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Picture the scene. You’re walking down the street, minding your own business, when suddenly a complete stranger marches up to you and sticks their hand right in your face. Now imagine that person was at least five times taller than you? How would you feel?

Shocked? Irritated? Scared? You may even lash out in self defence. And yet the scene I’ve just described is a fair description of how most people approach dogs.

Please remember that a dog should be approached with caution and respect, whether big or small, familiar or unfamiliar! If you don’t know the dog’s character, approaching him incorrectly could be very dangerous.

Case in point. In the news recently, a US TV anchor was bitten in the face by a Mastiff live on air as she filmed a segment about how the dog had been rescued when he fell through ice. Kyle Dyer, a veteran TV presenter and animal lover, was crouching down to stroke Max, an 86-pound Argentine Mastiff, when the dog lunged at he and bit her on the face. Crouching down and facing up to a large unknown dog, then moving forward to ‘kiss him’ is a recipe for disaster. See a clip here

This illustration by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings is the perfect example of how NOT to greet a dog, along with the correct way to approach a new dog. Please make sure that any children in your family get to see it. This information could save their life.

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Illustrations by Lili Chin