Encounters of a Furry Kind

Encounters of a Furry Kind

You are a dog lover. The type of person that goes crazy when you see a dog approaching.

First of all I commend you on your devotion to those four-legged friends. Secondly, I pose a question. How do you approach someone’s dog when you are out and about and really want to say hello? You encounter a stranger and their dog (even though I don’t believe dog people are strangers) who have not yet been introduced. Do you run up and ask “May I pet your dog?” or do you simply do what I refer to as the ‘stop, drop, and roll’ around with anyone’s dog?

How do you handle someone who just runs up to your dog showering love without requesting permission first?

The proper way to approach a new dog is to approach the owner first. It is proper Pet-iquitte to ask the owner before giving Rover the once over. FIrst, ask if it’s okay to greet their dog. Simple, to the point, and usually the answer from dog lover to dog lover is, “Yes, of course you can pet my dog”. Then consider what the dog may be thinking, you may want to get on all fours to feel what they feel. Here they were just trotting along with their owners obeying every command. Then, interrupted by a non-treat-tote-ing two-legged stranger who shoves a hand down on top of them like a rocket.

You might be a little reluctant if that were you.

Once the owner says “Yes, of course you can pet my dog”, one of the best ways to approach their dog would be to hold your hand lower than the dogs chin and begin the new furry love affair from there.

You can meet the most interesting people and their pets on walks, visiting pet parks, and joining pet clubs. Many furry friendships can be made. Please keep in mind, you never know who you are approaching so it would be wise to find out. It could be a trainer in the middle of rehabilitating an aggressive rescue dog on their first walk or a perfectly trained dog and owner out enjoying the day. The final reminder, it would be wise to ask before encountering anyone approaching to avoid unwanted circumstance.

The Pet-iquette lesson learned here should be to respect any dog owner and any dog that you encounter equally, and ask the owner if it is okay to give love and attention to their pet at that moment. People and pets alike all have our moments, we want all of them to be warm fuzzy encounters that breed friendships from furry friendships.

This article was written by our Pet Relationship Expert, Gerralynn Cada. To read more about Geralynn, access her bio at