How to safely approach an unfamiliar dog

Maybe you didn’t know it, but there are rules of etiquette for greeting the lomitos you meet on the street. Yes, yes, we know you can’t wait to touch them or give them a prize, but it’s not always the safest thing for them or for us.

When we approach and they are unfamiliar with us, dogs may react in fear or feel threatened and will bark or may even bite us.

The best thing to do is to learn some simple rules so you can make new friends along the way:

ASK THE OWNER

 

“May I greet your dog?” is a very simple question but it is the first approach to avoid an unexpected reaction.

 

SEES THEIR BODY LANGUAGE

 

Pay attention to how it behaves in your presence, especially pay attention to its tail, eyes and body, this will reflect certain signs of whether a puppy is just shy, scared or defensive.

 

LET HIM APPROACH FIRST

 

Instead of bringing your hands to his face or looking to caress them, wait for him to reach out to you, if he does, he really wants to get to know you, if he backs off, accept his decision.

 

AND GET DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL

 

Once he showed signs that he likes you, you can bring your hand about a fist’s length away (don’t get it too close, they can smell good from far away) and they will be able to sniff you and “greet” you with their nose.

 

If you have earned their trust it may be a good idea to sink to their level so they definitely know you are not a threat.

 

Most dogs are afraid of having their heads touched and being hugged (unless they accept it from their own family), opt instead for patting their sides, necks, backs and chests.

 

Now that you know that, it’s time to properly greet canine friends ūüôā

Source: “How to Safely Greet a Dog You Don’t Know” American Kennel Club.