**I have no scientific evidence or dog behavior theory to support this post, it's just my thoughts and comments are more than welcome!** Right as we got to the park today if got really windy for about 20 minutes. It has been sunny and beautiful earlier in the day, and as I drove closer and closer to the park for the afternoon trip, I saw dark gloomy clouds rolling in. By the time I got to the park, it was dark, windy and starting to rain. It's a common saying among the dogwalkers that the wind make the dogs go crazy, and on any windy day at the park, you will see a more chaotic scene than normal. Today was just about the epitome of that.
Almost as soon as the dogs bust out of the back of my truck, the wind gusts were blowing through the trees, almost as if it were blowing the dogs into the park. Normally, there is a big explosion of excitement and chasing, barking, jumping when we first get inside the gates, and it usually settles within a minute or two. Not today. And not just my dogs. They bounced, chased and wrestled their way across the big field over to the side field (we call it "the dome") where I hoped we could settle down out of the way of everyone else. The next 20 minutes were absolute chaos.
Normally I wouldn't write a blog to broadcast my lack of control over my pack, but since I feel these are dogs I normally have under control really well, and I know it was just the weather throwing them (and every other dog) off, I'm OK with sharing my less than role-model-dogwalker moments.
On a normal day at the park, you will see dogwalkers with their packs calmly walking along with maybe 1 or 2 dogs running ahead to catch a ball, maybe a little barking, but all in all pretty calm. You will see a dogwalker off in a field playing fetch with his/her pack. You will see a dogwalker neatly filing their pack through the gates to the water. Sprinkled in between packs are park patrons with their one or two pups who are either chasing their ball, sticking by their owner, or making friends with dogs in the packs. Despite how many dogs are in one place, it's actually pretty structured and calm.
Now, have you seen Mean Girls? Remember when the "Burn Book" got out an everyone breaks into madness in the halls? That exact scene crossed my mind. Sammy was trotting around in circles like a horse with the ball in his mouth. Chesa was right at his heels. Salty was wrestling some puppy he met. Kato was barking at Salty trying to get in on the action, and resorting to humping when he wasn't getting his way. Josephine had found another puppy (less than half her size, of course) to play with. Cooper was intermittently body slamming and humping them. This was just my pack. Another dogwalker across the dome had his back who were wrestling, barking, humping and chasing. Park patrons were calling after their non-responsive dogs who were gleefully doing laps around the park with no regard for their name being called. This is what the wind does to the dogs.
I don't know what it is about the wind. I googled it and didn't find anything worth relaying. I've heard that the wind kicks up all the smells in the dirt and grass and throws the dogs off. I've heard the sound of the wind is too much on their ears and makes them go a little crazy. I tend to believe the kicking up smells theory... I imagine the dogs all going crazy because all of a sudden everything they knew got turned upside down. The dogs can't tell who smells good enough to hump so they hump any random dog, they can't tell what human has the treats so they just go jumping on everyone, and they can't tell whose ball it is so they just grab anything or leave everything to be found by another confused dog. Again, there is no scientific basis on any of this, it's just my dog-crazy brain trying to make sense of the chaos. Regardless of the reasoning, the dogs made sure there were no dull moments this afternoon. I have a feeling they all went home very tired today.
If you do know anything about why the wind does this to dogs, please comment! Let me know!