People with 2 or more dogs: Do your dogs interact with each other?

I have two dogs, a male Labrador, 3 years old, and a female dog of undetermined pedigree, a.k.a. a mutt, 6 years old. The female dog has been here for five years and the male for two and a half. Both are friendly dogs. They accepted each other from the first moment and are very well-mannered and cordial towards each other. By this, I mean their posture towards each other is very relaxed. There is no stiff-legged walking around each other. They sniff each other regularly with relaxed postures and wagging tails. But one thing I noticed is they have never played with each other and although they both go to the door to be put out together and will lie down in near-proximity to each other, each dog acts very independently of the other dog. Neither dog is interested in being top dog or getting one-up over the other and they will come up to me together for treats or petting. If I leave the house with one dog (for a vet or grooming appointment) the other dog will not be left out and insists on going for a ride, too. But each dog will go off independently and do his or her own thing, and it doesn’t bother either one to be separated from the other. By the way, they are both spayed and neutered, so they have absolutely no sexual interest in each other.

I don’t really have a point to this, and I suppose this is natural in that the dogs didn’t bond with each other as puppies. I also accept this as the state of affairs around my household and am pleased that the dogs are at least relaxed around each other and accept each other’s placement in the pack. But how common is this? Among the Dope, how many people have dogs that are close buddies and how many have dogs that while not close, live together in a relative state of peace and harmony?

I have two Boston terrorists. :rolleyes: I rescued one when the first dog was 7. They have never really played, but that’s mostly because the rescue was a stud dog in a puppy mill and had no idea how to play or wtf that squeaky thing was all about. He just stares at her, :confused:.

So she licks his head. Pretty much from the tip of his nose to his ears, she’ll lick him until he’s sopping wet. Then he gets tired of it and gets up to go lay down somewhere else. They’re buddies, they go everywhere together. They look for each other if one is at the vet or something. I believe they genuinely like each other. They just don’t play like puppies anymore. Now, they are almost 13 and 11, so they mostly eat, sleep and poop.

Oh and they both live with a cat, with whom they both also get along very well. When it’s cold, you’ll find 'em all three curled up together on a bed somewhere. Sometimes, the older dog tries to play with the cat, who has lived with a dog or dogs since he was a wee kitty. Same thing: he looks for the dogs if they’re not around. He likes them. But he’d rather I just feed him.

Be grateful for what you have! An amiable, stressless relationship is nice - and if they are not playing together, they will be less likely to misunderstand each other’s actions and get snotty with one another. They have the pack relationship they need, and it sounds like they are very aware of each other.

Much of the daily tussles and “play” between dogs is actually jostling for position, and practice for a move up the ladder at a later date. Sounds like you’ve got some nice dogs!

(Oh - I have 2 female herding dogs, a 5 year old BC who is mostly submissive and a 3 year old Pyr Shep who is definately not. So far, they are still buds, but they re-examine the relationship daily, it seems.)

I have 5 dogs. Maggie, the standard poodle, wants to play with everyone. Sometimes, Grace, the 11 year old dobie wants to play, sometimes not. Jake, the 2 year old dobie plays, but tries to push her around. Wolf, the old malamute doesn’t play, but he’s just getting to the point were he wants to be with me and wags his tail and approachs me. I don’t think he was treated very well. Paddy, the english setter, is a big stick in the mud and only wants me to pet him. All the dogs react as a pack if there’s something outside the think they need to drive away. None of my dogs play with toys, but if they think there’s something to hunt (bunny or rodent outside) they all get together. They all behave nicely toward each other, because I insist on it. I’m the biggest bitch in the pack.


We have two English springer spaniels, Phyllis (8) and Dottie (6). They are “sisters” in that they have the same parents, but obviously they came from litters 2 years apart.

The day we brought Dottie home at 8 weeks, Phyllis pretty much ignored her. (“What puppy? I don’t see any puppy.”) But by day 2, she seemed to realize that the puppy was here to stay, and seemed to take on a sort of mothering role. She would let Dottie do obnoxious puppy things, but gently correct her when it got to be too much, and she didn’t start wrestling with her until she was big enough to hold her own.

By now, of course, they are fast friends. They often lie side by side, or butt to butt in a mirror formation. When they are separated, usually only because one must go to the vet, the one left behind will bark (while the other one is excited about going somewhere). The reunion is usually pretty enthusiastic. When we let them out of the kennel after being in there all day, they come bounding out and make a few laps with Phyllis play-attacking Dottie, nipping at her butt as they run in circles. But after about 30 seconds of this, they separate and do their own exploring (though Dottie often goes to check it out if Phyllis is sniffing something, but not vice versa).

