How To Get Dogs To Get Along

Have you ever wished your dog and a furry neighbor could be play buddies instead of growly rivals?

Turning woofs into wags isn’t always easy, but it’s possible!

In this article, you will discover fun and friendly ways to help dogs get along and build a bond.

So, if you’re ready to dive into the joyful journey of “how to get dogs to get along,” let’s fetch those tips together!

By the end, you might just have a tail-wagging duo ready for playdates and park adventures.

What Dogs Think And Feel

Dogs And Their Friends

It’s easy to forget that domesticated dogs descended from wild ancestors that roamed in packs, much like wolves.

They had roles, leaders, and, yes, even friendships!

Dogs have this inherent need to establish order and territories.

Those times when your dog might snarl over their favorite toy or their sleeping spot?

It’s an age-old trait that says, “Hey, this is special to me.”

Surprisingly, dogs even have a sense of “fairness.”

Studies have shown that they can get jealous if they feel another dog is getting more treats or attention!

Dogs Remember Things

Dogs don’t just live in the moment.

They remember.

Some might’ve had rough pasts, making them more cautious or fearful.

A dog rescued from the streets might flinch at a raised hand, associating it with a past threat.

First meetings are like the first chapters in their friendship book.

It sets the tone!

A fun fact?

Dogs have a “scent memory.”

Just like we remember faces, they remember scents of dogs they’ve met.

Making The First Meeting Good

Picking The Right Spot

The best friendships often start on neutral grounds.

For dogs, it’s about unfamiliar terrains with unfamiliar scents.

This puts both dogs on an even keel.

A quiet corner of a public park during off-peak hours is ideal.

And here’s something intriguing: dogs have a unique way of “shaking hands.”

It’s through sniffing!

So, don’t be alarmed if they seem overly curious about sniffing each other.

It’s their way of saying “hello.”

Our Part In The Meeting

Believe it or not, dogs are like emotional sponges.

They soak up our feelings!

If you’re jittery, they’ll sense it, and it might make them apprehensive.

On the flip side, if you radiate calmness, it puts them at ease.

Here’s a lesser-known tip: dogs find the arc approach non-threatening.

Instead of walking straight towards another dog, approach in a curve.

It’s like a polite “excuse me” in dog language.

Fun Ways To Help Dogs Like Each Other

Treats And Cheers

Did you know that just like humans, dogs have taste buds?


And they absolutely love it when they get a tasty treat.

So, imagine if every time you hung out with a new friend, you both got a surprise treat.

You’d always associate that friend with good times!

That’s the same for dogs.

Every time they have a positive interaction, giving them a treat helps them remember that being with the other dog is a fun, happy experience.

And while treats are awesome, words matter, too.

Dogs might not understand every word we say, but they sure feel our happy tones.

So, praising them with a “Good job!” when they play nicely, it can make a difference.

And don’t forget joint activities!

Fun group activities like playing with a frisbee or taking a joint walk can be the fun day out that makes them bond.

Little Steps First

Remember your first day at a new school?

Lots of faces, loads of names, and everything felt so new.

Dogs feel that when meeting other dogs, especially if they’ve had previous bad experiences.

Most dog owners don’t realize that our furry friends have memories too.

Just like how we remember falling off a bike, dogs might remember a past growl or bite.

This is why it’s important to start with short interactions in neutral spaces.

Slowly increasing their time together can build trust without overwhelming them.

If Dogs Argue, What Do We Do?

Recognize When They’re Not Playing

Ever watched a dog play and thought, “They look like they’re fighting!?

Well, sometimes dogs have a playful wrestle, which can seem rough but is all in good fun.

But there’s a difference between playful nips and serious bites.

Most owners miss this: Dogs have a play bow, where they lower their front legs and wag their tails.

It’s their way of saying, “Let’s play!”

But if their body goes stiff, their growl goes deeper, and their tail goes rigid, it’s a sign things are getting too serious.

Safe Ways To Stop Fights

Now, here’s a piece of gold advice most dog owners don’t know: Never, ever get between fighting dogs.

It’s a quick way to get bitten.

Instead, making a loud noise, like clapping or banging pots, can distract them.

Another trick?

Toss a blanket over them.

It surprises them and can break up the fight.

The key is to redirect their attention.

Once separated, give them some time to calm down before reintroducing them.

Making Your Home Good For Both Dogs

Keep Things Regular

Have you ever noticed how dogs get super excited around their mealtime?

That’s because dogs love routines.

They feel comfortable when they know what’s coming.

By feeding them, walking them, and playing with them at the same times daily, you’re giving them a sense of security.

And here’s something neat: If you have more than one dog, feeding them at separate stations can reduce food guarding or jealousy.

Keep An Eye On Them

Ever heard of the term “helicopter parent”?

Well, sometimes, being a bit of a “helicopter dog owner” can be a good thing.

Observing how your dogs interact, especially in the beginning, can give you valuable insights.

Little signs like a raised hackle (that’s the fur on their back) can indicate tension.

Getting Help If Needed

When Problems Keep Happening

Dogs, just like humans, have their personalities and quirks.

Sometimes, they just need more time to adjust to each other.

Other times, they might need some expert guidance.

Fun fact: There are “doggy schools” where dogs can learn to socialize!

Talking To Dog Experts

There are people whose whole job is to understand dogs.

Cool, right?

Dog behaviorists or trainers come with a toolkit of strategies to help dogs get along.

They’ve seen countless doggy dynamics and can offer tailored advice for your pets.

At the heart of every dog friendship is an owner trying their best.

With a mix of patience, love, and some handy tricks up your sleeve, you can help your dogs become the best of friends.

After all, every furry tale deserves a happy ending.

Before You Go…

You now know how to get dogs to get along.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.