Approaching a dog you don't know


Hi, my name is Terry

Dogs are pack animals and love to socialise with other dogs and people. They can become aggressive if they feel threatened, even if they know you well.

Today I'm here to show you the correct way to approach a dog so everyone is safe.

The dog's owner knows him best so always ask the dog's owner if it is ok to pat them.

If you can't find the owner to ask permission, don't approach the dog.

Walk calmly towards the pooch and approach from the side, not head on.

Staring at the dog or walking straight towards it can be scary for the dog. For the same reason never run towards a dog.

Speak in a calm voice and avoid wild hand gestures. Both can startle the dog

Resist speaking quickly or using a high-pitched voice. Dogs associate high-pitched tones with their own whining and assume something is wrong.

Do not loom over a dog by standing too close or putting your hand over its head. This could be interpreted as an attack. Give them space.

Let the dog come to you.

Make the first move by extending your fist for the dog to sniff.

Most importantly, be patient and remember not every dog wants to interact with you.

More than 60 people are hurt by dogs each year in Cairns. If you follow these steps you'll greatly reduce the risk of being one of them.

Last updated: 08 August 2016