Random Dog Etiquette

Yesterday I was in a busy park with about a million dogs. About a dozen came bounding over to me ready to jump up on me. I like dogs, but am always wary of random ones as: 1) you’ve no idea what it’s temperment is 2) I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t just start touching a dog without its owner’s permission. On each occasion I just stood still initially waiting to judge what was going to happen, and in almost all cases the owner said TO THE DOG, ‘now, now, not everyone likes dogs you know fido’ - which I found quite patronising.

Anyway, what’s the correct (or your) etiquette in this situation.

  • Stand still and wait for them to move on
  • Ask permission of the owner before touching it
  • Pat it, if the dog’s come to me, it’s fair game
  • Run away shrieking
  • Dogs don’t get the chance to come up to me, I’ve gone bounding over to them first

0 voters

Neutralise the threat and walk away


Ever been bitten by a dog?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Missing option “Punt the dog over the nearest fence”.


Didn’t think that would go down well on dog loving dis :woman_shrugging:

I have friend which is terrified of dogs. When a group of us are walking in the park or countryside and a dog bounds over, we surround her. To stop her from kicking the dog in the head or attacking the dog owner.

Ever bitten a dog

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Not in anger, no, but I have been gnawed/mouthed when playing with a dog with my hand in it’s mouth.

If I’m feeling very kind and full of whimsy I will occasionally wave hello to a dog, never actual contact though

Normally say “ALRIGHT DOG” and pat it if it looks friendly enough.


What else were you expecting by putting your hand inside a dog’s mouth?!

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It didn’t hurt at all, but I guess it could be called a bite.

Oh, well I was meaning proper puncture wounds and tetanus jabs kinda bites.

Oh, in that case, no.

Normally extend a closed fist to them to let them sniff first. If they seem happy with that I try to scratch their chest (I heard this is better than trying to pat their head/back).

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i smile at it for a minute, try to judge how friendly it is and judge if it’s planning to stick around for a minute or go bounding off again, maybe reach out a hand if it passes all these tests. usually though they’ve either bounded off again or their owner has called them away.

was in a bookshop the other day and kept hearing little pattering feet, eventually a little Yorkie dog pattered over to me. wanted to reach down and pet it but it had wandered off again pretty quickly and i spent the next 5 minutes subtly following the dog around the shop


I will pet any and every dog. I don’t care. I think you shouldn’t feed someone else’s dog, that’s bad etiquette but petting it? Nah, fair game mate.

i spend my life trying to pet various neighbourhood cats


No heavy petting

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The cats in my street will never come anywhere near me, and it’s been like that for the 8 years I’ve lived there. I can only assumed that they don’t get treated very well by their owners / randoms in the street. I live in such a shit street.