8 rules you should follow around someone else’s dogs that will keep you safe:

1️⃣ Don’t approach dogs you don’t know and don’t try to pet them. Even if you really want to and the owner allowed you to.
Many people are not aware of the dog psychology and body language, and might not be able to read the signals of discomfort the dog might be showing.
It’s always better to only interact with your friends’ dogs, the ones that you actually know.

2️⃣ Don’t wave your hands (bag, umbrella, etc) in the air and try to avoid sudden movements when a dog is passing close by.

3️⃣ If you are friends with the dog’s owner, don’t try to surprise them by approaching them from the back. Some dogs protect their owners and might not like your innocent joke.

4️⃣ If you are in a hurry, don’t start running right in front of a dog walking next to you or behind you.
This may be unexpected both for the dog and the owner.

5️⃣ If you are running or riding a bicycle and have to pass by a dog, try to pass as far as possible or at least let the owner know that you’re approaching them. An even better solution is to walk past, instead of running, or to slow down if you’re riding a bike.

6️⃣ Even if you know a dog very well, don’t forget to still monitor their behavior. Study the body language, try to pick up on signals and react to them in a timely manner.

7️⃣ When interacting with a dog, don’t lean over them or put your face close to the muzzle, avoid direct eye contact and reaching out to pet him/her palm down, don’t try to hug them.

These actions may be considered a threat, and the dog might decide to protect themselves.
Many dogs don’t mind them, but you sure don’t want to learn if this particular dog is comfortable with these actions or not the hard way.

8️⃣ Don’t come close to a dog that is tied to something.
Never. Even if you know this dog very well.
A dog that is tied up can feel unprotected: in case of danger he/she can’t escape. This increases the chance of attacking the source of this danger (even if imaginary).

Please, don’t consider these rules foolish or obvious. There would be much fewer cases of canine aggression out there if people followed them more.