Can two male dogs live together?

It dependsThis is the most common answer that dog educators or instructors are given when asked about possible dog behaviors. It dependsin fact, just to find himself sounding a whole series of hypotheses and distinctions about the dog’s personality, his age, the type of context in which he lives, his relationship with his human and many other different factors.

I it depends is also the answer to the question, “Can two male dogs live together?” In this article, therefore, you will not find unambiguous answers or the definitive solution to this question for the simple fact that it does not exist and each consideration must be made on a case-by-case basis. Because there are dogs that live like brothers and dogs that can’t stand each other; but there are also siblings who at some point end up arguing with each other and dogs who, although they have never seen each other, meet and like each other; there are stable situations and others in evolution and, in short, all the possible nuances that adapt to the complexity of unique and intelligent beings. This is what the study of animal behavior and the awareness that these beings also have their own subjectivity and their own mind teaches us.

However, there are some general considerations that, in a very variable and varied scenario, can give us some elements of probability.

Man and woman: a more consolidated relationship

As with many other species in dogs, both those that live free in the territory, both in our homes we can see that problems rarely develop between males and females and we can often admire complex courtship rituals even when they are accidentally during a walk and even when they had never met. It depends on the fact that the relationship between males and females has important links with evolution and reproduction; and that probably represents one of the oldest and most established forms of sociality. On the other hand, conflicts between subjects of the same sex are more frequent. This is less common among women, more common among men.

And yet the similarities between the dogs that live with us in the family and the other types of dogs (both free dogs and those engaged in work as ranchers) seem to be interrupted here. Although, in fact, in the latter cases we can still observe peaceful cohabitation even between individuals of the same sex, and even in groups of many individuals, this is not always the case for dogs living in families, where often we can observe subjects who do not get along well with everyone and, much less, could come to live together. Of course, this is not always the case, but there are some factors that can have a significant impact. So let’s try to understand what the differences may be and why.

Socialization problems

A very important first question concerns the important process of dog socialization. In the case of dogs that live in the wild, as well as those that work in groups in the protection of herds, family groups are created within which the puppies are inserted from weaning. The relationship with the neighbors, therefore, is not simply daily, but constant over time and the puppy is followed and assisted by his family group until he reaches maturity.

Something very different is happening with family dogs. These in fact come in most cases they separated from their mother after about two months to be placed in a contest where there are most relationships not with other dogs, but with humans. In many cases, therefore, a stable relationship with their peers is lacking, which is often replaced by more or less one-off encounters, for example in parks, dog areas or with a leash. And yet, these meetings will not always be able to replace a deep path of socialization and much will depend on both the quality and frequency of the meetings and the attention of humans to do not expose the puppy to bad experiences. In this way, forms of competition or other elements of bad sociality could arise that would not allow a peaceful coexistence.

The house, a limited space

Another important issue is the narrowness of domestic spaces. These, then, especially the apartments, they often appear as real bubbles, isolated from the outside and where to share small spaces, without being able to move away, can sometimes be a stretch. This does not happen in the world of free dogs, where some subjects may also live outside the group and keep great distances in case of particular conflicts, or even decide to move away to occupy a new area. In addition, in domestic spaces, even resources (whether food, games or rest areas) can become a source of conflict and the same relationship with humans, if not managed well or moderated, it can lead to misunderstandings and misunderstandings.

Racing business

Finally, there is one last factor that can be central and that of race. In fact, we can never forget that the long man-made selection work sometimes it has accentuated them and sometimes impoverished them social skills of dogs. And so we have breeds such as those selected for herd hunting (and among these we can include dogs, setters, Bretons, but also greyhounds, beagles, spaniels or farmers) that usually have high sociability and indeed they are predisposed to a group life, others like the bull-type Terriers in which the competition between males is very probable and others, finally, like the molossers or the shepherds in whom much will depend on the experiences and abilities acquired.

Of course, there would be much more to say, for example that it might be easier to place a puppy in a family where there is an adult and balanced character. In these cases too the hormonal component can play an important role (In fact, testosterone, produced only after 7/8 months, can influence the structuring of ranks and roles). Or that if we decide to adopt two male puppies (maybe siblings), problems could arise when they reach sexual maturity, around the year or year and a half of life. But the reality is this there is an extreme variability of factors and it is always difficult to make certain predictions.

What we can recommend, if you are thinking of adopting two male dogs, it is to make a gradual path of knowledge that will allow them to build a good relationship before they have to live together.. It may be helpful to make them known in a wide, open space so that they can decide whether to keep greater distances from each other and eventually reduce them gradually. It is also useful to have separate rest areas in the house so that you do not have to share spaces (this is a decision that could happen over time). Extreme attention must be paid to resources such as baby food and the snacks we choose to offer, which could become a source of competition and conflict. And the same goes for games. Finally, it is useful to try to enrich your life in shared experiences also outside the home environment to encourage complicity and collaboration.

Last but not least tip: never underestimate even the small signssince it is from these that new, more difficult-to-resolve conflicts could arise.

In any case, the help of an expert figure could be very useful both in the choice and before the adoption, as well as in the prevention or solution of any problem.

Leave a Comment