Monday, April 4, 2011

Doggie Weekend and Dog-park Success!

Thank you everyone who commented on my post about dog-parks. We journeyed out this weekend on some crazy adventures: one of which was to meet Zuko's half-sister Suki at a dog-park.

Zuko and Suki - brofur and sisfur
At the dog-park, Zuko was super chill with everyone. He sniffed and allowed himself to be sniffed and generally nothing happened. In fact, we and Suki's parents were all like "you guys are SO BORING!" Here is the irony: Zuko sniffed every dog in the park EXCEPT Suki for about the first half hour. Then, when there were hardly any other dogs left, they finally started sniffing each other. Maybe it is a family thing?

It was a warm day in San Francisco and Zuko was tired from the day before, so they really didn't play much together, but by the end they were Shiba-strutting together on leash and Suki tried to get Zuko to play a bit before she crashed out. (See the video).


Zuko and Suki ran into each other before we got to the dog park and in typical fashion, there was on-leash growling. Zuko has never met a Shiba on-leash without there being snarling and growling (usually on both sides) but as soon as the leashes are off ... the issues are gone. Zuko's dad took him to work one day where he met another Shiba and they both growled at each other. Leashes off -- "oh! Let's play now! Yeah!"

Go figure.

Day one of the weekend was a meet-up with a rescue dog named Tia. She is mostly Taiwanese mountain dog and much bigger (and much more energetic) than Zuko. Unfortunately, we tried to let them meet up off-leash but I didn't get Zuko's leash off fast enough and Tia ran up to him -- and he told her to "back the f*ck off". Tia has good doggie manners and she did back off and gave him his space. When we got them both to Tia's house, things were fine. Zuko pretty much ignored Tia until a weird person went by the front of the house - then they BOTH barked and ran to the gate to defend the house. I mean, how adorable is that? After that they seemed to relax more with each other and when the cheese came out they were begging buddies.

A bit later there was some more snarling, but mainly because Tia wanted to play and Zuko didn't. Again, it was a "back the f*ck off" snarl, not a "I'm going to kill you" snarl and we all knew it. I just find it so ironic that Zuko is the one telling other dogs off now. When he was a pup he was the rambunctious one who needed to be moved from one play group to the other at daycare because he wore out all the dogs!

So what did we learn?

  • Not all dog-parks are evil. 
  • Shiba on-leash + Shiba on-leash = Snarling.
  • Shibas off-leash = ignoring each other mostly. Unless it is cool weather, then we might get some playtime. 
  • Being rushed by a bigger dog when he is on-leash is a trigger for Zuko to get snarly. 
That last one I've been noticing for some time and will post another entry on the on-leash habits I've been observing over the past few months. 

-- Posted by Zuko's Play-date Organizer

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