Introducing your dogs to your neighbors can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are tips to make sure everything goes just right.
Go slowly at first. Some pets can be shy, protective or very cautious when meeting a new person for the first time. Same goes for some people. If your neighbor wants to greet or pet your pup, go slowly. This will give your dog time to sniff and approach a new person at a progression that they are comfortable with.
Start with scent. Dogs have a keen sense of smell. Scent is the first way that dogs introduce themselves, as well as meet new humans and other dogs. There’s no need for a neighbor to extend a hand to your pup, their presence and a bit of friendly conversation is more than enough for your pet to take a sniff and make that initial introduction.
Reward good behavior. When walking your dog though the community, consider carrying a few treats. This way is there’s a neighbor who’d like to meet your dog you can offer the new person a treat to then offer your dog.
Meet and greet in a neutral environment. When introducing your dog to others, do so in a calm and neutral environment. This way your pup won’t stress about other external factors, like other dogs or kids at play.
Always keep your pet leashed. This way you have total control. Remember, not everyone may be as fond of Fido as you are, and although MCLife offers the We Love Pets Policy it is your responsibility to be courteous to your neighbors by always leashing up your pet. No matter how well-behaved they are, your pet should always be properly leashed around the community.
Use positive reinforcement. Like treats, a few words of positive reinforcement like “good boy” or “it’s okay” spoken in a friendly, happy tone can go a long way when socializing your dog with others.
Stay calm. Dogs can pick up on your body language. When meeting new people be sure to stay calm and natural.
Show zero tolerance for aggressive behavior. Lunging, growling, barking or any other aggressive behavior should not be tolerated. These are all considered dominance behaviors and should be taken seriously. If any of these dominance behaviors occur separate your dog from the situation right away.
Let your pet decide. If a neighbor wants to meet your pet, let your pet decide when to say hello. If your pet is timid or shy, try using the treat trick we mentioned earlier in this post.
Be cautious around kids. Sometimes kids can put pups in stressful situations, from ear pulling to tail grabbing, small children can be vexing for dogs. Always make sure that a parent is around if a child is approaching, or wants to pet, your dog. If there is no parent, avoid the child. You know your pet best and it is up to your discretion about how you approach children with your pet, if you do so at all.