Guest post courtesty of Deinah Storm. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily represent the views of Val Heart & Heart Communications Enterprises Inc.
Tips for greeting a strange dog
Dogs are among the friendliest and most adorable animals in the world. And whenever they meet humans along their way, they tend to make pals with them―usually on the spot! However, not all canines are all buddy-buddy with people; some of them are a tad skittish with people and other animals while others are just plain weird! If you want to be all chummy with these type of pooches, then you’d better skim the tips laid out below when you first meet a strange dog:
Ask Permission First
Rarely will you encounter a canine who isn’t in the company of its owner. So if ever you meet an odd one along the way, be sure to greet the owner first and ask them if it’s okay if you say hi to their animal companion too. Some dogs aren’t too keen on interacting with unfamiliar people. However, by building rapport with their pet parent first, you can make them feel more comfortable with you.
Let the Dog Make the First Move
One of the best things about meeting strange dogs is that you don’t have to make the first move to establish friendships with them. So best let them approach you first whenever you encounter a strange-behaving one. This is especially helpful if they are protective of their personal space and privacy; by staying still, you let them sniff you out and decide for themselves whether you’re trustworthy or not. By the way, they’re more likely to take to you if you keep a calm demeanor and posture so don’t be too stiff and anxious when a dog approaches you.
No Sudden Movements
But even after a shy canine decides that you’re harmless enough to make friends with, it’s still not a very good idea to gush at or pet them without warning. This will make the pooch feel threatened, and it will make things awkward between you. So instead of being impulsive, you should act as calmly as you can in the dog’s presence. Move slowly, do not lean your body forward, do not have your head too close, and avoid making any startling noise.
Avoid Face to Face Approach
Canines usually prefer to approach humans and fellow dogs in curves, and they don’t like the idea or feeling of being watched and ogled at. Unfortunately, leashes mean that neither of these inconveniences can be avoided whenever their owners decide to take them for a leisurely stroll. So don’t make things more choking than it already is (pun not intended) and come at them head-on! Instead, keep your side towards them as you approach.
Check Canine’s Body Language
While dogs may not be able to speak like us, they can still communicate how they feel through their actions and their body’s mannerisms. For example, they are relaxed when their tail is down and their ears are pointing up, fearful if their whole body is lowered and their tail is tucked between their legs, and playful if their pupils are dilated, their tails and ears are up, and their tongue is hanging out. So if you want to make friends with every pooch you encounter in your everyday life, you ought to learn these canine body languages. That way, you can better clinch whether they want to be pals with you or not.
Lastly, keep yourself under control. This is actually great advice even when you’re interacting with fellow humans! Dogs have a canny ability to sense if you’re fearful or malevolent. So as much as possible, be careful of how you present yourself to a passing canine. If you come on too strong, they might respond irritably if not aggressively.
Heed Our Words
As said earlier, not all canines take to people quickly. By following these tidbits of advice, however, you’ll be able to establish friendships with any dog― even skittish and strange ones.
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Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com
Deinah Storm is a pet lover from the US that’s had cats and dogs all her life. When she’s not walking the dogs with her family, she spends time writing informational and interesting blogs about pets to share with pet lover communities.
Do you want to learn how to communicate with animals? Get Val’s free eBook; Hidden Secrets to Communicating with Animals
This article was previously published November 8, 2018, and was updated on June 26, 2023
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