We’re out and about, perhaps doing a little shopping, and what do you know- you’ve met someone special. Things go well, both of you get along well, and you’ve found yourself a great companion. But, with your four-legged friend in the picture, things might get a little complicated. How does your pup handle a new face in the home? Most might seem okay with it, but remember that your home is their home, too. So be aware of what to look for to make sure that both of your companions get along well.
Dogs are naturally defensive of their territory. Your home is their den. Therefore, they feel obligated to protect it from intruders. Don’t be disappointed if your pup doesn’t fall madly in love (even if you do) with your partner immediately. Sometimes all it takes is a little finesse and a little bit of love.
My pup likes ‘em, my pup likes ‘em not
If your pup has met anyone before, you’ve seen the signs of disapproval. Not every pup loves everyone they meet, so you need to be prepared for anything. This all comes down to the first impression. We’re told not to rely on first impressions, but pups don’t rely on that tidbit of helpful human social behavior.
Introductions come first; pup meets partner, partner meets pup. But how you go about it can affect how your pup will act around that person in the future. It’s best not to surprise your pup with the situation. Don’t just show up with your partner and expect everything to be cool. Try this scenario: Everyone in a room, perhaps the living room, where things are well lit so that everything can be clearly seen by your pup. No music, no television, no distractions to draw their attention away from the meeting. And remember that a handful of dog food can make a difference in how your pup perceives your partner. Allow them to “treat” your pup in order to start their own relationship.
Your pup’s reaction to your partner may not always start out great, and they may need a few minutes to warm up. After the first meeting, if your dog continues to show signs of disapproval such as growling when they first see them, things may not be working out. A few other signs of disapproval may include whining, avoiding them altogether, hiding between your legs when your partner is there, and the simple sign of tail always remaining tucked (this can be hard for corgis and other pups with nubs).
Dancing and prancing are a definite thumbs up. If your pup takes to them quickly, then you have nothing to fear. Often, it does take a little getting used to for a pup to give you the OKAY signal. After some sniffing and investigating, your pup may begin to wag their tail (or wiggle their behind) and decide they’ve found a new playmate, too.
The feeling is mutual
Since every relationship has two sides to it, you also have to be concerned about how your partner feels about your pup. Things aren’t always as easily detected, since words may not match actions. Pay attention to how your partner acts around your pup. Do they lose their temper quickly and resort to raising their voice, especially if your pup isn’t even at fault?
The worst one is when a partner requests that your faithful companion has to hit the road. “It’s me or him,” is a definite no-no when it comes to partners. While you and your new partner may get along great, these requests may lead to a controlling relationship. If they aren’t willing to make things work or strive to improve the relationship between your pup and them, they likely aren’t going to do so in the future. Be suspicious of someone who wants you to get rid of your best friend.
When you have a pup, you have to remember that a there are going to be three individuals in your new relationship. It’s nice if everyone can get along, but if things don’t seem like they’re going to work out, you need to address the situation before it becomes a problem. No relationship is fun if everyone can’t enjoy it.