Yes, the dogs in the shade did print darker than the ones in the sun.
The neat thing is though, that it looks fine, the context they are in and the dogs look normal, they fit each other.
Even the back lit dogs printed nice.
Setting the camera for the shade is essentially the general idea of what I did, I picked a peg where I knew I would get good shadow detail and let the highlights run. Same idea was used to set the enlarger.
As to the northern sky, try it, this s an old idea that I picked up from a book years ago and it works, much like a green lawn. I'm not talking about close to the horizon, but up a ways, say a camera tilt of 30-40 degrees. As a side note, this kind of tilt works nicely for getting a darker looking sky behind certain subjects.