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Eddy the Loner

Author: Sarah Gaziano | Date: May 7, 2013

My dog does not get along with other dogs. It’s just a fact of life. He has spent the last nine years not liking other dogs. It doesn’t matter to me or to him frankly; we just live around it. It honestly doesn’t even dawn on me to think about it.

I had a conversation with someone the other day about my dog, and it came up that other dogs are not a part of his life. The person I was talking to was utterly confused by this fact. “But doesn’t he need friends?” That idea never occurred to me. “No, he’s much happier without them.”

I understand this makes him sound like a weirdo with no “friends”, but dogs are different.

When two dogs are in the same space, the only thing it causes, at least initially, is conflict. Dogs are constantly assessing their safety, and when a new person or dog enters into their space, they must decide if that person or dog is a threat. My dog thinks every dog is a threat, even if they are being perfectly appropriate and good. Therefore, he would prefer that no dogs come in his space in order to avoid any conflict. I think that sounds like a much better life than being concerned at all times.

Obviously, it’s okay for your dog to have friends, and some dogs like certain dogs over others. But there are plenty of dogs out there they don’t need friends, like mine, and that’s okay too.

Do you have a dog that doesn’t like other dogs? Tell us about your struggles and successes with your dog.


    1. Yep, I have a dog like this. Initially, after I adopted him, I was disappointed. I had imagined going to parks and bringing him places with me that would involve him interacting (happily) with other dogs. When I realized he is happier without other dogs in his space, we made some adjustments to our lifestyle and it really hasn’t been an issue since. I spent a long time training him to look at me when he sees another dog, rather than get anxious and bark at the other dog. Sometimes I have to be his advocate and block other dogs from coming into his path. People don’t always realize that not all dogs want to be greeted by other dogs.

      • I was disappointed too. I wanted to bring him to work, and for him to get along with my parent’s dogs. However, after almost a decade of keeping him away from other dogs, it is completely second nature to me. It’s always nice to share stories with people who live this lifestyle everyday 🙂 Thanks for reading my blog!

    2. Sarah & Cheryl – Great topic. My Riley & I share your constraints. I sometimes wish she could enjoy a good frolic with her own kind, just for the pure joy of it, though that is not to be. I dont know much about her first year or two of life, but supposedly, it was rough. I can see how it contributed to making other dogs into a very real threat (at the time).

      *and, Cheryl, I am lucky that Riley stole my heart before I realized
      this about her b/c I also had that initial period of disappointment
      & then educating myself on managing it

      One of the hardest things can be running into other dog owners who just assume you are there to play (ie. not respecting/allowing personal space). I just reassure them that I am more social than my dog 🙂

      • Hi Val! Thanks so much for reading my blog. I agree with you about running into dog owners. I am blessed with a huge yard, so Eddy and I don’t go out on walks that much. However, I do like to to try and take him for walks when the weather is nice and no one is around. I still run into the occasional off-leash dog or owner who would like to pet him without asking. We have, luckily, never had an incident, but its always a struggle. I just hope more people talk about it and we can educate the masses.

    3. Someday, just maybe, we silly humans will stop thinking that all dogs need to play with all (or even most) other dogs. It’s amazing what we can discover about what *actually* makes our dogs happy when we stop assuming we know what *should* make them happy! Sounds like you and Eddie have a pretty great life! 🙂

      • Thanks for your comment, Betsy. I think we have a pretty good life too! Eddy’s favorite thing in the whole world is sleeping, and he gets to do plenty of that. Of course, he can run around in the yard whenever he wants, he has 5 Kongs and weekly training sessions with me. He isn’t under stimulated by any means. Other dogs do not enrich his life and there is nothing wrong with that 🙂

When I think of how my dog was when I brought her home from the shelter, I marvel at the change.

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