Meeting New Dogs
If you see a dog you'd like to meet, follow our tips for safely saying hello!
1. Ask before you pet.
As well as being a courtesy to the owner, it allows them an opportunity to warn you if the dog is unfriendly or aggressive to strangers.
2. Ask the owner the dog’s name.
Calling the dog by it’s name will help relax it.
3. Allow the dog to smell your hand first.
Sniffing is like a hand shake for dogs so introduce yourself before you pet.
4. Don’t reach for the dog’s head.
Many dogs don’t like being pet on the head and could be frightened by a stranger’s hand reaching for their face. Pet the dog on its side, chest, or back.
5. Never hug a dog you’ve just met.
Many dogs don’t like to be hugged.
6. Never scream or run away.
You’ll startle the dog and running away can make them want to chase you and can make them aggressive.
7. If you encounter a dog on its own that you have not met before, leave it alone.
Even a dog that looks perfectly healthy can carry diseases including rabies that can be transferred to humans.
8. If you see a dog that looks sick, don’t touch it.
Call the local humane society or police department.
9. If you see a dog you know that has gotten loose, try to call it to you.
Running after it or trying to catch it can spook the dog.