Tips On How To Introduce Your Rescue Dog To New People
Adopting a rescue dog is a very complicated job. Unlike other dogs, you have to be extra careful, sensitive, and patient with them. One small mistake can trigger trauma and cause a relapse. Rescue dogs must carry their trauma forever, so it is not easy for them to trust and interact with others. If you have adopted a rescue dog, you must take them to the vet regularly since they need medical attention the most. You can search on Google for keywords like “top vets in Virginia Beach” or whichever city you are in. You must be mindful of their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Socializing is one of their biggest struggles, but it is also one of the most important things they must learn. If they do not learn how to socialize, this will only worsen their mental state. This may also hinder your relationship with other people, and you cannot just keep your loved ones away just because your dog is afraid of others. Your dog must learn how to adjust so that it can finally move on to a better life. However, you cannot expect that they can immediately socialize. Start slowly and progress steadily. Begin by introducing them to new people.
What to do before introducing them to others:
Due to their history, rescue dogs prefer calm and quiet introductions. Tell the people not to approach, touch or speak to the dog. Let the dog decide, and they should feel that they are in control of the situation. All of the next moves depend on your dog’s reaction. Before introducing the new person to your rescue dog, here are some things you must remember.
- Wear sacrificial clothes or clothes you don’t mind getting ruined
- Tell the new people to inform you when they get to your house. New sounds, scents, and even doorbells may make the dog feel unsafe.
- Tell them to stay calm, not make any sudden movements, and let the dog sniff them before trying to give them pets slowly.
- Tell the person to greet you first and ignore your dog for a while. Giving them too much attention can overwhelm them or make them feel anxious.
Here are the things to do while introducing them:
- Always remember to observe your dog’s body language and act accordingly
- Once the new person arrives, let your dog sniff them around and smell their shoes. Make sure that the person lets the dog do their thing.
- If your dog seems anxious or you think you should start slowly, try using baby gates to put a barrier between them. That way, your dog would feel safer but still be able to see them.
- Do not let them pet your dog on the head, just on their side
- Hand in some treats to the person and let the dog approach them for the treats.
If you are taking your dog out for a walk and see someone approach you to say hi to them, make sure to set boundaries first so that your dog will not get overwhelmed. Here are some things you can say to signal other people how to approach your dog.
- “Let them sniff you and your shoes first.”
- “They dislike hugs, but you can pet them on their side.”
- “Be gentle when approaching them.”
If you sense that your dog is still not comfortable around strangers, you don’t have to introduce them. If you would not let them approach your dog, you can say something like, “Sorry, they’re not friendly.” If your rescue dog is still anxious or shy, do not be in a hurry. Before taking them on walks regularly, ensure that she is comfortable with the environment first. Learn to develop patience and take them on regular walks. Help them slowly build their confidence by gradually starting short and controlled introductions.