Difficulties of the first meeting: 7 rules for novice dog owners
When you buy a puppy or bring an adult dog home a pet is not always socialized enough and can be not so communicative to contact you properly. Reasons might be very different: from lack of communication in a very early puppyhood to undermined trust (for adult dogs), mistakes in upbringing and maltreatment.
Such lack of sociability not only deprives an owner of happiness of communication with a dog, but also poses problems when things come to training and walking and can create risky situations for your pet and for other animals.
To avoid difficulties in socialisation and to find a common language with your pet, you need to follow seven simple rules that start working from the very first meeting of you and your dog.
Rule 1. It is not recommended to organize the first meeting with a pet if you are too nervous or you are in a state of some intoxication as all these things change not only your behaviour and perception, but also your odour that becomes unpleasant for a dog. Avoid impulsiveness and nervousness, talk in calm, soft, but not over-sweet voice. Don’t make abrupt movements because they can scare a dog, which can perceive such behavior as menace and instead of a contact you will have a conflict. Smoothness of movements and voice, that must also be calm and confident, are the key to your success.
Rule 2. Don’t try to pat of hug a dog when you first see it. During the first meeting keep the distance of approximately one meter – that is the distance at which most of dogs start acquaintance with their congeners. Give a dog time to sniff you properly, and then stretch out your opened palm. It is better to sit down on your knees as for a dog, puppy especially, would be more comfortable to get acquainted at the same level. Such posture lets a dog fully see you and helps to avoid the sense of pressure on a dog.
Rule 3. Don’t be the first to approach. This shows that you are searching for communication and not for confrontation. Try to avoid eye contact at first because in a dogs’ world looking into the eyes is the possibility to start a conflict. That is why eye contact that is recommended in human-to-human communication can play the contrary role in human-to-dog communication. Let the dog approach first and stretch out both hands so that it can sniff them. Don’t hurry a dog up, be patient.
If a dog touched you with its nose while sniffing then a contact was successfully established. Carefully pat its chest and lower part of the neck. This gesture signifies that you don’t dominate and don’t force a dog to the contact.
Rule 4. If your pet seems a bit fearful and irresolute, then for some time avoid touching dogs’ ears and withers. Your can pat a dog in these places only if it shows you that the time has come by placing its weathers under your palm.
Rule 5. Talk to your dog! Repeat its name in a tender and calm voice every time when dog establishes eye contact with you. Tell your dog how good it is and let it feel your favour. Every dog understands the friendly and calm tone perfectly.
Rule 6. Try to spend most of the time at the same physical level with your dog, for example, sitting on the floor. Don’t make your dog be always beside you, but try to shorten distance between you when your pet is sleeping or relaxing.
Rule 7. The great method to gain a dogs’ confidence and to show your friendly and confidential relationship will be sharing meal together. Squat down or simply sit on the floor and start eating first, then after some time give a peace of your food to your dog. A dog must see that you give it exactly the same you are eating yourself. The best way to show it is to snap off a peace from the one you are eating (the type of food doesn’t matter). The quantity of food you give in such manner is not significant. The important thins is that in such way you show yourself as a dogs’ congener, who at the same time takes a leading (because you are the one who brings the food) role in a pack.
Most likely, all the mentioned above rules you will have to repeat several times. But if a dog doesn’t have any serious socialization failures that need special correctional work, then soon the contact will be established and you will have a sociable and devoted friend.