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How Would Your Dog Respond to Danger?

Thanks to Julia Thomson from Home on 129 Acres for her regular articles on That Mutt.

I consider Baxter to be a pretty selfish dog. He’s independent and chill and likes his alone time—and we love him for who he is. He’s just usually the centre of his own universe.

I’ve often wondered what he would do if Matt or I was in trouble. Would he be able to pull a Lassie? (My assumption was likely not).

Last week, Bax and I were out for a hike when we got caught in a bad storm. One lightning crack was so close I ended up crouched in a ball on the ground—and Baxter sprinted away in terror. However, he did not go very far.

When we each regrouped, he put himself about 20 feet in front of me and determinedly started down the path. Every few steps he’d look over his shoulder to make sure I was behind him and still coming.

How would your dog respond in a crisis?

For a guy who usually can’t go five steps without stopping to sniff something or who ends up hundreds of feet behind me because he’s distracted by his nose, this was very unusual behaviour.

Now, you could argue that he just wanted out of there, but he felt safer with me. Or he knew I was his ride home and didn’t want to have to figure out how to hotwire the car. Or he was tired of being wet and wanted me to hurry up. Or perhaps, just maybe, he wanted us to get out of there safely together and he was watching out for me.

Or maybe I’m ascribing higher level thought to him than I should.

I do know we were both very happy to finally climb into the car and head for home.

Have you and your dog ever been through a crisis? How does your dog react to trouble?

If you have any examples, let us know in the comments. Thanks for the great discussion on Julia’s last post about dog licensing.

(The picture is a re-enactment during better weather!)

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