There’s a right way and a wrong way to greet a dog, and the choices you make at this juncture can make a huge difference in whether or not you and the dog in question become lifelong friends.
Obviously, the love of any dog is something worth having — we’re talking about an animal sweet enough to be a nanny and brave enough to be a rescuer, after all — so it’s definitely a good idea to take the time to learn exactly what to do to befriend a pup you’ve never met before.
These dogs are some of the most well-adjusted dogs I’ve had the privilege of being around. What does that mean exactly? It means they eat their meals with relish, take new people and dogs in stride, share their toys, play with new unfamiliar dogs, potty on schedule, relax when they need to, play when they don’t ; ALL while being in an entirely new environment. They can be in kennels or crates without hysterical overtures. They know how to “follow the leader”—i.e., me or anyone else on our staff—from one room to another, they know their names and respond accordingly.
Yes! Resilience is so important in any dog, not just sport dogs! You can’t predict when your dog will need to be at the vet, at a boarding facility, or even just staying the night with a friend while you are out of town. Being able to adjust and relax in a strange environment is a key skill.