Dog Bite Prevention Week: How NOT to Greet a Dog

I have to say, one thing that sometimes bugs me is the way most people approach my dogs. Because they’re small, people tend to bend over them and go straight to petting them on the top of their head.  Wally is usually super-friendly with strangers, but Lu tends to get freaked out once they go for her face.  Most dogs don’t like being petted on the head, especially by strangers. Imagine if a complete stranger came up to you and stuck their hand in your face. You’d flinch, too!

I try to ask people to ignore my dogs until my dogs are comfortable and calm.  Then, if they want to pet them, they can pet them on their cheek or back.  Always remember – a dog should be approached with caution and respect, whether big or small, familiar or unfamiliar!

This illustration is the perfect example of how NOT to greet a dog, along with the correct way to approach a new dog.

illustration by Lili Chin (used with permission)

The following video shows how to greet a dog appropriately:

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  • BZTraining May 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Excellent advice! Should be poster in ever school.

    The boys get the “Puppy!!!” greeting all the time. Something about soft, fluffy dogs brings out the squealers/huggers/smoochers.) Thankful, they seem to love the attention, but I know a lot of dogs that would freak out!

    • Anthony DePersis December 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      I agree, everyone should know about this. Makes dogs feel safe and humans a lot safer, we’re all taught how to greet people, so why not teach everyone how to greet doggies?

  • Pup Fan May 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Great graphic!

  • Sue May 21, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Excellent post! Love that poster.

  • […] A week or two ago there was a big news story on a dog that bit a reporter on camera. Then just Thursday they had the follow-up with her – she was impressive, took the blame.  Read about how NOT to greet a dog. […]

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