It’s Me or the Mutt — The Keys to Dating With Dogs

Dog Behavior & Training > Bonding With Your Dog >

Have you ever met “the one” only to bring him or her home to meet your dog and they don’t get along? What do you do? Most would chose their longtime companion over their latest flame (and rightfully so!), but things aren’t always black and white when it comes to love and pet ownership. Dating with dogs — what do you do?

First things first, dogs are consistently considered good judges of character, so if Rover refuses to play nice, pay attention. But sometimes, the dog-significant other relationship just needs a little work. Here are a few tips for making the perfect introduction and fostering a dog-significant other bond that will last as long as the relationship does.

1. Take it Slow. No matter how you cut it, your dating life is going to cut in on the quality time you once spent with your pooch. While some relationships may spark an instant connection, being conscious of the necessity to remain a devoted dog parent will go a long way. Dogs can be quite perceptive, so when your new significant other comes over and takes you away from Fido for extended periods of time, they’re not making friends fast. It’s a good idea to tailor your new dating itinerary to maintain the schedule your dog is used to, gradually working up to extended away periods if needed.

2. Know Your Dog. Each dog personality is a bit different and each will handle a major life change, like the addition of your new significant other, in their own special way. For example, skittish dogs that don’t typically enjoy visitors, will require a slow and steady introduction plan that might even take weeks to months before they are comfortable with one another. Other happy-go-lucky pooches will bond to anyone that has a pulse. These dogs require far less planning and perhaps even a single meeting will establish a strong bond. In most cases, the typical dog-significant other introduction period will fall somewhere in between these extremes.

3. Involve Your Dog. If you’re looking to make them inseparable, here’s a foolproof plan. Incorporate your dog as an integral part of date night. Taking Fido and your new significant other to the lake for a picnic, going for a hike together, or even brief games of Frisbee are great ways to interact with these two. In the process of spending quality time with your favorites, they’ll be forming a bond that lasts and lasts.

How to Bring Your Dog on a Date

Using your dog as your wingman may seem unconventional, but your pup could be the perfect icebreaker or, at the very least, give you something to talk about on the date. And while not all dogs are perfect for a date companion, almost any dog can do it if he’s well trained. Most people like dogs, but remember that not everyone lives with him. If the first thing Rover does is run over and sniff your potential honey in the crouch, he or she might be offended, especially if your date doesn’t know that means “hello” in dog. So make sure your pooch behaves on a leash, knows how to sit, lay down, and stay, and understands the rules about jumping on and sniffing people.

Be sure to start by setting up Rover to succeed. If you have a dog that may look intimating to your date, do a little something to soften his appearance and make him look more friendly. Trying putting a bandana on him or provide him with a cute plush toy or ball to carry. Be sure to bring treats, both to help you remind Rover to mind his manners and to give your date the opportunity to make friends.

Use your pooch to help start the conversation. Let him make the first move to your date. If he isn’t interested in meeting another human, give him time or hand your date a treat to give him. Remember that just having a well-behaved dog will score you big points with most people, and if it doesn’t, do you really want to get into a long-term relationship with someone that can’t stand spending time with your dog?

Dating With Dogs — 6 Ways Your Dog Can Boost Your Dating Life

It’s been said that every single person should have a dog. Need proof? A recent survey of more than 1,200 pet owners found that not only do dogs make people more attractive to the opposite sex (no surprise there), but also that women were less likely to date someone who indicated they didn’t like pets.


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