Love is in the air, the world is rosy, and life is good. Well, it’s all good until your dog meets your new partner and decides he doesn’t like him/her. Your dog may feel that your lover is taking his place in your affections, and he feels threatened. He may also feel he needs to teach your new love interest where he/she fits in the household. In some cases, your canine companion may worry that your human companion is a threat to you, and he feels the need to protect you.
All of these are fair reasons for him to react to your partner with apprehension, but you need to help your dog adapt to this major change in his life. He is very important to you, but so is your new love. How can you help them get along?
There are things you can do to help your dog love your partner as much as you do.
1. Don’t force your dog to accept your partner. Let him get acquainted in his own good time. If your dog feels pressured or threatened, he may become defensive. This isn’t a good start to their relationship.
2. Reinforce your dog’s basic training so he acknowledges you as his leader. By doing this, you’re teaching him that you’re in charge, and if you are happy to have someone in your home, he should be too.
3. Encourage your partner to feed your dog. If he learns that good things come from the new member of your household, he’s more likely to tolerate them. Tolerance is the first step to developing a friendship.
4. Playtime is a great time for your dog and your partner to have fun together. Choose your dog’s favorite toy, and involve your partner in a game with him. Use treats to encourage your dog to interact with your new love, and help him learn that your partner is actually good to have around.
5. Don’t let your dog sit on the couch or on your bed with you and your partner. This can encourage rivalry, and won’t help the situation at all.
6. If your dog is actually aggressive and trying to bite your partner, get a referral to a veterinary behavioralist sooner rather than later. Aggression is something that is best managed by professionals, and it’s not worth risking your new love being injured.
7. Use Sleepytime Tonic whenever your dog is going to spend time with your partner. It contains Skullcap, Valerian and Passionflower which reduce anxiety and nervousness. Its ingredient list also includes Bach Flower Remedies to reduce shyness and fear, and it is safe enough to use whenever you anticipate your dog becoming tense around your partner.
There’s no reason for you to have to choose between your dog and your love life. As with any aspect of owning and training a dog, you’ll need to invest time and energy into managing the situation. It’s worth it; your dog will learn to love your partner just as much as you do.
Now, if you could only get your significant other to like your dog!
On another related topic you may be interetsted in reading the Top Five Signs that she loves her dog more than you: A man’s Guide to Winning the Fluff Wars!