A lot of people don’t know how to introduce themselves to a dog on the first encounter. Maybe this isn’t a problem when the dog is friendly or used to interact with humans. But what if the dog is scared or cowardly or not friendly with strangers? Improper way of introducing yourself may result in giving the dog a bad impression of you or even worse getting bitten and put the dog in a bad situation. If you are a new owner of dog, recommended to read about Easy guide to take care of dog at home for beginners and Easy tips to train a dog to guard your house
Here are 2 tips for owners, how to foster a stray adult dog.
1. Follow some rules in introducing yourself
- Stay where you are and let the dog approach you.
Always let the dog approach you first, no matter if the dog looks friendly or not. Why? Because this allows the dog to interact with you in their own way and decide if they think you’re safe to approach or not.
- Respect their space.
For dog lovers, usually tend to be as close as they can to dogs while petting them. But imagine yourself as a stray dog, meeting a stranger who leans at you and petting you while practically standing on top of you. You will feel uncomfortable right?
- Don’t lean on top of the dog.
Instead of doing that, it will be so much better if you kneel so you can be at the same level as the dog, so they can get close to you. Then you can lean on the side a little bit so you can appear less intimidating. You will be surprised to know how many dogs can be befriended with this method.
- Keep your hand where it is.
If you’re interacting with a scared or shy dog, reaching them with your hand tells them that you want to touch or grab them and that makes the dog loses confidence. Dog’s nose is 50 times stronger than a human’s, they can smell you from far away so you don’t have to reach them with your hands.
- Don’t pet the top of their head.
Petting the top of their head can be seen as intimidating the dog. Dogs prefer if you pet them from the bottom side, like their chin or cheeks.
- Stay away from their face.
Dogs hate it when strangers get too close to their face even though for some reason people think dogs don’t mind. Maintain your distance from the dog, 30 cm gap between you and the dog is enough and protect yourself just in case the dog tries to bite you. Let the dog decide when and how to get closer to you is very important.
- It’s okay if the dog doesn’t like you.
Sometimes we are curious why the dogs that we met don’t like us and keep trying to make the dogs like us. But in reality, the harder you chase a scared dog, the more you convince them that you are scary and dangerous. A better way it to back off, stop eye contact and give them a chance to get to know you on their own terms. If they don’t approach you, it okay. By giving them space you teach them that not all people are scary and rude.
- Sniffing isn’t an invitation to pet.
Sniffing is a way for dogs to get information about you. Let the dog sniff you and see where they go from that point. Do they sniff you and go away or sniff you shake their tail. Dogs that really like to bet usually can be identified. They will get really close to you and lean on you. If they act really friendly like that you may be able to see a little smile on their face.
- See how they react.
If you pet a dog, only pet them once or twice, below the chin not the top of their head, and stop and see how they will react. See if they enjoy it, they will move closer or give you other indications that you can pet them more. And if they go away and don’t comeback, than that’s enough petting for the day.
To summarize it, here are some tips to approach a stray dog or dogs that you don’t know
- Don’t pet a dog that is tied, chained, caged or behind a fence
- Don’t pet a dog that is owned by someone and the owner isn’t there
- Don’t try to hug or kiss a dog that you don’t know
- Don’t pet a dog that is eating or holding or chewing a toy or bone
2. Helping the stray dog
- Build rapport.
If the dog is approachable and doesn’t growl or bark at you, you can gain their trust. Give them a treat to build a trust between you and the dog and showing good intentions. Take your time and don’t be hasty and make them more frightened and hostile. Be sensitive on what trigger an emotional response from the dog. Take thing slowly to give the dog time to be more comfortable.
- Restrain the dog.
Once you have gained the dog’s trust, you can go head and restrain them. Quickly and quietly put a leash or rope around the dog’s neck. This is very important to control the dog from running away from you.
- Find the dog’s owner.
You can take the dog to veterinary clinic to determine if the dog has an owner or not. They can run a check to see if there is a microchip that locates the dog’s location. Post an announcement in social media or local neighborhood that a dog has been found. There is a chance that if the dog has a home, it didn’t wander off too far from it. Notify local animal shelter that you found a dog. Give them a detailed description of the dog – color, gender, breed, weight and any other characteristic that you noticed.
- Take the dog to the vet.
If you really want to bring the dog home. Have them checked at the veterinary clinic first. They can examined them from fleas and other parasites. This is to keep these pests into your home. Talk to your family first before you decided to foster a stray dog, you want the dog to feel accepted at home, so make sure that everyone is on board. You don’t want the dog to be brought home only to be neglected again. If you rent a house make sure that the landlord is okay with bringing a dog inside.
- Foster your rescued dog.
After all the steps done and you have decided to keep the dog then it’s time to bring them home. You might have already decided whether it’s a temporary or permanent adoption. Read more about training your dog to stop being aggresive.
Hopefully with these here are 2 tips for owners, how to foster a stray adult dog. You won’t be confused anymore when you found a stray dog and thinking if you can keep them or not.