Greeting Unfamiliar Dogs

We all know the excitement of running into an adorable pup out in public. You can just picture it, the big, excited eyes, and that cute wagging tail. We may even become so excited that it may become so difficult to stop us from running up to them to say hello. However, did you know that greeting an unfamiliar dog can be startling to some pets and your excitement may not be reciprocated?

That is why your friends at The Dog Stop want to make sure you are aware of how to STOP greeting unfamiliar dogs this way and a better way of saying hello to that furry little friend!


Greeting Unfamiliar Dogs: What Not To Do

When you see an unfamiliar dog out in public, the best way to approach them is actually to not approach them at all. Just like humans, dogs have their social preferences which we may not be aware of. Although the dog may appear to be happy and excited, that particular dog may not be excited to have an enthusiastic stranger invade their personal space. It is important to let the dog have autonomy in the situation. If that dog approaches you and is being friendly with you, then it is acceptable to reciprocate the friendly interaction with their owner’s permission. 


How Can You Tell if a Dog is Permitting You to Approach Them?

Person putting hand out for dog to smellLearning to understand when and if a dog wants you to interact with them can be difficult. However, it is not that different from learning when and if to interact with a human! Just like humans, dogs can express if they are wanting to interact with you through their body language. Dog body language can be difficult to decipher so it is important to leave the decision to interact with an unfamiliar dog up to the dog and their owner. Even if an owner gives you permission to interact with their dog, allow the dog to approach you first and make sure to not thrust your hand into their bubble. 



Why is it Important to Get Permission from a Dog’s Owner Before Interacting with Them?

Even if a dog permits you to interact with them, there is one more step before you can begin your interaction! It is super important to make sure the dog’s owner is comfortable with you interacting with their pet. The owner may be working with their dog to stop them from jumping on people, he may be a therapy dog in training, or the owner could even be focused on completing their walk and not interacting with strangers. Whatever the case is, it is crucial to make sure the owner and the dog are comfortable with the situation before proceeding. 



At The Dog Stop, we care about not only taking care of your dog when they are at one of our locations but also educating you on being the best pet parent you can be. To learn more about how you can best care for your dog or interact with other dogs, check out some more of our blogs on our website or find your stop today!