Of course you do not run up to a dog expecting them to be friendly right from the start. Especially those located behind fences, chained in a yard or even in a pet store, approaching them head on with your eyes staring at them may be seen by the dog as a challenge and may result in a confrontation. Turn your body sideways and speak in a low tone never making eye contact with them. This usually will work and you will be able to walk away from a situation easier.
But when you know a dog is friendly and you ask the owner if you can touch their dog, don’t rush up to that dog and try to hug them or start to play with them while they are on a leash. That dog owner would like his pet to behave while walking and not get excited and start barking or jumping. There is no need for you to extend your hand to a dog’s face, by the time you get in front of them they have already sniffed you out. Also, never hug a dog you are not familiar with, when you wrap your arms around a dogs neck, this could be seen as a challenge to that dog, the dog is just acting as the animal that they are. Humans must remember that, there is a specific order of dominance among the animal kingdom and they see that hug as the challenge in dominance.
Most owners love to have their dog socialize; never assume that a dog is friendly and just walk up to it, always ask permission to pet the animal.
MsDogSupply.com strongly encourages people to stop and use good judgment when approaching an unfamiliar dog, this way it keeps you safe and also guards that precious dog you really want to pet.
And may I also suggest when walking your dogs that you be responsible dog owners and clean up their mess. Just for you I recommend Potty Paws, the disposable glove that keeps you clean while cleaning up after Fido.