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White dog, wagging tail while chewing on a red telephone handset

A dog is a four-legged, furry pet animal which occurs in manifold varieties of sizes, colours and degrees of friendliness. A dog can be discerned from a cat and other pet animals by its behaviour patterns, one of which is barking. Dogs bark by making a large, harsh sound using their vocal chords. Other aspects of dog behaviour are listed in the two sections below.

Friendly Behaviour

The following are things a dog will do to show it is happy. When a dog exhibits these signs, you know it's okay to be around it:

  • Trying to lick your face.

  • Sniffing humans' private parts.

  • Wagging its tail.

  • Letting its tongue hang out of its snout in order to have it cooled.

  • Obeying commands such as, 'Sit!' and 'Shake!' given by humans around it.

Dealing with a Friendly Dog

A friendly dog is totally at your command. You can play silly games with it such as 'fetch'1, or you can simply stroke it. Feel free to speak to it in a friendly voice by merely telling it whatever is on your mind - hearing you in a soft tone calms the dog. Do not play fetch near the freeway, as a dog will run right through heavy traffic to retrieve a ball. Never feed a friendly dog that isn't your own as it will assume you will always feed it and hence return to you every time it's hungry.

Unfriendly Behaviour

If you are close to a dog exhibiting any of the following signs, it may be best not to be so close:

  • Showing its teeth.

  • Folding back its ears.

  • Not wagging its tail.

  • Producing suppressed, unfriendly sounding noises.

  • Running towards you at high speed showing all of the aforementioned unfriendly signs.

How to Deal with an Unfriendly Dog

When faced with a dog showing any of the unfriendly signs, you may want to try any of the following:

  • Get inside, or somewhere else the dog can't go.

  • Try to climb something2.

  • If you can't climb anything, feed it.

  • Don't run, as dogs are fast and will run at you if you run.

  • Stand still and pretend you don't exist3.

1In 'fetch', you have a dog sniff an object, and then throw it, expecting the dog to retrieve it.2Trees work well.3This can come with mixed results.

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