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Pet Article

How to Safely Approach A Dog

Safety guidelines to ensure Scooby doesn't become a Scrappy-Doo...

Most dogs are friendly, socialised and well trained. This is not the case with all dogs however, which is why it is important to keep these tips in mind when approaching someone else’s dog.


  • Approach the owner before approaching the dog – if the dog observes the owner trusting you, it will likely follow
  • Ask the dog’s owner for permission before coming into contact with the dog
  • Let the dog approach you first – dogs feel more comfortable when they feel as though they are in control of the situation
  • Stay calm
  • Let the dog smell you before patting it - this allows for the dog to establish a relationship of trust
  • Pat the dog in less threatening areas such as chest or neck – avoid patting the head or back as they might take it as a cue to reign dominance
  • Stop when the dog gives cues of not wanting to be touched anymore


  • Approach the dog if the owner is not present
  • Assume the dog has been socialised and is not aggressive
  • Advance the dog face to face – dogs may take this as a challenge
  • Scream and jump around even if excited - it might promote fear and aggression from the dog
  • Be afraid – dogs have the ability to sense fear, which may trigger aggression
  • Crouch over the dog – the dog will feel intimidated and may become aggressive
  • Approach a dog head on as this may be intimidating – try approaching the dog from the side
  • Hug an unfamiliar dog – although humans might enjoy this, dogs may see it as a dominance challenge

By keeping these tips in mind, you are respecting not only the dog and its owner, but also putting your safety first. For more tips check out the video above.

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.