What’s the protocol for when you’ve got a dog on a lead and it starts sniffing another dog?
If they were just sniffing noses/mouths or other innocuous areas, this wouldn’t be an issue. But, as I have dogs that immediately sniff at the less salubrious parts of their canine chums, I’m wondering if there is a phrase that I should be using to lessen the embarrassment, or if this is something I should just tolerate.
For example, if I’m walking my dog and I encounter another man walking a dog, Oswald starts to sniff at the other dog’s rear end. I’m not going to say if he’s sniffing ass, taint or ball sack. I don’t look closely enough to make an accurate distinction. I’m just giving you the idea that his head is in that area.
My current fallback is to not make eye contact with the other dog’s owner. Making eye contact would be akin to saying, “Hey! These little chappies seem to be having fun doing that, so why don’t we try it?” Consequently, eye contact is not an option.
Similarly, it’s difficult to make a remark that doesn’t sound like I’m condoning the behaviour or secretly enjoying the voyeurism. A comment such as, “Oh! They’re making friends,” seems like a disturbing understatement given the situation. A comment such as, “Isn’t it lovely weather we’re having?” suggests that I’m oblivious to the fact that my dog’s nose is buried up another dog’s backside. I definitely can’t say, “He’s enjoying that,” without sounding like I should be on a register.
So, if you’ve got any suggestions for how to tactfully respond in these scenarios, please drop them in the comments box below.