Last night I finally got to play with the dog for an extended period of time. Neither of us were in a rush to get anywhere. First off, I learned we had the wrong name--it's Luna, not Lena. Second off the woman who was with Luna said she was an English cream Golden Retriever. Luna is a perfect name for her since she looked like furry moonlight.
All of this reminded me of something that a lot of humans don't do when the meet another dog. Luna's human asked "is it okay if we play" before approaching us. That's such a simple thing to do--yet so many don't. I can't tell you how many times a human has allowed their dog to rush right at my face. It's not very pleasant for me--and I'm generally a well behaved dog. If I was aggressive it could be a bad situation if a dog came at me like that.
A perfect example happened earlier that same day. The human and I were coming out the front door of the office and a German Sheppard was walking by. Despite the dog barking rather aggressively, the human with the Sheppard let the dog charge right up the steps at me. Thankfully the human was paying attention and backed up into the building with me before anything untoward happened.
This sort of event isn't a rare occurrence in Cambridge. Not a week goes by without a dog getting up in my grille like that. It's a dangerous situation out there!
So what's my puppy point here? If you and your human are out walking and you approach a new dog, have your human ask before you play. It's the polite thing to do. It's the safe thing to do. If the two of you come upon a human and dog that don't ask before they approach keep walking. It's almost always a sign that a negative interaction is going to happen--and almost always a sign that a dog has not been appropriately socialized and possibility lacking in polite communication skills.