My dogs get up close to the lions cage at the circus - VIDEO

..... blitz dog ridgeback

This article describes how two dogs got to be so close to the lions cage.

It is no big mystery really. The circus came to town and the council allowed them to set up their tent and cages on the edge of the off lead dog park. This is the park that I always take Blitz and my dog to, and as there are very few quality parks of this size anywhere in the area, we just had to make do.

In fact in the first week we found the cage by accident. There were no specific signs up warning people, so it is good that they had strong fences.

Dogs and lions at the circus

There are double fences around the lions cage, none the less, Archie and blitz get to be within 10 metres of some of the most ferocious predators on earth.

The video is shot in two halves. The first week both Blitz (ridgeback cross) and Archie (spoodle) wandered around the fence line, knowing that something was definitely up, but they could not place what it was on smell alone. Since the lions and lioness were sleeping, these two dogs were not able to identify the source of the foreign smell.

The next week things were very different. It might have been the other animals such as llamas and camels that started making the dogs on edge, but they were much more attuned to finding out the source of the smell. You can pretty much pin point the moment that they both realise that there is something much bigger than they are, and much more powerful (even if it is a cat!)

You will also see two very different reactions. My spoodle is part poodle and the poodle while being a fearless retriever, also has a very smart brain. This part of Archie's brain was telling him to get the hell out of there! He still was not able to identify why the 'dog/ cat' looked so large, but he knew that it was bigger than anything he had previously seen.

In the short term he gave it plenty of space, then after about the first 5-10 minutes, he ran behind the trees and bushes onto the edge of the bay water. He could still be heard barking in the distance, but he decided that he really wanted nothing to do with it.

Bltiz the ridgeback cross dog confronts the lion

While blitz is twelve years old, he is part ridgeback, and these animals were used extensively in south Africa for hunting. Rather than take a passive or submissive stance, even though he is definitely alone. he decides to confront the lioness, who is now completely awake and running along the front of the cage.

Blitz stands his ground and continues to bark and warn the lioness of his presence.  Whether this is foolhardy or courageous is a point of view, but this is exactly what he was bred to do.

I am glad that the fences were strong and 6 metres tall.


It is only under extreme situations like this that you may ever get to see your dogs true potential or what it is likely to do in similar situations.

Both blitz and Archie are very social dogs and know how to play well with all other dogs, but the lioness represents a very new challenge. I just thought it was remarkable seeing how each of them behaved in this relatively safe controlled circus environment.


Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to

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