Introducing your precious pup to new people can be a daunting experience for both of you, which is why it is imperative to make sure that all new introductions are done slowly and gently. Someone they don’t recognize can freak out even the most well-mannered and calm pooch, and this is when accidents can happen.
Forcing a dog too far out of their comfort zone in order to make them accept a newcomer will result in fearful behavior that could potentially escalate into aggression if you aren’t vigilant.
Have you ever laid eyes on someone and felt uneasy even if they were being super friendly? Or how about that person that all your friends and family seem to adore, yet you sense something is just not right about them? If these scenarios sound even a little familiar to you, then you will be able to relate to the fear and apprehension your pooch experiences when a stranger comes on the scene.
Fortunately, with a little encouragement and coercion your dog will be able to deal with new people effortlessly if you follow the tips below on introduction day!
The very first thing you need to do when encountering someone new with your pooch is to make sure that both of you remain completely calm. That means no jumping up, no straining at the leash and no vocalizing any excitement. If your pup has a nervous demeanor in general, then you should try to do any new introductions on neutral turf outside of your home and always make your pup sit and stay as you allow a stranger to get closer.
Many people find that their dogs are especially reactive to new people when they are at home; in which case you can use calming dog treats like these to reward positive behavior each time a stranger comes around.
Just as you wouldn’t want to be forced into the arms of a stranger who was eager to stroke your hair and kiss your face, neither does your dog. When encountering new people let your pup take all the time he needs to get used to the sight and smell of a new person and if possible, encourage both parties to remain indifferent to each other. This works to remove any sensation of threat that your dog might be feeling and he won’t be inclined to behave in a defensive way.
If your dog doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to dealing with new people, it’s perfectly normal to feel apprehensive or nervous each time you encounter a stranger. The issue here is that dogs pick up on our energy and respond to it accordingly, so if Fido senses that you are uneasy or nervous, he is going to jump into action to protect you!
Try to make sure that you take deep breaths and remain as calm as possible when introducing your dog to a new friend as this will help diffuse the situation and eliminate any need for protective behavior.
While it’s true that there is little you can do to control someone ringing your doorbell unannounced, there are certain steps you can take as a preventative measure if you suspect your dog could react badly to strangers either at home or whilst out walking.
Ensuring that your pup has had sufficient exercise works wonders for draining him of nervous energy prior to a potential meet and greet and you could also consider adding a natural supplement like CBD infused dog treats to his daily routine. This will not only calm him down, but it will also act as a type of behavioral exposure therapy whereby he will learn that strangers aren’t that scary after all!
A fearful and nervous temperament in dogs can quickly evolve into behavioral issues like separation anxiety and sometimes aggression if you don’t take the appropriate measures to help your dog overcome his phobias as early as possible.
Consistency is key when it comes to teaching your dog acceptable behavior, so be sure to take your time with new introductions as and when they arise.
I work as a part of the Content Team at FOMO Bones. We all work together to curate the best articles to share with our readers and help them be the best parents to their dog babies.