5 Must Do's When Introducing Your Significant Other to Your Dog
Updated: Jun 24, 2019
So your relationship has gotten past the first tinder date and onto "real dating," you're hanging out consistently and your significant other starts asking when they get to meet the babies.
Your fur babies, that is.
This is an important step. For some, a huge step. Some dogs handle a stranger taking their person's attention better than others. Regardless of your dogs temperament, you want to introduce them correctly so you can eventually wake up to your S.O. cuddling your pups like this:
Provided your S.O. isn't allergic (which I hope sincerely for everyone involved, they are not), here are some easy steps to ensure a positive introduction between your precious best friend and your new hottie.
1. Meet on Neutral Ground:
Dog's get protective when they are in their space. You don't want to put your dog on the defense and make your new beau uncomfortable while your dog is blocking the doorway barking at their presence. Walk outside with your dog to greet your S.O. on neutral ground.
2. Come Baring Gifts:
My boyfriend did this unprompted (swoon) and it was such a good idea, I have to share. Have your S.O. present your dog with a special treat when they meet. This will immediately place a positive association in your dog's mind with the person handing them yummy treats. My dogs go crazy for these bully sticks.
3. Manners Matter:
Dogs are social creatures and follow their own sets of manners. So don't let your S.O. be rude on their first meeting. Talk about a bad first impression. Allow your dog to sniff their hand. If your dog doesn't move away, reach out and pet them below the chin. Encourage your S.O. to avoid the top of your dog's head or any places out of the dog's eye line, at least at first. Give them a chance to feel your S.O. out. Be gentle. This goes out mostly to the men (sorry guys). In my experience, a lot men see Bear and immediately want to wrestle or rough house with him, not understanding his past trauma or his temperament. Bad move. Luckily for them, Bear's tendency was to jump out of the way. Some other dog's could feel threatened and act defensively, or even aggressively. Ultimately, you know your dog best and how they act around strangers. Coach your S.O. accordingly to make sure it's a success!
4. Make Your Pup a Priority:
This one can be difficult at first with a new and exciting relationship, some of us can tend to go a bit tunnel vision. But always remember who cuddled up next to you when Craig from Bumble didn't text you back. Your dog will always have your back, so have theirs. I strongly urge you not to let a new person come in and overhaul your routine with your pet. Its traumatizing for the dog, who does not understand why things have changed, and could cause them to act out. See Google for searches like: "My dog keeps peeing on my boyfriends clothes." You don't want that to be you, so take the steps in the beginning to minimize the risk.
5. Include Your Dog:
This one goes hand in hand with making your dog a priority. Do so by including them. Grab a bottle of wine and go to the park with your dog and your new S.O. instead of hitting a bar. It'll be easier to talk and your S.O. has some time to bond with your pup. Let your dog climb up onto the couch and rest his head in your lap while you and your S.O. stare dreamily into each other's eyes. Remember, you and your dog are a package deal. And anyone who is the real deal, will respect and encourage that.
Good luck love birds!