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Dogs Need Companions Too


Dogs Need Companions Too

By Sherrie Owens

We love our dogs, our dogs love us.  When we leave them with the assurance that “I’ll be back,” they wait patiently (or not so patiently) by the door. You return with “my baby, my sweetie, my little Princess, did you miss me?”  Of course she missed you; she is a pack animal and had no other contact all day. 

Does this sound familiar?  Left alone, Princess likes to entertain herself by digging up the drip system in the garden.  Then she heads out to bark at the front gate hoping that someone will come and yell at her to be quiet (which is a fun way to get to know the neighbors).  Afterward she cruises through the doggy door and hops onto the couch with her muddy paws.  When you finally arrive in the evening she jumps all over you with excitement, and unspent energy.  Although tired, you take her for a walk, while she pulls you down the street sniffing out smells, checking and returning the pee-mail left by other dogs.  This is not what a dog’s life should be.

You may describe Princess as having separation anxiety, when in fact she is bored.  Like their humans, dogs are social animals.  We refer to them as our companions; they are always there for us and for that loyalty they are left alone all day.  Dogs need to be with other dogs.  The best thing you can do for your canine friend is to schedule play dates where she can run, chase, wrestle, and get the kind of exercise you can’t give her on the end of a leash.  The problem is not many people have the time during the week to schedule this type of rendezvous.

A great alternative is a Doggie Daycare visit.  Your pup will be matched with others of a similar size and temperament.  He or she will spend the day running, hanging out with the pack, taking naps, and sharing a water bowl.  This interaction increases socialization skills while providing exercise.  Being around other dogs in a safe environment also improves their temperament.  Dogs that may be leash aggressive or fear reactive learn they can be comfortable around other dogs, and “Comfort leads to Confidence”. 

 Dogs are also creatures of routine.  In a group situation, it is amazing to see how quickly a dog will learn from other dogs. Often the guardians will work on such things as “Sit, Off, Lie Down, and Come.”   When Princess sees the others being rewarded with a pet or hug, she will catch on.  She may not “Come” to you, but she will follow that handsome Golden Retriever anywhere.  Once she sees that he happily “Comes” when called, she will follow his example.  Pretty soon she will get the connection that when she correctly responds to a command she will get positive acknowledgement.   A hug is better than a gold star.

The best part is that when she is home from a day of play she will give a big sigh and lie at your feet relaxed.   Give your best friend the gift of companionship.


Sherrie Owens owns Almost Home Doggie Daycare in Sebastopol loves dogs. her daycare for dogs provides them with what they need most, doggie companionship. (707) 823-4663