You Shouldn't Meet A New Dog By Extending Your Hand, This Is What You Should Be Doing Instead According To Celebrity Dog Expert

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You Shouldn't Meet A New Dog By Extending Your Hand, This Is What You Should Be Doing Instead According To Celebrity Dog Expert

Many of us have been told that when meeting a new dog that the best way to introduce ourselves safely is to extend our hand out gently. We are told to believe that the dog finds this non-threatening and that this makes for a perfect first meeting.


However, a leading dog expert is now saying that this is most certainly not what we should be doing and that this gesture can actually be intimidating for many doggos. Tamar Geller, a professional dog trainer who has worked with celebrities and their dogs, including Lady Gaga, Ben Affleck and Mark Wahlberg, explained this in an online social media post that has now gone viral.


From her Eureka Dog Services page she asked people to stop approaching dogs in this way, which she calls "The Sniff Test", and explains a far better way approach dogs that don't know you.



She first explained why the gesture could be seen as threatening by some dogs and could even lead to people getting their fingers bitten. In an interview with People, she says:


"The doggie may not be comfortable with being touched by strangers, and will react in one of 3 ways: freeze, run away, or nip. All 3 behaviours are because of one reason: the dog was nervous to be touched by a stranger like we would be if an unfamiliar person started touching us."


"Dogs can get scared when someone is reaching towards them with their hand, and I would not advise doing that, unless they are holding a super yummy treat, to send the message that they are a source of pleasure. Having a treat and offering it to the dog, even just tossing it to them (without looking directly at them) is an awesome gesture of friendship."


She then goes on to explain the best way to meet a new dog is as follows:


"It's so much easier to communicate when you know the other's language, and in this case, the doggie's language is based on body posture and facial expressions. The right thing to do is to turn your body and your face away at a 45-degree angle and smile. A dog naturally knows that he can't become prey to someone who is not looking at him. With that information, and feeling a bit safer, a dog can start investigating the new person that came into their space. They may do what I call 'Rubberband legs' where they stretch their body forward while leaving their back legs in the same spot, so if something goes wrong, they could quickly get back like a rubber band."


"As a dog behavior expert, I ask my clients to have special treats each time the dog encounters a stranger. I also ask them to ask the stranger to NOT touch their doggie, until the "paw" rent smiles and gives a treat to the doggie while saying the word 'Frieeeeend' in a sing-song tone of voice, to help the dog associate the situation with pleasure. Once the dog is more relaxed, I would give the treat to the stranger and ask them to toss the treat to the doggie, while looking away at a 45-degree angle. Make sure to let the doggie go to the stranger, and not let them go to the doggie first. Shortly after, with most dogs, there is a super happy interaction between the dog and the stranger."


You can follow Tamara on her Instagram @TheLovedDog for more hints, tips and pictures of cute dogs!

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Thinking Humanity: You Shouldn't Meet A New Dog By Extending Your Hand, This Is What You Should Be Doing Instead According To Celebrity Dog Expert
You Shouldn't Meet A New Dog By Extending Your Hand, This Is What You Should Be Doing Instead According To Celebrity Dog Expert
Many of us have been told that when meeting a new dog that the best way to introduce ourselves safely is to extend our hand out gently. We are told to believe that the dog finds this non-threatening and that this makes for a perfect first meeting. However, a leading dog expert is now saying that this is most certainly not what we should be doing and that this gesture can actually be intimidating for many doggos.
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