Paddy is undergoing a slightly altered form of 'training' at present. In the past, he has always been very erratic in the way he greets other dogs that we meet on our walks. Sometimes, he's as good as gold, he and the other dog have a sniff round each other (recognised etiquette in the canine world) and then we continue on our way. But on other occasions the 'greeting' consists of barking furiously and lunging with all his might towards the other dog. Often, I think, there is something in the other dog's body language or behaviour which elicits this reaction, but maybe I'm just making excuses for him. After one occasion recently when he got over excited and wound his lead round the legs of the other dog's owner, threatening to topple her over into the valley below, I decided tactics had to change. So, instead of allowing him to approach slowly and greet the other dog - or not - we now have a different system. When we see another dog and owner approaching, we withdraw to the side of the path and let them pass. If he gets this right, he gets a treat before we proceed on our way and he has mostly been getting it right.
So that's him sorted. Now I apparently need to work on my people skills. After all, what other reason could there be for this morning's encounter with a spaniel and his owner. who, when I said 'good-morning' to him, completely blanked me and called his dog away from Paddy?
Oh yes, he could just have been an ignorant so and so, of course.
The spaniel, on the other hand, was lovely and perfectly behaved.