What is a bonded pair?
In some cases, a bonded pair is a parent with an offspring. Sometimes it is two littermates — puppies, teenagers, or even seniors. Occasionally the two dogs are simply long- or even short-term companions with no blood relation at all but with a well-established bond through their shared life experiences. These are dogs who, even though they may be otherwise well socialized, have come to depend upon each other as a survival technique. They seem to rely on one another for their social cues, for confidence building in new situations, and for stress relief from any uncomfortable predicament they may experience.
When would you separate a bonded pair?
It depends on their bond. If it’s balanced and healthy and doesn’t affect their ability to bond with a new pack leader, form good relationships with new dogs, or bond with a new family then the bond isn’t a problem.
A problem we sometimes see is when the dynamic between the pair is unhealthy. For example, one Brittany being overly dominant and suppressing the other. Or when the two dogs are so tightly bonded, they will not bond with their adoptive family, only each other. These types of bonded pairs can also have poor relationships with other new dogs. When we have separated “bonded pairs” we often see a complete change in behavior for the positive in both of them.
The decision to separate a bonded pair should be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Why adopt a bonded pair?
- Two Brittanys = double the fun!
- It’s gratifying to bring a pair of Brittanys into a safe, secure, and loving home. What a great feeling!
- The adjustment into their new environment is eased simply by the fact that these Brittanys still have each other.
- Having a built-in companion and playmate provides stimulation that reduces boredom, destructive behavior, and potential separation anxiety.