At one time when we first got Pappy, I had visions of preparing a list of local dog parks and going on a tour. At that time, Pappy was a year old and seemed game to play with any dog in any circumstances. As he approaches his second birthday, Pappy seems seems most comfortable meeting them at his dog park, Wheaton Regional Park.
Pappy loves to wrestle, and doesn't seem to be overly discriminating about the size of his opponent. But he won't wrestle just anybody, and I'm always trying to figure out his rules of engagement:
- He seems to favor dogs two years or younger-- maybe beating on each other is a young dog's game.
- He likes puppies of any size, and plays down to their level. It's interesting to see dogs negotiate the terms of play, the small dog playing bigger and the big dog playing smaller.
- He doesn't mind heavier dogs (he doesn't have much of a choice since he's a skinny puke), but not too big. The exception is if they are young and goofy.
- He doesn't mess with dogs that have big hair, even if they aren't much heavier. He doesn't get it that they just look big.
- He likes to box mano a mano, chest to chest. I think this is because he is lanky and has better leverage for this style of wrangling. When Bosco, a massive Pit, was whalloping Pappy around with his butt, it was clear to me that Pappy is at a disadvantage when all four feet are on the ground.
- Pappy's uses a lot of teeth at play. I'm always a little horrified to see dogs hauling on each other's loose skin, ears, and appendages, but none of them seem to mind. Of course horseplay don't pay, as Pappy learned last weekend.
- If another dog tries to horn in while he's wrestling someone else, Pappy will turn and run him off before getting back to business. Jack, the Rottie-Lab mix, never seems to mind multiple attackers, but with Pappy it is one dog at a time.
- Pappy doesn't like that nippy Border Collie. Too bossy.