As a professional dog walker, I can’t tell you the number of times that adults and children have approached wanting to pet the dog on the other end of the leash. I have had people run towards me and the dog, wave at the dog, hold their hands/arms over top of the dogs head. All of what I previously mentioned is not the proper way to greet a dog. Dogs can become very nervous, anxious and even agitated and protective if you do not know how to greet them properly.
1. Always stand at a safe distance away so that you are not a threat.
2. Approach slowly, at a relaxed walk.
3. Always ask if the person walking the dog if you can interact with them.
4. Approach the dog from the side. Do not stare at the dog as they can see this as a challenge.
5. Present your side to the dog.
6. Let the dog approach you at his own comfort level.
7. Do not pet the dog on the head, but rather on his side so that he does not see you as a threat.