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The Do's and Don'ts of meeting a dog - from Good Dog in a Box

Did you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to meet a new dog? We thought we’d make it easy by creating a fun new videos that shows what you want to do and what you don’t want to do when you and your kids have the opportunity to meet a new dog.

It’s human nature to get excited and start squealing with a high pitched voice when there’s a really cute dog in our vicinity. We just can’t wait to pet that dog and give it a hug. But that kind of behavior is unsafe and can lead to a traumatic event for a child, adult, and/or the dog.

Learning the proper steps in meeting a dog can help prevent dog bites. It all starts with asking the owner’s permission. When you meet a new dog on the street, you have no idea if that dog likes people or kids or is afraid around anyone other than the owner. That’s why it is always a good idea to ask if you can pet someone’s dog. This is really important to teach your children, who have a tendency to act before they ask.

Next is how you present yourself to the dog. Looking them in the eye, petting them on the head, or trying to give them a hug is not what you want to do. The proper position is to turn your back to the dog and not look them in the eye. Let them approach you. If they don’t, they may not be in the mood to meet people at that time. If they do, then gently put your fist out to let the dog sniff. Then slowly extend your hand to rub the dog’s chest or back. Don’t pet a dog you’ve just met on the head.

When the dog walks away, he’s telling you he’s had enough. Respect his space and let him alone. Thank the owner and go on your merry way.

Watch our fun new video that shows how to meet a new dog and share it with your friends and your kids. For more great information on how to be safe around dogs, check out the SAFE program on the Good Dog website.

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