Humayun's Public Blog: Dog Parks and Human Behavior

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Dog Parks and Human Behavior

If a complete stranger invites you to their home to play with their dog, what do you do?

a) Run away. Quickly.

b) Agree.

People act differently at dog parks. The implicit connection overcomes the usual social barriers, prompting strangers to talk freely.

The unspoken rules permit communication about all aspects of the dog, such as its name, age and detailed personal history, when similar communication about the humans would be considered strange or rude.

When the dog park was unexpectedly closed Tuesday evening, we didn't feel terribly uncomfortable selecting option (b). That in itself made us feel a bit odd.

Jackie had a great time, and we left the house with a bonus: peppers, tomatoes and bones.

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