The other day I had my poodles at one of our most common parks. There I am able let them run off leash for sometime and on at other times. We were the only ones at the park for sometime when a dog friend arrived. Luke had been scoping the horizon the entire time we were there, he knows that this is the park you come to play at. He is always ever aware.
A car pulled up; Luke saw it right away and it was far away. Out comes a woman and her dog; I immediately recognize them, perhaps Luke does too. From the other side of the park which is a very large park I can see her body language already. She is lowering as she runs across the park to greet my guys. With her eyes squinting, lowered body posture and the telltale wagging run there is no mistaking a friendly but unsure greeting.
Luke assumes his stalking stance and approaches like a lion who has locked on his prey. At first he is very slow, each step a thought out movement. Then he speeds up as she gets closer. She stops for a moment in hesitation; looking for signs, friend or foe? Luke continues to increase his speed and when he gets about 20 feet from her he veers off to the side coming up on her left side; a very good sign to her.
A straight approach is a dominant aggressive one, a mannerly greeting is done from the side. This movement away to the side let her know right away that Luke meant no harm by his panther stalking and was friend. The two had a fun romp, Luke acting the tough guy and the young female spinning and jumping with excitement. After talking to this dogs guardian she was sure that her dog mistook Tilley for someone else. I know the someone else and there is a resemblance but do dogs get it wrong?
Yep, I have several times had my poodles out when they see a Jack Russell. They immediately charge over thinking that it is their Jack Russell. I have seen Tilley run up to men thinking that it was one of her men, who she loves beyond life itself and only at the very last minute is there recognition that she has made an error. So even though they have amazing memories, far better than ours and recognition abilities which far exceed our own, they make mistakes too.