Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finding the Perfect Match for Your Pooch

Dogs are pack animals, therefore most truly need and crave social interaction with other dogs in order to fully develop emotionally and behaviorally. A regular romp with canine buddies can help keep socialization skills polished, mentally and physically wear out your dog, and prevent your furniture from being destroyed. It is important to remember however, that not all dogs enjoy playing with other members of their own species. By following a few guidelines and keeping a close eye on the body language of your dog, you could help to find a match made in heaven.

Age Matters
Play styles can vary greatly between a young puppy and a seasoned adult dog. Young puppies tend to like energetic, rambunctious play, so they are best suited to play with one another. In contrast, an older dog might find this frenzied kind of play to be irritating. In addition, older dogs can be choosier about their playmates, so be patient as you and your dog find your way to the right canine friend.

Evenly Matched
Your dog and her playmates should be relatively similar in size and build to prevent any accidental injuries. Not surprisingly, smaller dogs are prone to getting injured when paired with a large breed of dog. They can be stepped on, knocked around or simply overwhelmed. Keep your dog happy by finding another pooch she can let loose with, without injuring or being injured.

Dogs of a Feather...
This is a chance for your dog to express him/herself! It's easy to lump all dog play behaviors into one pot, but many dogs actually have preferences in their types of play. For example, there are dogs that will always choose stalking or chasing, while others prefer wrestling, mouthing or tug. Some breeds, like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, prefer activities that tap into their herding instincts. Whatever your dog's play style, make a note of it, and try to find another dog who is also drawn to this type of play. Your dog will let you know whether s/he is enjoying the company of another dog by  actively playing with or ignoring the dog altogether.

                                        Let Them Have Their Say
Ultimately, let the dogs decide whether they want to be friends. You wouldn't want someone else choosing your friends, would you? If your dog and a potential playmate seem to have no interest in one another, they may simply be ill-suited as playmates. But if your dog displays regular excitement in playing with another dog, it probably means you have succeeded in finding the perfect doggie playmate!

No comments:

Post a Comment