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Approached by a Dog


Even though dog owners are required by law to keep their dogs under control at all times, there might be situations where you are approached by a dog that is not on a leash. Mostly these approaches are simply curiosity or play. Here’s how to deal with these
  • stand still; don't run away, kick at the dog, squeal or jump
  • if the owner is nearby, ask them to control their dog
  • avoid eye contact with the dog, speak gently giving it a command such as 'sit' or 'stay'
  • keep your hands firmly by your sides and don't wave them around
  • if the dog sniffs at your hand, slowly extend a fist (not an open palm) and allow the dog to sniff it
  • if the dog jumps up at you, turn away calmly, saying ‘down’ firmly
  • when it loses interest, slowly walk away, either backing away or staying side on to the dog
  • if you are walking your own dog, put it on a leash and walk away slowly.
See also tips for Getting out of Danger, if you are ‘rushed’ by a dog, or it barks, snarls or snaps at you.
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