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Introducing your dogs to new environments

Chinese New Year is around the corner! Are you intending to bring your dogs along for CNY visitations? In today’s article, we will be sharing some of the things that you can do to make your dogs feel comfortable in new environments.

When your dog experiences a new environment, we do not know exactly how it will react. Instead of expecting them to adjust to the new environment instantly, give them time to adapt to it. Any new sights, sounds, and smells could trigger them to be fearful, aggressive, or overly excited about their environment. Here’s how you can make their CNY visitations more comfortable!

Upon entering a new home, politely ask for everyone to be settled in and sit down. Allow your dog to approach your relatives or friends and observe the signal that he or she is comfortable with people approaching, speaking, or touching it.

A way to make your dog feel comfortable would be to have your relatives stand sideways or in a crouching position, and offer treats to your dog without making any eye contact. Do note that rewarding your dog when they display shyness or fear could result in a delay of their progress and they would be likely to continue engaging in this unwanted behavior. So make sure to only offer rewards at the right moment! Your dog may take some time to warm up to the new environment and people, so be patient and not rush the process!

Do your CNY visitations have other dogs? Introducing your dog to other dogs in a controlled environment that has little to stimulate or distract your dog helps them to stay calm.

Start the introduction with both dogs properly leashed. Keep your distance from the other dog and its owner first, and reward your dog for calm behavior. Next, approach the dog slowly. When the dogs eventually meet, allow them to sniff and circle around each other. Afterward, you should walk away with your dog. This introduction process will encourage a positive association with meeting new dogs. Do note that using tight leashes or pulling the dogs apart could cause a negative reaction in your dog! Repeat this process several times for them to be confident and comfortable around each other.

Exposing your dog to different environments can be a rewarding experience for both you and your dog. It provides you with the opportunity to bond with your dog and share new experiences with them. However, it is important to note that different dogs react differently to their environment. We want to minimize the negative experiences for our dogs. You know your dog best, if it is better for them to stay at home while you are out for CNY visitations, keep them at home and reward them when you return home. Do what’s best for you and your dog.


Any views or opinions communicated on this page belong to the author and do not represent the views or opinions of any other organizations. This article is meant for us to share our own views and opinions in general. Kindly consult a professional if would like to seek professional advice.


Adopted from sources

– 11 tips on how to introduce dogs to new people and other dogs. By Kate Parlin, Care.com.

– How to help your dog adjust to a new environment. By Nowfresh.

– Images from Pexels.com.