So the question is…. Do you know how to properly introduce your pets to strangers so they feel safe?

Most people don’t realize how big of a deal this is to your pets…. But I promise you it’s a very big deal. Think about it their perception of people and their surroundings are very different than ours. To begin with understand if you are the one closest to the ground everything appears to come closer to your personal space than if you are higher up.

You and you alone are the GATEKEEPER for your pets. This is a great responsibility to have because you must at all times monitor who & what comes in close proximity to your pets and who & what is not allowed to touch them to make sure they feel & are protected and more importantly that they feel you are always in control of the situation. I can’t tell you how many clients come to me with pet anxiety challenges only to find out that this is the main root of the problem.

Our pets tolerate a lot from us on a daily basis, our tastes in music, our friends, out of control little children, Heavy handed people, the 4th of July, smoke, motorcycles & cars backfiring etc. All the while wagging their tails and for the most part not complaining. There are always tale, tale, signs of pets communicating their discomfort of anxiety to us, unfortunately unless it’s fairly obvious it can be and is most often missed. So I believe in taking a proactive stand. This is by no means to make all of you paranoid… but to make you informed and then equipped to know how to go forward.

Our pets trust us completely and when that trust gets compromised it is very hard to reverse and rebuild but not impossible.

Having said all that, the way to prevent this from happening to you & your pets is what I call GUEST PROTOCOL. Yes any of my clients reading this are very familiar with this term because I have taught each and every one of them and essentially believe in it. I created this because it will communicate first to your pets that they are safe, reinforce that YOU are the ALPHA pack leader and demonstrate to people how to approach and greet your pets properly without any negative incidents. It’s easy to do and it WORKS!

To begin YOU must be fully present and paying attention when you are with your pets, not distracted with your phone or whatever else is going on. Think about it if your pets were small children you wouldn’t be so easily distracted in public places with strangers approaching you… well your pets are your children with fur… So pay attention people 🙂


1. This is especially for when you are out in public. Begin to do this before someone gets closer than 14 feet to you and your pets. If you are at home explain this to your guests FIRST before letting your pet in the room.

2. First slightly smile at the individual when you see them the approaching you and wanting to greet your pet, while at the same time grabbing your pets leash at a shorter length and pulling them closer to your person.

3. Say Hello would you like to say hello to my pet? By doing this you are first communicating to your pet we are about to have a visitor. This prepares your pet to be greeted so they are not caught off guard and they know you have given this individual permission to touch them.

4. Next tell the person approaching you to lower your hand in front of my pet (say your pets name here of course) and let them sniff you, then you can stroke them on the side of their face or under their chin. NEVER ALLOW  anyone to pet your fur child on the head…. unless your pet knows them, so many people get bit by doing this because it is very intimidating to a pet when done by strangers (some pets tolerate it better than others but I promise you they would prefer it not done).  Think about it your pet is down low to the ground, and all of the sudden a big hand is coming down on your head, nobody would like that if they were in that position.

Now why this is soooooo important? Because humans have certain scents that our pets can detect that represent danger that we cannot sense or detect. The signal to look for is if the individual is nice, is your pet whether dog or cat will move toward them with some part of their body, then it’s a green light. On the other hand if you see your pet turn their head or begin to move away from the individual DO NOT FORCE your pet to be petted. This individual has been rejected by them for a very good reason and if your pets had their way they wouldn’t get to touch them.

5. After the individual has greeted your pet for a few seconds, gently, slightly move your pet away from them and behind one of your legs if possible. This is discreet enough so that you will not offend anyone and communicate to your pet you are in control and they are safe.

I have found this to work every single time I’ve used it. It is one the main tools to help rehabilitate shy & anxiety animals, especially ones abused by humans. Of course life can be unpredictable at times but in most cases first being aware and conscious of what & who is around you is great prevention because people and things can get out of control quickly.

If you begin to consistently use the GUEST PROTOCOL tool you will see your pet relax in public around strangers because they will learn what to expect, know and understand that you are fully in control as the ALPHA pack leader and no one will be able to get close to them that will harm them and their confidence in you will sky rocket .

Learning how to deepen your bond with your pets  and knowing how & when to communicate better with them is always my goal. You guys are already awesome pet parents this will automatically enhance the wonderful relationship you have with your pets and deepen their trust in you.


Until next time folks remember PETS RULE!

“How To PROPERLY Introduce Your PETS To Strangers So They Feel Safe…”