To pet or not to pet? Hempsy explains why you should not touch other dogs without the consent of their guardian. 


To pet or not to pet? We tell you why we should not touch foreign dogs with the consent of the guardian!

Is there anything more pleasant than petting dogs? Such closeness is the source of pure happiness for all. However, we are only talking about a situation in which we know the dog well, we know that it wants to do so and there is trust. However, in the case of contact with stranger dogs, things turn out to be completely different.

Why can stroking a foreign dog be harmful? How can you tell if your pet should not be touched by strangers? How to pet a pet if its guardian agrees? We explain below!

Little change of roles

First, let’s try to get into the dog’s skin. The fact that dogs like to be pet their family and relatives does not necessarily mean that things are the same with complete strangers. Just like us – we like to cuddle with our friends, but we do not necessarily want a stranger to come and hug us on the street, because he says “we look so cute”. Simple isn’t it?

Empathy ON 

The dog is not a mascot, but a living creature. Just like us, dogs feel a range of emotions and experience various states. Even if it looks like the cutest, sweetest animal in the world, it still doesn’t mean that it is supposed to be touched by everyone. It is especially important for parents to make their children well aware of this.

There are many different reasons for not trying to pet a dog without knowing it and without the consent of their handler. What could be the reasons for NOT doing it::

  1. The dog has bad experiences from the past and has a strong fear of being touched by a human (many dogs take years to develop trust in the handler and he/she is the only human allowed to touch the dog)
  2. The dog be stimulated at the time, for example, in a place full of noise (touching can be an additional, negative stimulus for them)
  3. The dog can be sick, sore, injured (an attempt to touch may cause such dogs to fear even more pain and, as a result, provoke their violent, defensive reaction)
  4. The dog has a predisposition for aggression or a strongly developed defensive instinct
  5. The dog can be during training or work (close contact with random people can distract them)

Therefore, we should avoid it primarily for the comfort of the animal, and also for our own safety.

How can you tell if a dog can be petted?

If you still would very much like to pet someone’s quadruped, let us approach it responsibly according to the four steps below:

  1. Check if the dog is wearing a yellow harness, collar or leash, a yellow ribbon tied to something. Yellow is used to mark animals that need space and peace and should not be touched. Often, yellow accessories also have inscriptions such as “DO NOT TOUCH”. If you see something like this, you are certain NOT TO TOUCH. 
  2. If the dog doesn’t have anything yellow or a clear warning on it, let’s just try to read its body language. If he even seems a little insecure, nervous or moves away from us – let’s not approach it!
  3. If everything looks fine, let’s make sure and ask the guardian for permission to pet his pet. Let’s do it even if the dog seems to be clinging to us.
  4. After approval from the guardian, we can slowly and calmly approach the hound. Avoid direct eye contact and don’t bend over it.  Better crouch sideways to it and let it smell you well. If the pet does not send any negative signals, we can gently touch it. Contrary to popular belief, dogs don’t like being stroked on the head at all! They adore the scratching on the neck and breasts. But let’s not do it for too long, and if the pet wants to go away, let it do so.

Let us take good care of animals together!

At Hempsy, we not only produce environmentally friendly and dog-friendly accessories made of natural plant fibers. We also create the #hempsyfamily – a community of dogs where, together with you, we care about raising awareness about responsible treatment of animals and the protection of our planet. This article was created thanks to your personal commitment to theses topics. 

Special thanks to our followers for sharing with us your observations on petting your dogs by strangers, on the basis of which we wrote this article. 

We also encourage you to discuss other issues related to dog care, about which we will ask you in our materials on Instagram and Facebook. Follow us on and and give your paw to the Earth!


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