The Right Way to Introduce Yourself to a New Dog
02 May 2018
Are you a canine lover who cannot resist the urge to pet a dog at the leash free park, your friend’s new dog, or one that is taking a stroll with it’s owner? Some breeds are friendly with strangers and love being approached. Some may feel threatened by strangers, and if you introduce yourself to them the wrong way, they will bark at you, or even bite you.
Whether you are planning to get yourself a new pet, or approach a dog on the street, such circumstances can be avoided if you approach them the right way. You are bound to enjoy loads of licks and kisses from them. Here is some basic information on the right ways to introduce yourself to a new dog.
Always Ask the Owner First!
You are walking in the park and notice a cute dog enjoying their evening walk. So what should you do? Of course, you want to pet the dog. But make sure to ask the dog’s owner first.
This is the most basic way to get a dog’s attention. Firstly, it is polite. Secondly, when the dog sees you talking to their owner, they will automatically assume that you are not a complete stranger.
Getting comfortable with the owner will definitely help you to be known by the dog, and they may approach you first. Enjoy your time with your new found fur-friend.
It is awkward to approach someone without looking at their eyes, but that’s exactly what you should do with dogs. They are not human, and new dogs do not understand a strangers’ body language.
Eye-contact with a new dog will be aggravating, as it can be considered as a threat to them. Instead of coming to you, they will try to move away or hide behind their owners. Remember, you want to love the dog, not threaten them. You may focus on their chest area instead.
If a dog shows signs that they want to left alone, then you should leave them alone. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Body Language is Important.
The way you act around a new dog is very important if you are planning to introduce yourself to them. Instead of approaching a new dog head on, make sure to approach with your side exposed to them. Approaching sideways will make them feel comfortable, and they will surely come to sniff you.
While introducing yourself to a small sized dog, use the same tactic. Approaching sideways and bending down to reach their level without making any eye-contact will definitely make them lick you first.
Do Not “Baby-Talk”.
Baby talk is definitely cute and works with babies, but not with new dogs. Until a dog is accustomed to you and your ways, introducing yourself to a new dog with a baby voice will only make them think you are weak. They might bark or even jump on you.
It can be tempting to try baby-talk with smaller dogs like Shitzus or Shiba Inu Husky mixes, but it is best not to. They may be small, but can get mighty defensive if you do not establish a friendly and approachable presence first.
A wagging tail, paw-licking, and licking your hands are all healthy signs. Never stick your hand out to them. It is always better to let a new dog approach you first.
Being over-friendly or overly affectionate with a new dog is not a good option, as they might not like that, and react in a negative manner. The best way to touch a new dog is by starting with the body first, and then slowly moving on to their face. Attempting the vice versa can be dangerous. If you see hair standing up on they back, stop, and back away slowly. Trying to pet an uninterested dog can be dangerous.
Every dog is different, but the basics remain the same. Respect a dog and they will respect you back.