aka: some moron who publishes for public consumption is trying to get people bitten
I’m NOT going to link to the actual article. But if you really want to read it, it was published on The Toast, and its titled “Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Strangers’ Dogs”. Note, The Toast isn’t exactly what I’d call high end reading, but unfortunately the article is making the rounds of Facebook…..
And its basically a set of instructions on how to get a strange dog to allow you to pet them without having to ask the dog owner for permission first…..
The FIRST thing the author tells you to do is lock eyes with the dog.
Locking eyes with a predator is an aggressive signal. While its true that certain training commands involve having a dog do that on command, outside of that setup its STILL an aggressive move even for those dogs. And while some dogs won’t care, others will be scared by the eye contact (oh yah, terrorizing the dog you want to pet is a good idea), and still others till respond in a very aggressive manner.
Never mind that there ARE dogs who’ll allow you to reach out a hand to pet them….only to snap at the hand because something triggered their fear at the last minute.
Never mind the SHEAR STUPIDITY that people insist on doing this sort of thing with working dogs (and no, just because you don’t see a vest on the dog doesn’t mean they’re not working).
So do yourself and every dog you meet a favor. Ask the owners permission BEFORE even approaching the dog. Do NOT lock eyes with the dog. And if at any point the owner indicates that your attention isn’t welcome or needs to stop, then DON’T PUSH IT.