There are a couple of miniature poodles in our neighborhood who we often see out walking (with their owner of course)—cute little things that are probably each the size of Leopold’s head. Well… maybe more like his head and neck.
In any case, Leopold and I saw the poodles on
our walk this morning. At their approach, Leopold lowered his head,
pulled back his ears, crouched his body, and then lay down on the path
completely. The owner asked me if Leopold was stalking, as if his
poodles were the prey. Not at all! I explained what was really going on,
and afterwards it occurred to me that there are probably more people
out there who don’t know what it means when a dog lowers his body or
even lays down at the approach of another dog; so I thought I’d write a
quick post about it.
What was really going on was that Leopold was
trying to preemptively keep the peace. He lay down as a show of
submission to let the approaching little poodles, which were clearly
formidable forces, know that he meant no harm. He did this before they
got close enough to start a scuffle so that he could greatly reduce the
chance of a scuffle happening when they actually met on the path.
have to admit, it’s a little annoying that Leopold does this sometimes.
It’s awfully hard to be walking when my dog is lying down… And aside
from trying to pick him back up, there’s not a lot I can do but wait for
him to get up again. But at the same time, I’m glad Leopold is trying
to keep the peace.
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