What began as a cheesy pick-up line on Tinder has evolved into something more. You’ve been on a few dates. You’ve received a few sexts. And finally, you’ve been asked to come over and meet their dog, the other love of their life. To help you make the best possible impression, pooch trainer Amanda Gagnon agreed to lend some tips.
Skip the Cologne
Your new lover may enjoy your signature scent, but it’s best to smell as mild as possible when meeting a new dog. “Dogs ‘see’ with their noses, and heavy cologne is akin to a strobe light flashing in their eyes,” Gagnon explains. The same goes for perfume, essential oils, that homemade spritzer your weird, hippy aunt made you and anything else that smells especially strong.
Come Bearing Treats
“Ask your partner what types of treats the dog loves, and bring some with you,” Gagnon suggests. “Toss the treats on the floor for the dog to enjoy when you first meet.” Snacks are the way to a dog’s heart, after all.
If you want to win double doggie points, bring a chew toy, too. “Dogs learn a lot by association, and a person who comes in bearing fun and delicious things is more likely to be in their good graces,” says Gagnon.
Don’t Be Overly Friendly
I know dogs are cute, and you’re eager to make a good first impression, but it’s best to let a pooch get to know you on their terms. “Avoid excessive handling, chasing, looming over or making heavy eye contact when you first meet,” Gagnon says. “In fact, don’t try to pet them at all if they move away from you.”
Instead, Gagnon suggests letting the dog come to you. “Think of it as consent-based dog petting,” she says. “If a dog doesn’t ask for it, they probably don’t want it. A dog who’s shy will warm up to you much more quickly if you leave them alone and let them approach you when they’re ready.”
Be Conscious of Their Routine
Much like us, dogs are creatures of habit, and they don’t appreciate it when someone new comes in and gets in the way of their usual activities. “For example, snuggling on the couch might typically be the dog’s prerogative,” Gagnon explains. “Make room for the dog to join, reward the dog for sharing your partner’s attention (use treats) and give the dog time to get used to your presence before fully usurping their throne.”
Or you can take a more active approach at being a part of the dog’s hobbies. “If they love to play tug, fetch or some other game, maybe you can do that with them,” says Zazie Todd, animal psychologist and author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. “Or maybe you, your partner and the dog can all go on a hike together. Taking part in a fun activity will help them build a relationship with you.”
If you can follow all this advice, you’ll be mates with your new partner’s pup in no time, and you know what that means: More sexts!