Your Dog Doesn’t Like Your Date? What do you do?
By Kris Rotonda, Guest Blogger
While one-third of all married couples started their romance online, (according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), only 23% of those who went on a date through a match-making site say it resulted in a long-term relationship, (according to the Pew Research Center).
That’s not a bad success rate. I imagine it beats the club scene. Still, that’s a lot of dating before you find the right one. I think it’s important to narrow the search by letting users start with what’s most important to them.
I have four beloved dogs, and my commitment to my furry family became a problem in my dating life. Thankfully I’ve now found true love, and she loves my dogs and they love her back.
What should you do if your dog doesn’t appear to like the new love interest in your life?
• Your dog reacted negatively to someone you really like: Of course, how your dog reacts matters if you love your dog, but he or she may be picking up on something that’s nonessential to the character of your date, who may be nervous, not used to dogs or simply wearing the wrong fragrance that day. While dogs are very intuitive—and you want your canine companion to get along with a potential long-term partner—realize that the chemistry can improve. Give it a little time and proactively look for ways to help your dog and your potential love interest relax and get to know each other.
• Different reactions can have different meanings: Did she bark for several minutes? Did he run and hide under the bed? If your dog barked in what sounded like a hostile or aggressive way, she’s likely just trying to protect you. While you may have had plenty of time to get to know your date over long dinners, this person may still be a stranger to your dog. If your dog ran and hid, he may be afraid. That doesn’t necessarily mean that his fear reflects a real threat (i.e., something rotten about your new love interest). Try to remember what else was going on at the time. Did a plane fly overhead? Was there a rumble of thunder? That’s what may have been the source of the anxiety. Don’t try to pet or sweet talk your pup while he’s hiding as that will encourage the behavior. Instead, reward him when he emerges.
• Mending fences between your canine and human companion: When you’re planning to re-introduce your dog to your date, start before they actually meet in person. Do it by introducing the person’s scent with an unwashed article of clothing. You can also add your scent to the clothing by rubbing it on your arm and placing it in a spot where your dog spends a great deal of time. This will help your dog get used to the person’s scent over time and you’re not introducing the person to your dog by invading all of his or her senses at once.
Kris Rotonda is the founder and CEO of www.YouMustLoveDogsDating.com, a website devoted to singles who’ve already found their canine companions, but have yet to find true human love. Rotonda had experienced a number of unexpected challenges as a bachelor and dog owner, and saw the need for a dating site geared toward like-minded dog lovers.