How to Greet a Dog

Here are some dos and don'ts to help you earn a new dog's trust and friendship.

How to Greet a Dog

Meeting an adorable dog for the first time can be pretty dang exciting. But just like when you meet a good-looking human, reacting on your first impulse is usually not a good idea. So how can you play it cool when you greet a dog? Here are some dos and don'ts to avoid blowing it and earn a new dog's trust and friendship:

1. Don't initiate a stare down. Looking at a dog directly in his eyes is a threatening gesture so if you want to be friends, don't stare him in the eyes.

2. Don't squeal or shout. I mean it, ok? Even if this is the most adorable fluff ball you've ever seen, yelling will not help you make friends. Instead, it will completely freak out your potential playmate.

3. Don't lean over and stick your hand in his face. This one is so common. We do it all the time. But it's a no-no. After all how would you feel if some stranger walked up to you, stuck their hand in your face and said, "Hi! Wanna smell my hand?" Not cool.

4. Don't lean over and do the pat, pat, pat routine on the noggin. Again, not cool. This is the doggie equivalent to a little old lady grabbing your face and pinching your cheeks because, aren't you just adorable!?

5. Don't grab, hug or kiss a dog you just met. Seriously, you just met. Would you do that to humans? I didn't think so.

6. Do let the dog approach you. Allow Fido to come up to you in his own time. Remember not to make the first move. This makes earning his trust much easier.

7. Do keep your side toward the dog. This is the best non-threatening posture you can assume and is sure to make a good first impression.

8. Do pet the dog on his side or back. After the initial getting to know you phase, this is the best way to show a little affection. It's non-threatening and totally enjoyable for the pooch.