Dogs are fun animals to get to know. However, one must take caution when meeting a strange dog. The dog will not be used to you and will be on the defensive side. Certain actions can exasperate this and may lead to trouble. Below is a guide on how to greet a dog.

  1. Get the owner’s permission first. Don’t go up to someone’s dog and start petting without permission.
  2. Either stand up or squat down. Leaning over them can cause anxiety. They perceive being crouched over as a threatening gesture.
  3. Avoid eye contact. Dogs perceive direct eye contact as a sign of aggression.
  4. Allow the dog to come to you; don’t bound over to it.
  5. If the dog shows interest and will let you touch him or her, stroke the side of the face or body. The back (not the rear end) is also ok. Any other areas are questionable for a first interaction.
  6. If the dog starts to back away during the interaction, stop. Respect the choice to disengage.

This is a list of the more general things to keep in mind. Dogs are cool, but remember, they are animals. Frightened animals can harm you if they feel threatened.

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