Nice to Meet You: How to Greet a Dog

It’s easy enough to think that we all know how to greet a dog. Dogs may be man’s best friend, but not all dogs are going to be friendly if they aren't familiar with you or if you disturb or frighten them in some way. There are a lot of small actions that can aid in preventing dog bites. If you are bitten, then an attorney familiar with dog bite cases may help file a claim to recoup damages. 

What Not to Do Around an Unfamiliar Dog 

The first thing to avoid when greeting a dog is making the animal feel cornered. Dogs that are chained, enclosed in a pen or otherwise confined might feel threatened or cornered and lash out at you. Dogs that are sleeping or unaware of your presence might react similarly. 

Preventing dog bites may also mean not reaching out to touch a dog, chained or unchained, seemingly friendly or not. This gesture can also be interpreted as a threat by the dog. Letting the dog come to you first, hopefully under the owner’s watchful eye, is the best plan. 

Know how to greet a dog without teasing it with food or a toy, or making any sudden movements or loud noises can go a long way in preventing dog bites. The sudden movements and noise might frighten or excite the dog and cause it to attack. 

What You Should Do Around an Unfamiliar Dog 

The key to greeting a new dog is taking it slow. Always ask the owner if you can approach the dog, and then avoid eye contact until the dog has had a chance to sniff you. You do not need to put your hand in the dog’s face for it to smell you. 

Its sense of smell is far more sensitive than yours, so it can smell you when you’re just standing near it. Some recommend kneeling or squatting in front of the dog. Looming over the animal may threaten it, and could cause it to react defensively and possibly attack you. 

Always teach your children how to greet a dog. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are more likely to require medical attention for a dog bite compared to adults. Taking extra precaution when children are around may be helpful in preventing dog bites. 

Following these tips may help you enjoy happy and safe encounters with the dogs in your area. Of course, if you are injured, you may have some legal recourse to recover compensation for any damages you experience as a result. Still, knowing how to greet a dog may help avoid dog bites.

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