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5 Tips for Proper Dog Petting Etiquette

If you’re a dog lover, one of your first instincts is to pet any pup you see. Small or large, you’re going to want to love on them all, but before you jump the gun and throw your hand down on any dog you see, it’s important to practice proper etiquette.

Not only is it for your safety, but you also want to make sure the dog feels safe and that its owner welcomes the attention for their furry one, as well.

Here are some tips to follow when you’re petting a pooch:

Ask Permission

First and foremost, as much as you want to pet a pup, its owner may not be as keen. Some people really don’t like their dogs being touched, and on top of it, some dogs don’t like people in their personal space either. If a dog is on the aggressive side and you don’t ask permission, the situation can turn dangerous. It’s always better to double-check on whether or not it’s okay to love on the dog.

Slow and Sweet

If you’re given permission and you go to pet a dog you don’t know, keep things slow and sweet. Don’t throw your hand down on the dog and get aggressive with the tummy scratches. The pup doesn’t know you and needs to be eased into comfort with your touch. The last thing you want to do is scare the pooch when what you intended on doing is loving it.

Allow A Sniff

Along with going slow, bring your hand up to the pup’s snout for a sniff before you start going crazy with the petting. Allow them to become familiar with your scent and show that you are a friend, not a foe. They may get aggressive if they are uncomfortable with you, so set a friendly and cautious ground.

5 Tips for Proper Dog Petting Etiquette

Be Gentle

Soft and sweet petting is ideal when you’re loving on a dog you don’t know. While they may love a scratch on their butt above their tail, ease into that motion. If someone came up to you to shake your hand and they aggressively shook it to the point you were sore, would you be thrilled with that interaction? Chances are, no. So, use that same mindset when you’re petting a pup.

Keep it Short and Sweet

When you’re petting the dog, use friendly language and don’t overdo it. As much as you might love sitting there for 20 minutes petting a dog, the pup might not be as eager. Don’t stretch your session too long and be sure to listen to the owner for when they think their dog had enough. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky and be welcome to love on the dog for a while, but you don’t want to overstay your welcome so just keep an eye out for clues.

Next time you run into a dog on the street or at the park, keep this list in mind for not just your own safety but also the comfort of the pup. Make it an enjoyable encounter for the both of you and leave wagging your tails.

Looking for some more tips? Check out this video below!

Do you have any tips for approaching strange dogs? Leave a comment below!

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