How to Say Hello to a Strange Dog

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As the guardian of a Shyhound, I am acutely aware of how few people actually know how to approach a dog they don’t know. So, I thought I would write a quick post on how to say hello to a strange dog!

First off, the MOST IMPORTANT THING is to please ask permission before petting a dog you haven’t met before! Don’t just swoop in – some dogs are nervous and will duck, but others are aggressive and could bite. Some might be feeling unwell and growl or snap at you. If you don’t know the dog, you don’t know how he/she will react, so it’s best (not to mention, good manners) to just ask.

Parents – teach your kids to ask permission too! One bad experience with a dog can teach your kid to be afraid of all dogs, and that would be a sad thing…

Here are some tips for once permission has been given:

DON’T:
• look the dog in the eye – this is considered aggressive in Doggish, and can be upsetting to a Shyhound!
• pat the dog on top of his head – unfamiliar hands are scary to a Shyhound.
• make kissing noises – some dogs don’t like it for some reason.

DO:
• let the dog approach you in his own time – you’ll boost a Shyhound’s confidence.
• hold out the palm of your hand and let the dog sniff it – show him you mean no harm.
• slowly, see if the dog will let you scratch him/ her underneath the chin – Banjo likes that.

Aroo!

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