynamic & evolving” PAWfect words to use in this context. Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Talent Hounds
    July 1, 2015

    I think they can have friends. There are dogs Kilo naturally likes more.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      I believe so too Talent Hounds – regardless to what the “experts” think!

  • Taryn
    July 1, 2015

    I absolutely believe dogs have canine friends! Jimmy and Wilson have their squabbles (all thanks to Jimmy), but I see them look for one another, enjoy hanging together esp. when we (the humans) go out, strike up play, etc. Jimmy seems even more bonded to Wilson as he is the younger one and Wilson was his mentor as a young pup.

    Before Jimmy came along, Wilson used to pal around with a chocolate lab. They have been friends for pretty much Wilson’s whole life (12 years!) and just ask Wilson if he wants to visit Mousse. He’s out the door and headed to his house!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      I believe they can have canine friends too Taryn. Now that I’ve read your comment, I’ve got to know: what happened to Mousse once Jimmy came along? Do the three of them play together? This is a blog post all of itself girl – start writing LOL 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  • Eliza
    July 1, 2015

    Yes! Definitely! Teddy and D’Art give each other company and play time. They wait for each other at the door when one is slower than the other. I can’t imagine going back to only 1 dog again. It took them a while to become friends, but now that bond is priceless!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Eliza – sounds a lot like my house. The two of them are now best of buds, but it didn’t start out that way. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Fiona
    July 1, 2015

    Some interesting questions. Muffin usually finds it stressful to be around strange dogs although she appears pleased to see some dogs who she plays with happily. I think pushing her to be around dogs was making her anxieties worse and walk time was difficult for everyone. We now tend to walk where it is quiet and deal with other dogs using lots of praise for calm encounters.
    She is sometimes able to have time with dogs when we go out early and all the dogs on the field are familiar.
    If this wasn’t possible I would chose no contact at all over stressful contact anyday.
    Overall she has been much happier and calmer since being around dogs less. I would love another dog but feel instinctively that it would not be right for us with Muffin.
    I suppose, just like humans , they are all different and some dogs would do better with canine company.

  • Emma
    July 1, 2015

    Is it a typo in the third sentence or is Jax’s real name Jason? Just wondering. We think dogs can have friends as there are certain dogs we love meeting up with and hanging out with, and others we don’t like at all. Not all three of us have the same friends, either.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Oops! The “x” wasn’t there. Good look-out Emma. Now you’ve added a new dimension – three dogs in one household with unique friends. Very interesting…

  • Christina
    July 1, 2015

    I most definitely think dogs can be friends. My mom had two poodles, and when the first one passed, the one left behind seemed so depressed, wandering around the house looking for her buddy. Jax and Harley look like they’re getting along famously now. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      They are getting along really well Christina. And their relationship is very different from what Harley & Leo had. It’s another reason why I believe dogs can have friends. They are such unique and complex little precious creatures. I love them!

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    July 1, 2015

    Our dogs are family and I love it that way. I love the different relationships they have with each other. I love that Scout and Zoey still wrestle around, that Zoey and Rodrigo play tug of war and chase. And it makes me smile when Rodrigo and Sydney lay together and give each other kisses.

    But they have friends. Mayer, who isn’t very comfortable with strangers, loved the puppies when they were all puppies.

    And our dogs have a great friendship with 2 standard poodles. I love it when we can get them together.

    So yes, dogs can have friends.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Well said, I concur. And I might add, they can also determine who they do not want as friends. Dogs will forever fascinate me – there is so much we can learn from them.

  • When the Cat is Away
    July 1, 2015

    I don’t have a lot of experience with dogs, but I think I’ve seen friendship between dogs. My neighbor’s mother died, and he took over her dog. A bit later, he met his girlfriend who also has a dog. They look very happy together, and they seem to miss each other when one of them is somewhere else.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      I agree with you completely. What you described is exactly what I call “friendship”, and I believe it’s possible for dogs. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • jan
    July 1, 2015

    My three dogs do everything Misty the alpha Poodle tells them to do. I’m not sure if that is friendship, but we all have a great working relationship. Misty can read my mind so it”s all good.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      HA! There’s nothing wrong with Misty being in charge. Someone has to do it! 🙂

  • The Daily Pip
    July 1, 2015

    Our first dog, Pip, was abandoned with another dog. At the shelter, they were inseparable and really seemed to depend on each other – Pip more on Teddy the other dog rather than Teddy on Pip. For whatever reason, they were adopted separately. Pip really seemed to grieve the loss of Teddy. A few months later we were able to have a play date with Pip and Teddy and they were overjoyed to see each other. There was definitely shared a special bond.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      That’s an amazing example of what this post was all about. Thank you for sharing this with us. I believe in my heart that dogs can be friends, very similar to what happens with their humans.

  • Karen Dibert
    July 1, 2015

    Dogs very much have friends! We’ve had dogs actually mourn the loss of another. It’s always fascinating to me to watch who chooses whom as a good buddy.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      It is fascinating to watch Karen. Harley’s attachment to Leo was instant, yet with Jax it took months. I wonder why?

  • Jackie Bouchard
    July 1, 2015

    I do think dogs have friends – but I don’t think they necessarily *have* to have them. We have always has one dog at a time – but our dogs have all had friends. Rita has Reggie, her cousin, and her BFF, Dakota. They get SO excited when they see each other. But I think Rita prefers to be an ‘only pup’. I guess we’ll see how it goes when we dog-sit Reggie for 3 whole weeks this fall!

