Friend or foe
A friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Humans have friends; all sorts of friends from acquaintances to true longtime friends but do dogs have friends? Yes they do in human terminology, they have friends and like us they have others that they just can't get along with. But it is much less complicated for dogs, dogs don't play games and dogs don't lie. They either like and trust others or they don't. Dogs do not pretend to like you but actually dislike you.
Some dogs have very outward emotions, easily readable like my Luke. It is very obvious when he knows another dog, his memory is scarey. My guys have alot of poodle friends being that I started up a local standard poodle group. We get together often and the dogs have come to be friends. When we meet at a park, it only takes one quick glimpse of the dogs from afar for Luke to kick into his "yeah, friends routine." His greetings are much more in your face; and there is no posturing, just mad wagging of happiness and a little out of control behavior.
If he is meeting a dog for the first time it is all about posturing, there is a huge difference. A behavior from a friend may be overlooked but not from a stranger. Friends can push buttons, strangers cannot. Watching a wolf documentary the other day was a little shocking in the way a pack treats some outsiders but not others. An outsider who was familiar got run out but that was the extent of it, a complete stranger venturing into the packs territory was quickly caught and killed. A little harsh and yes brutal but very matter of fact.
A dogs emotions are pure, you see it like it is. I have often heard people claim, "I have no idea why my dog attacked their friend." Typically this was an issue, there would have been posturing and communication and the human didn't see it. Dogs throw messages fast and furious; if you actually sit down and watch, and I mean really watch it is amazing how many communications they have. A greeting is a very communication filled one with dogs, reading and delivery is everything. They say everything with their posture, tail, eyes and sound, it is the whole package that must be read.
I think it is very important for dogs to have canine companionship as well as human. That is why I like to have three dogs, they kick it together. They are not hugely demonstrative to one another but take comfort in each others presence. When I watch my dogs walking off leash with their friends it makes me smile. After all the craziness of the initial greeting, the quiet happiness of walking together is inspiring. They are just happy to be chill'n together.
How many people love dogs so much because they return our love unconditionally. They love us no matter if we are rich, poor, thin, fat, nice or not nice people. Dogs attach themselves to us emotionally, and when you have a dog as a friend you never have to question motive or sincerity.