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Pet Project: What To Know When Petting A Stranger's Dog

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Do you find yourself wanting to pet every dog that you see even if you aren't familiar with it? On this week's Pet Project, animal advocate Carol Erickson is outlining the "dos and don'ts" of petting someone else's dog.

There is a proper way to interact with dogs who are on leashes, but many don't know the appropriate way to greet them. According to Tufts University Dog Newsletter, before you go up to pet or hug the dog, you should ask the owner if it is okay for you to pet their dog.

And, even after that, you should check out the dog's demeanor. But what should you be looking for?

See if the dog is shifting its weight away, licking its lips, looking side to side and not forward, those are all signs the dogs are uncomfortable and want you to back off.

This means you should give them space and do not try to pet them.

If the dog is looking relaxed, you can stand nearby, and drop your hand down towards your side, but not out to them or over them. Don't lean over the dog either.

Just wait to see if the dog will come over to your hands and knows it and if so, then you can tell the dog is relaxed and it is safe to pet them.


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