Pyrrha learns some manners from Zoe

[It turns out that I am really terrible at taking photos of dogs playing together, so please forgive me for this set.]

Play date with Zoe
Those are some pretty stalk-y eyes, Pyrrha.

My dear friend Kendra has a super-sweet 8-year-old black lab mix named Zoe, whom you may recall from our house-sitting stay with her a year ago (or her play-date that we facilitated with Bo). Zoe is extremely gentle and submissive; I think she spends half her life on her back, offering her belly to people. I like to think of her as a well-mannered but occasionally frisky older lady. She is a doll.

I also thought she’d be a great dog to have over for a visit. Last Tuesday night, Kendra brought Zoe over. We introduced the dogs on loose leashes in the open front yard and the greetings went off without a hitch.

Play date with Zoe
Sniffing around.

As I watched them interact, I was reminded of the fact that Pyrrha, at 17 months, is still basically a puppy. And Zoe was a laidback older lady who did not necessarily want to romp all the time. It was like watching a giggly 12-year-old girl (Pyrrha) trying to get a serious, polite 55-year-old woman (Zoe) to wrestle with her… or something…

Pyrrha kept enticing her to play, trying to jump on her back or nip at her legs, and Zoe would respond with a well-timed and serious growl, which clearly meant, Leave me alone, you PEST!

Play date with Zoe

Pyrrha didn’t always get the message, but I’m glad Zoe was there to teach Pyr some manners. Kendra would apologize for Zoe’s growling, but I told her not to worry about it at all; I wanted Pyrrha to learn from it. We would split them up for a time, when it became clear that Zoe had had enough of Pyrrha’s antics.

Halfway through the night, though, Zoe perked up and decided that she’d cave to Pyrrha’s persistent invitations. The two did several crazed laps around the backyard and then we brought them inside. They were both panting and winded, thankfully, and even young Pyr seemed too tired to incite any further wrestling.

Play date with Zoe
Girls following Guion inside.

All in all, I’d say it was a successful date! Although for Zoe’s sake–since it’s evident she’s not wild about Pyrrha’s shenanigans–I think they’d make an even better hiking pair. Kendra and I will have to set that up soon…

Does your dog have an older dog in his or her life who teaches canine manners?

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6 thoughts on “Pyrrha learns some manners from Zoe

  1. I would love to have an elder dog to help Elka learn some ropes (though I think that ship has sailed…..)

    It’s sweet that Zoe was eventually all “Okay, fine!” and they zoomed around together.

  2. Holy mackerel, yes! I don’t know how we’d have survived Kuster’s early puppyhood without Morgan here! She was the most fantastic dog nanny ever. She’d play with him and let him know when he was out of line. At least, until he was about five months old. Then we had to put a stop to playing in the house. Our old Greyhound, Lilac, who passed away last year had been a brood mama before we got her, and she didn’t have any trouble putting young dogs in their places while she was in her prime! lol

  3. Elli never had any dog like this in her life. You’re lucky you found Zoe, who was so mild mannered with Pyrrha’s antics. The ones Elli had were complete bullies to her. There’s definitely a line between rational dog-to-dog corrections, even dog-to-puppy corrections. It’s because of those canine bullies that I learned to be very vigilant and protective of Elli.

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