It’s important to introduce a dog to their new home and other dogs with care. But how do you know if they get along?
As a dog owner, it’s natural for you to want to know if your dogs like each other.
How do you know if your dogs like having each other around? There are a few things to watch for, including body language and behavior, when they are together.
What Do Dogs Do When They Like Each Other?
Dogs will show positive body language and behaviors when they like each other. Here are some obvious signs and indications that your dogs enjoy each other’s company.
These actions do not necessarily mean they already share a strong bond. But they’re on the right path.
They Sniff Each Other
Even if your dogs aren’t close yet, sniffing each other’s rear ends is a sign that they are interested in each other.
Dogs have a strong sense of smell that allows them to pick up information from another dog. A simple inhale can give them clues of their whereabouts, health, gender, and even if they are pregnant.
So why do they smell the butt instead of the ears or feet? The rectum has anal glands that secrete a unique smell full of interesting details.
Experts also believe that the anal glands give information on whether the dog is a friend or not.
Your dogs should be smelling each other. If only one dog is smelling the other, they are establishing dominance over the one who is being sniffed.
If your dog growls in the middle of a sniffing session, it’s not a good sign that they like each other.
One way to let dogs smell each other properly to become friends is by guiding them on the leash. This way you can have some control but also keep your distance.
Train them to interact appropriately and reward them with treats and praises every time they succeed.
They Play Together
It’s common for dogs to play the moment they meet. Dogs play with each other to explore and learn about each other. They also play to bond, showing affection through their actions.
Dogs will often use playful gestures, like sniffing, as a way of showing that they mean no harm, and these gestures are often reciprocated by the other dog.
Dogs also like to “play bow,” where they pretend to attack the other dog playfully. Their butt and legs are up in the air to initiate play.
Play is an important part of establishing relationships between dogs, so if you have two dogs who don’t seem to like each other very much, it might be worth trying some games together to see if they will get along.
Watch closely when your dogs start sharing toys. This is another sign that they truly enjoy each other’s company.
They are sharing things that make them happy, meaning they have taken their friendship to the next level.
Dogs will often engage in play fighting as a way of practicing dominance and submission, too. Check your dogs’ body posture every time they are play-fighting.
The interaction might turn into a real fight if they show defensive or aggressive behavior, including a stiff tail, ears forward, and teeth-baring.
Make sure your dogs still get along with each other by allowing them to interact after being calm.
They are Happier When They’re Together
Dogs are social animals and are happier when they are with other dogs.
Have you ever noticed your dog becoming sad when they are without the other dog? This means they like being around each other.
When two dogs like each other, they’re more relaxed and playful than when they are alone. They will wag their tails more often, lick each other, sleep together, and play together.
If your dogs aren’t in this stage yet, just be patient. Once they enjoy each other’s company, you know a strong bond will form.
They Sleep Together
Touching is one sign that dogs are getting comfortable with each other. But once they enjoy sleeping next to each other you know they really like each other.
Dogs feel vulnerable when they are sleeping. They tend to stay alert even when dozing off to avoid threats. It’s an innate behavior that they got from their wolf ancestors.
Wait for your dogs to hug each other when they’re sleeping. This is a clear sign that they already have a bonded pair.
Your Dog Doesn’t Feel Scared or Anxious When the Other is Around
Is your dog suddenly not scared or anxious anymore? It could be because the other dog makes them feel more confident.
There might also be times when your dog isn’t scared of loud noises and the dark anymore because they are beside another dog.
Your dog’s secure feeling means they consider the other furry friend a member of the pack now. They don’t see each other as threats but as fellow dogs who can coexist.
Give it a few more weeks, and your dogs will start comforting each other in stressful situations. It will be a clear sign that they are now best friends.
If you’re unsure whether your dog likes another, watch for these signs. If they like each other, they should be eager to play, cuddle, and sleep together.
How Long Does it Take Dogs to Like Each Other?
It depends on their personality and learned behaviors. Some dogs like each other the moment they meet.
But others can take a few weeks or up to a month before they enjoy each other’s company.
Some breeds are more accepting and friendly than others. If you have two friendly dog breeds, then it’s possible for them to like each other instantly.
But remember that this “liking” isn’t well-established yet. Your job is to make sure the friendly interactions stay consistent until they become inseparable.
