Saturday, June 12, 2010

The beat on the street

Watching the reaction of the public to different puppies/dogs is a form of entertainment. It's true, try it sometime.

Here are some of my observations:

So many choices...

With the service dogs in training, an adorable puppy in their mini vest draws children and adults like a magnet. If you have a group of puppies together the attention to each varies. The younger the puppy, the more they are flocked to. In the labs, chocolate is often favored over yellow and black, with black being the least noticed. If a person has had a certain breed or colour as a pet their preference is based on that dog and they'll come over to tell you stories of their "Marley". Some love the goldens and ignore labs.

My friend's chocolate lab puppy getting the attention...

The Golden/Poodle, Enzo, sucked people in with his goofy looks and behaviour. From his walk to his actions he was just plain funny. Some wanted to know what he was. I overheard more than one couple get in an argument over his breed before coming over to ask me, "Is that a Golden Doodle?" You had to laugh at the "I told you so!" that followed from the woman to the man (or vice versa).

Enzo always took his job seriously.

Some people don't like dogs, others are noticeably nervous to incredibly fearful. I've seen parents gasp and grab an eager child's hand to drag them away from the furry beast. Adults have plastered their bodies against a wall of cereal in the grocery store or turned and ran away. Some nationalities are more fearful than others and I wonder if the dogs are considered unclean or a bad omen? I'm careful to watch the reaction of people and if I sense a fear I leave the aisle or cross over to the other side of the hallway to be considerate.

We once hired a girl at our agency who lept up on her chair in fear when I brought in 8 week old Cyder (black lab). We hadn't realized she was afraid of dogs. She didn't last long for a number of reasons, and since then one of the questions asked during interviews is how a person likes dogs!

Cyder was pretty scary, wasn't she?

With Bullet the reactions are quite different. He's mainly ignored. Even as a puppy most people ignored him. Occasionally I'll get asked if he's a labradoodle (grrrr... that means it's time to groom him) or a Bouvier. Today I was asked if he was a Giant Schnauzer - yes!

Coda drew a lot more attention than Bullet, I think the difference was his build, his cropped ears and his furnishings. Overall he was flashier than Bullet perhaps?

Coda in need of a good grooming.

On the other hand, walking three Giant Schnauzers neatly by myself, two on one side and one on the other had people stopping their cars to talk to me.

Then there is Lexus. I truly wasn't expecting the reactions I would get to her. More men are interested than I'm used to. Some people absolutely adore her and have to come over to pet her. Others cross the street when they see us coming. One lunchtime while walking uptown a woman made a wide detour around us, with the comment "I don't know if it bites". Lexus was 5 months old and walking calmly at my side. With their reputation as police dogs I can understand some of this.

This week at work a tenant in our building asked me about the dogs I always brought in. He wanted to know how many dogs I had, lol! I have brought in quite a few over the years... He asked what the big black one was, and mentioned that the new one looked mean and vicious. Next time I see him and I have Lexus with me I'll see if he wants to meet her.


Hobbes Dogs said...

I often find that overall I am approached by males more often when I have a black/dark dog, and females more often when I have a yellow/light dog.

K9-CRAZY said...

Why do you think that is?

I really miss raising a puppy that I can take out to malls.

Christine said...

Very interesting. When I'm out walking with Mya and a Bernese Mountain Dog, people stop to look at the BMD and not Mya. They comment on how beautiful she is etc. If I'm out just with Mya, people comment on her beauty. Weird eh!