Animals need respect like all humans, but few people know how to politely greet a dog. All would be well if humans heeded the 2 golden rules - never pet a dog without the owner's permission, and always let the dog make the first contact. Instead, well-wishers approach too quickly, crowd too closely, or loom over like a thunderstorm ready to break loose. Under this pressure some dogs will freeze or shrink, pretending it’s all a bad dream. Others take action - usually a reflex bark or low-level growl. Many humans can’t understand why a dog would be afraid of them when they’re obviously making friendly human gestures. If you walk into a dog’s personal space or even stand and reach out to touch him, he may feel threatened or be unsure of your intentions. If, however, you stand straight up or crouch down on one knee while looking slightly away, then he can approach and sniff you at his own rate. Be calm, don't make sudden movements or high-pitched sounds to greet the dog. Once he’s relaxed then you can calmly pet him under the chin and neck or on the side of the front half of his body.