Doggie withdrawal....Proper way to approach doggies owners in France

Bonjour, I just arrived in Bordeaux.I don’t have any friends nor do I speak enough French to make any.I love love dogs…I saw a lady walking a French bulldog puppy that I was dying to pet but did not know the proper “dog etiquette” in France. In the states when we are in the park walking our dogs it’s not unusual to say hello and ask if we may pet their dog… Of course my dog is still stateside…silly question I know…How would I ask in French? Merci!


Welcome to South West France. To find us, the easy way is to Google 'Strathummel Gundogs' or 'Chenil des Deux Pins'. We run a boarding kennels and breed and train Labradors and English Springer Spaniels. You can search for 'Alan Andrews' + 'Bazas' on fb or 'David Foulk' + 'Gans'. David is my step-son and is reading history at Bordeaux. Not sure that my wife 'Marilyn' uses fb very much; she leaves it up to David and I to keep her posted on what is happening.

Off line now, going to make some orange jam. Too hot to work with dogs, will do so about 7 till 9.30, tonight. 12 dogs for a walk down past the sheep to the woods, and let them swim in the stream, and then feeding time, for them. M and I took two Springer pups out to Casteljaloux late morning for socialization. We made the mistake of staying out to lunch, and drinking half a bottle of Rosé. Result dogs behaved well, sleeping under the table while we eat. Alas Marilyn and I now want to sleep!!!! Well, we were working with our dogs and boarders from 6 till 11 am. Must make jam first.

Hi Alan,

You are a breath of fresh air! Yes to both! J’adore les Chiens! And hope to meet the mad english, Strathummel Gundogs someday in the near future! I am laughing with a sigh of relief just reading your post…

My husband and I are transitioning from the US to Bordeaux. We left behind our college age kids. He is working for Michelin for the next four years. We have an apartment in Cauderan that we move into next week. I am quite crazy myself! Nice to meet you. Regards, Shauna and Jeff Tomlin. …ps what do I search on fb to find you all.

It is a pity you are in a city, and not in the countryside. Out here, a hour south and east of Bordeaux, everyone speaks to you. Just a simple bonjour, and ça va ( how are you) will be enough. Then, as June has written, "Il est gentil?' should surffice.

If you love dogs and want to meet some mad english, come and visit us.You can also meet us and other dog lovers at facebook,. Regards: Alan Andrews, Marilyn Andrews and David Foulk. Also known as Strathummel Gundogs

Thank you for that June - my little boy and I usually end up with the universal language of one arm partly outstretched, eyebrows raised and a questioning 'Oui?'. We really need to improve our French and you've already given us some ideas! Thank you.


Great idea! I will memorize some descriptive words. I know a few basics but the words sound like foreign objects coming out of my mouth and it’s very intimidating.I come from the South in the US so we are always smiling and saying hi to strangers…not the case here and that is ok…I don’t want to offend anyone. I will give it a whirl. Thank you…I need courage!

Hi Shauna,

Not sure about 'proper etiquette" but whenever I am out and about with my JRT and someone wants a stroke ( esp the children), they just ask " Il est gentil?' to which I reply "oui" and they will then normally approach. It is always a good way to help the french along, I would go out armed with words like mignon ( cute) etc. A good practice on the genders too as they will soon put you right on the chien/chiene and all the descriptions that go with them. Bon Courage!