Tips for Meeting a New Dog

Meet a dog for the first time can be unsettling, even for those who love dogs. Introducing yourself to Fido properly is very important. First impressions are a big deal to our canine pals! Here, an Aurora, CO vet offers some advice on introducing yourself to a new pup.

Ask Permission

Never pet a strange dog without first asking his owner. If the dog is loose, be extremely careful. Contact authorities or a professional rescue outfit.

Avoid Sudden Movements

Stay still, and move slowly. If you move too quickly, Fido may think you’re being threatening or aggressive. You can also squat down.

Offer A Hand

Let Fido sniff your hand. This is rather like the doggy equivalent of a handshake. Our canine buddies have very sensitive noses, and can pick up an amazing amount of information about you by your scent.

Avoid Staring

Did you know that staring is a sign of aggression in doggy language? Don’t stare directly into Fido’s eyes!

Don’t Hug

This is one area where many people have gotten their signals crossed. Hugs are a sign of affection and comfort to people. To dogs? Not so much. In fact, hugs are a sign of dominance to our canine friends. Your pooch may not mind if you hug him, but you definitely should never hug a strange dog.

Pet Carefully

If Fido still seems relaxed after he’s sniffed your hand, you can try petting him. Don’t reach over the pup’s head, or try to touch his face. Pet his body, or the side of his neck. If you start getting those tail wags and head nudges, you can then move on to ear scritches.

Read Body Language

Pay close attention to the dog’s body language, and look for signs of uneasiness, fear, distress, or aggression. Some red flags are licking the lips, stiff posture, tucking the tail, slow tail wags, yawning, and/or showing the teeth. If you see any of these warning signs, look away, and slowly back off.


We know, it can be tempting to baby talk your new furry friend. However, Fido really won’t understand why your voice sounds like that. Talk to him in your normal tone. Just be extra friendly!

Do you have questions about dog care? Please reach out to us, your local Aurora, CO vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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