Would you go up to a stranger in the street and give her a hug or stick your hand in their face? Well I wouldn't but it happens all too often unfortunately with dogs.

Ever felt unsure about saying hi to a stranger's dog? Same here! When pet sitting, I've discovered a few tricks that really work well when meeting new dogs. Let's chat about saying hello to our furry friends the right way so we can make pals without any stress.

First things first—ask permission. Both from the owner and the dog. No means no, so respect that if they're not up for a meet-and-greet. Once you get the green light, let the dog make the first move. Keep your hand in a fist and let them come to you, no sudden moves.

Here's what not to do: leaning over, grabbing/hugging, or staring down a dog. They're not into it, and it stresses them out. Imagine a stranger smothering you with a hug out of nowhere—that'd be odd, right? Dogs feel the same way.

Instead, keep it cool. No eye contact, let them come to you, and keep your side facing them. A gentle pat on the side or back is the way to go.

Remember, just like people, dogs need their space. So, respect their boundaries.

And if you see a dog off-leash or on the loose, use caution. Give them room and be calm. Let them come to you and keep your body language calm and non-threatening. This is particularly important for children.

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Here's a cool trick for when you spot a loose dog—Be a Tree! It's simple: stand tall, fold your hands, and look down. This way, you're not making the dog nervous or triggering a chase. Practice it with a friendly dog until it feels easy-peasy.

Once you master Be a Tree and the leash greeting rules, saying hi to any dog should be a breeze.

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