Does Your Dog Have a Best Friend?

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We mean besides you of course. Does your dog have a best ‘dog’ friend – someone they play with, go on adventures with, share trouble-making schemes? Is it another dog in your household, a neighbor dog, or someone they play with at the dog park?
Jack and Maggie are both loners. They don’t interact with each other very much and rarely with other dogs. Jack ignores all other dogs now and Maggie is interested, but usually keeps her distance.
This is quite different than our dog Sally and even Tino. Sally loved every person and every dog she ever met. She had a particularly amorous relationship with Rudy, a big beautiful Borzoi she would see each morning on our run. I’ve written about their love affair before, but they really were besties. She never developed another relationship like that with any other dog – I guess they were soulmates.

Sally and Rudy circa 1998

Sally and Rudy circa 1998


Tino was a loner. He and his brother Bernie were obviously buddies, but when Bernie passed away just weeks after we rescued them, Tino lost his friend. He and Sally never developed a tight bond – it was more mutual tolerance – much like Jack and Maggie. I think Tino’s best friend was our neighbor’s dog Lucy. Lucy would come for play dates and Tino love chasing her around. He was also particularly watchful of our other neighbor’s dog Buddy, but they never really had an opportunity to play as Buddy was pretty old and Tino much too young and rambunctious.
In an article titled “Can Dogs Form True Friendships with Other Dogs” from Dr. Stanley Coren who frequently writes about dog psychology, he finds that even though recent research out of Washington University into the social structure of wolves found their social interactions could be described as uneasy alliances between individuals with both shared and conflicting interests, it’s quite different for dogs:
He writes:
“In the thousands of years since humans first domesticated dogs we have genetically manipulated them to socialize easily and to show friendliness almost indiscriminately. Dogs that have been properly socialized will congenially approach virtually anything that is alive, regardless of its species, and, unless they receive hostile signals, they will attempt to establish a good-natured relationship.”
What do you think? Do you agree? Does your dog have a best friend?

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  1. I’m more of a keep to myself girl. I guess Katie is my best friend and I hang out a lot with her. Bailie loves everyone and is friends with anything alive. Katie has several good friends whom she likes to visit. In Germany she had a couple besties as well. I think we are all different, just as some people are more social, some more to themselves.
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  2. Shadow had Callie. They were together from Shadow’s first day with us, almost 11 years ago. She misses her sister. And I’ll stop there before I start bawlin again.
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  3. When we were fostering, it was interesting to see which dogs Honey truly befriended. She was kind and tolerant to everyone. But some really did become friends.

    Shy Cherie was a particular buddy and the feeling was mutual. They both helped each other gain confidence.

    When we fostered a dog pair for a woman in a domestic violence shelter, we were lucky to continue the friendship even after she got an apartment and the dogs went to live with her. The chocolate Lab we called Mr Handsome was particularly dear to her. And after a year or so, even the Boston terrier we called Lil Punkin Butt started showing signs of affection for her.

    Honey still meets other dogs now that we’re traveling. But she’s more likely to buddy up to people than to other dogs.

    I think the most important thing is for us to recognize what our dogs are telling us. It’s good that you don’t force your dogs to be friends with others because you think that it’s what dogs are supposed to do. Every dog is different. And we need to respect those differences and give them what they really want. Not what we think they want.
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    • It is interesting – the differences in personalities and interest in other dogs or humans for that matter.
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  4. Everyone is Sam’s best friend, though bottom line, I’m now probably Sam’s best friend. He was very attached to the female OES we used to have before she passed. He followed her around like she was the queen…which she most definitely thought she was! 😉

  5. I have written about the friendship that Madison, my GSD and my cat shared. They passed away within a few days of each other. Bentley’s best friend was Tucker, my Golden. When we lost him at 13 years old, we all grieved. It was obvious that he’d lost his best friend. Enter Pierre and his joy for life. These two have quickly become each other best bud. They don’t snuggle like my others did, but they sure do have a great time playing together.
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  6. We take Cocoa to the dog park and she seems to initially be open to any dog becoming a friend. After running around for a while we notice there are groups who seem to have much more fun together. Last night she was playing almost exclusively with one dog and she will remember a few of her “friends” every time we go.

  7. I think just like humans, dog too a have best friends. Kilo usually doesn’t get along with most dogs, but there are a few he adores!
    His BFF is a terrier named Stanley 🙂
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  8. Missy & Buzz are each other’s best friend. They are litter mates and have been together ever since birth.
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  9. Gambler thinks whoever lets him lay by them is his best friend. The girls could sleep alone but gman has to snuggle up next to someone.
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  10. Ducky has 2 best friends at daycare – Casper (her “boyfriend”), and Wilma (their mutual bestie) – and she\’s been trying to be friends with Shadow.
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  11. I believe Leo was Harley’s BFF. Jax is fun to Harley, but I can tell the difference in the relationship. Since the chaos with the move and all, they have become closer, but it’s not quite the same as it was with Leo. #Igetit
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    • I get it, Sally never found another friend like Rudy.
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