Will Your Dog Get Along with a Canine Houseguest?

! Love My Dog(s) November '06 Mosaic

It is very common for dog owners to exchange pup-sitting duties when they go on vacation. Dogs cannot be left alone for extended periods of time because this can cause severe emotional stress, and these animals will be both safer and happier if they board with a fellow canine while their owners are away. However, it is unwise to accept any guest dog into your home without first ensuring that it gets along with your own pet. Before a new dog arrives at your home for an extended stay, you should host a ‘meet and greet’ with your own dog to ensure that the two will enjoy their time together.

When your dog first meets its potential houseguest, you should ensure that both dog owners are present to supervise the introduction. This will ensure that you can immediately intercede should something go awry.

You should begin by allowing the dogs to approach each other naturally. Bring the dogs into contact and let them be. Most often, the dogs will be curious about the presence of a potential new playmate and will begin to investigate each other. In many cases, this will consist of the dogs sniffing each other’s rear end; this is perfectly natural as dogs identify each other by scent.

As long as you do not note any blatantly hostile behavior during the introduction, it is safe to allow the dogs to continue socializing with each other.

Significance of Various Behaviors

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While the dogs spend time with one another, you may notice several different behaviors and reactions. By observing the dogs’ conduct, you can gauge whether or not they will be suitable companions.

Many owners are startled when their dogs occasionally snarl or snap at one another. This actually does not indicate any form of aggression; rather, the dogs are probably trying to determine the appropriate behavior for their given situation. For example, puppies oftentimes become excessively excited and rowdy when playing with older dogs; the older dogs will growl or snap in order to teach the puppy that such behavior is not welcome.

If one dog rolls over and exposes its belly, this indicates that the dog is comfortable with the presence of its new companion. This should be interpreted as a positive sign, especially if the other dog acknowledges such an action.

Signs of potential hostility could include prolonged, menacing growling or raised hackles. If you notice these actions, you should separate the dogs immediately. Obvious demonstrations of animosity such as attempted fighting should be taken very seriously; dogs that show this behavior should not be allowed to spend any time together.

Are Your Pets Suitable for Dog Boarding?

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Clearly, dogs that exhibit strong aggression towards each other should not be boarded together. Forcibly introducing hostile animals could pose a safety hazard to both your own dog and your guest.

Pets that exhibit signs of amiability are the best companions for dog boarding. However, dogs that seem indifferent towards each other can also be boarded together. Occasionally, it simply takes time before two given dogs are comfortable with each other. It is unlikely that any major issues will arise during the guest dog’s stay if the animals do not show any initial malice towards each other.

Laruen Colman serves as the digital marketer for the dog boarding and dog sitting community at Rover.com and is a true dog lover at heart. Lauren spends her days at the office with her dogs Squish and Brando by her side. For more dog tips, you can follow Rover.com on Twitter @roverdotcom or on their blog, Dog Boarding News.

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