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Dog Socialization Guide

Introducing a new dog to friends and family

Bringing a new pet home is an exciting time for everyone. However, it's important to take things slowly when introducing your dog to people and other pets. No matter how much your pup's tail is wagging, they may be a bit anxious about being in an unknown situation with all the new faces.

Welcome home. Here are a few tips to make those first introductions fun, safe and as stress-free as possible:

Start by introducing calm adults first.

One-to-one is more fun. If possible, make introductions on a 1:1 basis to keep your pet from being overwhelmed. If that's not doable, keep the group as small and quiet as you can.

Bring dog treats. Saying hello with a few treats goes a long way in winning a new dog's trust and affection.

It's OK to be shy. Depending on your dog's personality, shyness can be common. Simply give them plenty of time to settle down and feel comfortable.

Take it slowly. It's completely understandable if your dog seems to want to be alone. Let them retreat to a safe spot and don't take it personally. They'll warm up to you soon!

Introduce children (if any) next.

Supervise at all times. An adult should monitor ALL interactions between children and a new dog until you are 100% sure of how they react to one another.

Mind those manners. Encourage children to play gently and to not tease your dog in any way.

Keep all four on the floor. Avoid letting children pick up or carry a new dog as it can make the dog feel threatened or unsafe.

Get ready to play. Expect lots of energy when your dog meets their exciting new human playmates. Bringing a fetch toy may give you a chance to let your dog burn off some steam while keeping kids entertained as well.

Maybe, baby. We recommend not introducing your new dog to any babies until you get to know your dog well enough to be confident in their reactions. Once you do introduce them, stay in contact with your dog at all times.

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