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Meeting a dog you don't know

Many dogs will be friendly towards people they don't know, and won't show any signs of aggression when approached. However, some may behave aggressively if someone approaches too closely.

male rottweiler having a walk on a pebbly beach

Why can dogs be aggressive

When dogs are aggressive, it's almost always because they think that they're under threat. Common examples include:

  • Their personal safety could feel under threat.
  • The threat of having something or someone taken away from them.
  • They may feel their territory is threatened.

Being able to recognise the signs of aggression, and knowing how to behave around dogs that show these signs, can help you make them feel less threatened and reduce the chance of them being aggressive towards you.

To find out more, have a read of our canine aggression FAQs and see our leaflet on what to do when you meet an unfamiliar dog.

Find out more