Have you ever tried to introduce a new boyfriend or girlfriend to your puppy? It can become quite awkward if you are trying to be romantic with your partner when their dog suddenly decides to intervene and wedge himself between the two of you or worse, start to attack your date.
Introducing your fur-baby to new people may not seem like a difficult task, especially if you have done it before. However, the situation may not play out the same way if you bring home a romantic partner. This can be seen as your pup being jealous as he might be scared of losing you as ‘his person.’
Why do dogs get jealous?
Dogs tend to think that as their owners, you belong to them and are not too happy to share. This could be the case when you bring home a new pet, your boyfriend or girlfriend moves in with you, or you bring home your newborn baby. Moderate jealousy will go away after a while when your pup gets used to a new person. If your dog is more jealous, he could even begin to act out aggressively and be destructive or become withdrawn and depressed.
How to avoid jealousy with your puppy
Firstly, you might want to introduce your new partner to your pup in a neutral territory where your pup won’t necessarily be protecting his property (including you). A dog park is a great place to go for this.
Allow your new partner to interact with your puppy as if they were a new friend at the dog park. Take a ball, frisbee, or your pooch’s favorite toy and let them bond. This will help your pup get to know them better without feeling threatened, as they might feel meeting someone new in their home territory.
Do not force them to interact
Secondly, allow your pooch to make the first move and don’t force them to interact with your new partner. Once your dog is ready to approach, show your partner how to greet your pup in a way that he likes for your pup to feel comfortable with the interaction. Let your pup get a good sniff of your partner’s closed fist before they go in for the head pat. Your pooch may be a little intimidated if a random and strange hand comes toward their head for a scratch. Avoid any petting until your pup shows that he is ready for that type of interaction.
If you have a shy dog, boost his confidence by asking your partner to ignore your pet and avoid eye contact until he begins to show interest and curiosity before slowing interacting with the pup. You can also try making your partner seem more familiar to your pooch by giving them a t-shirt that you’ve worn and not washed or using your fragrance or hand lotion.
Love is best when shown
Lastly, let your partner show your pooch some love by doing things for him that forms part of his routine, like filling his food bowl at mealtimes when your partner visits. Alternatively, allow your partner to gain your pup’s love and trust by letting them hand out doggie treats or engage in your pup’s favorite games, like a tug-of-war with a doggie rope. This way your pup begins to associate your new partner with all the good things in his life and begin to love your partner, hopefully as much as you do.