How Do You Introduce Your New Dog to Your Partner?
Bringing home a new dog is always exciting, whether it’s your first or your fifth. During the weeks and days leading up to the homecoming, it is easy to get caught up in that excitement. You’ll find yourself daydreaming about your new dog and all of the fun you’re going to have together.
Getting excited about your new canine companion is great, but there are a few practical things you need to think about as well. How are you going to introduce your new dog to your partner? It may sound simple enough, but there are some key things you should do. Read on to learn more.
Tips for Introducing a New Dog to Your Partner
Meeting the family of your significant other is always a big deal. You want to make a good impression because your significant other is important to you and you want the people close to them to like you. The same goes for your own family – but especially for your dog. If your dog doesn’t like your significant other, you might find yourself seriously considering breaking things off.
Related: Is Your Kid Ready For a Pet?
Here are some tips for introducing your dog to a partner:
- Bring home an item of your partner’s clothing and let your dog sniff it. Do this several times and pair it with a sweet reward like a belly rub or a tasty treat.
- Plan the meeting for a neutral location such as a park or a dog-friendly restaurant. Your dog will be less protective of you if the introductions happen outside the home.
- Bring along a handful of your dog’s favorite treats to ease him over. Give your partner a few of the treats as well to offer your dog as a sign of good faith.
- Have your partner stand back and let your dog make the first approach – when your dog does approach, have your partner let him get the sniffing out of the way before reacting.
- Once the initial introductions are made, have your partner give your dog an especially tasty treat or play a quick game – this will help solidify a positive association in your dog’s mind.
- If your dog is a little insecure, you might need to start more slowly by rewarding even small signs of interacting with your partner (such as making eye contact or taking a few steps toward them)
- Have your partner feed your dog his dinner or go for a quick walk just the two of them.
- If you have plenty of time to kill, take a nice walk with the three of you or play a game before you all head home together.
Adding a new member to your family is something everyone should be excited about. Make sure that your first introduction goes smoothly by following the tips above. Remember that every dog will react differently, so take what you know about your dog’s personality and make adjustments to these steps as needed.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington