For lack of anything better to write about, and me just wanting to get something out there on the interwebz, I thought I would do my first blog feature. I haven’t contacted the author or anything, but I just found this girl’s site and love it!
Lili Chin of doggiedrawings.net (so cute, right?) draws portraits and other goodies about dogs. I found this comic on how to properly (and improperly) greet a strange dog:
I was like, “THANK YOU! Finally proof that I’m not alone in my aggravation with how strangers approach my ever adorable dog!!” You know, sometimes I think it might be part curse that some people have incredibly adorable dogs…like, 1% curse.
I also love how she includes “squealing” and “shouting” in the dog’s face as one of the things not to do. I can’t count the number of times people have physically blocked my path (with strollers, their children, themselves, etc), and squealed “OMG WHAT A CUTE PUPPY!” expecting to get a petting sesh. I’ll tell you, I am MUCH more willing to let someone pet Spike when they politely ask if they can say hi before attempting to pick him up (which is an even bigger no-no).
I might actually add some things on to this drawing. When I greet dogs, I kneel down while avoiding eye contact. Most dogs feel more secure approaching a stranger if they’re on their level. I kneel and put my hand out to them without looking at them. It usually works. Let the dog approach you, and if he’s not interested, don’t force contact. I know they’re cute, y’all, but they’ll let you know when they don’t want to be touched and it’s best to respect that body language. Of course, I agree that you should pet the dog on the chest or side since most dogs see an attempted pat on the head as a dominating gesture.
I think it’s so important for parents to see this drawing because I have had numerous children attempt to chase my dog. They sprint after him, sometimes while he’s leashed, screaming and clawing the air trying to get at him. Now, my dog wouldn’t even DREAM of hurting so much as a fly, but when he believes he is being threatened (wouldn’t you feel that way, too, if you were walking with a rope tied around your neck and some giant human things came sprinting full-out at you screaming unintelligible gibberish?), he will growl and perhaps bark. I can only imagine what a more dominant, maybe even aggressive dog would do when faced with this situation. Most dogs become aggressive when they feel cornered and have no other alternative of protecting themselves or getting away. So parents, please teach your kids how to properly greet or act around a dog. As much for their safety as for my dog’s sanity.
We’ll probably be revisiting Lili’s site in the future – she does a lot of things I wish I had done first! haha