“Yappy Hour” with the rescue group

Greeting Blake
Tyler and Pyrrha greet Blake at Yappy Hour.

What is it about seeing a bunch of dogs who are the same breed together that is so thrilling?

This past Sunday, Pyrrha’s rescue group, Southeast German Shepherd Rescue, held an event at a local vineyard, adorably titled “Yappy Hour.” Many adoptable shepherds were in attendance, along with a few from Pyrrha’s foster pack. We thought it might be a good way to expose her to some other dogs, especially dogs that she was already familiar with.

I was a little nervous about how she’d do with about 10 other big dogs, but it turns out that Pyrrha has no problem with shepherds. She’s kind of a breed-ist, apparently. During the initial introductions, she showed a little nervousness, but nothing like what she displays toward unfamiliar dogs on the street. I can’t help but think she remembered some of these dogs, too. In the photo above, she’s greeting gentle giant Blake, owned by one of the rescue’s coordinators, with Tyler, an adoptable dog who’s had a rough start.

Jagger!
Onyx bobs for drinks, while Jagger peeks his head out.

I think she was happy to be reunited with some of her foster pack. Pictured above from her foster family: Onyx, the adoptable Belgian malinois mix, goes bobbing for drinks, while Jagger pokes his head out for a look. Jagger, owned by Pyrrha’s foster, Cassie, is a sweetheart and I wish we had him around more to teach Pyrrha some manners. I have a feeling he keeps the pack in line, but leads with a firm and fair paw.

Rawhide time
Jagger and Onyx with rawhides.

I think I may have a weakness for sables. Next dog, maybe? …

Tyler
Tyler.

This is Tyler. He’s up for adoption and has had a really hard go of it. Cassie says he’s been returned seven times by potential adopters. So sad. He was found wandering the streets of a large, metropolitan area. Tyler looks much older than he is (which is about 4) and he’s struggled to keep any weight on. Unfortunately, after a recent check-up, the vets think he may have degenerative bone disease. He’s very gentle, though, and watches people closely. Here’s to hoping that he can recover quickly and find his forever home soon.

Cissy's ears!
Pyrrha and the adoptable puppy, Cissy (with flying ears).

We learned that Pyrrha is somewhat lacking in morals, as she is willing to steal candy from a baby. Cissy, the adoptable shepherd mix puppy above, would get a rawhide and then Pyrrha would sneak up and steal it from her. Tsk! Our girl needs to learn some general etiquette. Cissy, however, is pretty fearless and wasn’t afraid to fight Pyrrha for it; she even got it back a few times.

Relaxing a bit
Hanging out.

All in all, we were really proud of how our girl did. I think she was happy to get to spend some time in the company of other dogs, without much stress or anxiety. The only dog that made her anxious all day was a boisterous yellow lab, who came bounding up to her; all the shepherds (both old friends and unfamiliar ones) didn’t cause much fear at all. It’s clear that we need to expose her to lots of different types of dogs, but I think we’ll get there. For now, it was heartening to see her with lots of other new dogs (even if they were all German shepherds) and not stressed out.

So, question: Do you think this is possible, that a dog could be comfortable with one specific breed and not with others? Have you seen that behavior in your own dog? Does your dog prefer certain breeds, or actively dislike others?

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12 thoughts on ““Yappy Hour” with the rescue group

  1. Working at a dog daycare, it was so interesting to see how dogs of the same breed seemed to be naturally drawn together. We had an awesome Doberman who was very weary of other dogs, but he absolutely adored playing with Pippa, a Doberman mix! Our bullmastiffs loved each other as well, and that seemed to be simply because they had the exact same play style and manners, which definitely helps to make friends fast.

    So happy Pyrrah had a good time! She’s such a cutie 🙂

  2. My dog, Teddy, is a Labrador Retriever and plays incredibly well with other Labs. It certainly is a characteristc of the breed though to be uber playful, so it seems natural that they would gravitate toward one another, based on sheer energy level.

    I completely agree with you though — there is something about being in the presence of a large group of same-breed dogs that is just awesome.

  3. What a great day! It must have been so heartwarming to see Pyrrha so happy around her canine friends. She looks so relaxed in that last photo. It is a beautiful thing to see. I love events that get dogs together like this and wish there was something in my city for former shelter dogs. Maybe I should start something? If only I were better at organizing!

    I do think different breeds have different energies. My dog tends to get along better with other crazy-heads who have energy pinging around them uncontrollably. She tends to get into fights with more intense dogs, like border collies, who feel the need to control said energy. Perhaps Pyrrha just feels more comfortablye around like-minded dogs. Goofy labs probably set off a lot of shepherds so I am sure she is in good company!

  4. At the dog park, our Aussie had no use for the other dogs- except for other Aussie’s and BCs. He’d run around with them, but otherwise, he didn’t even want to meet other dogs and would herd our Lab/Pit mix away from the other dogs when he wanted to go meet.

  5. Not sure what it is that appeals to *us* as humans about seeing multiple similar-looking dogs of the same breed congregate together. I wonder if there’s some kind of psychological or neurological explanation tied to human fondness for patterns and repetition…

    At any rate, YES I absolutely think that dogs have a “breed” sense insofar as they can recognize certain qualities about dogs that look or move a certain way. I’ve written before about how Bowpi reacts with such intensity around other Basenjis… Bowdu’s a little less intense with other Shibas, but he has strong dislikes for certain breeds because of a certain consistency to their shape and behavior, I think. For example, Huskies and Malamutes are larger and leggier than him, and typically bound with energy. Boxers can be similarly energetic, and coupled with their brachycephalic breathing, it’s a formula for insta-Shiba-irritation. Who knows why he got to be that way? I certainly don’t. But he knows what he dislikes when he sees it…

    I’ve found that Bowdu tends to get along with smaller, short-legged breeds. Otherwise, it’s usually more an energy issue than just a breed issue. And Bowpi gets along with just about everybody… except the Basenjis that try to pick on her. =)

  6. I’m not sure about BJ. He’s mixed. According to his DNA he’s part Bichon, Cairn Terrier, and Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Some how I doubt the retriever; he’s 15″ tall and 19 lbs. At any rate because he’s mixed he really has no use for other dogs. He doesn’t play with dogs in the park and even at doggie care he avoids other pups.

    I’m really happy for Pyrrha. You’ve done a wonderful job with her since she adopted you.

  7. I do think it’s possible for dogs to be comfortable with specific breeds, and not others. Some of it might have to do with size, I don’t know. Disposition of both probably plays a part!

    Little Cissy there is adorable! I’ll be she gets adopted soon.

  8. We have both Greyhounds and German Shepherds here, and I’ve noticed that both breeds are definitely a lot more comfortable and relaxed around their own kind, although they generally do well with all other dogs, provided they’re well-mannered and not too pushy. If we go to the dog park and there are other GSD’s there, our Shepherds always beeline for them!

    You got some great pictures of the event! I’m glad you guys had a good time there!

  9. Maybe I just never allowed my dogs to only interact with their own type/breed… but they pretty much have to tolerate whatever kind our fosters are. Not all are an instant match, but over time it is successful regardless of breed/size/gender/etc

    Saying that, our two shiba inu are ga ga for one another – and get along the best and almost mimic one another’s movements sometimes. when we dogsit another shiba, the three of them are like a secret society of scheming playmates that exclude the other dogs.
    Breedists.

  10. The labs I foster drive all other dogs (AND THEIR HUMANS) totally crazy with their energy

    *the Shepherds are so disgusted : ) regal vs puppy insanity?

    The exception is other labs…………………

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