The proper way to greet a dog

Published on February 17, 2013 by in Blog

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Everyone loves dogs: little dogs, big dogs, happy dogs, tails wagging or not. Almost everyone loves dogs! As dog sitters in Gilbert, it’s important for us to be able to know the right way to meet our prospective client’s dogs. And we thought we’d share that knowledge with you. We encourage you to share this information with your children, too, because in their excitement, kids can sometimes scare a dog when they greet them.

First off, realize all dogs have a personal space bubble, just like humans. Just as you wouldn’t want a complete stranger coming up to you and giving you a gigantic hug, neither does a dog want you just running up and giving them a head pat or a squeeze. The best way to greet a dog is to allow them to come to you. If you want to greet a dog, stand a few feet away from them and stand sideways, allowing them to come into your space and sniff you. Sideways stance is best because they see it as the least threatening. How to greet a dog

Once they’ve sniffed you, read their body language. Is their tail wagging? (Although a wagging tail does not always mean it is ok to pet them! You must read the other signals a dog is sending.) Where are their ears and tail? Does their body seem stiff and tense? Dogs talk to us if we pay attention. Remain in a sideways position to the dog and do not lean over them.  Also as hard as it is, do not look directly into the dogs eyes or smile at them; both can be seen as signs of aggression. (Smiling at a dog once got me bitten in the ear.)

If a dog is giving clear signals that he views you as friendly, you may slowly reach down and stroke the side of the dog’s body or back in a soothing gesture. The top of the head is not the place to be petting a dog who you just met. They are not ready for this yet.

So whether you’re a dog sitter in Gilbert, or just meeting a new dog on a walk, please keep in mind the quickest way to make him or her your new BFF (best furry friend) is to follow these  steps.

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