Dog to Dog

Dogs are social and should have time with other dogs. Social play with other dogs improves welfare in different ways than dog-human interactions.

Group and pair housing are great ways to give dogs and puppies social interaction. Match healthy dogs by age, sex and size. Make sure that housing has enough space and resources to reduce conflict. Do your best to maintain groups of dogs who get along well.

A lack of social interactions can increase stress and undesirable behaviors. Socially-housed dogs are more active, bark less, and perform fewer harmful behaviors. They also offer more positive behaviors including play and sleep/relaxation.

Mismanaged social housing and group conflict can increase stress. Check socially-housed dogs regularly, and intervene as needed to maintain positive relationships.

Well-organized and monitored play sessions can also offer benefits. Social play:

  • provides enrichment
  • helps dogs develop and maintain motor and social skills
  • improves welfare both immediately and in the longer term

Introduce puppies to friendly dogs during their sensitive period for socialization (3 to ~12-14 weeks of age). This helps prevent fearful and aggressive behaviors towards dogs later in life. Each dog will vary in how much social interaction they are comfortable with. Avoid forced or negative interactions.

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 Additional Resources to Support Dogs in Other Environments

SHELTER & RESCUE

Dogs living in shelter or rescue kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, including those caring for dogs in home-based foster systems or rescue networks, are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.

 

PET FAMILIES

Dogs living in homes as family pets face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, support the human-animal bond, keep pets in their homes, and improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.

 

Research & Teaching

Dogs living in research or teaching kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.

 

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