How To Approach A Strange Dog

One’s love for dogs may lead to harm. The kindly impulse is to walk up to a strange dog on the street and to pet him. A bite may result.

Give a thought to what may be in the dog’s mind. He may be hungry, frightened, nervous, fearful of punishment; the memory of a recent kick may be strong upon him. Away from friends, fearful, nervous, and justly suspicious from past sad experiences, his method of self protection is to bite. And even at home or at dog shows, one may be bitten in surprise.

Always approach a dog from the front. Let him see you. Speak to him in a kind but unwavering tone of voice. Once you walk toward him, do not hesitate; do not show fear. And most important of all, bring your hand not down from above, for then he may be taken by surprise and think you wish to harm him, but bring your hand up to his mouth, so that he can smell it for an instant and see it; then pat him on the head.

Strange and biting dogs can be mastered by a straightforward approach; use a commanding tone of voice; keep on walking; do not look back. Keep on talking to him; call him by name, any name. He who hesitates, is not lost but likely bitten. Above all, look out for the sneaker-he steals up on you stealthily and usually nips; he is one of the poorest of canine sportsmen.

Never approach a dog stealthily. Make a noise to tell him of your presence. Speak roughly to him if he approaches too closely and if worst comes to worst, stand absolutely still and do not utter a sound. After a moment of you “playing dead,” you can make an exit but do so nonchalantly, but never with your back to the dog.

Once you have a hold on a dangerous dog, either on the collar or the loose skin, keep the hold, not on the side or top of his head or on his body but on his neck directly below his lower jaw. Then he can not bite. Or hold his head with both hands, one hand on each side of his head near the ears.

Keep on talking to the dog. Let him sniff your clothes. Let him smell your hand. If he is wearing a collar, keep it rather tight, holding it half twisted with your hand tight against his neck.

The barking dog may not bite but beware of the growling dog, head down-he means business.