We finally have a dog park here in Upstate New York. As is to be expected (I guess) there are many dogs there and many 'not as attentive as they could be' owners, so I'm pretty much on red alert the whole time I'm there, just to be on the safe side. We've been there a few times and Loki enjoys it, although he's generally much more interested in making the rounds of all the humans to introduce himself and herding the cars on the other side of the fence. Today, however, was a different story.
It was a fairly nice day for a change and when we got there there were about 30 dogs on the 'Big Dog' side (over 25 pounds). We went in and all was as usual for a bit - Loki took off to pee on the fence and greet the humans. It was a fairly rowdy bunch of dogs and they were tearing around like crazy. I was standing off to one side with Loki at my side, chatting with one of the other owners when WHOOSH! All of a sudden Loki took off at a full gallop toward a large group of dogs that were wrestling and barking in the middle of the area about 15 feet away from us. There were about 10 of them, all kinds: 2 huge GSD's, Labs, Boxer, Bull Mastiff, Akita, Springer Spaniel and some assorted mixed breeds. Loki charged into the middle of the group and stopped dead - Stood completely still and barked twice. The group just dissolved - They all headed off in different directions, and Loki headed back to me. Ok, so he's herding the dogs.................
He then apparently decided that it was his responsibility to keep everyone in the park calm. He would stand watch and make it his business to keep things from getting too rough - He kept herding the dogs away from each other when the play would escalate too far. After a few minutes he had the attention of everybody in the park - They were even calling him 'Ref' and saying, 'Look at that, he's got it all covered'. It was absolutely amazing.
At one point he went to rescue the Springer (who always seemed to wind up rolling on the ground because he was smaller than the rest of his playmates). Loki stood completely over the Springer on the ground and growled at the GSD who was being too rough. I was standing guard at all times and the owners were all (for a change) paying attention as well, but Loki had it all under control. He then went over to the other GSD who was dominating the other dogs and stared him down: Put his head on top of the GSD's shoulder and within 5 seconds the GSD was laying on the ground at Loki's feet. Loki never growled or barked - He bent down, licked the GSD's ear and walked away, with the GSD following close behind him. Within half an hour most of the dogs in the park were following Loki around.
I was terrified at first. Thinking that one of the other dogs would turn on him I stayed within 3 feet of him everywhere he went, but he didn't even seem to notice I was there. He was on a mission. If there had been even a hint of hostility from one of the other dogs I would have been right there to de-fuse it, but it never happened.
I am in awe of my big beautiful boy - I've always known he was special but this was, well, WOW. Seeing him herd those big dogs using nothing but calm energy just blew everyone in the park away. Sheepdogs are truly the most amazing dogs on earth.
|thats why OES dont play fetch...all the ball throwers in our park ...my bear would just look thinkin you threw it you go get it...i strongly belive our bears are hyper intelligent|
|Amazing. What a sight to see! You must be very proud of your sweet and gentle leader.|
|Amazing to watch, isn't it? Hopefully he allowed the dogs to play, just respectfully of one another.|
thats why OES dont play fetch...all the ball throwers in our park ...my bear would just look thinkin you threw it you go get it...i strongly belive our bears are hyper intelligent
Lola chases Lily chasing the ball. She tries to play goalie while Lily tries to bring it back to us. She also loves 'keep away'. Poor Lily.
|My obedience instructor calls Tiggy the "party pooper" or the "ball police" if we stay after class for a social visit.
Tiggy is very worried about dogs running away and chases after them barking at them and tries to round them all up and bring them back.
I wish she could learn the calm, silent approach that Loki used.
|I wish I could say that's what Jack is doing, but no. He doesn't allow anyone to play....or has no concept of proper play. Any unsual behavior and he'll rush in barking. He doesn't touch another dog, just stands in the middle and barks which immediately breaks up any fun others are having.|
|Can Loki come to my house and train my group?! That must have been amazing to see. He is special|
Amazing to watch, isn't it? Hopefully he allowed the dogs to play, just respectfully of one another.
He actually did - That was the amazing part. There was plenty of play to be had by all; Loki only went to the dogs that played too rough or were dominating the others. Those who were playing chase or play wrestling or just being silly, he ignored. There were a few bullies and he concerned himself only with them. He was REALLY pooped when he got home, though. He fell right to sleep once he got his extra cookie
|Wtg Loki!! My Sir walter plays fetch all the time......one of his fav games. He also guards the cats and if they get into a little tiff Walter is right there to take charge and he is only 11 weeks old so must be the breed.|
|How very cool. I was proud just reading about this behavior.
You're right sheepies are great!
|That is pretty amazing. Asterisk will bark if a group is getting too roudy, but then she ends up chasing the 'offender' with Wendel quick at her heels.|
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