How to Make Friends With a Stray Dog

Always use caution when approaching a stray dog.
Winter Dogs image by Stana from

If you see a stray dog on the side of the road or one happens to be wandering around your neighborhood, you might want to become friends with it. This task might be a necessity if you are trying to lure it out of danger or you may just want to add a new animal to your home. Whatever your reasons, becoming friends with a stray dog is possible, if you follow a few techniques.

Step 1

Move slowly around the dog. If the dog is in a stressful situation, such as in the middle of the road, or has been on its own for awhile, it is likely that the dog is weary of humans. Any sudden movements on your part may provoke aggression in the dog. In addition, it could also cause the dog to quickly run away---possibly in the line of traffic. Avoiding too much interaction early on might help the dog begin to trust you.

Step 2

Offer the dog food. Dogs typically respond well to food and may begin to trust and like you if you give it something that tastes good, such as lunch meat or hot dogs. If the dog will not come near you, start by placing the food a bit away from you. If the dog is a stray in your neighborhood, place food in a bowl a few yards away, then gradually bring it closer to you each day. If the dog is in an emergency situation, throw a piece of food toward it, then throw it closer and closer to you until you can get the dog to come near you and help it to safety.

Step 3

Use another dog as your ally. Sometimes dogs feel most comfortable when they are with their own species. If your current dog is not dog-aggressive, consider going for walks with it around the stray dog. You must use extreme caution if using this technique, as you don't want to put your current dog in danger, just in case the stray is aggressive toward other dogs. Start from a distance and work your way closer to the dog. If the dog starts to growl or show its teeth, walk away slowly. If the dog starts to wag its tail or seem excited, slowly come closer and closer. Eventually, the dog may come to greet you and will interact with you and your dog.


  • Always use extreme caution when approaching a stray dog. If the dog shows any sort of aggressive behavior such as growling or showing its teeth, do not get any closer. In addition, always bring another human along when attempting to befriend the stray, just in case an accident occurs.

  • When walking with your own dog, bring water or some sort of object that might distract the dogs if they begin to fight.

Items You Will Need

  • Food bowl
  • Food
  • Treats