Wednesday, May 03, 2017

How to approach a dog

Didn't follow the guidelines.
We often want to show love to dogs the way we show love to each other, through hugs and kisses. Dogs do not naturally understand this, or even enjoy it. Heck, I don't either.

So here are some guidelines for saying hello to a dog.
Approach the owner: When you see a dog you want to meet or you’re meeting a friend’s dog for the first time, ignore the dog and talk to the owner instead. A dog looks at his or her owner for emotional cues, so if the dog sees that the owner is comfortable with you, chances are, the dog will be comfortable with you, too. Plus, it’s just polite. Some people don’t want you smothering their dogs. 
 Position yourself side-by-side: Instead of coming right at the dog, position yourself side-by-side and allow the dog to approach you. You can see how it’s done in the above video. 
Avoid eye contact: Eye contact can be threatening to dogs, so it’s best to find a neutral spot to focus on instead. Indy in the Hood suggests the dog’s chest area. 
Let them sniff: With a closed fist, allow the dog to take a sniff and smell you. A closed hand is less threatening. If the dog sniffs and seems okay with you, you can probably pet them on the shoulder, chest, or neck, which is less threatening than petting the top of the dog’s head or it’s butt.
If the dog isn't into you, and decides enough is enough, back away. Here are some ways to tell if the dogs is stressed.
A tucked tail: Not all tail wags are happy wags. If the tail is slow and stiff, the dog is probably alert, not excited. And if the tail is tucked and wagging, it’s a sign of fear and submission. 
Ear position: If a dog’s ears are erect and facing forward, they could be interested or aggressive. When the ears are flat against the head, they’re scared or submissive. 
Side eye: If the dog is showing the white parts of its eyes, that’s a common sign of stress.

These apply to people as well. Especially take note if they pull out a Glock 45 and chamber a shell.

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