When you have a dog with fear reactivity, it can be hard to know how to introduce them to people in your home.
In this episode, I answer Caicos' question from Instagram about how to introduce a fear reactive dog to a new guest in their home.
I discuss the benefits of keeping their guest informed, and then muzzle training their dog.
Breaking down the process is really important, and steps like
- Adding smells (a good trick is to take your guest's shoes off before they come over)
- Taking walks together
- Recognising where the dangers may be makes the process a lot easier!
Welcome to Ask Ali with multi award-winning dog trainer, Ali Smith, answering real dog questions from real dog parents. So next question, which is the second of the pre. Preloaded questions. comes from Caicos from the Turks. And the question is what would be my process of introducing inferior active dog to a new person in their home?
And this is actually like really. This resonates with me really strongly because I had a , I had a reactive dog that I had to introduce to my now husband in my little two bedroom flat. And I was paranoid, and please don't get me wrong, Indy's actually never had an issue with humans, never had an issue with humans.
But I'd also never moved a human into his home. I totally sympathize with you here. The first thing I would do is obviously prep your partner or whoever it is that's moving into your home about your dog, and just let them know that they do have some quirks, some special things, some, and if there's any particular source spots that you know with just visitors, I would tackle that and tell your guest or your.
Remote, whoever they are. Just exactly what's potentially gonna be the biggest areas of issue just so that we can go in well prepared. I would then, if they're not already, I would make sure that your dog is muzzle trained. Again, this is just an incase because. The, one of the worst things that your dog can do, unfortunately, is to bite a human.
And regardless of who that person is in your life, we just do not take these risks because it's not necessary. Okay. So Marle train, just in case. I would then explained awkwardly to your friend, partner, whoever they are, that. You need some, a piece of their dirty clothes or a part of their laundry, and I would just leave it around your house.
Because that then will start introducing the idea that there might be another human living here. That there might be a new smell coming into the into their world. And it starts just saying that this is a part of your environment. Okay. As softly as we can, I would then ask your, the person that's moving in to join you on some walks, join you on some activities and see if you can get, even if you wanna hire like a private field or something, just somewhere that's neutral outside, like not your dog's safe space.
We want somewhere that's like really chilled, hopefully, and. , then you are just gonna encourage the two of them to bond. If they can start playing together, that's fantastic because you cannot be, it's something that's actually like an incompatibility. You can't be having fun and be scared at the same time.
Dogs don't have the rollercoaster thing that we do. They can't feel like, I like to refer to them as like complex or compound emotions. So like that fear, excitement that you get when you go on a roller. dogs can't do that, which is awesome that we can exploit. That sounds really wicked. I don't mean it like that.
I don't mean exploit but take advantage of. So yeah, do that. And then if you can, and if the meeting when you are out has gone go home with said person and have them in your space for an extra hour. Sit down and have dinner together. See if you can get your dog to relax. And if you can. , you've nailed it.
Okay. And then when they move in, everything will go swimmingly if you don't get the opportunity to do that amount of training beforehand. Because sometimes I realize these things don't go how we want them to go, do they? It's, it is possible to do. It's just gonna be a case that you're gonna wanna introduce more management things like baby gates, playpens crates leashes all very powerful management tools that you can use around the home just to ensure that.
Pup doesn't make a mistake because there's nothing worse than knowing that you could have done something to avoid it and you didn't. So I'll always preach a little extra caution when it comes to a dog bite and a human. So please just be careful.
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