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Tips for Meeting a New Dog

Ignore the dog.  No touch, no talk, no eye contact.

Let the owner know in advance that you are going to ignore the dog – initially.  Why?  It is important that you do not nurture an excited dog.  When you meet your new charge for the first time, both you and the dog should be calm.  It is good practice to simply ignore the dog until they calm down.  If they jump and demand attention, resist the urge to reach down and touch them.  This sets the tone for the rest of the sit.

Turn your back to the dog – this allows them to sniff you and see you as the leader.

By turning your back on the dog, you are giving them the opportunity to greet you on their terms and allowing them the opportunity to ‘check you out’.  This is normal pack behavior and it builds trust between you and the dog.

Talk to the owner and begin to go through your house sit with them

As you walk through the home or discuss the particulars of the sit with the owner, continue to ignore the dog.  It will likely begin to follow you around and be curious about you.  If the dog jumps up on you during this time, turn your back on them again until they calm down.

Acknowledge the dog once they are calm.

Once they are clam, you can then give them a snuggle or pet them.  Note if they continue to be calm or if your touch gets them excited again.  If they get excited again, then go back to ignoring them, letting them know that you expect them to be calm before you will pet them.

Be the leader.