Often a lot of children and adults come up to greet our dogs when we take them out for a walk, they are really adorable and love to socialize with other dogs and humans. However, we appreciate that few people really know how to greet a dog properly.
Normally it is the youngest children who make big mistakes when approaching a dog, but adults are also not very clear on how they should greet an unknown dog. Some do it with such overconfidence that on more than one occasion they have gotten a little scare.
We are going to explain the steps that must be followed to greet a dog that we do not know, or that we know but we have not interacted much with him and that special bond has not yet been created. What humans call trust.
Index of contents
- 1 How to greet a dog we don’t know
- 2 How to greet a dog that we know
- 3 How to teach my dog to greet other dogs
How to greet a dog we don’t know
Both children and adults must follow some simple guidelines to greet dogs that we do not know or with whom we do not trust. It doesn’t matter if we have a dog, each dog is a world and what our dog may like … others may hate it and feel uncomfortable or nervous.
The first thing to do before approaching an unknown dog is to ask its owner if we can greet it. Some dogs are sociable and interact well with humans, but others are not very sociable and if we rush we can take a good bite.
If the owner of the dog that we do not know gives us his permission to pet the dog, what we should do is slowly approach him and stay still near him. We must let it be he who is curious about us and smells us.
To know how to greet the dog we must assess its state of mind, if it is calm and relaxed, we can raise our hands a little to smell it. We should not make sudden movements because it could misinterpret them and scare or defend themselves.
The correct way to greet a dog is to gently pet him on the neck, at the back, which continues with his spine. We should not caress it by the muzzle as some people do, nor on the head.
Dogs don’t like to be stroked on the head, at least not most. However it is something that allows their owners and people of their circle of trust, but an unknown dog will not feel comfortable if we pat his head right away.
Neither should we pat him on the back or caress him with too much force, some people seem to want to tear the skin from the hard thing they are trying to caress … that’s a big mistake.
Nor should we make the mistake of letting a child hug an unknown dog, the dog can interpret it as a bad sign and bite the child. The same for adults, we should never hug an unknown dog, or sooner or later we will get a big scare.
Another big mistake is to squat, putting our face at the height of the dog’s face, we should always avoid this gesture. When you stare into the eyes of a dog, he can interpret that signal as a challenge and bite you, having your head at his height … imagine where he can bite you.
It is not that all dogs bite or be bad, but we should not sin confidently, because that is what causes accidents. Furthermore, when it comes to children. Our duty as parents is to properly educate children about dogs, with three basic rules:
- Do not stare at the dog or directly into the eyes.
- Do not touch the dog or make sudden movements.
- Do not speak to the dog.
Those are the basic rules that every child should know, when he is older and aware of his actions, we can teach him to consult the owner if he can touch it and follow the steps explained above. In short, they indicate how to pet a dog correctly:
- Ask the dog’s owner if we can pet him.
- Slowly approach and let the dog smell us.
- Do not make sudden movements.
- Stroke it gently and without insistence on the back of the neck.
- Never hug him or bend down.
How to greet a dog that we know
All of us who fortunately can share our life with a puppy, we make many new friends thanks to the walks. Other dog owners will stop by to talk to us about their dogs, the weather, or any topic to have a good time with while the puppies greet each other.
Just because we have a very high level of trust with our dog and greet him however we want … does not mean that other dogs tolerate the same. Many make the mistake of thinking that they know a dog perfectly for the simple fact of having met him a few times or having greeted him on some occasions.
We should not be overconfident because dogs are that, dogs. Loyal to their owners and family environment but sometimes unpredictable with strangers or people with whom they have little trust.
We must apply the same rules, greet with care and softness, never put our face at your height and above all, do not greet him by touching his head and mouth / muzzle. By following these simple rules we will seldom find ourselves in a tense or unpleasant situation.
How to teach my dog to greet other dogs
The process is very similar to that of humans, with the difference that this time it will be a greeting between dogs and not between a dog and a human. We must socialize our dog with his environment, with other dogs and with other humans since he was a puppy. So that when he is older he is a respectful and fearless dog.
If we see an unknown dog and we want our dog to greet him, the first thing we should do is ask the owner of the other dog if he is sociable or if on the contrary he is a grumpy dog or he bites.
If it is a sociable dog, the ideal is to tell our dog to sit down and wait for the other dog to come closer. When he does, we simply have to let his bottom and genitals sniff.
Although it may seem very curious to us, that is the way dogs have to present themselves. They smell their ass and their genitals and so they know what smell they have, where they have urinated, where they have walked, etc … The smell of a dog is more than a hundred times greater than that of a human.
We must not allow our dog or the other dog to kick the other one. Because that is an act of trying to dominate and can lead to grunts or a fight.
And if we appreciate any sign of tension, such as teeth showing or the hairs on their back standing on end…. we just have to walk away and continue with the walk quietly.