It all depends on the pack. Tuesday’s pack was a bit more of a handful than usual. It included Karma the Desi Dog, Winston the Aussiedoodle and Petey the American Bulldog.
Ah pack dynamics. They’re funny how they work. For the days walk we had a shy dog (Karma), and two excited playful dogs.
It had been a couple of weeks since Winston has walked with us. First I was on vacation, then he was. So Winston was really excited to see me for the days adventure. Really excited. Winston put his energy to use and decided that Karma was the most interesting dog EVER. Karma being the shy dog she is, wasn’t so sure about his intensity level. Which meant that she hung back, while Winston waited for her to move forward. Which meant we as a pack weren’t walking. To shift Winston’s attention and focus I put him on leash. Hoping that he get into the groove of the walk. He’d focus on the walk, I’d let him off leash, he’d go right back to chasing Karma so back on leash he’d go. All dogs need to feel like their a part of the pack. So for Winston this meant learning to bring it down a notch so Karma wasn’t scared away. Sometimes this happens and dogs just need to be reminded of the pack rules. It’s not a crazy party even though some of them would like it to be. Regardless it meant that Winston spent most of the time on leash.
But he was in good company. Petey also spent most of the time on leash. But for slightly different reasons. Petey is a strong, athletic dog. He loves to run through the forest, leaping over logs, but he can play a little rough. So we’ve been teaching him that he’ll make more friends if he plays gently. He tries to get other dogs to play with him by nipping at them, instead of doing a downward dog or just running by the dog he’s interested in. So when Petey was allowed offleash he’d run in the forest for a little bit, then nip at Winston as he ran by. We love the dogs to play with one another but biting or nipping isn’t allowed. So on leash Petey would go.
The great irony is Petey and Winston could be great playmates, but they both have a little to learn about how to read other dogs and match their play accordingly.
All this meant that I had two dogs attached to me for most of the walk. Hard to film. As a result there wasn’t a video for this walk. It was a bit more work on my end, but I’m looking forward to the day that Petey plays gently enough that Winston chases Petey instead of Karma. Because I’m sure once Karma sees Petey and Winston running around together, she’ll join in the games. It will be a great day. Until then we’ll reinforce the rules for a safe and happy pack. And we’ll wait for mellow Bogie to come back to the pack, that will help too.