    As for not having to have friends, my sister’s dog was a rescue who wasn’t properly socialized before my sis got her. My sis worked and worked with her, but the most she could ever hope for was that her dog would walk calmly alongside my dog, but they were never friends. Other dogs would be growled at. Only in her late life – like when she was about 11 – did she finally make a friend. There was a dog they met at the park that for whatever reason, Indy liked. The dog was the only friend she ever had. Which kinda sounds like a sad story, but she was otherwise a happy dog who had a long happy life with my sis, so she did great without any friends.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Great point Jackie, they probably don’t “have” to have them. But then that makes me think “what makes them decide to have/want friends. Hmmmm, another interesting subject 🙂 How cool for you to have Reggie for 3 weeks! I can’t wait to read about all the adventures with him and Rita.

  • M. K. Clinton
    July 1, 2015

    There is absolutely no question in my mind. Dogs and cats have friends and mourn their passing. I have seen it too many times.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      True stories MK, just so puzzled that I couldn’t find much on the internet about this subject.

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    July 1, 2015

    Mr. N definitely has dog friends. He gets excited whenever I mention Sage’s name.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Every dog wants to be friends with Mr. N. 🙂

  • Lauren Miller (ZoePhee)
    July 1, 2015

    I felt the same way when I first adopted Phoenix. I had a lot of reservations and sort of felt bad for Zoe that she had to put up with a hyper schitzo dog. I can tell you that 3 years later, we wouldn’t have it any other way. They are the best of buddies!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      It’s such a relief when they do get along isn’t it Lauren? When dogs live together I think it takes longer for the bonding to begin, but when it does – it’s extra special.

  • Robin
    July 1, 2015

    While I don’t have any scientific evidence to back it up, I think dogs can be friends. Could it be a misinterpretation of social structure? Sure, but you just have to look at what your definition of friendship is. In my opinion, a friend is someone that you choose to allow to be a part of your life. Friends enjoy doing things together and look out for one another’s needs. I think dogs (and cats) can do that.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      That’s just it Robin, I believe they can also, but I found it strange that I couldn’t find much information about this particular subject.

  • Hawk aka BrownDog
    July 1, 2015

    Hi Y’all!

    We think some dogs just don’t have the personality for friendship with other canines. Some dogs, once the sort out the hierarchy, make lasting bonds. However, just like their humans, they have their squabbles.

    Don’t forget to stop tomorrow when I tell you what happened with the visitor.

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Don’t you worry Hawk, we will definitely stop by, gotta find out what happened.

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    July 1, 2015

    I think they can be friends, Gambler tries to be the girls friends but I think they only like him part of the time.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 1, 2015

      Oh no, not Gambler. Who wouldn’t love him as a BFF all the time 🙂

  • Cathy @ I Love My Chihuahua
    July 1, 2015

    I believe dogs can be friends with each other. I know my 2 big dogs are best friends and really do love each other. My little Chi tolerates them both but isn’t friends with either one of them.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 2, 2015

      Cathy, that’s so funny – your lil guy “tolerates” the big guys. I imagine he/she runs the pack too! Way to go…. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Pamela
    July 2, 2015

    Sorry to hear you were wondering about your choice. It’s hard to read the minds of our pups and figure out if we’re going the best for them.

    Personally, I don’t feel that every dog needs a canine friend. But I also feel that dogs choose friends just like humans do.

    They get different things from different relationships and that’s good.

    Who knows exactly what Harley and Jax think of each other? But they’re definitely family and, no matter what, family sticks together.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 3, 2015

      Oh Pamela, it wasnt’that kind of worry. More curious like. I love your last sentence about family and I couldn’t agree more!

  • Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady
    July 2, 2015

    I do think dogs can be friends. I have noticed that when we are out and come across other random dogs, the huskies get excited, BUT when we run into other dogs who they have played with before, they get super excited and you can tell they are happy to see a pup they know!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 3, 2015

      Harley gets so excited sometimes Jenna, I think he scares the other dog owners. They start to tense up. I have to quickly tell them that he’s only happy to see the other dogs! Have a great holiday weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

  • weliveinaflat
    July 2, 2015

    Friends are the dogs I like to play with again and again! Simple as that 😛 They had to care temporarily for a toy poodle once. He was not my friend. I had to work very hard to act cute because I think the humans were giving him attention that they should be giving me!! #dogsgetjealoustoo

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 3, 2015

      Oh no, not the green eyed monster! It’s great to have friends – four and two legged ones!

  • Jan K
    July 3, 2015

    I think dogs can definitely be friends, and just like humans some are just closer than others. Sheba and Luke are closer than Cricket and Luke are, and the girls are closer to each other, I imagine since they’ve been together so much longer.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 3, 2015

      I like that thought Jan, I believe the relationships between the two can vary. I wouldn’t even begin to compare Harley & Leo with Harley & Jax. I think they are more than capable developing friendships. Have fun with your pack this weekend 🙂

  • Reagan
    July 8, 2015

    We have had a golden in the family for over 7 years now and my sister got a white lab over a year ago and I would say they are definitely “buddies” :). Yes, Cali the lab can bug Bailey the golden every now and then but the way they interact and are always together gives me the impression they must like each other enough to be friends!

    I’m so glad to have found your site! I absolutely love golden doodles. 🙂 We are getting our little golden retriever girl the first week in August! I’d love for you to check out our new journey: http://www.raebyday.wordpress.com!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 8, 2015

      Hi Reagan, I would love to check it out – headed over there now. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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