With as many as a dozen dogs at the dog park today, mostly the same size as Laddie and some of them pitch black, his ability to run around comfortably with them was of course a welcome reminder of the socialization progress he's made the last few weeks.
And having other dogs trying to steal his puppy bumper as he trotted back to me with it, one dog actually succeeding after a prolonged game of tug in getting the toy away from Laddie, all without any hint of aggression, was a great reprise of behavior I've been starting to see.
But today was a new milestone, when a big Goldendoodle put a paw on Laddie's back, and then attempted a full-blown tackle, complete with the snarling uproar of a all-out dog fight. Except that only one dog was interested in fighting. Laddie simply maneuvered out of harm's way while maintaining a casual interest in the engagement. "As soon as you get that out of your system," he seemed to be saying to the Goldendoodle, "we can get back to playing."
If this trend continues, I think a time could come where I could work with Laddie at an event, at the line or on honor, and not have to worry about some potential incident with another dog. Of course I'm not ready to let my guard down yet, but I really think we might be getting there.