How can I pick the ideal playmate for my dog?

After you choose to adopt a dog, one of the most enjoyable aspects of pet ownership is getting to meet other dog owners and their companions and expanding your social circle.

Of course, not every canine playmate will be a good match for your new pet, so it's important to know what kinds of dogs are ideal matches for your dog during playtime based on their size, behavioral tendencies and many other factors. Here are a few pieces of information to keep in mind when you're looking for doggy playmates for your new furry friend.

Size always matters

According to, size is a very important factor when choosing a dog playmate, as smaller dogs can often become hurt by playing with bigger or stronger dogs that could hurt another canine without any ill intent. Additionally, smaller dogs may not understand that they are a bit more fragile than their counterparts, which could put them in danger. Ideally, you should stick with a canine playmate that is of a similar size to your dog, but when your pet is interacting with dogs much larger than he or she, close supervision is a necessity.

Does your dog have aggressive tendencies?

Dogs that showcase signs of aggression regularly are especially difficult to find playmates for, and you'll have to determine how each dog showcases aggression or dominance when meeting one another. Ideally, the safest way to introduce these dogs to one another who showcase some dominant behaviors is to have them meet on either side of a chain-link fence. This will allow them to exchange scents and you can check for any signs of discomfort or fear that may be present. Oftentimes, dogs just need a chance to establish their roles with one another before they can become friends.

Choose dogs with similar play styles

According to the ASPCA, every dog has a different personality, and this can manifest itself quickly when they are playing with one another. Ideally, you should match your dog up with another canine that has a similar playing style. A good example are shepherd dogs like Border collies who typically enjoy chasing and stalking, as opposed to Labradors and pit bills who tend to wrestle and playfully bite at one another. Be honest about your dog's playing style to find an ideal match for your pooch that will result in a long-lasting and fruitful friendship.

This article is brought to you by the pet behavior experts at Hartz. When it comes to training your dog and cat, our knowledge and experience is guaranteed to make the process easy, smooth and fun!