k9/dolphin connection

I had the most interesting experience today at the beach. My daughter and I took all three of our dogs to the beach for a walk. It was overcast and chilly but still walking at the beach is much better than walking anywhere else. They were all crazy excited to get to the beach, they love chasing seabirds and wading in the tidepools.

Not 20 minutes into our walk we spotted dolphins approximately 30 feet from the shore; it was a fairly large pod. I've always wondered what would happen if my dogs were in the water when a dolphin came. Unfortunately the dogs were leashed today as per the rules of the beach. But what did happen was so interesting; especially because I am a dog trainer specializing in canine behavior.

Luke was the first to demonstrated the behavior; it was an "I smell an animal" head in the air sniffing behavior. He was obviously on the trail of something; when I thought "could it be the dolphins?" Then Tilley joined him; the two poodles stood fixated with heads held high in the air sniffing madly, wagging their tails.

By now there was no denying they knew the dolphins were out there and they were reacting very positively. Tilley started acting like there was an old friend in the water, she was getting very excited; a behavior reserved usually for family and friends. We watched the dolphins for quite a while and the dogs were obviously reacting when the dolphins came out of the water. It was fairly windy so the scent of their bodies out of the water was definitely coming our way.

I have to admit I was fascinated by the behavior my dogs were exhibiting. As we headed further up the beach they became interested in other dogs and the beach in general. But; as soon as we turned around to head back they were both back at the dolphin search. I know my dogs behavior well and this was very obvious, interesting and definitely worth another visit.

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