2. Let your dog take the lead
Allow your dog to approach the new person, not the other way around. Give them time to feel comfortable and do not rush them, they will go to say hello once they are comfortable. They may start with a sniff and then retreat, repeating until they feel secure. Allow them to do this in their own time.
3. Ignore the bad, reward the good
As is true in so many dog training exercises, it is important to ignore the unwanted behaviours and only reward the good. Reward calm, relaxed behaviours from your dog such as sitting or lying down or approaching your visitor calmly. You can do this with verbal praise or treats, depending on which works best for your dog. If your guest feels comfortable, they could offer treats too.
When both dogs are calm and comfortable, allow them to approach, sniff and circle each other. Reward with positive verbal praise throughout. Avoid giving treats at this point as it may encourage unwanted competition and aggression between the dogs. If your dog is still nervous at this point, walk away and repeat steps 2 and 3 until he is calm.
Once pets are completely calm when greeting each other on the leash, you can remove leashes and allow them to move freely. Completing this step in an open but secure area is best as it gives the dogs room to roam around/move away from each other if they are feeling uncomfortable.
Whether you are a Mad Paws owner or sitter, it is vital to complete a meet & greet before completing a booking. This allows you to check you are perfectly matches and that the dog feels comfortable around his or her new temporary carer and furry brothers and sisters!