Lots of things want to eat Mr. N. Birds of prey. Coyotes. Other bigger dogs. So when we hike (especially off-leash), we usually go with bigger dogs as a safeguard.
I refer to Sage as Mr. N’s “muscle” and she will run interference occasionally and charge other dogs when they’re bothering him and won’t back off. When Sage is overwhelmed by a mob of kids, Mr. N is happy to soak in the attention and perform tricks while Sage retreats. The buddy system works for dogs too!
We were at 1000 Acres the other day when a woman asked, “who does the small dog belong to?” I responded and she told me there was an eagle across the river and to keep an eye out for it. I did keep a wary watch on it but it didn’t try to make a grab for Mr. N or anything. Maybe because Sage was usually within a few feet of Mr. N.
But mostly the dogs just hang out together and play together. Mr. N plays with sticks more often due to Sage’s influence and he likes playing in water a smidgen more. I’m not quite sure what Sage has picked up from Mr. N.
Does your dog have a hiking/playing/field trip buddy?