Be Polite When Greeting Dogs
I have two dogs I walk several days a week and we often go to a park that’s nearby. These days, there are often mothers there with their children, and the children ask if they can pet the dogs.
I allow them to approach as long as they have a calm demeanor and I always caution them to be gentle. I talk to the dogs to help keep them calm. We haven’t had any problems, but I don’t take my eyes off the children or the dogs during the interaction in the event things start to go awry.
When it comes to approaching dogs, adults aren’t always better than children in doing things correctly. If someone approaches your dog, be sure they respect your dog’s boundaries. For example, people can sometimes pet roughly behind the ears and some dogs may not like it. If you can tell your dog is uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to ask the person to stop petting the dog.
Children often like to hug pets, but many dogs don’t like to be greeted that way, perceiving it as a threat and reacting accordingly. Once again, if you can see your pet is not comfortable, ask the person to stop.
It doesn’t hurt to socialize your dog by exposing him to a variety of people and situations, but be sure both people and pet are respectful of the other’s boundaries.