Happy Tails: Meeting and Greeting Your Animal Clients

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with ZipRealty Residential Brokerage 46553

One of the inevitable and enjoyable parts of my job is visiting other people's pets. Whether I'm previewing a home or going on a listing presentation or doorknock, I enjoy the opportunity to interact with all of the furry friends along the way. One of the best ways for me to interact with a pet owner is through their pet so I try to befriend the resident cat or dog just as much I try to befriend their human.

Dogs are usually very friendly. I make decisions on making contact based upon breed and temperament. Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are among the teddy bears of the dog world. They are usually good natured and very, very big. The way they are most likely to harm you is to knock you over by throwing their weight at you. Certain breeds like Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds and Rottweilers look fearsome and have bad press mostly from scary movies with no basis in fact. Some of these dogs are dangerous, but some are also, like the retrievers, very gentle and approachable. It depends upon how they were raised.

All animals, be they dog or cat, should be approached carefully and respectfully. Addressing them in a friendly voice, I always put a hand out to be sniffed first. Since their eyesight isn't as good as ours, smell is the most important thing. I gently extend my hand slowly to let them get a good sniff. It usually takes a while as they then pick up the scent of my cats, who rubbed it in pretty good, then reach to give them a pet on their cheek or the top of their head.

Barky dogs are actually the most likely to bite and they are usually the little breeds. Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Jack Russell Terriers are all really excitable breeds and, if they aren't well-disciplined, may take a nip at you. Most of the time, it won't really hurt but you should always be a little bit careful when approaching them. If they start barking backwards, when they bark, step back, and bark some more, they really don't feel comfortable yet. I usually ignore them at that point and interact with the humans for a while. Some will quiet down and come back to make friends. Others continue barking and must be put in another room.

Be considerate of cats. Nearly every cat's motto is "Change is Bad" and most react to a stranger by scooting under the bed or around the corner. The brave ones will peek out from a safe place and watch you interact with their human. Pretend you don't see them. This is counter-intuitive, especially when they gradually become more visible. I always resist the urge to say hi to any kitty until they actually walk up to me since it makes them feel more in control of the situation.

If the sign or the agent comments say to beware of a runaway cat, I enter with caution, entering with my knee first, to block the cat from making a dash for the door. My former office had a policy of caravanning with so many agents around, the cat got out. If this happens, it is best to get in front of the cat and scoop them up before they know what's happened. My fellow agent was approaching it from the sheep herding perspective so she would have had quite the long trip before she caught up with kitty. 

If you can develop confidence in working with people's pets, you may receive the unexpected reward of new friends both human and furry as you conduct your business.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (12)

Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Irene,

Not one post?

What happend?

Mar 26, 2007 11:09 AM
Roberta Lee
Century 21 Olde Tyme - Norco, CA
Norco Corona Riversid Homes For Sale

Irene

I couldn't agree with you more except~~~Doorman's are normally friendly shy dogs unlessthey have been mistreated.  You're right they have received bad press, but having raised them for show I know what darlings they can be.  If you have children and have raised them together you will never have to worry about someone taking your child when the Dobe is around.  They will protect that child with their life.

This was a great post and should be  in the Newbie's Group!

Neal, I love your graphic!!!! It's great.  When I grow up I want to be just like you. :)

Mar 26, 2007 12:18 PM
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate

Y'know Neal, I thought someone might drop by to add their pet befriending tips or something, but nope. Not a one.  Thanks fo putting all the waggy dogtails in!

Want to add any tips or stories of your own? I did forget to add the story of the tiny dog that jumped onto my pants leg and hung there, growling and bobbling as I climbed up the stairs to their home.  Don't recall the breed, but I'm betting it was a terrier.

 

Mar 26, 2007 12:19 PM
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate

Roberta, I have met some very friendly and sweet dobies. My martial arts instructor had one named Max that he would try to put out of the room for our sessions. Max would try to hide behind the coffee table which never quite covered him up, which was very cute. However, I had another one jump over a fence after me and chase me which is why I said one needs to be careful.

I thought I did post this in the Newbies group but it's probably dropped away by now.

