Dear Dog Lady,
My girlfriend and I each have dogs, but the dogs have gotten into two huge fights–one resulting in my hand being bitten really badly once. The dogs cannot be near each other. They both have dog friends, but for some reason, they just didn’t like one another the first few times they met. This kind of limits the time my girlfriend and I can spend with one another as we always have to go back to let our dogs out. We live on opposite sides of the city. It would just be much better if we could all spend time together. Any insight?
A: You may be forcing a double date not of the dogs’ choosing. The canine world is unabashedly social, with all sorts of signals and alliances. And there are just some dogs that don’t like each other – for whatever mysterious reason such as a wayward smell, a bad wag, whatever. You want these two dogs to get along for your own romantic purposes but it obviously isn’t going to happen easily or quickly.
For now, you and your girlfriend should walk the dogs outdoors together. Carry treats to reward each pet for good behavior. Make it a fun time with lots of praise. Go to a park, for instance, where you can let them off-leash together. Dogs get along much better outdoors than indoors where competition kicks in over space and food. After weeks and months of walking outdoors without incident, you can slowly introduce them to the indoors but always back off from forced merriment if they show any signs of fear or aggression – especially over food.
You rushed too much doggy togetherness too soon. And, sure, all this four-legged foreplay may put a crimp in the smooth course of romance but, remember, if it’s meant to be, you and your girl will manage to make it work.
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Posted on: Saturday, February 5th, 2011 at 12:35 pmFollow Responses:
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