Some friendly breeds that work well with fellow dogs include:
- Boston Terrier
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Shih Tzu.
But dogs’ learned behaviors will also play a crucial role in this adjustment period.
If you have trained your dog how to behave around other people and dogs, then it won’t take a lot before they start liking each other.
Do not separate dogs who are in this phase. Otherwise, they might regress when they are put together again.
If they are kept apart too much they will have a hard time developing a routine where they can get to know each other and bond.
Avoid unequal treatment to avoid fights too. Don’t let one dog notice that you’re giving the other more food or treats. You also want to offer equal attention to your two pups.
Consistency is vital when it comes to making them like each other. Let them eat, sleep, play, and exercise together.
If you see friendly interactions, do not forget to reward them with praises and treats.
However, if your dogs seem like they don’t get along, you can separate their sleeping and eating areas.
Watch closely for signs of aggression when they are playing together.
Once your dogs start to like each other, they are ready to create stronger interactions and form a special bond.
How Do You Tell if Dogs Will Get Along?
Your dogs’ first meeting will tell a lot about how they will get along in the future.
If they start on the right foot, there’s a good chance for continued friendly interactions as time passes.
Let your dogs approach each other.
Allow them to sniff one another and introduce themselves. Once they feel comfortable, these signs will show that they will get along:
- Big, funny, open-mouthed smile with the tongue sometimes sticking out.
- An exaggerated, bouncy body that shows playfulness.
- The “play bow” where their front end is down and their back end is up in the air.
- Loud, continuous growling in a high and sometimes exaggerated pitch.
- Intentionally falling and exposing their bellies.
- Taking turns chasing each other.
- They keep going back for more play.
To make sure that your dogs are safe during their first meetup, introduce them in a safe environment.
Avoid the dog park and do this in an enclosed backyard where you can remain in control.
You can also ensure their safety, and yours, by using a leash. Supervise them when playing and use the leashes to separate them if you see signs of aggression or dominance.
Lastly, do not use food or toys during the introduction. It could add unnecessary conflict and hinder their play and any potential bonding.
How to Tell if Dogs will Not Get Along
Now that you know what it looks like when your dogs will get along, let’s look at the behaviors that show that they might not end up being good friends.
Look out for the following gestures on their first meetup.
- stiff bodies with raised hackles
- closed mouth with curled lips and snarling
- ears flat close to the face
- low, threatening growl
- one dog tries to get away from the other
- if the two dogs fight, the “loser” instantly leaves the area.
Move your dogs away from each other the moment you notice any of these signs. Try letting them interact again the next day.
If you don’t have any success after a few attempts you may need a behavioral or training professional to step in.
How to Tell if Dogs Are Bonded to Each Other?
A bonded pair of dogs is different from dogs who seem to like each other.
Bonded pairs have a strong friendship that is more playful and they are always more comfortable around each other.
One sign that dogs are bonded to each other is when they are inseparable. Whether they are sleeping, eating, or walking, dogs with a strong bond would rather be with each other.
When they are apart they can get incredibly lonely.
Bonded pairs also comfort and groom each other. They share toys and food, and they know each other’s names.
Find out more about what makes dogs bond with each other.
Will Two Dogs Eventually Get Along?
It depends. Most dogs get along well because they are social animals who always want to be in packs.
Some will develop a friendship more quickly than others because they are inherently friendlier. Others will require more training to be more sociable.
It’s rare for dogs to dislike each other unless you make them feel like they’re competing against your attention, food, toys, and other “scarce resources.”
Check out how to know when two dogs get along with each other.
How to Introduce Dogs to Each Other?
The first step to introducing your dog to another is staying calm. Be a model of peace so that your dog doesn’t get anxious or aggressive when they see the other dog.
Keep your distance in case a fight occurs. Put them on a leash and allow them to sniff each other.
Reward both dogs throughout the introduction, especially when they show amicable signs.
Read more about the right steps to introducing your dog to another dog.
Dogs are Social Animals
Dogs are social creatures and want to be around other dogs that they know, love and trust.
If your dog loves another dog then there will be clear signs, like tail wagging, playing, and sleeping together.
Once your dogs get more comfortable around each other they can form an unbreakable bond that makes them inseparable.
If you’re thinking of getting another dog, here are the best low maintenance dog breeds for laid back owners.