What should we do Instead?

You need to first ask for permission from the dog owner before approaching a dog. It is impolite to walk up to the dog and extend your hand without the owner’s approval. This makes the dog uncomfortable and the environment cold.

Let them sniff you

Keep your fist closed and allow the dog to sniff you to assess your scent. If they seem okay with you after sniffing, you can probably pat them on their neck, shoulder, or chest, which is less threatening than petting the dog’s butt or the top of their head.

Do not “Baby-talk”

Using baby talks might have worked on babies, but it may not work on new dogs. So don’t even try to introduce yourself to a new dog using a baby voice. You have to let the dog get accustomed to you and your ways before doing that.

Best Practices to keep in mind when meeting new dogs

You need to keep these few tips in mind when meeting a new dog:

  • Give the dog some time to adjust, even if it will take several visits.
  • Take permission and speak calmly with the pet owner before attempting to approach the dog. However, allow the dog to show you good signs of friendship.
  • Watch out for any signs of stress in the dog. Once you notice they are upset or their body language becomes aggressive, make sure you cease contact immediately. If you notice a stranger trying to pet your dog, tell the person to quit trying as soon as your dog becomes uncomfortable.


Dogs are lovable and cute, and it’s understandable that you may want to build friendship quickly with a new dog, hence, try the “sniff test” on them. But unfortunately, many dogs consider it rude and may attack you badly. So stop the “sniff test,” try to take permission from the dog owner, allow the dog to show you sign that they are comfortable around you, and give them time to get close to you.

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