The Previous Owner Wants to Visit Dog (17 Points to Consider)

If the previous owner wants to visit your dog, you have to make a decision about whether or not to allow it.

You want to make sure that you don’t end up regretting your decision.

If you allow him/her to visit, he will be able to see what your daily life is like with the dog.

You will get feedback about his training and raising methods – how could you not learn from a visit of an ex-owner?

If you don’t allow him to visit, remember that he does not want a relationship with the dog or all of the responsibility that comes with it.

He wants one day on your property and then maybe even another.

What is your reaction to this situation?

Points To Consider

There are many things you should take into consideration before you agree to the previous owner visiting your dog:

1. Prepare the pet.

Dogs don’t understand that people they haven’t seen in a while are coming to their house.

They may not be happy about the situation. You can minimize the problems by preparing them ahead of time.

Talk to the dog and tell him what’s going on. Include him in your preparations for his visitors so he’ll associate them with positive experiences.

2. Choose a good time for visitors.

If you have a foster dog who needs more training and preparation, there’s no point in having previous owners visit during training sessions or times when the pet has had lots of exercise already or is distracted by other events going on in the house (siblings home from school, children getting ready for soccer practice, etc.).

Be mindful of an appropriate time.

3. Prepare the previous owners.

Let them know of any issues that your dog has had or is experiencing at the moment.

Time has moved on and the dog that they once knew may not be the same as the one they see now.

If there are some concerns about how your dog is at the moment, it may be better to reschedule the meeting for a more appropriate time.

4. Have them visit during the daytime.

Dogs aren’t good at adjusting their behavior so make sure that the arranged time for the visit does not interfere with the set routines.

5. Don’t allow visitors to bring dogs with them until they’re familiar with yours.

If you let them bring their dogs at first, they’ll need time to acclimate to your home and your dog might get aggressive with theirs.

6. Don’t allow visitors to take photos or videos of the dog.

This could be unsettling for your dog and could create trauma.

7. Don’t get involved in conversations about dog behavior from previous owners unless the issue involves behavior that you’re already working on with your dog, such as housebreaking or aggression issues.

8. Let your dog roam free in the house with previous owners.

You can’t force the pet to stay if he feels uncomfortable with the situation.

9. Keep it short.

Long visits are more stressful for dogs.

10. Put on your social face!

Make sure you put on a happy face and be ready to answer lots of questions.

11. Keep a clean house when the former owners visit your dog.

Setting the right first impression avoids any possible criticism in the future.

12. Feed your dog before visitors arrive.

Don’t let the visitors feed the dog during visits. It’s a turn-off and can be painful for those caring for the pet to have to deal with guests feeding a pet they’re not familiar with.

13. Make sure the pet has plenty of exercise before and after the visits.

The dog should not have to sit in a room for too long.

14. Make sure the pet has plenty of water before and after the visit.

15. Make sure the pet is out of sight before the visitors arrive and has a chance to relieve himself before they leave.

16. Give the pet a treat before the visitors arrive and make sure to give him a play session with his toys or whatever he likes to play with when they leave.

This will help your pet understand that he’s happy when the visitors leave so he’ll not be nervous when they’re around again.

17. Don’t let the former owners interfere with your training program.

You may have a completely different approach to training to the former owner. Do not allow any interference on this issue.

Final Thoughts

If you decide that you want to allow visits by previous owners, make sure to follow all these steps in order to ensure that your dog will have a positive experience.

Your dog might be a bit shy and not know how to deal with it, so you’ll have to be patient and follow his lead.


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