You are enjoying an early morning run at the park in Indiana when out of nowhere, a dog appears. Instinctively, you are probably prone to panic and startle, but as you get closer, it appears as though maybe the dog is lost. Curious as to if you can help the dog find its owner, you want to take a look at his collar. Preparing for these kinds of situations is important to help you stay safe and know how to effectively approach a stray dog without compromising your well-being.
According to petsource.org, being patient is a critical step in getting the dog to come to you. Approaching too quickly can startle the dog and send a message that you are aggressive. Once you have gotten the dog's attention by making soft, friendly sounds, hold your hand out and wait patiently for the dog to come to you. Never get down on the ground as it could put you in a very dangerous position if the dog is aggressive and decides to attack you.
If the dog appears as though he is uninterested in your affection, stay calm and slowly walk away. Signs that the dog is fearful and could be preparing for an attack include staring directly into your eyes, flattened ears and slowly circling you with his head down. If a dog is threatening to attack you, stop and hold still. Carefully back away slowly without making any sudden movements or loud noises. Never run away, panic or turn your back on a dog that appears to be agitated.