HOW TO APPROACH DOGS. Dogs are more scared of …

HOW TO APPROACH DOGS. Dogs are more scared of you than you of him. Always remember a dog might mistake anything you do for a threat.

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You’ve met a dog in the neighborhood, how do you know if he’s friendly? You’ll know from his body language. A wagging tail, sniffing nose his head and body swaying back and forth, a possible high pitch bark and a happy disposition.

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Exercise caution when dealing with strange dogs, here’s a few things you should know. If a dog seems unapproachable, try to make the dog feel comfortable by talking softly. No fast or sharp movements, moving slowly always keeping the dog in front of you. Approach dogs side ways, not straight facing which can be intimidating. Never get on your knees if you don’t know the dog. Patience is key to making a dog feel comfortable, be respectful showing confidence but don’t look a directly into a dogs eyes as they may view it as a threat. Ball your hand into a fist and stretch out toward him, giving him a chance to reach you.

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This is less threatening and lessens the chance of your fingers being bitten than an open hand. Allow the dog to sniff your hand remaining motionless. Let him take the time he needs to sniff you, it’s important to build confidence. Give the dog time to finish, slowly moving your hand to try to scratch or pet gently watching for a reaction. Some dogs don’t like when they can’t see your hands, so pat the side of his head instead. At this point he either likes you or don’t. If the dog decides not to approach or is uncomfortable, watch their body language as most dogs give plenty of warning of being threaten (growling, snarling, ears rolled backed, hackles raised, tail tucked between legs, stiffness) If signs of fear/threat are apparent leave him alone. If he seems curious and calm and not exhibiting the warning signs, you’re making progress but move slowly while remaining calm. In time you’ll be able to befriend him.

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(at San Gabriel Valley)
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