Greeting a new dog should be an enjoyable experience for both person AND animal. Follow these three steps whenever you meet a new pup.
- Always consider safety first. Take the necessary steps to ensure that you don’t surprise or frighten the dog.
- Never approach a stray or a dog that is restrained in any way (behind a fence, inside a car) or showing signs of aggression.
- Call for professional assistance when encountering an injured animal. We all want to help, but sometimes animals that are hurt and scared do not understand we have their best interests at heart.
- Don’t rush things. When strolling through the park or neighborhood, you will undoubtedly come across dogs on a walk with their owners who you would like to greet – or who will want to greet you. Take things a step at a time:
- ALWAYS ask the pet’s owner for permission before greeting a new dog. Occasionally the answer is “no,” for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with you.
- After permission has been granted, approach the dog in a slightly sideways manner, not head-on.
- Avoid direct eye contact with the dog and allow the dog to reciprocate your approach.
- Dogs love to sniff. Give them a chance to see that you’re a friend.
- Offer a fist for the dog to smell, not fingers.
- Always keep your face away from an animal’s mouth, and don’t go in for a hug.
- Start with a gentle scratch on the chin.
- Contain your excitement. When greeting a new dog, be calm and quiet. Too much energy or boisterous talking can make a dog anxious.
Keep in mind, puppies and young dogs are emerging from lengthy isolation brought about by the pandemic, lockdown, and other restrictions. Many may be slightly apprehensive about meeting strangers.
Always consider the dog’s point of view. Remember: dogs on a walk with their owners are not a public attraction. So always ask the pet parent first and respect their answer when greeting a new dog.
Green Acres Pet Resort is a veterinarian-owned and operated facility that believes in fostering positive relationships between all pet lovers and the dogs that make our lives complete.
If you have a dog who needs lodging while you’re out of town, engagement while you’re at work or running errands, or simply a good bath and shampoo – we can help. We’re experts at greeting new dogs, and we’d love to meet yours!