They rarely play tug-of-war, but I think that’s because Dottie is more attached to toys than Phyllis is. Sometimes Phyllis will “nurse” on a plush toy, or perhaps grab a toy that Dottie has dropped, but that’s about it. Sometimes Dottie will try to instigate play by swatting Phyllis with a paw, or “butt-slamming” her; I can’t recall Phyllis being the instigator. But they do sniff and lick each other, both on the face and cough elsewhere (which we of course discourage). Dottie also likes to nose around in Phyllis’s ears, which she allows. Dottie also often uses Phyllis for a pillow, especially in the mornings when they’re both snuggled in between Mr. S and me. But Phyllis does occasionally show Dottie her pretty white teeth, if Dottie is getting too big for her britches.

When we still had 14-year-old Scout, we kept her mostly separate from the springers, mostly because we didn’t want them knocking her sore old bones around, but also because she had shown herself to be less than friendly toward them sometimes. Easier to prevent a fight than to break one up.

I have three dogs. The oldest is a 12-yr old Sheltie (10-1/2 then) who was an “only child” for 10 years, and wasn’t socialized to other dogs much.

Then I brought home Lucy- a then 2-yr old Lab - (3 now) full of energy and wanting to play. The Sheltie didn’t want much to do with her.

Then I got Ernie, a 1-yr old Bichon (2 now) who luuurrved Lucy and wanted to play all the time. He jumps on her and attacks her (in play) - they play tug-o-war and chase each other endlessly. He likes to hump her back, and sometimes her head. She shrugs him off. The Sheltie just barks at them. When they are all riled up, Blaze the Sheltie wants to play fight with me a bit.

They are all jealous of attention given by me to any of them. Usually I’ll pet two of them with my hands and rub another with my foot! :smiley:

Lucy is alpha dog by virtue of being the biggest, but Ernie tries his hardest to be a bad ass.

I love them all so much! :slight_smile:

I have a three year old dog and a four month old dog. They wrestle and chase each other when the older dog is willing to. They both sniff and lick each other too. They don’t curl up together and sleep, but will sleep near each other.

I forgot to mention that occasionally we need to stick one of them in her crate (urine leakage issues, thunderstorms, whatever). They each have their own crate, but sometimes when we’re shoving one in her crate, the other will follow into the same crate! They have just enough room to lie down parallel – side by side, not curled up – but they will happily stay in one crate together all night, no whining or other signs of distress.

I’ve got two Portuguese Water Dogs; a nine year old female, Bailey, and a ten year old male that I rescued, Guinness. When I introduced Guinness to Bailey about six years ago, they played non-stop. Over the years, they mellowed out. They’ll still play at least one game of chase every day, but now more than anything else they hang out together. If they’re in the back yard, they’ll sit close to each other. Inside, they’re both usually in the same room, even if I’m not there. I’ll catch them together in a puppy pile from time to time.

Guinness will sometimes spend minutes at a time licking one of Bailey’s ears, or occasionally … well, I guess to him, Bailey has a sweet tasting pooper.

My two shelties are very attached. The older one is 13 now and has always been very social. So much so that I felt bad about her be an only dog and got the younger boy, who is 8. I got him when he was 8 weeks old, so they’ve been together nearly his whole life.

They play constantly. It’s very cute (except when it’s 3:00 am and on my bed). When the younger boy was a pup, the older girl was always very gentle with him when they’d play tug or wrestle. Now that she’s older and arthritic, he’s equally gentle with her.

They’ve never tussled over food or dominance. I don’t think they know who’s dominant. Other than they can’t decide who goes outside first, they don’t seem to care. They do get jealous when I pet one, but they don’t fight. Instead the other one shoves his/her way into the petting. But they’ve never even growled at each other that I’ve seen.

My cat, however, can’t stand either one of those disgusting, dirty dogs! She’d never lower herself to playing with either one of those cretins.

2Gordon Setters- 4 and a half year old bitch and 3 year old male, and a 6 year old Papillon bitch. The Papillon HATES the male Gordon… if he so much as looks at her she goes into a snit. She tolerates the Gordie bitch much better.

Now… the 2 Gordons ADORE one another. They play together constantly, and when they sleep, they curl up together.It frightens me… if I lose one, I am pretty sure I will lose them both, they are that close.

The little Papillon was that close to my male Pap until I lost him last year.

