Most kids learn from an early age that it’s a bad idea to try to pet an unknown dog.
There are a lot of reasons for this.
For one, you don’t know the dog’s history, and he or she could have a history of abuse, like this sweetie who loves his family now, but was very skittish when he was first rescued. Approaching a dog with a traumatic past can be dangerous for the person and the animal.
You also never know if the dog is on-duty. Lots of people use service animals to help them with a disability, or to help warn them of seizures. If you pet a service dog on duty, you might end up hurting her owner, as we saw with this girl whose service dog was distracted at the wrong moment.
Fortunately, there are lots of good strategies for approaching an unfamiliar animal. First of all, always check with their owner. If it’s a stray dog, your best option is to call a professional, like the woman in the video below, who works with the program Pitbulls and Parolees.
If you’re ever in a situation where you absolutely must approach a stray before animal officers arrive — though we highly recommend you avoid doing so unless you’re trained — her clever strategy for handling a nervous stray pit bull is exactly the right approach. Check out the video below to see her method.
And if you loved this video about the importance of speaking gently to strays, please SHARE on Facebook so that everyone knows what to do!
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