Dog Show Etiquette Page 7

How To Approach A Dog

Remember these steps when meeting and greeting a dog:

  • Always walk slowly and quietly to the dog’s owner to ask if you can pet the dog.
  • If the owner says “yes,” curl your hand into a closed fist with the back of your hand facing upward. Extend your hand slowly to the dog.
  • Allow the dog to sniff the back of your hand. We recognize people on sight; dogs recognize people by scent. Dogs sniff people to learn their scent.
  • After the dog has sniffed your hand and has become familiar with you, pet it gently under the chin or on the chest.
  • Respect a dog's space. Do not stick your face into a dogs face or poke or prod at a dog with your hands; this may make a dog feel afraid.

If the dog is about to go into the show ring, wait to pet the dog.

Often people have spent hours grooming their dogs.  Other dogs early in their exposure to shows may be nervous at shows or may not yet be used to crowds or children. And, some dogs grab for what they may interpret as treats or they might have finicky stomachs. Once a dog has been shown exhibitors/owners are usually happy to have the dog receive some additional petting, especially if they are adding to the dog’s socialization.

End of article.