How to Greet a Dog

How To Greet A Dog And What to Avoid

Here are some tips from renowned Veterinary Behavioralist, Dr. Sophia Yin, that will insure you and your children have a pleasant interaction when meeting unfamiliar dogs.

  • Don’t approach dogs in cars and never reach into a car to pet a dog.
  • Approach an unfamiliar dog slowly and calmly, at a relaxed walk.
  • Ask for permission from owner before interacting, especially if dog is tied up.
  • Avoid staring at a dog or approaching the dog head on.
  • Approach sideways and look at the dog with your peripheral vision.
  • Don’t loom over or lean over an unfamiliar dog. Remember, present your side to the dog.
  • Avoid reaching your hand out to a dog, even if it’s to let them sniff. Instead, present your side to the dog, keep you hand at your side, and let him approach at his own rate.
  • If a dog looks tense or scared, avoid contact just to be safe. Next week I will show you all the subtle signs that a dog is anxious, tense, and afraid to help you make that judgment.
  • It’s generally ok to pet a dog if he looks relaxed, comes up to you and rubs against you.
  • Always touch and pet dogs gently. With unfamiliar dogs, avoid hugging, kissing, and rough petting.

Many of our CAT owners confirm that placing the Feliway (pheromone) treated towels over their cat’s cage when they arrive has resulted in a noticeable calming effect on cats who were previously upset in the Clinic. We also use the towel in the exam room to continue it’s soothing effect. These aqua colored towels are in a basket to your left when you enter the waiting area. Try one next visit!!


Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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