Tips for Bonding with your BFF - Best Furry Friend
We’ve got more exciting tips and tricks from our lovely friends David and Hannah from David Cuffe Associates on how to make new poochy pals whether owner or borrowed. Their aim is to help leave Pawprints of Happiness on the lives of dogs and people. Below they have shared some woofs on the best way to bond with mans best friend, how absowoofly wonderful :)
When you meet up with your new doggy friend and their human, keep in mind some simple tips for canine interaction. A working knowledge of basic doggy body language is a very handy tool to have - if you have been around dogs a lot you will probably have picked up a lot of this instinctively but it does no harm to brush up. Remember, you don’t want to intimidate the dog and by the same token you don’t want to get him/her so excited that they whip themselves up into a frenzied ball of furry hyperactivity with selective hearing! Some useful tips to keep in mind:
Never look a dog right in the eyes upon an initial meeting. This is what a dominant dog would do and most dogs would find this intimidating or aggressive.
I always find it intriguing to watch an adult dog with a puppy or younger dog. An older dog would never run up to a puppy, look them in the face and start talking to them in a high pitched voice - this is how the puppy behaves! The adult dog will usually maintain a dignified, slightly removed stance, lifting their head while the squealing puppy jumps to lick at their face and demand attention. They will usually gaze off into the distance and slowly wag their tail in a relaxed, sweeping fashion. We want you to be the calm, dignified older dog here! So, don’t stare right at the dog, look slightly away and let them choose when they want to come to you to sniff your hand or ask for a pat.
The benefits of this method are multiple - you won’t be intimidating a shy dog by looking right at them and forcing an interaction and you will also be establishing your status with a more confident type - ‘I like you but I’m not so intensely interested in you that I think you are the pack leader here’. I could go on and on here about doggy body language, how fascinating it is and how an insight into this world can make every canine/human interaction a more truly valuable experience for both parties….perhaps the topic for another blog :)
Once you have established a relationship of sorts (as I said before, this will vary depending on the dog) then you can start to interact. Perhaps you can take the lead or engage in some of the activities that the dog loves like ball throwing, playing or running through their tricks, with treat incentives. I do really think that running through the dog’s commands with them is an incredibly valuable exercise for your relationship with the dog and it will also provide peace of mind for the dog’s owner, knowing that you can control their furry friend.
Remember, there is no ‘one size fits all’ in dog world. Some dogs may be too energetic for some borrowers or you may not feel the repoire you were expecting with dog or owner. There is no shame in this and in fact it is important to frankly consider if this is the right match for everyone before proceeding further. Once your first ‘blind date’ has commenced you can discuss with the owner how they would feel about arranging another meet up and make a plan from there.