- Do not approach the dog face to face. Eye contact is often how dogs show aggression, so do not try to stare the dog down. The dog will probably take a looping approach to you if it does not sense a threat.
- Do not extend your hand right away. Eventually, the dog will feel comfortable enough to let you touch or pet it, but at first the dog may see this as an aggressive gesture.
- Don’t make any sudden movements. The dog is meeting a stranger too, and may interpret quick movements as a threat.
- Let the dog approach you. Assume a non-threatening stance, such as a crouch, and be patient. You can extend the back of your hand to let the dog sniff you, and the dog’s reaction will let you know how to proceed. Sometimes the dog will walk away, sometimes they will growl, and sometimes they will continue sniffing and show that they want to be petted.
- Pet the dog correctly. The instinct is to pet the dog on the top of the head or ears, but it is actually safer to reach for the chin, chest, or side area.
Please see the micrographic for a visualization of these tips. If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog because of someone else’s negligence, please call us at 801-506-0800 for a free consultation about your case. We also have a free book about dog bites accidents in Utah, we can send you a copy completely free if you call at 800-LAW-BOOK.