How To Greet A Dog
Contrary to popular belief, the best way to introduce yourself to a new dog is not by reaching out your hand for the dog to sniff. From a dog’s perspective, our hands are more like their mouths. Things humans do with their hands that dogs do with their mouths: pick up objects, use them to eat our food, and sadly some dogs have experienced a hand hurt them.
The BEST way to introduce yourself to a dog (especially a nervous one) is the “No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact” rule- let them come to you, don’t reach out to pet, avoid eye contact, and don’t talk to them. It’s also good to crouch down and get on the dog’s level while avoiding eye contact, so the dog feels more at ease approaching you to sniff. Only when they feel comfortable or even seem excited should you reach out to pet them.
These tips aren’t just to keep people safe, but also to keep dogs safe! Most dog bites are caused by humans unknowingly provoking a dog to the point where that dog feels the need to protect themselves. And unfortunately, a lot of dog’s pay for the human’s mistake with their lives. No one wants that!