Welcoming a young dog to your family will definitely take you on a challenging but exciting adventure. After all, it’s hard to tell whether the puppy will immediately bond with you or not. Your dog’s first few weeks with you is a crucial period of discovery and adjustment for every member of your family. Initially, the puppy knows very little about you and his/her environment. That’s why you must spend time establishing a close relationship with your dog.
To help you build that connection from the very first day, here are some of our tips and tricks for bonding with your puppy. From learning about your dog’s personality to creating a consistent training routine, these are the top 8 do’s and don’ts you need to remember.
#1. Get to know your new family member
Every dog has a unique personality, and most of the time, you can tell what it is right away while he/she is still young. Knowing your puppy’s temperament will allow you to determine the most effective approach to use. It can also help you improve how you communicate and express your affection to your dog. On top of all that, it will help you gain insights on the following:
- How he/she might respond to other people or dogs
- What sort of training lessons would suit him/her?
- Your dog’s basic nature and how he/she will behave
Through simple observations, you can assess what type of personality your puppy exhibits. How does he react to different stimuli? What stresses him/her? What kinds of rewards does he/she like? Is your dog clumsy? Is he/she a sleepy type? Knowing the answers to these questions can provide you with additional insights that you can use in the future.
#2. Be extra patient
Patience is indeed essential when it comes to dealing with your sweet little puppy. When things don’t go as planned, you need to exercise a lot of restraint and patience. Some dogs tend to adjust fast, while others lag behind because of factors like varying temperament and length of their adjustment period. There are also many stubborn and misbehaved dogs as well.
If you feel like your dog isn’t warming up to you or if he/she seems anxious, don’t rush. Instead, allow him/her to ease in slowly. Try making a few adjustments to create a welcoming environment.
#3 Start the training right with an organized schedule
Training at a young age helps your puppy understand how to behave appropriately, especially when around kids, fellow canines, and other animals. With regular practice, any simple or ordinary habit can become integrated into your dog’s character. You have the option to train your pup on your own or hire an experienced puppy trainer. By choosing the latter, you can ensure that your dog learns all the other essential lessons, such as basic obedience and proper socialization.
#4 Dedicate enough time for playing
Puppies absolutely love to play with their humans as well as other members of the pack. It helps them get to know everyone around them. Playing also offers a fantastic way for pets and their owners to bond and make plenty of happy memories. That’s why it pays to dedicate enough time to play with him/her. There are plenty of puppy games you can play like hide and seek, fetch, and tug-of-war. You’ll only need around 10 to 20 minutes a day to play with your puppy. Think of it as the perfect de-stressor, especially during your work break or off-time.
#5 Don’t forget to go on regular walks
Not all dog lessons need to be delivered through formal training sessions. Sometimes, you can teach your puppy a thing or two when you go out for a walk. The Hills Pet suggests taking your dog to walk at around seven weeks or after he/she completes the initial round of vaccines. If in case your pup feels anxious or overly excited, take a break for a few minutes. Let your dog settle down before you continue walking again.
#6 Never overlook the importance of grooming time
Grooming doesn’t only come useful in keeping your dogs clean and tidy. It’s also a perfect opportunity for you to spend more time with your puppy. Undoubtedly, your dog would love being pampered with a brush or your hands. Take advantage of the moment to show your affection to your canine pet.
#7 Never get tired of caring for your pup
Dealing with the pup’s explosive energy can be tiring for newbie dog owners. Sometimes the dog can run around the house and get stuck in hard-to-reach spaces for hours. He/she might also go through your stuff and chew on them one by one. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t hinder you from providing your dog with the love and care that he/she deserves. If you are going away and can’t look after your dog, there’s always a nearby dog boarding service that you can trust your puppy to. You can also enlist the help of your family members.
#8 Don’t take for granted the power of eye contact
Dogs make use of eye contact to determine whether they should interact with another dog or not. Arguably, dogs also use the same method to look at humans. If your dog locks his/her eyes with yours, it’s more likely for him/her to release oxytocin or love hormones. This helps them associate positive feelings when you’re around them. Look your pup in the eye when you interact with him/her. You can do it while playing, walking, or even when lying down on the couch with your dog during the weekends.
Having a new addition to your canine family can be a daunting experience. But, undeniably, it can also be a fun and exciting journey as you learn more about your dog’s temperament and personality, and he/she gets to know you. Take note of the tips and tricks enumerated above and use them to start creating a deep and meaningful relationship with your new pal.