Ever notice if your dog recognizes his kind? Juno always cries when she sees another Northern breed. But Loki surprises me because he’s a mixed breed: Formosan and German Shepherd. Since we don’t meet many Formosan’s in Switzerland (ok none) his tendency is naturally toward German Shepherds. But I’m 100% certain, his favorite breed to mix it up with is the Belgian Shepherd, which we see plenty of in Switzerland. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Malinois or a Tervuren, Loki is typically head over heels for them. We came upon these two on a walk recently, as they were playing in a field with two other dogs. Though they approached us, they were calm and submissive which helped Loki keep a lid on his crackery with his leash still on.
The owners suggested I take the leashes off and encouraged us to let them play. Though they were all shocked that Juno could be off leash.
It warms my heart when Loki gets to play with his kind because he “gets” them and they “get” him. While he plays nicely with other breeds—just that morning he played chase with a Swiss Mountain dog at the beach and was a total gentleman to a whippet who hounded us—he holds back a bit with other breeds. There’s just nothing like him being able to let his hair down and be himself among his kind.
This guy chasing Loki was the sweetest GSD I ever did meet. He was glued to my side when he wasn’t playing chase.
Loki was in heaven playing with the male Tervuren who happened to be another sweet, docile dog.
His name is “Gun” but his owner said he should be named “Glue” because he sticks to her like glue. He looks like he was dipped in soot. And his temperament was almost perfect.
“Almost” because I had a hard time getting him to sit-stay and pose next to Loki or any dog. He seemed just the slightest amount of skittish of staying stationary in close proximity to other dogs.
Nothing that a little extra positive based training wouldn’t fix.
Even with the older shepherds, like this 10-year-old Malinois above, Loki knows how to turn on the charm. He lifts a paw (as she does) and lets her know he likes her.
She warmed up to Loki faster than she warmed up to me. Usually it’s the other way around. Like I said, they know their kind.
It’s funny how Loki reads shepherds better than I can. Two years ago, the first time I passed a farm that regularly became a trail for us, a loose GSD ran off her property into the street to bark at us. I saw it as aggressive. Loki? He playbowed her. If it were another breed, I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t have done that. I’d even bet he’d be cujo.
Loki tries his best to show Gun he liked him.
I’m certain a Belgian is in our future. But I feel pretty strongly about rescue, so likely I’ll find one with “special needs.”
What can I say? Once you have crack, you never go back.