5 Steps to Introduce your Dog to Your Partner or New Roommate
Deciding to introduce your partner or new roommate to your pup is an exciting step to take, but for your dog, that may mean a new person in their personal space! Some dogs will adjust quick but if your dog has a more challenging time meeting new people, you will need to take the introduction period a bit slower and spend some time to help them adjust. It will take time, patience, and clear communication to help adapt your dog to the new change. We have listed five steps to keep in mind when taking this big step to make it less stressful!
Communication is key.
Ensure that the new person is prepared and knows everything about your dog’s personality before meeting to help set them up for success. You should discuss any quirks and behavioral issues immediately. If there are specific rules you have in place for your furry friend that you need them to respect, it is essential to communicate these from the very beginning as well. Maybe, your pup is not allowed on the couch, or you do not encourage feeding additional treats throughout the day.
Introduce your dog in a neutral environment.
Consider first making the introduction outside of the apartment. Some dogs can be more alert and protective of their space when a new person enters. Make sure the environment does not have too many distractions and is a place your dog feels comfortable. This spot can be where you typically take your dog, so they are already aware of all the smells and stimuli. After meeting outside, you can go back to the apartment and have your dog spend more quality time together. Have the new person hold the leash when bringing the pup back inside to help create a sense of familiarity!
Always let your dog make the first move.
Do not rush your dog into meeting the new person. Let them take their time to sniff around and approach first. Make sure your partner or roommate understands the importance of remaining calm as dogs pick up on energy very quickly. Ensuring the person stands sideways and avoids looking directly at the pup or speaking with a high tone will make the situation easier. Be sure to read your dog’s body language for signs of stress, especially if your dog tends to be shy or fearful of meeting new people. You want to make sure your dog feels confident and safe meeting your new partner or roommate.
Reward your dog instantly for good behavior – with their favorite treat!
Ensure the person has your dog’s favorite treat ready and knows the proper way to provide the treat to your pup. It is essential to ignore the unwanted behaviors and only reward the good. For example, if the dog is jumping up, make sure your partner or roommate stands sideways and averts eye contact, do not reward until the dog is sitting down and is calm. Each time your dog shows a positive sign of becoming comfortable, you should reward your pup. A treat also isn’t always needed, and you can replace it with verbal praise depending on your dog's best response.
Integrate them into the dog’s routine.
Integrating your new partner or roommate into your dog’s routine will make it easier for your dog to understand the latest addition to their life. If you're moving in with your new partner, you might want to consider going on as many walks together as possible initially and sticking to the same routes. You want to avoid too many changes and stick to their routine as much as possible. Too many changes at once could confuse and overwhelm the dog. Additionally, having your partner feed the dog can also help create a sense of familiarity and bond! Depending on your relationship, if moving in with a roommate, you can integrate them into playtime with your pup to help your dog adapt quicker.
We hope these steps help prepare for a successful first meet and greet with your partner or new roommate! Remember, some dogs take longer to warm up to new people in their space than others, and it is crucial not to overwhelm them. But soon, your pup will have a new best friend!
As always, we’re happy to bring informative content your way to help keep our furry friends healthy and happy. Make sure to follow @BarkBuildings on Instagram for more tips! Or, if you live in a Bark Building you can always reach out to your Pet Concierge for more specific tips and pet parenting guidance.