Training is an important part of owning a dog, but it would be easier if we didn’t have to be so involved. Can dogs learn from each other?
Depending on the personality of the dogs, they can learn from each other. Puppies are especially likely to learn from older dogs that they live with. Dogs can learn certain behaviors and routines from other dogs as long as they are willing to pay attention and follow through with the behavior.
In this article, we will discuss whether dogs can learn from each other. We will discuss what dogs can learn from each other, both the good and the bad things. We have already said that puppies are the best at learning from other dogs, but we will wrap up this article by discussing whether adult dogs can learn from each other too.
I have had dogs my entire life, and have done a ton of research on dog training. It can be so fascinating to study how dogs communicate and learn from each other. I hope that this article teaches you something new about relationships between dogs.
Can Dogs Learn From Each Other?
Dogs can definitely learn from each other, just not in the way you might be thinking. It is common that when dogs are put together they can pick up behaviors and habits from each other. Some of these are good things, and some are not so good. As dog owners, we can’t guarantee that our dogs will learn from each other, but we can try to facilitate their learning.
Many people will get a puppy when they already have an older dog, and will hope that the older dog will teach the puppy some things. In these situations, the puppy will be likely to learn from the older dog. They can learn things like routines for feeding and the bathroom, as well as how to play with toys.
Dogs that don’t even live together can also learn from each other. When you bring your dog to the dog park, you might notice your dog playing in a new way that they might have picked up from another dog.
In general, you can’t expect to put two dogs together and have them teach each other tricks and commands. Instead, they will learn things like behaviors and routines from each other. The amount that they learn and retain will depend on how much time they spend together and the ages of the dogs.
As we have said, puppies are most likely to learn from adult dogs. However, adult dogs can learn from each other as well. We will discuss this more later in the article.
What Types Of Things Can Dogs Learn From Each Other?
As we have said, dogs will learn certain things from each other like behaviors and routines rather than commands or tricks. We will discuss these things in the following sections in the context of whether these are generally good or bad behaviors.
One of the best things a dog can teach to another dog is house training. When you adopt a new dog, especially if they are a puppy, they might have accidents in the house. This is completely normal, as they need to learn your routines for going outside to use the bathroom. If your new dog can follow the example of another dog, they will catch on to house training much more quickly than if you were teaching them alone.
Dogs can also teach each other about new things in your house. If you adopt a puppy or an adult dog that hasn’t lived in a home before, then they may encounter new things that might be scary, like stairs and mirrors. If your new dog sees your older dog use the stairs and walk by mirrors without reaction, then they will learn to do the same.
Finally, your older dog can teach a newly adopted dog how to play with toys. You might be surprised about the number of dogs that don’t know what to do with toys. Puppies and dogs that were abused or neglected might have never seen a toy and might not know what to do with them. Your older dog can show them exactly what to do.
Unfortunately, along with all of the great things that dogs can teach each other, there are also some bad behaviors that dogs can pick up from each other. The first bad behavior that dogs can teach each other is jumping. My dogs hardly ever jump on us when we are at home. However, whenever I pick them up from their boarding facility, they jump everywhere. They likely learned this behavior from other dogs that they stayed with. The behavior thankfully goes away within a few days of being home.
Another thing that dogs can learn from each other is barking and howling. Many dogs will go most of their lives without making much noise. Then, when they get together with other dogs that are more vocal, they learn that they can bark and howl as well. This can be an annoying habit that you might want to discourage if you notice your dog making more noise than usual.
Can Adult Dogs Learn From Each Other?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what age the dog is. Any dog can learn from another dog at any age. In general, puppies are the most likely to learn from other dogs. This is simply because as they grow, they are learning so much about the world around them and will be seeking knowledge from other dogs.
As dogs age, they learn their behaviors and the routines of their homes. They can always pick up behaviors from other adult dogs (like jumping or barking), but won’t need to learn much about how to go up the stairs, how to use the bathroom outside, or how to play with toys.
If you have an adult dog and decide to adopt another adult dog, your first dog will likely teach your new dog a lot about your home and routines.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright