Near Disaster at the Dog Park

For every five wonderful, uplifting experiences you have at the dog park, you’re bound to have a stressful, agitating one. We had one of those not-so-wonderful experiences the other day.

Sophie was quivering and howling with excitement for us to let her loose in the dog park. We let her acclimate and calm down a little bit in the “holding cell.” When we finally opened the gate she joyously bolted across the park, weaving around the other dogs.

Typically Sophie is the fastest dog in the park. She loves it. The other dogs chase her but they don’t come close to catching her. This time, one spotted dog was able to corner Sophie. Usually this would lead to some good-natured playing until Sophie runs off again. But for some reason, the two dogs had a very snarly exchange that caused Sophie to run back to Riel (her alpha) for protection.

The spotted dog came after Sophie. She seemed intent on asserting herself over Sophie. Riel was brushed by some teeth as he separated the dogs.

Cody and Riel protecting Sophie from the spotted dog that you can see vaguely in the background

Cody and Riel protecting Sophie from the spotted dog that you can see vaguely in the background

The silver lining in this whole scenario was Cody. Cody is a six-year-old Husky. He and his human have been at the dog park every time we’ve come. Cody is laid back and he doesn’t interact a lot with the other dogs, but they all seem to know that the park belongs to him.

When the spotted dog came back and tried to get to Sophie, Cody placed himself resolutely between them. He did not growl, or even bare his teeth, but his presence certainly deterred the spotted dog from trying to get to Sophie.

I love how their tails are wrapped together. It’s a great representation of how calm, cool, and collected Cody is!

I want to be clear that just because the spotted dog had a problem with Sophie doesn’t mean that she is a bad dog. We aren’t sure whether Sophie did something to incite the spotted dog’s behavior (we don’t think so – but we have an obvious bias). Also, the spotted dog was perfectly well behaved toward Riel and I and her owner was very kind and responsible. Like I said, for every 5 great days at the dog park, there’s bound to be one crappy day.

Have you had any out-of-the-ordinary experiences at the dog park?