Betty, having the characteristics of a Pug and a Min Pin, is incredibly sociable, confident, feisty, spirited, fearless and assertive. She loves running up to children, adults, dogs and other creatures (even a ferret) to say hello. In fact, Betty will try to get a reaction out of almost anything.
As Betty is tiny, most responses are favourable. However, on the odd occasion, I have been severely reprimanded. To save you the embarrassment, here is what I’ve learnt:
- If a dog is on a lead, it’s probably for a reason. They may be unpredictable or sex-mad.
- Pugs will run straight through picnics and eat as much as they can before you can catch them.
- If someone is having quiet time with the paper and a Costa coffee, all cross-legged and Zen on the grass, it’s probably not a good idea to let you dog “surprise” them.
- A playful dog can quickly turn a group of children into screaming banshees. Parents do not appreciate this.
- When you take your dog training, do not use the class for socialising: you, nor your dog.
- Runners don’t like “cooling down” whilst trying to not trip over a dog with chasing instincts.
- Even “dog friendly” establishments have areas that are off-limits e.g. in the kitchen or on tables where people eat.
Finally, from the other perspective, if you want to pet a dog, it is polite (and safe) to ask the owner’s permission first. It’s not always necessary, but at least you won’t be shouted or snarled at, and never try to pet a dog, unannounced, from behind.