One of the things I noticed soon after moving to Ascoli Piceno was that the dogs we see generally are small. In New Mexico most people had big dogs and most of these were kept outside to scare off potential intruders, including other dogs. Here dogs seem to be a fashion accessory, part of “la bella figura”. This time of year the dogs have on little sweaters or coats and are always on a leash. Many times it seems that they are being dragged by their owner who is too busy chatting on the cell phone or their companion. With the crush of la passeggiata these dogs seem to have that nervous look that they will get stepped on in the crush of feet.
These dogs however seem to have much better training than many dogs I would see in the US. I rarely see them barking at each other as they may pass in the piazza. At the entrance to a store you may see a dog sitting by the door without a leash patiently waiting for their owner to come out. Granted with the limited grass in the centro you do need to keep your eyes open for where you step as many owners fail to clean-up after their pooches.