The Correct Way To Greet A Dog For The First TimeOk, let's look at this from the dog's point of view.
When you approach a dog and it's owner you are an intruder, perhaps a threat, to their pack, the owner and the dog's pack.
The dog will see you approaching and perhaps their natural 'protection instinct' will take place.
Perhaps the dog will bark at you but the owner will usually tell them to stop.
Now the stage is set...most people will continue to approach the dog all the while looking at, smiling, speaking to, and extending a hand toward the dog.
What the dog sees...
•you are making eye contact, a dominant agressive behavior.
•you are smiling (showing teeth) at the dog, an agressive behavior
•you are speaking (barking) at the dog, an agressive behavior
•coming at (extending your hand) at the dog, an agressive behavior
In the words of Dr. Phil, "What were you thinking?"
So what do you do?
What you do is to completely ignore the dog. Let the dog come to you and 'read' you and your body language.
We tend to humanize dogs, that is, think they think like we do. They don't, in fact they think very little in a situation like this, they react to the stimuli placed in front of them Once the dog has sniffed you, read you, and walked away you are no longer perceived as a threat to the pack.
Watch Cesar Milan when he greets a dog for the first time. He says, "Don't look, don't talk, don't touch”. The dog needs to come to you. He needs to smell you, sence your aura, and make the decision in his mind that you can be friends.