There are such high expectations on us all as individuals these days, this includes the behaviour of our dogs. I know I used to feel terrible if my dog took a second look at another dog and was full of apologies whilst the two dogs' feelings towards each other were loud and clear.
It’s easy to feel like it’s a reflection of us as a person and try to fulfil the other persons expectations by telling your dog off, well, that used to be me. I now know a lot more and understand a lot more about dogs. Firstly, this enables me to guide my dog through situations like these kind of meetings (they happen to even the best dogs - like us, they just don’t like everyone they meet!), but I can also spot very early on any signs of fear or anxiety in Rew...
Now Rew is far more relaxed around meeting new dogs, because I’ve worked with him to overcome his fears. f I had been told when I had Rew what I know now, he’d of had a better start to his social life.
Being friendly and relaxed with people and dogs is an essential quality for any pet dog. With this in mind, your puppy needs to learn to be sociable by ensuring they have plenty of pleasant encounters with as many different types of people as they go through their development stages. Getting Puppy used to new things in a positive and calm way is essential, but never force puppy to interact. Take note of their body language and if you spot the first signs of fear or anxiety then remove your puppy. Don’t comfort them, as this can reinforce the fear, just move on and redirect his focus on to something you know they are happy to do. Get people who understand what you’re trying to achieve to work with you, so if you do just walk off it’s not going to offend anyone! Get them to touch Puppy and reward all calmness around the new person; if they can handle their feet, tail, ears this is a great exercise.
On your list of daily things needed to be done for your puppy, meeting different people is one of the key ones. They should be fun meetings and positive experiences, allowing your puppy to grow confidently. The experience should never be frightening. If they do get frightened try to spot it earlier next time, to prevent them going through it again and ensure you help them over come their fear.
Make sure you are letting Puppy meet all types of people, including children if you don’t live with any. Here’s some guidance:
Hope you and your puppy are having fun and that your guidance is helping Puppy through their key development stages.