Why do dog owners always say hello?

I was walking my dog the other day, a 10 year old cocker spaniel who seems to get more energetic and charming with old age. As I strolled along my usual route at the local park I saw a man in his late 40’s up ahead walking a very excitable German Shepherd. I’m a bit of a thinker when I’m walking, either a song in my head or wondering what to have for dinner that night. This guy however marched ahead of his dog like it was an ex-wife after the rest of his money. As he got closer we first looked at each other’s dog and only then did we make eye contact and give a casual “hello.” We both continued in opposite directions and back to leading our separate lives but for that split second when we made eye contact we were like brothers. I’m exaggerating of course but that simple exchange of pleasantries really made me laugh. That look we gave each other’s dog at the start that was our confirmation, confirmation that we are both dog owners, loud and proud.

Dog owners it seems have this unspoken bond, our dogs give us a reason to converse, even if the other person is your very worst nightmare of a human being, in that moment, on that twenty minute walk, we are all equal. It’s a funny but wonderfully simple concept but I must remember to tone down my new found enthusiasm for fellow dog owners, yesterday i was saying hello to just about everyone who passed by. At one point I was forgetting to check if they were even with dogs (that’s the unspoken rule you see), my neighbours must be thinking that guy is far too happy about walking his dog.

It got me thinking as well, can you imagine if everyone driving a car started waving at each other and saying hello because they are all fellow drivers and are bonded by car ownership? Is one man’s Honda Civic another man’s cocker spaniel? Whatever the reason for saying hello I think it’s a beautiful thing sparked by a love of our wonderful canine friends. And remember if you do see a young bearded man walking an old chocolate coloured cocker spaniel just say hello, neither of us bite.




12 thoughts on “Why do dog owners always say hello?

  1. I believe this is why dogs help people live longer, happier lives. They make us get out of our head/house and converse with others to create that bond. I say hi to all my neighbors who have dogs, I think it’s just the friendly thing to do =)

  2. Had to laugh at this one, it´s true. I never actually stopped to wonder about it, but it´s very true that when you go with your doggy you eventually more often than not you spark a conversation with the other person. I prefer it if it was a woman, but what the hell also interesting some things you talk with other guys. Strange thing having pets. Since mine are two Bullmastiff the first words from the other person usually tend to be “They do not bite, do they?” And then that leads me to explain jockingly what a piece of cake they´re are. Plus one, the male is deaf, mute(he can´t bark) and as a family have reached the conclusion that he´s pretty dumb. Still love him. Glad you stopped by my crazy blog. I see other post´s on dating and relationships, maybe something will stick on me.

    1. Haha I’m glad you agree, I did it again earlier today actually, a woman with a dog glanced at me for a split second and before I knew my hand was in the air waving and shouting hello. I couldn’t help but laugh afterwards, I hadn’t even meant to do it, just happened. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog really means a lot. Keep in touch. Paul

  3. It’s funny and so true. There is a ‘connection’ that says ‘well you’re okay because you like dogs too’… But you know I don’t think it’s a bad thing to say hello more often to people even if they don’t have a dog, and frequently do waiting for appointments, in the grocery store etc… Diane

  4. Great blog Paul, I love your most recent article too – thank you – and I’m completely with you with the dog ownership bond. We have a big golden retriever and I’ve noticed that cyclists are particularly happy and smiley once they realise that he’s friendly. I always wonder whether they were fearful upon seeing you and then greet you with relief 🙂

    1. Thank you so much that really means a lot to me. When I take the dog out now I feel the need to say hello to everyone after writing about it haha always makes me smile. Thank you so much for reading and is that a Scottish name you have there? 🙂

      1. Haha yes! My husband’s family are from glasgow, like you I notice (awesome place) 🙂 we were born in England and now we live in Wales, well noticed! I’ve become very attached to it 😀

  5. Hehee, all very true. Embarrasingly though, my daft dog leaps about with her heckles up whenever she sees another dog, so I don’t have time for hello’s, just apologies… 🙁 Thanks for following my site and leading me to discover yours!

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