Not every domestic pooch is a fan of meeting other pets. Many pets prefer to stay away from strange dogs and don’t need their company on walks. All they need for happiness is a beloved guardian, silence and holy peace! However, the vast majority of dogs derive great pleasure from meeting and playing with other pets. How do we choose mates for our dog and how do we distinguish between good play and unpleasant banter?
How do we choose playmates for our dog?
No matter how hard we try to choose the best mate for our dog, the decision will still depend on our charge. Even our two best-matched pets may simply not get along! However, it is not true that the dog’s guardian has no say in such a situation. By keeping these five most important rules in mind, we can ensure that our pet finds the perfect friend with whom he can safely play to the hilt!
1. Similar size
To make the interaction and play of the two dogs as safe as possible, we must pay attention to the size of the two dogs being introduced. Of course, they do not have to be of the same breed or the same weight. However, it is worth avoiding extremes – even the gentlest and friendliest German Shepherd can, in a fit of joy, step on a delicate Chihuahua and do her serious harm. Dogs of similar size can freely chase each other and play wrestling without fear or exaggerated caution. Their guardians will also be calmer!
2. Approximate age
This tip is not a strict rule either – many an older dog will keep pace with an energetic puppy! However, what matters when it comes to good play is that both dogs have similar dynamics, commitment and experience – qualities that often go hand in hand with age. The biggest difference between adult and young dogs is the level of excitement and stamina. Older quadrupeds often lose interest in play after just a few moments, while puppies can romp and jump around for hours. So we should not be surprised that our aged dog, after several minutes of puppy pranks, will eventually become annoyed and emphatically show his displeasure to the youngster. And he has the right to do so!
3. The way of playing
Not every dog likes to play in the same way. Some four-legged dogs find frantic chases the best fun, others prefer to trowel gently with their paws, and still, others prefer almost „brutal” wrestling on the ground floor. Canine friends must prefer the same way of playing. A gentle Maltese will not feel comfortable being grabbed by the ear by a staffy and tipped over into the mud. A heavier Bernese Mountain Dog, on the other hand, will only be able to watch helplessly as a dynamic spaniel makes frantic circles around him and encourages an erratic chase. Of course, any of these ways of playing is good and healthy. Provided it suits both dogs!
4. Bad habits
If you want to choose your dog’s mates wisely, you should avoid pets that are not well behaved. For it is true that dogs learn everything from each other – especially bad habits! Eating rubbish on walks, running up to every strange dog, aggression towards passing dogs or running away are just some of the problems your pup might pick up from his playmate!
5. A friendly attitude
Some unbalanced dogs can quickly turn a good game into an unpleasant tussle. Biting too hard in wrestling, pawing at your rump with your teeth during chases and scaring the other dog are all signs that the pet you have encountered does not know how to play nicely and does not necessarily have good intentions. Such behaviour may cause our charge to become frightened, panic or even respond with aggression in self-defence. For this reason, we must observe every game with a newly met dog carefully and stop it immediately if the behaviour of any of the four dogs raises our doubts.
How to choose playmates for your pet?
Remember – not every dog you meet will be a good playmate for your pet! Some quadrupeds do not wish to be accosted by strange dogs. Some pets may also have various health problems that prevent them from chasing or wrestling. Therefore, before you encourage your pet to play with a new friend, talk to its guardian and find out what character and preferences the other dog has. In this way, you can avoid unpleasant situations and save your charge from a dog brawl!