The Buddy System for Dogs


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?




37 Responses

  1. SlimDoggy

    July 17, 2015 1:23 pm

    What good buddies. Our Sally used to have a hiking buddy – Rudy, a Borzoi. They loved to play and hike together…they were kind of in love actually.

  2. Emma

    July 17, 2015 2:43 pm

    Katie used to be my guard dog, but now that she is older, I have kind of taken on her old role. Bailie and I do lots of hunting together, but as a rule we have all kind of always done our own thing. The exception would be catching a critter in the yard where we each do our own thing but it all contributes to rounding up and capturing the critter. Mom says it is amazing to watch.

  3. Dolly theDoxie

    July 17, 2015 7:45 pm

    So nice for Mr N to have some protection! I think I can take care of myself pretty well, I don't know if an Eagle could pick me up or not, we have a coyote problem here too so its always wise to be safe. Nice for the woman to say something. Love Dolly

  4. Beth

    July 18, 2015 2:00 am

    I just love their relationship! I never worry about a bird of prey carrying Barley off–but I do worry about them confusing her tail for something tasty and making a swoop for her, especially since I've had a friend have that happen with her pony tail and an owl! Barley's more of a loner and prefers me to be her hiking buddy (although she does enjoy hitting the trail with her cousin and my parents' dog), but she definitely is Soth's protector when there are other dogs around. If my sister's dog starts to chase Soth, she'll jump in and cut him off like she's saying, "That's my cat! I'm the only one allowed to chase him."

  5. Edie ThePug

    February 15, 2017 5:52 pm

    How wonderful that they look out for each other. Edie doesn't have a "dog" buddy, but she does live with two cats and she is protective of them and watches over them.

  6. Hindy Pearson

    February 15, 2017 7:06 pm

    Mr N has to be the busiest dog I know. I hadn't thought of the buddy system for dogs, but it certainly makes sense especially when there are real threats to Mr N around.

  7. Beth Patterson

    February 15, 2017 9:05 pm

    We never left our Yorkie unattended outside when we lived in the country. One time she hit the dirt on her own when a large bird of prey was flying overhead. Our dogs aren't off leash except in the back yard. I think it has too many trees to make Nelly at risk, but I guess you never know.

  8. Allison

    February 15, 2017 9:09 pm

    Our toy poodle hasn't ever really cared for other dogs. Instead he'll let our cats curl up next to him and even plays with one of them. Otherwise, his companions are my husband and I and any other person who will pamper him. 😉

  9. Cathy Armato

    February 15, 2017 9:27 pm

    I can't imagine Mr. N needing protection, he's such a big dog inside that little body, LOL! I think it's so wonderful how these two are such great friends and go on adventures together. Icy has a Golden Retriever buddy named Cooper, we wish they could spend more time together and go places together but sadly Cooper's family doesn't take him places. One day I'm gonna just "kidnap" him for the day & whisk him away on a great adventure!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  10. Dash Kitten

    February 15, 2017 9:59 pm

    An Eagle after Mr N??? Seriouslies!!!!!! Oh my cat that sounds scary I would have nightmares for our cats, I would have to build then a 10 acre catio I would….

    * takes a breath *

    I am glad he had Sage for a buddy dog, this is such a brilliant idea – Sage is an 'example' of positive doghood to Mr N, and he will watch and learn from Sage as much as Sage helps him!

  11. Christine Caplan

    February 15, 2017 10:12 pm

    Yes! Sherm is certainly the muscle for Bruisy and Walter although I think Walter should have this role! It's nice for them though if other dogs get in the doxie's personal space. Sherm can be loud 🙂

  12. Molly Mednikow

    February 16, 2017 3:16 am

    I wish my dog was more social! Are used to think that she was a princess, too good for others. Recently when I started her and obedience training, I realized that she was extremely shy and traumatized. It surprised and hurt me, because I thought that I rescued her early enough. The trainer told me that animals are socialized in their first year. Maybe one day she'll have the confidence to meet you and Mr. N! Although I don't think should be a good watch dog.

  13. MattieDog

    February 16, 2017 4:30 am

    What a wonderfully connected buddy/team!! Dogs always make friends so easily – love that. Ours are each others buddies – but Mookie is definitely more outgoing and insane, loving to make new buddies all the time! Thanks for this heartwarming reminder that buddies help the world be a better place (for dogs and humans alike)!

  14. Sadie and Co.

    February 16, 2017 3:59 pm

    Mr. N. and Sage seem to have the perfect relationship. Reese has two bigger brothers who would probably bark at an Eagle. I wouldn't want to risk them running off, scared. Yikes!


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