To Greet or Not to Greet!

Do‘s and Don’ts in Greeting Unfamiliar Dogs

🟢 Do ask permission! Asking the pet parent if its ok to meet their dog is first. Also, ask the pet parent what to do. This will allow the pet parent to make sure the greeting is smooth and comfortable for the dog as well as an opportunity to refuse. The pet parent knows their dog the best, respecting their decision and guidance is first and foremost.

🔴 Don’t straight up approach with arms stretched out and squealing or using a high pitched voice. This can cause a dog to feel distressed and overwhelmed with the situation. A dog that is uncomfortable doesn’t make good choices.

🟢 Do remain calm and keep your hands by your side. This will give the dog an opportunity to come say hello if he/she feels inclined to do so. By allowing the dog to make the choice to greet will help the dog stay safe and relaxed.

🔴 Don’t bend over, hover over or bend down and stick your face or hands into the dog’s face and ask for kisses. I witnessed a grown adult do this to an unfamiliar dog and I was shocked. Luckily for the lady, the dog is pretty easy going, but the dog didn’t approach and was not interested in saying “hi”

🟢 Do keep the greetings short. I would say 3 seconds, if and when the dog approaches and seeks out attention from you. By limiting the time the dog is being touched and petted by you, will allow you to do consent tests to see if the dog wants more from you. If the dog doesn’t continue to move into you, but rather is stationary or even moves away from you, the dog had enough and this is ok.

🔴 Don’t wrap your arm around the dog’s neck as though you are hugging the dog. This can cause the dog to panic and feel trapped. Also, don’t pat the dog’s head or come up over the top of the dog. This can make the dog uncomfortable.

🟢 Do follow the guidance of the pet parent on where the safe places to pet their dog. Commonly, dogs are most comfortable with petting on the chest or under the chin.

💥 Be safe and consider the dog’s point of view.

Not every dog wants to say hello, just like each of you wouldn’t enjoy a random stranger running up to you and giving you a hug and a kiss.

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: