How NOT To Greet A Dog
Alisson Goldberg – Owner/Certified Dog Trainer
Lets get real for a second here folks. Believe it or not, our greeting manners are often shockingly offensive to our dogs.
We tend to look them right in the eyes, approach them head on with a confident air, use a loud sometimes high pitched squeaky voice and immediately stick our hands right towards their face or head. Even worse, we go in for the dreaded a hug or smooch.
These are normal greeting rituals for polite human beings so they make sense to us. For dogs however, not so much. All of these seemingly friendly gestures are indicators of a potential threat for our favorite four legged friends.
Now, if we have done a good job of socializing our puppies, we teach them that our ignorance comes from a place of love and excitement, instead of from a desire to intimidate or illicit fear and aggression. Basically, we teach them that we are social idiots who they should be kind to.
But what happens if you come across a dog who has not been taught this, or is hesitant and fearful by nature? If we go bumbling towards them with our high pitch squeals of delight and reaching hands, we could be looking at a potentially unfortunate situation. The best case scenario is that the dog backs away and that their fear of new humans is reinforced. The worst is that the approaching human gets bit on the hand or face.
Educating people ESPECIALLY CHILDREN about how to properly greet a dog is extremely important for not only our health, but also those of the dogs we come across in our lives.