At some point, your furry friend will probably have to meet new people. These introductions can be stressful as every dog reacts differently.
Some love meeting new people. They’ll jump, lick, and bark out of pure joy. Others are entirely unphased by strangers. Still, others might be shy, fearful, or even aggressive.
No matter what your dog’s reaction may be, it’s essential to be prepared. Having a plan will help these introductions go as smoothly as possible.
So, if you are having guests over, never fear. Here are some tips for introducing your dog to new people.
Don’t overwhelm your dog
For introductions to go well, you can’t overwhelm your dog.
Put them at ease by having the meetings in a familiar environment (like your home). If possible, limit the sessions to one or two guests. Too many strangers can cause fear and unnecessary stress.
Calm your dog down
Meeting strangers can be a real source of anxiety for some dogs.
Before introductions, try calming your dog down. Take them for a long walk to tire them out. Feed them CBD dog treats to help them relax (this one you should consult an expert on). Play with them, cuddle — do whatever it takes to help them chill out.
The more tired and relaxed your dog is, the calmer they’ll be during introductions.
Talk to your guests
You, of course, have to prepare your dog for the meeting. But preparing your guests is just as essential to ensure all goes well.
Inform your guests of your plan ahead of time. This way, they’ll know what to expect and can help your furry friend feel at ease.
Ask them to acknowledge you first when they arrive. They shouldn’t give your dog attention right away, as it will allow them to adjust.
Once everyone settles in, they should still avoid eye contact as this can cause fear or even aggression. Ask them to let your dog come to them on their terms.
When they give pets or treats, your guests should be gentle, careful not to make any sudden movements.
Additionally, consider telling your guests what commands you use (“sit,” “paw,” “off,” etc.). This way, they will be able to communicate with your furry friend.
Keep your dog in a separate area
When your guests arrive, it’s best to have your dog in a separate area.
Locking them in a closed room might only make their anxiety worse. Instead, use a baby gate to keep them somewhere like the kitchen.
This way, they’ll be able to see you and your guests interact. They’ll learn that these new people are friends and have time to adjust before meeting up close.
Use a leash
After a little bit, you can bring your furry friend out to meet your guests.
It’s a good idea to keep them on a leash so that you can have control over the situation. You’ll be able to easily take them out of the room if they get overly excited or aggressive.
Remain calm throughout the whole process. Use a gentle voice and reward good behavior with plenty of treats. Let them go up to your guests on their own.
Stay in the room the whole time so that your pet feels comfortable. It’s okay to keep the visits short the first few times, especially if your pet has an extreme reaction.
Don’t rush the process
It can take some time for your furry friend to adjust to strangers. It may even take several visits. Remain to be patient and let your dog go at their own pace.
The more you introduce your dog to strangers, the easier it will be. Soon, introducing them to strangers won’t be a big deal at all!