While people do walk dogs around the lanes on lead, there are a LOT of lanes, so you can easily walk for hours before you meet one, and in the meanwhile you've probably walked past several houses which have dogs inside them going ballistic barking. This is particularly problematic if I am walking Az as well, as Az really doesn't like being barked at, and WILL have a yell back. Which is not the role model I really want Duke to follow!
So, today I took Duke to Tavistock on his own, to walk around the town and meet dogs on leads, people with sticks, people in wheelchairs, tiny sticky people, people in prams, people with trolleys and bags, very oooold wobbly people... and so on.
This went surprisingly well. He was little bit worried by the noise and bustle and all the people, but much less so than Az (I don't take Az to towns, he can't cope. This is sad because it means I can't take Mollydog either, as Az can't be left on his own - and Mollydog simply adores towns, she thinks they are terribly exciting. She would love to be a Greyhound Lady That Lunches).
We met some Cavalier spaniels, two jack Russell terriers, a number of collie-ish dogs and a young Springer, and walked past them all on lead politely (me shoving a series of tiny cubes of cheese into Duke's mouth to distract him and clicking furiously with my clicker: this proved very effective). We also went to a cafe for a drink. It was full of people who thought Duke was brilliant and gave him lots of cuddles (and snacks. Oh well, he is quite big and not exactly chubby.)