Friday, October 24, 2008

Doga Tip of the Week

Meeting a new dog.

This is advice I usually give to children when they want to pet Honey or Gus. I sometimes need to remind myself though of the bestway to approach a strange dog because it's easy to get all excited and overwhelmed when faced with the cuteness of a dog or puppy.
Dogs are used to us big ole clumsy humans, so they generally let us hover over them and pat them on the head. But if you think about it from the dog's view point, does'nt that stance seem a little threatening and overwhelming? Especially to our smaller breeds? Of course most dogs will tolerate someone approaching them like this, but if you change your approach, I think you'll find new dogs more receptive to your attentions. Here's what to do:

1. Let's start on top and move down. Don't look a new dog in the eye, but smile and talk softly and highpitched to the dog.
2. Crouch down to their level and turn slightly to the side particularly if they seem a little shy. Approaching from the side is polite in dogdom.
3. If they do seem a little shy, let them come to you.
4. Instead of patting on the top of the head, pet under the chin or neck or shoulder. You can also start the petting by using the back of your hand, which is less threatening.
5. If you have treats and the owners permission, you can place the treat in your open palm for the dog to take, this will save your fingers if the dog is grabby.

So there you have it! I'll be posting tips o' the week from here on out, so if you have a good one, let me know!

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