Tuesday, October 23, 2012

City Dog: How to Invite Dog Guests Over

The very first day I had Miss M in my home, we had a dog visitor. A small, curly-haired excitable visitor who showed up with my friend unexpectedly at the door, came in and played with all of Miss M's toys, drank her water, and ran around our small apartment. Nothing happened, but looking back I now see how it probably wasn't a good idea to have our small dog party when I had no idea of either of our dogs' triggers or comfort levels. Since I know all dogs are different, and have different tolerance and selectivity, here are some things that have worked for us to make sure all of our dogs and guests are comfortable:

Greet Your Guest Outside (For a Proper Introduction!):
The one thing I always remember from The Lost Boys was how I needed to be careful of who I "invited" into my home (no vampires yet!). Now I've learned how important it is for the resident dog to "invite" guest dogs into their home. We make sure to do a proper introduction  on neutral turf and if it goes well the pup walks back with us to our home. We make sure that our dogs lead the way, walk up the stairs first and walk in the door first. We keep the leash on the visiting dog and allow them to check out the place. We also work to keep excitement levels down and discourage any rough-housing with space.


Cleaning Up and Removing Temptation:
Sure we do a quick-clean when we invite human guests over, but I've found it even more important to do it for dog guests. Knowing all dogs have different tolerance levels, we make sure to pick up all toys, bones, food and water bowls to eliminate any chance of resource guarding.
Mr. B even helps out by hiding his beloved stuffies.

Being the Good Host Dog
 Before we invite a guest dog over, we make sure that we do have a 'back up space' in case the chemistry isn't right. If any of the dogs are uncomfortable, we just remove our own dogs from the situation. Sure Miss M will sing and complain, but we know our guest dog is in a new environment which could be stressful to them, plus, Miss M will get over it. 

What other things have you done to successfully integrate pups into your home?

Also:


14 comments:

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

I have had to introduce new dogs that will be riding in the car together immediately after meeting. It took me a lot of thinking to come up with a process that reduces stress for the new dog, but so far things have worked well. I bring out one dog from the car that seems like a good match for the new dog, let them walk a minute together, then put the new dog on leash in the front seat. Crazy dogs go in the way back behind a barrier, the middle seat is calm dogs, and the newbie is out of reach of unwanted social interaction. That way I can watch the road!

Sam said...

We are thorough believers in meeting on neutral ground. It has worked over and over for us!

Sam

Sarah said...

We do all greetings outside in our backyard and introduce our pack one at a time to the new dog so that they aren't overwhelmed by all three at once. Hurley goes first 'cause he's most social, Sadie second and Maggie, our problem child, third. We've had great success this way!

We also pick up all bones & toys and I'm careful not to give too much attention to the new dog as that can cause Maggie to not be the most gracious of hosts.

adventuresofadogmom said...

Great advice. Neutral ground is a big deal for us!

Rebelwerewolf said...

Oh boy. Badger and Mushroom are too excitable to be good hosts, especially to pups that aren't as playful. So we strongly suggest that our friends NOT bring their dogs over, but when that fails (we're not very good at being firm), we've found the best way to manage the situation is to have separate tie-downs where the dogs cannot reach each other. This also works for when we have human guests who don't want to get jumped on.

Sara @ LiteraryLima said...

Totally agree! Roxy does not like sharing her tennis balls and will grab them out of another dog's mouth (which not everyone will appreciate). Toy clean-up is paramount!

Trissi_V said...

We try to do the same thing (outside meet and greet...leash in the house...creating boundries), even though some people look at us crazy and mutter about (this happened when we had weekend guests that brought their dog).

People give dogs such human behavior and think that their dog can reason things out...it drives me nuts. They are a dog, they think like dogs...they go by instinct.

Though their dog was good (better when they weren't around) I am not wanting to have them back over again any time soon (if ever).

My Two Pitties said...

I love the last picture! My dogs would love to have more dog guests over but unfortunately not all dogs know how to play nice with their little kitty friend:( I've never bothered to pick up their toys though when we do, it's the only time they use them!

thegirlandherdog.com said...

These are such good tips! I love it.

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

You guys are the BEST dog hosts! Zoe had never had a successful visit at any other dog's house until we went to your place! You were amazing at respecting her triggers (i.e., water bowls and stuffies). :)

Roo said...

The expression on Miss M's face in the first photo is just priceless! If that isn't a wary supervisory look, I'll be hamdingered! BOL! Mr. B in his TP with his stuffy furiends is so cute and I just luv the three amigos snuggled on one bed. Wonderful :)

Waggin at ya,
Roo

Crystal K. said...

Greeting outside is so wise. For us, we have to do that greeting in our frontyard. The backyard and deck is our dogs' territory, so neutral meetings aren't possible there. We also just put our dogs away if it seems like there could be a trigger issue. Kongs are great for keeping Charlie Machete from singing and complaining in these times.

Debra@Peaceabull said...

Last Spring we had unexpected guests on the patio in the form of the neighbors bringing their dogs over while we enjoyed a few...frescas. The intros didn't go that well and I ended up feeling resentful of having to take Ray inside. I'll have a better handle on this in the future.

Emily said...

When we adopted Hades our roommate had a boxer. We brought the boxer out to meet Hades and just literally were about to put them face to face and the boxer snapped off his leash and charged Hades although neither actually reacted. I had no clue what I was doing at the time...what a hoot! (Not really a hoot, but "funny" to think how little precautions we took versus what we do now.)

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