1. Always ask the owner’s permission before approaching or petting a dog
  2. Remember: not every dog that wags its tail is friendly
  3. Always approach dogs slowly and carefully
  4. When meeting a new dog, let it come to you and smell you first
  5. Know where the dogs in your neighborhood live
  6. Stay away from stray dogs
  7. If a dog approaches you, remain CALM.  Don’t scream!  Stand still (Be a Tree!)
  8. Always protect your face, neck and arms (Be a Rock!)
  9. If you are attacked, give the dog a book or backpack to chew on
  10. If a dog knocks you to the ground, curl up into a ball (Be a Rock!)
  11. If you are attacked, cover your head and neck.  Protect your head and face
  12. When a dog you don’t know comes close, be very still and avoid eye contact (Be a Tree!)
  13. Always use a leash when walking a dog
  14. Remain CALM around dogs.
  15. When greeting a friendly dog, present the palm of your hand for the dog to sniff, first.  If the dog is still friendly, then you can pet the sides of the dog’s face (his cheeks).  Avoid petting the top of a dog’s head.  For very friendly dogs, you can also pet the dog’s shoulders (on the side) or the dog’s chest (front of the dog).


  1. Don’t make loud noises or scream around dogs
  2. Do not stare at a dog
  3. Don’t bother a dog while it is sleeping or eating
  4. Never tease or chase a dog.  (Remember The Golden Rule!)
  5. Never reach through a fence to pet a dog
  6. Never put your hand between two dogs
  7. Never try to help a hurt dog – get an adult to help
  8. Never put your face close to a dog
  9. Never enter a yard with a dog in it without permission. If you don’t know if there is a dog in the yard, do not enter!
  10. Never leave a baby alone with a dog
  11. Never bother a mother dog while she is caring for her puppies
  12. Never pull a dog’s ears or tail
  13. Never try to take away a dog’s toy
  14. Avoid standing over the top of a dog you are not familiar with


Pam Young, LVT CDBC CPDT  
Dog Gone Good LLC
Dog Behavior Consultant
Personal Dog Trainer