I didn’t take much interest in the subject, until I learned today that Oreo’s best friend and neighbor will be moving soon. She is reactive, and only gets along with dogs she knew before the attack. She would do anything for this dog. We go outside and she lays hypnotized at the door, hoping for Boomer to come out.
I love seeing her play with Boomer. She is careless and anxiety free. They romp around the yards, diving on top of each other. Oreo is a smaller dog, while Boomer is the size of a golden retriever. Boomer will lay down and let Oreo jump and pin him down. They play tug with toys and I feel this is a time when Oreo can really be herself. It is truly a joy to watch.
I am saddened to know they are leaving, to know Oreo’s one true playmate will be gone. Walking outside, Oreo heard Boomer barking and whining inside because he is crated when his parents are gone. She layed down outside and refused to move. I enouraged, pulled, and instead of moving with me, she flopped down on her side. She did not want to move. She wanted to stay by Boomer, even though he was inside, she wouldn’t miss a chance to see him.
After learning of their moving, I did some searching about Pet Pals. In fact, I found that most dogs do not enjoy the company of other dogs, but are just tolerating it. I can see that especially when we force dogs to meet on leashes, facing each other. I also realize that many dogs form a very special bond. I think Oreo has that special bond with Boomer.
With my research, I have found that dogs can be just as happy if not happier spending time with family (humans), and it can sometimes be much betters, especially for anxious dogs. I am not saying that dogs do not need socialization, of course they do. Here is a great article about socializing dogs and if they should have friends http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-socialization-good-bad .
Play dates and socializing depend on every dog. I thought bringing my dog up to meet every dog when she was a puppy was a fabulous idea. While trying to socialize her, I think she thought she could go up to every dog then, and that every dog wanted to play. She also probably got anxiety from greeting many dogs. Now I would hate it if someone came up to me and my dog walking wishing to greet us. You live and learn I guess.
On a different, yet interesting topic. I have noticed every time Oreo encounters a fellow neighbor dog who is a small hot dog, she lays down and turns her head right away as soon as she sees him from a distance. YAY! Good Oreo for using calming signals. She is scared of every other dog, but uses appropriate calming signals with this dog. She doesn’t love to play with him, actually he is too frightened, he may come sniff but then runs away. She must know he is scared to send off calming signals. It is very interesting. I hope to utilze this somehow in the future.