Dogs are great at calming our anxieties and cheering us up when we are sad (that’s why they make such great service animals). But sometimes, our dogs are the ones who get stressed out. One of the most stressful events in a dog’s life is when someone new comes to the house. No matter if your dog is excited to meet a new person, scared of strangers or defensive to a potential threat, the entire experience is a recipe for stress and anxiety. So how do you help your pet relax and your guests feel at ease?
There are a variety of steps owners and guests alike can take to make the dog-stranger introduction a fun and positive experience. This will help prevent potential injuries as well as teach aggressive dogs not to act out. It’s also a great learning experience for shy or scared dogs, as they can start to associate happy interactions with strangers. Which in turn makes them less likely to be scared of the next person that approaches their front door.
For owners, tiring out their dog beforehand, taking them to another room and only rewarding good behavior are the three biggest things they can do for their pups. Guests, on the other hand, should remain calm and only give the dog attention when it is sitting quietly. They should avoid using baby talk and let nervous dogs come up to them in their own time, rather than trying to pet them immediately. By taking the animal’s feelings into account, both guests and the homeowners can help the dog feel more comfortable and make new friends.
To help train your pup (and learn how to enter a dog-filled home the right way) the team at House Call Pro has put together a great guide and infographic on how to prep your dog for new guests. Check out the graphic below and read their article for all their tips to make visitors more welcome than ever before!