Have you ever watched two unfamiliar dogs meet for the first time? It’s a mix of curiosity, excitement, and hesitation.
Just like people, dogs have their own way of communicating and building friendships.
For dog owners, it’s helpful to know the obvious signs that show two fellow dogs are hitting it off and getting along well.
By understanding these signs, we can ensure that our furry pals form healthy relationships with their fellow dogs and enjoy their time together!
How Long Until My Dogs Will Get Along?
Adding a new dog to a home with an existing pup resembles adding a splash of color to a painting—hoping for a masterpiece, yet unsure about the outcome.
The time it takes for two dogs to get along well varies. Like humans, dogs have their own personalities, likes, and dislikes.
In some cases, dogs hit it off from the first sniff. They play and share toys—like they’ve known one another for ages!
Sometimes, it’s a more cautious dance. Your dogs will circle around each other, sizing up the new company and taking their sweet time to become best buds.
Watch for positive signs, such as playing together without continuous growling, to know if your dogs are turning into lifelong pals. On the flip side, constant barking or baring teeth means they need time and help to bond.
Every canine duo has its own rhythm, and with a sprinkle of patience and understanding, you will help them find their groove together.
Don’t Force Two Unwilling Dogs to Get Along
While we all dream of our dogs being the best of pals, creating a natural bond is the healthiest approach. After all, friendships can’t be rushed, whether you have two legs or four.
For starters, the process will stress out both dogs big time.
Dogs, like us, must feel comfortable in their own space. Forcing them together will only cause anxiety and stress. When stressed, dogs do not eat properly and might even get sick. It’s a domino effect of adverse outcomes!
Next up, aggression.
Dogs that are pushed together get snappy with each other, leading to fights, injuries, and hurt feelings (for both dogs and humans).
Lastly, if two dogs are forced to bond, they may take longer to get along in the future. They’ll remember that terrible first impression—always hard to shake off.
11 Signs Your Dogs Enjoy a Strong Bond
Greeting Through Sniffing
If you’ve ever watched dogs greet one another, you’ll notice they do a lot of sniffing, especially around each other’s faces and tails. They learn aplenty about each other through a good sniff. It’s like reading a story about the other dog’s day.
When dogs sniff each other in a relaxed manner, it means they’re curious about one another and they’re trying to gather information. If they continue to play or hang out together after the initial sniff, it’s an encouraging indication that they’re about to become great pals.
However, just because two dogs sniff each other doesn’t mean they are bonded for life.
Sniffing is just the first step. But if, over time, your dogs play together, have positive body language around one another, and maybe even snuggle up for a nap, those are fantastic signs that the dogs are bonded!
They’re Always Playing Together
When two dogs initiate play, it’s a clear sign that they’re digging each other’s company. It’s like when you and your best friend hang out and can’t stop laughing or goofing around.
The key is searching for signs that both dogs are having fun. Are their tails wagging? Are they taking turns chasing or being chased? That’s the mark of a healthy relationship.
They Crave Each Other’s Presence
For dogs, craving each other’s presence is a big hint that they’re getting along great.
Dogs are naturally pack animals. Way back in the day, before they were our adorable household pets, they lived in groups. Being with the pack meant safety, fun, and companionship.
Today, even as our loyal pets, they still have that sense of wanting to be with their “pack.”
When two dogs constantly spend time together, it nods to their pack animal instincts.
Bonded dogs will often show signs of missing each other when separated.
One of the dogs may wait by the door or frequently check their hangout spots. It’s like saying, “Where’s my buddy? I want to be with them!”
The Absence of Defensive Behavior
When dogs are cool with each other, they don’t feel the need to “defend” themselves from each other.
You might see the dogs lounging around, not minding if the other one comes close or if they touch. They might share toys or treats without any fuss—no growls, stiff tails, raised hackles, or resource guarding. Basically, they’re chill.
They’re Grooming Each Other
In the canine world, dogs that get along groom each other—that is, one dog cleans another dog, usually around the face or ears. It’s more than just a doggy spa day; it shows trust and affection.
When a bonded pair of dogs groom each other, they say, “I care about you and want to make sure you’re looking your best!” They’re taking care of one another.
Dogs that aren’t friends or don’t trust each other won’t engage in this behavior. They’re like, “Nope, not getting that close!”
They’re Sharing Mealtimes
When two humans are close, they might share their fries or give each other a taste of their dessert.
Similarly, when two pups share food, it’s a clear sign that they’re getting along!
Dogs are naturally protective of their food—it’s a survival instinct. So, when you see dogs sharing food without any growling or stiff body language, they trust each other—immensely.
They’re Each Other’s Nap Buddies
When you find two dogs curled up next to each other, snuggled in for a good night’s sleep, that’s a big, flashing sign saying, “We are pals!”
Sleeping is a vulnerable time for any animal. When two dogs choose to sleep together, they trust one another enough to let their guard down.
There’s No Real Fighting Between the Two
When we talk about dog behavior, it’s crucial to understand the difference between play and real fighting.
Just like siblings might have playful wrestling matches, dogs, too, indulge in some friendly tussles. But how do we tell if it’s all in good fun or a worrying sign?
Play fighting among dogs exudes a more relaxed vibe. You’ll often see bouncy movements, wagging tails, and sometimes even play bowing.
A real fight is serious business. When dogs fight for real, their bodies get tense. You will notice raised hackles, intense growling, and snapping. Their movements are more deliberate and aggressive—not the carefree bounces you see in play fighting.
If you observe two dogs spending time together without engaging in real fights, that’s a solid indicator of a healthy relationship.
They Bring Each Other Solace
You know how, on a bad day, just being around a friend makes you light up? Dogs feel that way, too!
Bonded dogs often turn to each other for comfort during stressful times. Whether it’s a loud thunderstorm, a trip to the vet, or any anxiety-inducing situation, having a buddy by their side brings comfort and solace.
It’s not just about stressful moments. If one dog feels under the weather, their buddy might come over, give them a gentle groom, or keep them company. It’s their way of checking in and offering a comforting paw.
If you see your dogs turning to each other for support, it’s a beautiful sign that they share a deep bond and genuinely care about one another.
They’re OK With Sharing Toys
In the grand scheme of dog behavior, being willing to share toys is like opening up your home and heart to a friend. It’s a way for them to bond, have fun, and build trust.
Sometimes, you might catch your pups playing a game of tug-of-war with the same toy. While it looks like they’re trying to take it away from each other, in reality, it’s just a fun game they’re playing together.
If they weren’t friends, they wouldn’t be interested in playing this game in the first place.
Keep an eye out to ensure that the sharing is indeed friendly.
If one dog always takes toys away from the other or if one always hides when the other approaches, they’re not as chummy as you think.
They’re Inseparable Cuddle Buddies
One obvious sign of showing affection between two dogs is when they cuddle together. It’s so heartwarming to see them snuggled up, enjoying each other’s company!
When dogs are part of bonded pairs, they often lean on each other, lay head to tail, or drape a paw over the other’s back. Dogs that cuddle or sleep together feel safe and comfortable with one another. It’s more than just seeking warmth or a soft spot to lie down; it’s about trust, friendship, and feeling connected.
Seeing your dogs cuddling is a heartwarming sign that they’ve built a strong bond and truly enjoy each other’s company.
Give Your Pups Enough Time, and They’ll Be Lifelong Pals in No Time!
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