Mar 26, 2007 12:24 PM
Roberta Lee
Century 21 Olde Tyme - Norco, CA
Norco Corona Riversid Homes For Sale

Irene

 Well I don'lt know if this is a tip or not, but because I show horse property all of the time with lots of horses, goats, sheep and dogs I take carrots with me almost every where I go.  They all like the carrots even the dogs and I am their instant friend. :)

Mar 26, 2007 02:14 PM
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate
Carrots?! I'd never have guessed dogs would go for them, that's pretty interesting. They would probably work with alpacas and llamas,too. I took care of some animals for the friend of a friend once who had apples for their llamas, so they'd probably appreciate the change of pace. Our horse property is still out there, but fewer and farther between as they build up all the new housing developments around here.
Mar 27, 2007 04:14 AM
Molly of The Pet Realty Network
Pet Realty Network - Naples, FL

Ok, you all caught my attention!

I agree, carrots are great for dogs!  When I need to "occupy" my dog for 5-10 minutes I give her a whole carrot and she thinks its the greatest and yummiest toy ever.  And its healthy!  Word of advice that I'm sure everyone knows is to always ask the pet owner if you can feed their pet.  You never know if there are any allergies, etc, that you need to be aware of. 

You might know by now that I am a proud owner of a Rottweiler, and have been for 12 years.  And, yes, they get their share of a bad reputation.  Some may deserve it, but many others don't.  There are MANY (I stress MANY) small dogs that can be aggressive, territorial, and dangerous.  Don't let the little cute face fool you.  A neighbor of mine has 2 Shih-Tzu's and one just lunged after and bit my puppy this weekend for no reason whatsoever.  She's absolutely fine, no lacerations, no vet visits needed.  It hurt her spirit more than anything. 

The point is to be aware that ALL dogs can bite, big and small. 

Mar 27, 2007 04:35 AM
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate

I wonder if the little dogs get aggressive and territorial because of all the inbreeding, etc. I always approach tiny dogs more carefully than bigger ones. When I was out on a listing appointment today, I met a very approachable pit bull who followed me around, sniffed my hand and then gave me a good lick. I told his owner who starting laughing about his vicious pitbull. When a dog smiles early and often, you know they are a buddy:-)

Thanks for all the carrot testimonials! I don't think they have much of a shelf life as a treat in my car, but I will keep them for VIP canine clients.

Mar 27, 2007 12:29 PM
Christina Williams. REALTORĀ® TN property search & local insights
First Realty Company - Crossville, TN
Thanks for carrot testimonials. love it. good job.
Apr 01, 2007 03:11 AM
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense
Carrots are great, but what I find most reliable is my shoes.  Even my "good" shoes, because I live on a ranch and walk from the house to the vehicle, have "messages" on them.  Horse messages, cow messages, dog messages, cat messages, chicken messages, raccoon messages, and so on - invisible to us, but oh, so loud to dogs.  Who immediately find me fascinating - and I guess some of those messages are letters of reference for me.  That, plus I trained in equine massage, some of which translates to canine massage, and a couple of "tricks" when running a hand down a dog's back (after politely waiting for a proper introduction, of course) and I'm suddenly their Best Friend.
Apr 01, 2007 03:43 PM
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate
Ummm...not sure what you mean about introducing yourself via your shoes. I think on the first pass, a hand is a lot more friendly than putting a foot toward a potential animal friend. Yes, there are scents and messages on the shoes, but I think that may be a next step instead of a first step. Carrots are a way to make friends as food product but I would never give any new animal buddy my shoes to eat. (I may be misunderstanding your meaning, so feel free to clarify.)
Apr 01, 2007 04:10 PM
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense

Oh, I always offer my hand first, but they tend to do a "yeah, yeah" quick pass by/over the hand and head straight for the shoes, "reading" madly with their noses (near as I can tell, there's a neon sign there that we humans can't "see").  I don't have to offer my shoes, just wear them. Which gives me an opportunity to give them a scritch behind the ears and do my little massage trick. 

The "messages" are all the various odors that living on a ranch give to one's shoes that we poor humans can't detect.  Many of the dogs that I come into contact with haven't been around horses, cows, chickens, and such, and they find that fascinating and frequently forget to be afraid or defender of the home when confronted with it.

Only problem is the ones that tend to get overly excited and want to jump up and kiss my face - but they do that with hands, as well. 

 

Apr 02, 2007 12:08 AM