Hi,

I'm a bit confused about how people should behave with someone's dog and with their own dog. I had been always thinking that eye contact is something that should be done in order to show who's the boss. You've got to look into the dog's eyes till it turns away, this will mean that you're dominating. But recently I heard that when you meet someone's slightly aggressive dog (a dog that barks at all strangers) for the very first time it's important to have NO eye contact at all so that the dog can smell you and to get to know you like that. So what approach is better? Thanks.
When dealing with your own dog, definitely strong eye contact is better because, as you say, it demonstrates that you're the pack leader.

When dealing with someone else's slightly aggressive dog, then no eye contact is far better. If you are entering that dog's domain and make eye contact, they will take that as a challenge. You are NOT the pack leader on his property, and you will very likely get bit.

My own dog, Koco, is a great example. If you were to come to my house and either make strong eye contact, or try to reach out to him before he's had a chance to explore who you are, he will definitely bite you. Not only is he protecting his domain, but he is also protecting his pack leader ... me. Emotion: smile He'll do the same in the car, or while on a leash. The only time he's not aggressive toward other people is when we are away from what he considers to be "his" domain, and is off-leash. Then he's the friendliest and most lovable dog in the world.
JustaBrat...he will definitely bite you. Not only is he protecting his domain, but he is also protecting his pack leader ... me.
I hope he obeys when you tell him not to do so? 'Cause now I'm a bit scared to visit you. Emotion: big smile

Anon, from what I've learnt from Cesar Millan's show, it's better to have no eye contact with an unknown dog until it explores you by sniffing.
RuslanaI hope he obeys when you tell him not to do so? 'Cause now I'm a bit scared to visit you.
LOL! Not to fear. Just do exactly what I tell you to do, and he'll be your best friend within five minutes of your arrival. [Ye]
Hi anon,

It's better not to mess around with stranger dogs so no eye contact is preferred. With your own dog it's kind of impossible to have no eye contact, and I'd even say it's unnatural.

R