How to approach a dog (correctly)

You love dogs and would like to hug them all? Me too!

But have you ever asked yourself if they want you to hug them? Approaching a dog you don’t know, even one you do know, needs preparation and to respect the dogs limits.

In short, be polite…

Here are some basic rules to avoid making Doggo uncomfortable, or worse… getting bitten.

You can apply these precautions to ANY dog. Small, big, that you already know or not, whether it’s a labrador or a German shepherd.

It is vital to teach kids the best gestures and moves, since, because of their height, they’re more likely to be bitten in the face.

Take it easy!

Don’t run with your arms open yelling « puppyyyyyyyyyy »! I know, sometimes holding it is reaaaaally hard!

But there’s no better way to scare a dog, who wil live a traumatizing experience.

Walk calmly, stop a few steps before him, keep your hands near you.

The best is to stand on the side, that’s a non-offensive posture for a dog. To finish, wait for Doggo to come smell you and show you that theses preliminaries are conclusive on his side and that you can take the next step.

Keep your eyes down!

No need to start a staring contest, even if you’re looking at this beautiful Westie with eyes full of love. The dog will only see it as awkward and insistent, and will feel uncomfortable.

Ask for permission!

I know, it seems stupid, but that’s the least you can do. Just because the lady seems nice and her Australian shepherd seems soooooo fluffyyyyyy, doesn’t mean you can rush to him squeaking to pet him.

Imagine, someone finds you « sooooo cuuuuuute » and takes you in their arms without asking! Not really pleasant, huh?

The least you can do is ask his owner if you can pet their dog. And respect their decision!

Let’s go!

Even though everyone is ok for you to pet Doggo, there are still a few precautions to consider.

  • Keep your face far from his mouth,
  • Don’t make sudden movements,
  • Don’t yell in his ears,
  • Don’t squeeze him into your arms like a teddy bear,
  • Keep observing him to make sure that he is still comfortable. Be especially careful with the calming signals that he could show.

If you’re on the other side of the leash

You have to know your dog’s limits and make sure people respect it, don’t leave anyone pet him any which way.

Nobody can assure that a dog will NEVER bite. You have to keep it in mind. Even your old family dog could, one day, get tired of your nephew fiddling with him and jumping him everytime he comes to your place.

Observe your dog, check if he sends you calming signals to let you know that he isn’t enjoying the situation.

Don’t ever yell on your dog for showing you that he’s uncomfortable. A dog who grunts to ask you to stop (because you didn’t understand the calming signals he sent you) is better than a dog who bites.

Never forget that you are responsible of your dog’s well-being, and of the damage he could do if you don’t listen to his signals.

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