Dog Park Cliques

On Monday, Aaron and I took Sammie to the dog park. We were excited because there were tons of cars there, meaning there would be lots of dogs as well. We weren’t too surprised – it was a beautiful night, but I’ve never seen so many before!

Sammie loved it. She could smell, even in the truck, the sheer number of dogs and was whining pitifully to get out. Once she entered, she was bombarded by dogs coming to check her out. Once that was settled and she did her business, she tried chasing after a couple pups, but they had already formed their groups and she had trouble breaking into one. Half the dogs were so much bigger than she is that I think she was intimidated by them. The other half were small dogs that didn’t want to be chased and wrestled by a big dog like her. Sammie did find one to run with her but not for very long (I’m not too sure why). She REALLY wanted to play with a black lab, but the black lab was so shy, s/he would run and hide behind the closest person to avoid playing. S/he wasn’t just like that with Sammie – s/he was like that with all the dogs! So Sammie eventually gave up.

After about an hour, Aaron and I were ready to leave, and we could tell Sammie was too: even though there were a lot of dogs, she couldn’t find anyone with a similar play style to romp around with. So we head home, and when we get there, Sammie starts trying to play with me – running back and forth and going after her Kong. I decide to take it outside to throw it and OH. MY. GOODNESS. She really let loose! I would throw it and she would run so hard after it that she would race right past it. Her turns were fast and as she sprinted back by she would miss the Kong again! Back and forth in big loops she would run until she finally got her mouth on the Kong and bring it near enough for me to get it and throw it again. Over and over we did this, until she could hardly run any more and she was panting from the exertion. I think she laid on the floor panting for over an hour when we finally came inside and settled down to read/play Madden. Sleep came quickly to her that night, I’m sure!

Poor girl… Not all dogs have similar play styles, and ours is not a wrestler by any means. All she wants to do is run, chase, and be chased! Have you had problems finding dogs with similar play styles to your pup? How do you approach a stranger to set up regular doggie dates when you do find that dog? Let me know!



  1. Will and Eko · September 24, 2014

    I hear ya, the dog park is hit or miss. Sometimes my two find a perfect playmate, some days nothing seems to click. When the park is really dragging I do my best to stir them up by running around. I have tried scheduling a playdate on occasion, but coordinating a time/meet up can be more trouble than it’s worth. So now we just go when we go and hope for the best.


    • Saving Sammie · September 24, 2014

      That’s where we are, too. I’ve hinted about play dates before with no reaction, so I didn’t push it further… Maybe we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and if she doesn’t find a playmate we’ll be that for her at home! Thanks for letting me know we’re not alone.


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