Every Monday we ride local trails together. This ride is not about training — at least not for me — he may have other ideas. Its about being outside w/ my dog and spinning my legs out a bit. I’ve sourced a route from my house with plenty of water and shade and views. There is a big swimming hole at the turnaround point that requires a little bushwhack off the trail. He always swims. Sometimes I do too.
Throughout the year he’s learned the route. Conserving energy at times, letting it run at others. I watch him, he watches me. We talk. I try to see the route through the eyes of a dog (soft/shady single track good, exposed gravel bad). I ignore his feeding schedule and make sure he is hydrated and fed, especially around recovery. He tends to ditch his dog bed Monday nights and sleeps next to me on the floor.
So what about this dog attack. Well, typically he likes to trot a little behind pacing himself to me and probably avoiding some dust. He is an 80 pound dog — in good shape but not one of these spindly run forever dogs. He is a great trail companion on foot or bike. He is sweet and non-aggresive — in dog terms ‘submissive’. Yesterday it all changed. Climbing home from the swimming hole he came around me . . . i picked up my pace a bit expecting him to go back . . . he looked back at me like Lance on the Alp and said what you got and away he went! My dog attacked! I gave a half-hearted chase but he wasn’t having it. I could see the confidence and strength in his gait.
He’d put in his time and earned the right and was the lead dog going home. My dog’s first, and best, attack.