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Dog Etiquette

Introduction

To meet and greet dogs properly in a city, it is important to talk to the owner first. Once the dog's owner has given permission, it's time to follow doggy manners and politely introduce your self to the dog.


Meeting an Unfamiliar Dog

Approach the owner first

Dog lovers may have an irresistible temptation to run up to dogs and say hello, but the dog's owner may not always appreciate the extra attention. The reasons why a pet owner may not want someone to give their dog attention are varied. Some dogs are just learning to walk on a leash and are difficult to control, other dogs may be anxious and afraid of people, and some protective dogs may bite strangers that get too close. Before you approach any dog, always ask the owner first if it's okay to say hello.

Greeting the Dog

Once you have the owner's permission, say hello to the dog in a friendly voice and gently stretch your hand out to the dog's nose. Look into the dog's eyes for periodic short moments, but do not stare into the dog's eyes or hold eye contact. Let the dog sniff your hand, and if the dog wants to extend the greeting he or she will nudge you or walk under your hand. At this point you can pet the dog, but stay away from any sensitive areas such as near the base of the tail, close to the stomach, or near the back of the legs. Always talk continually to the dog while you pet it.

If the dog does not respond to your hand or shies away, say goodbye to the dog in a nice friendly voice and walk away. Always be respectful of the dog's wishes, and never force your attentions on a dog that does not respond positively to your efforts.

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