They’re Being Polite, Not Disrespectful


Two common dog behaviors may annoy some people, but they’re actually a dog’s way of showing respect and making it clear that she is not looking for trouble.

  1. Approaching you in a banana-shaped arc. When you’re at the dog park and it’s time to go home, you might be frustrated when you call your pet and she doesn’t come straight toward you but instead approaches on a curve, making it take longer. But she’s trying to tell you that she intends no threat; dogs see a straight-on approach as aggressive. And she might especially not want to seem aggressive if she can tell you’re feeling impatient.
  2. Lack of eye contact. Your dog is not acting surly when she doesn’t look directly at you. Canine rules of etiquette tell her that it is rude, even hostile, to look someone right in the eye. Dogs do learn that most of the time, people don’t mean anything when they look directly at them, and they learn to look directly back. But if you’re feeling piqued by what you perceive as intentional slowness, she might be more inclined to avert her gaze.



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