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How To Greet A Scared Dog

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How do I greet a scared dog?

You may find yourself in a situation where you must interact with a scared dog; at a shelter, a lost dog or it may even be your dog scared at the vet office. There are proper ways to introduce and be introduced to help the dog feel safe. Always let the dog come to the other person or up to you. Never force your dog to “Go say Hi” when they are uncomfortable. Have the person sit down to the dog’s level and just offer up treats. Don’t talk to them directly until they are more relaxed. Don’t make sudden movements. Let the dog take as much time as they need.


How can you tell if a dog is scared?

Signs of fear in dogs:

  • Vocalization
  • Running around or pacing
  • Excessive panting
  • Crouching, slinking away, tail tucked under, ears back
  • Whale eyes
  • Clinging to owner
  • Aggressive behaviors: growling, hackles up, backing away, head low
  • Licking lips

If you see any of these signs it is best to give the dog some space. By going into their safe area or forcing them to come out of it, might cause the dog to bite. Fearful dogs are a lot more likely to bite if someone is not paying attention to their signals. It is so important to teach children to recognize these signs and teach them how to greet the scared dog. The best thing to do in this situation is to just ignore the dog. Let them come to you on their own time. Do not force them. You can throw treats to them to make them like you better, but most important is just let them be. They will come out on their own. There are plenty of friendly dogs who you can love on.