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Home / Articles / Columnists / Dog World with Tina /  Test Your K9 Common Sense
. . . . . . .
Tuesday, January 3,2012

Test Your K9 Common Sense

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  
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Just as we would consider it rude to walk up to someone and sniff their backside, many common things people do, are considered less than courteous to dogs. People and dogs have different sets of rules and behaviors. I invite you to test your “canine common sense”.

1) While walking in your neighborhood, you see a cute dog with its owner. You would like to go say hello. As you calmly approach, what two questions should you FIRST ask?

a. How’s it going? What’s shakin’ ?

b. Is your dog friendly? May I pet him/her?

c. What kind of dog is that? How old is s/he?

d. None of the above

2) After you have received the correct answers on the above, from the owner. What should you do, next?

a. Present your open palm, and gently pet the dog on the head

b. Jump up and down, while shouting, YAY!

c. Tuck your thumb into your palm, cover it with your fingers; then present your fist (fingers to the ground), under the dog’s nose, to sniff

d. None of the above

3) Where are the most dog-friendly places to pet a dog?

a. Top of the head and bridge of the nose

b. Base of the tail and feet

c. On the back and side

d. All of the above

4) You and your dog are playing, you get down on all fours, growling, staring him/her in the eyes. Is this ok?

a. Sure! Why not? I do it all the time

b. No, staring any dog in the eyes can be perceived as threatening

c. Only if it’s a puppy

d. a and c

5) While walking your dog, an unleashed, unfriendly dog comes from out of no where. What do you do?

a. Pick up your dog and run!

b. Curl yourself into a ball and let the dogs sort it out

c. Put yourself in the middle, turn your back on the unfriendly dog, and show your dog you will protect him/her.

d. Bark back at the unfriendly dog.



 Answers/Info

1B Is your dog friendly? May I pet him/her?
Some dogs may become nervous or protective of their handler. Even a familiar dog can be a potential hazard if they aren’t feeling well. Asking for permission gives the dog time to interpret your intent, and information needed for a safe encounter. If the owner’s answer is no–do NOT take it personally. Try again on another day.

2C Tuck your thumb into your palm, cover it with your fingers; then present your fist (fingers to the ground), under the dog’s nose, to sniff. Think of this as a “doggy handshake”. It is non-threatening to the dog, while protecting your thumb and fingers.

3C On the back and side.
Dogs may have sensitive eyes or ears. Or, if they were previously hit, they saw an open palm coming at their face. You don’t want to trigger feelings they had of being abused.

4B
Staring any dog in the eyes can be perceived as threatening. Rough play is a way of establishing status in the dog world. By staring and being at the same level, you are challenging your dog.

5C
Put yourself in the middle, turn your back on the unfriendly dog, and show your dog you will protect him/her.
ALWAYS remain calm. Running away/yelling may engage the loose dog. Remain motionless, make no eye, vocal or touch contact. The stray dog will most likely not find you/your dog interesting and will go away.


 

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