Guy Dogging

People are all alike, but dogs are different – if you judge by symbol signs. At parks, beaches, and municipal promenades, signs referring to “all dogs” rely on icons that suggest a specific breed.

Mutt and man both have popsicle-stick legs, giving this sign a generic look. Even so, people identify the dog as a West Highland White Terrier (in small, unscientific surveys).
Mutt and man both have popsicle-stick legs, giving this sign a generic look. Even so, people identify the dog as a West Highland White Terrier (in small, unscientific surveys).

Straining at the Leash

Watch for two features: 1) straightness of the leash and 2) Guy’s body language. Together they answer the question: Are you walking the dog, or is the dog walking you?

02LooseLeashDTLA
Opinions vary as to whether this is a spaniel or a Labrador. Everyone agrees the triangle nose is upside down … and the sign is badly scratched. Bunker Hill, Los Angeles.
Opinions vary as to whether this dog is a pinscher. Everyone agrees the dog has an attitude. Following him is the classic Guy Crossing, with squared-off cuffs and pant legs, in his standard “watch for pedestrians” pose. Vancouver, British Columbia.
Opinions vary as to whether this dog is a pinscher. Everyone agrees the dog has an attitude. Following him is the classic Guy Crossing, with squared-off cuffs and pant legs, in his standard “watch for pedestrians” pose. Vancouver, British Columbia.
03GermShepDubosePark
Clearly, a German Shepherd. Also, the drawing of Guy is notable for the diagonal line that differentiates the right leg from the left. Duboce Park, San Francisco.
Long ears suggest a Basset Hound or the larger Bloodhound. Dog size relative to the human figure may be exaggerated on symbol signs. Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria, Illinois.
Long ears suggest a Basset Hound or the larger Bloodhound. Dog size relative to the human figure may be exaggerated on symbol signs. Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria, Illinois.
Is that a pit bull? He seems quite strong.
Is that a pit bull? He seems quite strong. His front paw is off the ground.
However strong the Pit Bull may be, the Beagle has pulled Guy’s arm like taffy. It’s long enough to touch his knee.
However strong the pit bull may be, the beagle has pulled Guy’s arm like a roll of taffy. It is now long enough to touch his knee.

 

Stoop So Low

Guy’s body language — his increasing degree of reluctance — is the characterizing feature in pooper-scooper signage.

04PoopReadyRetriever
Anatomically incorrect placement of the dog’s tail raises a question as to whether it is a tail. Guy is prepared with a bucket.
02bPoopReluctantSpanRetr
An oval-headed version of Guy brings a scooper-on-a-stick, which enables him to complete the clean-up from a standing position. Or Guy is a golf enthusiast and has brought his putter. The dog appears to be a spaniel.
06VeryReluctant
A reluctant Guy bends his knees slightly but keep his upper body stiff while tidying up after a boxer. Shirt sleeves are a seldom seen feature of this Guy.
07aBowToItAiredale
This Guy takes a bow behind an Airedale.
A different Guy – though the same breed of dog – is down with it.
A different Guy – though the same breed of dog – is down with it.
The dog might be a mastiff. The cat is emitting a flame.
The dog might be a mastiff. The cat is emitting a flame.

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