How to Safely Interact With a Stranger’s Dog

Dogs are known for being man’s best friend, and for good reason. However, not all dogs may seem as friendly as they appear. Let’s say you and a passerby strike up a conversation, and you notice his or her dog is a little antsy. If the owner allows it, you need to approach the dog with caution. You don’t know what kind of personality he has.

Let Them Smell

One of the first things you must do when interacting with a stranger’s dog is to let her get a whiff of your scent. A dog’s scent is much greater than that of a human’s, and it lets them detect many things. Getting familiar with a scent is how dogs can recognize you more easily. This heightened sense of smell is how a dog can differentiate friend from foe. So before touching the dog, let him sniff you, so he knows you’re not a threat.

Careful Approach

Aside from letting her sniff you, there are a lot of cautious approaches to take with a stranger’s dog. Before anything, you need to ask permission if you’re allowed to interact with the dog. You can’t just go up to someone’s dog and pet her as it could lead to an injury. It’s recommended that you treat wounds immediately if bitten.

Once you have received permission and let the dog sniff you, be sure to communicate with a calm, friendly tone. Second, do not make eye contact with the dog. He may think you’re trying to challenge him. Furthermore, if you crouch near the dog, do it from the side and not in front of his face. Lastly, let the dog approach you rather than the other way around.

Know the Signs of an Unapproachable Dog

As tempting as it may be to feel the softness of their fur, don’t interact with a scared dog. When dogs are frightened or stressed out, they can become irritable and show signs of aggression.

You’ll know when not to approach a dog if she is licking her lips, has her paw raised in the air, has her ears pulled back or is leaning away from you. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to leave her be.

Dogs are amazing in every way. But you need to be careful when approaching a stranger’s dog. Every dog is different and will have a different reaction when first approached.

Here is another article you may like: You Love Animals—Should You Start a Pet Business?

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