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You see a dog standing across the street - her tail is loosely wagging and her ears are up. You wonder is she friendly?
In this case, most likely she is. In general, a non-aggressive dog will appear to be relaxed. She'll be standing evenly on all four feet (as opposed to a charging position) and her tail will be wagging loosely in a low position. Her ears will be up, but not pressed forward.
It's always a good idea to approach an unfamiliar dog slowly and avoid staring, which is a confrontational gesture.