Do your dogs have opportunities to play with other dogs? If you have more than one, they may well play with each other, unless you have a situation like ours. Lola is 5, LarryDog is 15. He is past much in the way of play. So yesterday we had a play date for Lola. We have a large fenced yard, so we invited a lively dog we know, who is good with other dogs, to come over with her person.
Because LarryDog has some history of being a bit rough with other dogs, at first I left him closed in the small dog yard by the back porch. Lola and her new friend Latte had the main fenced area. They politely sniffed each other, did a bunch of play bows, and then did get into some nice play. It was quite warm and the sun was bright so I wasn’t surprised when Lola directed most of the activity into the shaded area. Latte didn’t care about staying out of the sun but she did like a huge red ball we have in the yard that Lola never plays with. (Neither does LarryDog, but it has been years since he cared about a ball unless it had food stuffed in it.) So she had a great time shoving it around and growling and chasing it.
Meanwhile, LarryDog’s barking had taken on an enthusiastic tone rather than a territorial one, and we let him out. He and Latte sniffed and ran around a bit, and they were friends too.
Eventually we all went inside, where Latte found another ball and a rope toy, she and Lola played a little, and the play date wrapped up.
It was clear that Lola really enjoyed the time with Latte. We all agreed that we’ll get together again, and I am going to make more of an effort to give Lola more play dates with other dogs as well. Dogs are such social animals, that they need socialization all their lives!
But because dogs have to fit into human’s ultra-busy lives these days, many dogs are not really well socialized. If you aren’t sure how your dog will behave with another dog, be careful when you introduce them. Do it in a relatively neutral place, like a fenced yard, rather than by your front door, for example.
Readers, any play date stories of your own?