I don’t have 2 dogs that live together but my dog and my brother’s dog hang out a lot.

My dog (golden retriever) went through most of her doggie socialization at obedience school. She is anti-social around dogs. Not that she is mean or scared or anything - just totally unimpressed with anything else that has 4 legs. She much prefers people.

My brother’s dog did not go to school but most of her socialization has been with my anti-social dog. She REALLY wants to play with Dolly but Dolly doesn’t give a shit.

So, even when they’re together they’re pretty much like the OP’s dogs - they will tug on the same rope if a person is in the middle, but they won’t make eye contact. They won’t cuddle with eachother. If they lie close it’s back-to-back. It’s actually amusing to watch.

Both of them are stuck up at the dog park, too. Dolly just follows me around and my brother’s dog plays less and less with other dogs.

I should add too that they’re both spoiled rotten by their “grandparents” and spend most of their time together vying for my parents’ time.

That’s exactly how my dogs are around each other. Thoroughly unimpressed with each other and wouldn’t give a shit if the other dog weren’t around. Yet they are capable of sharing living quarters and attention from me without either of them getting their nose out of joint. In fact, any other time I’ve had two dogs, it’s been the same way. Sniff butts. “Oh, it’s just you.” And each dog will go off and do its thing. I should be grateful I don’t need Cesar Milan or Victoria Stillwell. I feel sorry for dog owners on those shows whose dogs don’t get along. Yet 20 years ago or so, I had an 11 year old golden retriever and my roommate had a 6 month old Lab and those dogs were constantly playing. They’d play tug of war, chase each other and wrestle. It was wondrous to see the elderly dog drop 10 years from her and act like a puppy. Those two dogs genuinely loved one another.

I have only the one dog now, but when I did have them, Jasmine drove Ladybug nuts. Ladybug (lab mix) was about 5 when we got Jasmin (curr mix). She liked to play, especially with toys, and was very sociable, both with people and dogs. Jasmine, however, was INSANE to play. Ladybug could hardly get any peace; to get Jasmine to calm down, she practically had to go balistic. Eventually, Jasmine settled down, which is good, because Bug got older, and arthritic and couldn’t play like she used to.

Jasmine doesn’t play at all, now, because she never figured out “toys” and she’s not social with other dogs at all. But she loves her walks, and the cats keep her company. In fact, Punky spends most of his time near her, which I think is really sweet.

Two pugs, a year apart in age. They play together a lot - pretty much some every day. Sometimes they chase each other around the house, sometimes tug of war with a toy, sometimes keep away with a toy.

Heck, sometimes we all play. Me, Mr. Athena, and the two dogs chase each other around the house. So far, I can’t get Mr. Athena to fetch, at least not toys. He’s pretty good at getting me a beer from the fridge though. :smiley:

I have a 10 YO black Lab and rottie mix (Bitz the Wondermutt) and a 3 YO English bulldog (Sydney). I got the big dog at age three and the bulldog at 9 weeks.

From the moment they met, Bitz took Syd under her paw and taught her way more about the way things work at Chez FallenAngel than I did.

While they now still keep their own space, they’re very bonded. They lie together pretty often, and Syd still challenges Bitz to the occasional wrestling match, a couple times a week or so.

Bitz still hands Sydney her ass every time, and Syd’s fine with that. She just likes the attention and play with her big sister. A couple time’s a year, Syd will go on longer, as though she’s actually testing to see if Bitz is the boss of her or not, and Bitz determines that she in fact still is. The matches never get violent, just more intense and longer lasting.

They both defer perfectly well to my wife, myself and our housemate, but when told to get out of my damn kitchen they will both go off together to sulk at missing out on the bacon. They’ll also combine forces and sit right next to each other to lay on the sad puppy eyes.

We have two dogs, an Australian Shepherd and a Shetland Sheepdog, both four years old. We got them both as puppies and they play constantly. They chase each other, they clean each other, and they play competitive fetch together without fighting. Pretty much the only thing they don’t do is sleep together, as the Aussie prefers the floor and the Sheltie prefers a dog bed or couch.

We got Rebel as a buddy for Buck last Christmas. Buck is the alpha dog, but that doesn’t stop them from wrestling all around the backyard. I will see Reb chase him all around, and actually bounce after him. He will even grab his cheek with his teeth. I’ve never had two dogs, but Ivylad says it’s all play.

They sleep together on the big dog bed we got from LL Bean, but sometimes, I think Buck needs a break because he’ll go hide in our room or one of the kid’s rooms.