Canine Corner

The human-animal bond

Can Dogs Form True Friendships with Other Dogs

Based upon research on the social structure of wolf packs, some scientists have expressed doubts that dogs can form true friendships with other dogs. However dogs are not wolves and we have genetically manipulated dogs so that they easily form bonds of friendship, not only with people, but with other dogs, and other species. Read More

Stoooopid scientists.....

Only a stupid scientist with zero experience living with multiple dogs would doubt dogs can form true friendships(and lasting rivalries!) with other dogs(and all kinds of other critters!). And the scientists mentioned came to this conclusion studying the social structure of wolves? As if wolves can't form friendships either? Makes me wonder WHAT wolves they observed--ones kept in cramped, unnatural, artificial enclosures, perhaps? OF COURSE wolves form friendships--and "fortunetely dogs are not wolves"???? If wolves weren't able to form friendships, there would be NO DOGS! And dogs always friendly if socialized properly? I have known quite a few dogs(I have one right now!), that, despite being raised with much love and attention and constant socialization, grow up to be extremely belligerant and antagonistic, and fight other dogs at the drop of a hat, and must be kept seperated from them. Antisocial as heck, in other words! Dogs are individuals, as are wolves, as are their circumstances. The more experience I have with them, the more I've learned that it is very inaccurate to make sweeping generalizations like the ones mentioned in this post about them.......


My observation is that, yes, dogs can form a friendship with other dogs. I still remember the bond Jasmine had with her best buddy, Boxer, who unfortunately passed to Lymphoma.

It was a love at first sight and they only got closer the longer they knew each other. As he was showing up for play dates less and less frequently, it was quite obvious how sad Jasmine was every time they were leaving to go home. She knew it was going to be a long time before she'd see him again.

The first time he came to visit our house, Jasmine was so happy that we "finally figured it out." Yes, we can all stay in one house and see so much more of each other. She first showed him around the whole house--basement to upstairs, then the yard--then they stood there wagging their tails side by side.

They never played tug, they would hold the stick and run around with it side by side. They were completely comfortable around each other and happy being close and doing things together.

Whatever words I can come up with to explain, I KNOW they were true friends.

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Stanley Coren, Ph.D., F.R.S.C., is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia.


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