Have you ever met someone you just immediately hit it off with? You just had things in common, and every new topic that came up revealed another similarity between you? Or have you met someone that just rubbed you wrong for no reason?
Guess what - dogs do the same thing!
Just as we meet new people that we both like and dislike, so too do our canine friends. Dogs have distinct and individual habits, thinking patterns, actions, and experiences that contribute to and comprise their personalities, and we can use these to our advantage when wanting to find Fido a friend. While each dog is an individual, there are several categories of general behavior that dogs tend to fall into. Being aware of your dog's personality style is helpful when working toward pairing.
Personality is important to remember for this reason, if no other: DOGS MAY GET ALONG WITH OTHER DOGS HAVING CERTAIN TRAITS AND NOT OTHERS. People can mistakenly think that "dog friendly" means friendly with every dog, and that is definitely not the case. I own two "dog friendly" dogs that I keep separated. They used to be besties. Their play styles were similar, one was calmly deferential when the other got too pushy, they both loved having their personal space invaded, etc. They had many similar qualities. BUT... our dog Stuff is triggered into prey drive by sound (yelps, whimpering, etc.) and our dog Amaretto is a 90-pound drama queen that yelps if she even suspects she's been injured. This triggered too many standoffs and was too difficult to predict to work successfully, so we keep them separated and give them each time with other dogs they get along with.
Socialization is always important, and it should be a fun experience for everyone. We have heard people say, "It's a dog, it'll get used to [the other dog]," and we have advised them to choose another. Dogs are amazingly tolerant, but there is no shortage of dogs in the world. There is no reason to not choose your dog's friends wisely. Your dog should have input when possible. Remember to be open to that relationship changing in the future as they get to know each other. Just as in my house, sometimes traits are later uncovered that threaten the safety of a dog. That needs to be addressed, either by supervising play or separating the dogs and finding a more appropriate friend.
A harmonious household is what we should always strive for, and we should try to achieve it with mercy. 😊