On Thursday July 16 we had a big group and another sunny day. Our pack included Petey the American Bulldog, Winston the Aussiedoodle, Nyssa the Husky / Malamute, Karma the Desi Dog and Brando the German Shepherd.
The pack was really full of energy and eager to play on the trails. Brando had been away on vacation for a few weeks and this was his first walk back. He still finds Winston to be the most interesting dog. And while all he wants to do with Winston is play, his energy is a little intense and Winston ends up forgetting his manners getting the other dogs excited as well. While all this energy is playful it could turn unfriendly if one dog gets overwhelmed. Breaks in play show the dogs that they’re still playing and not fighting. Play bows, taking turns being “chased” and “chasing” help keep things friendly. My role is to make sure that all the dogs can play together and make sure that all the dogs know I’ll keep them safe. Whether that’s by calling a dog off, or protecting them if they come back to me.
Winston and Brando while playful haven’t been the best at breaking from play when I call them. They’re quite the energetic combo! So this walk I decided to go back to basics and had both Winston and Brando attached to the same leash that I had wrapped around me. When the trail was wide the dogs could walk side by side, when the trail narrowed we took turns with one dog in front and one dog behind. My intent of this exercise is to get the dogs used to being around one another in a calm state. It worked pretty good and after some initial energy the dogs settled into a nice rhythm.
The Nyssa and Karma explore the forest at a pretty relaxed pace. Karma looks to Nyssa like a big sister. Karma is always right beside Nyssa in the truck and her confidence has really been improving. Nyssa just loves being outside. Though Petey can convince her to play the occasional round of chase.
Petey was up and down the trails exploring. He’s very athletic and it’s fun to watch him run up and down the hills. He’ll do full out sprints up and down the trail trying to get the other dogs to play. Which is great to see unless the dog he wants to play with is attached to you by leash 😉
All in all it was a great walk.