Can dogs be actually friends with other dogs, or even cats?

We all have watched so many videos of dogs being pally with other beings on our social media accounts. You might have observed similar behaviour even when you take your tailed companion out for a walk. So, can it be far from the truth that dogs can actually befriend the other members of their ilk?

Dogs could well be good companions to any other animals or living beings, thanks to centuries-old mental conditioning by their human masters, reckons a renowned neuropsychological researcher and author Stanley Coren. “… we have genetically manipulated them to socialise easily and to show friendliness almost indiscriminately. Dogs that have been properly socialised will congenially approach virtually anything that is alive… they will attempt to establish a good-natured relationship.

Mr Coren is the author of bestsellers including, The Intelligence of Dogs: Canine Consciousness and Capabilities, Born to Bark; Do Dogs Dream? and How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication.

He presents a heart-rending incident of a Labrador rescuing a kitten to further illustrate his point. “There is the case of a Labrador Retriever named Puma. One cold day in Bristol, England, a gang of boys stole a kitten, threw it into a pond and waited to watch it drown. Suddenly, Puma dashed into the pond to grab the kitten. He must have thought that this was some sort of accident because he brought the kitten out of the water and laid it at the boys’ feet.”

What ensued that adds to the intrigue. The inconsiderate boys made light of the situation and hurled the kitten into the water again. “Puma again leapt into the water, but this time swam across to the other side of the pond with the kitten and ran home with it,” explains Mr Coren, “When his family opened the door, he rushed past them and laid the kitten down next to the heat vent.”

This kind of friendly (and protective) behaviour, according to the researcher, is common among many socialised dogs. But then, it can’t be conclusive evidence that all canines can get friendly with other dogs. Who complains, though?

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