As humans, we are told that if we don’t look someone in the eye it is considered to be very rude. If you look a cat in the eye, you are trying to over power them, but if you ignore a cat they see is as a sign of acceptance. For example have you ever noticed that the one person in a room that hates cats and ignores them is the fist one to have the cat sit in their lap? It’s true! Blinking and looking away is the ultimate to a cat, it says that you accept them and are not a threat.
In the case of dogs, as well as many other predatory animals, if you look them directly in the eye on first meeting yo are challenging them and presenting a threat. Many people upon first meeting a dog, will bend down over the dog (a sign that you are a threat) and look them directly in the eye (dominance) and trying to pet the top of the head, (aggression) this is a Fail!
Absolutely not the way to win over a dog! I do not always agree with Ceasar Milan, but his No touch, no talk , no eye contact is correct, When meeting a dog for the first time, for myself I always approach from the side, without eye contact I bend down beside the dog (only if they are presenting a friendly welcoming demeanour.)
They will lead the way, usually with tail wagging, butt wiggling and sniffing or they will approach directly in front of you for approval, at that time I will look down in front of the dog start with a gentle rub down the side of the body and then and only then, make eye contact. By doing this I show I am not a threat, I am not being aggressive, and I have no intention of dominating them, thus gaining their trust and respect.
Please keep in mind that I am not a certified trainer, but then again neither is Ceasar. In any case this is my opinion based on my experiences with various breeds of dogs that I have owned or befriended. Certified trainers may have many other techniques, and by all means if they suggest it try it, they have the certificate.
To show my point here is a video on how to properly greet a dog, may I just add I love YouTube, you can find almost anything! please take a look;
Most often in a dog attack they will attack the face and or eyes, usually because they feel threatened or dominated and unsafe. children are often times a target because they want to approach quickly, in a loud aggressive manner, reaching above the head, not with evil intent obviously but the result can sometimes be a snap or bite. There was a news story on Facebook about children being attacked and the eyes being the target, which is what prompted me to write this post.