Puppies. They’re adorable, boisterous, cheeky little things but we wouldn’t change them for the world. You’ll never find a pet more loyal and loving than a dog once you’ve established that initial bond.
They’re known as man’s best friend for a reason, they will reciprocate the love they are shown and you can be guaranteed no one will protect you or care for you more than that crazy little pup you’ve brought home.
They become a part of your family and they’ll become such an essential part of your world. And you’ll be the whole of theirs. Everything revolves around you, which is why they’ll get so excited, and wag that little tail of theirs when you come home from work.
But to form this relationship with your pup, you’ll need to bond with it when you first bring it home. Throughout this article, we’ll discuss everything puppy-bonding-related so you’re ready to become best friends with your new little furbaby.
What Are The Benefits Of Bonding With Your Puppy?
Ask most people why they want a dog and they’ll say companionship. I haven’t ever seen such a close-knit relationship between human and pet as you do with dogs. Really, nothing compares.
But much like with human companionships, the initial bonding time is required to connect to your puppy. It’s also an experience that you just won’t want to miss out on because it’s so fun and adorable!
This is your chance to teach your dog, have designated playtime, and watch and share new world experiences with them. The sooner you and your little pup bond, the sooner you’ll be able to communicate with them, raise them, and enjoy your lives together as best friends.
What To Expect From Your Puppy
Remember that your puppy is still only a young boy or girl and they are still learning a lot. You’ll need to be patient with them at the beginning, after all the world is a big and scary place at first.
As they grow in those first few months, they will start to build positive associations with their environment as well as the people they spend time with.
Don’t be too hard on them during those early stages if they make mistakes or don’t listen to you the way they should, there are lots of distractions around us, now imagine those with your doggy nose.
It can all be a little bit overwhelming at first, they will pick it up though, just continue to persist with your pup’s training, always play with them, and just keep those day-to-day interactions going.
8 Ways To Bond With Your Puppy
1. Communicate With Your Puppy
The very first thing that you’ll want to do is learn how to effectively ‘talk’ to your new puppy to start forming a bond.
Now, your puppy won’t understand human conversation but they are clever little things and they will be able to pick up particular words for obedience commands such as ‘sit’ or ‘stay.’ Dogs are also more emotionally intelligent than you may first believe.
They are very attuned to your energy, body language, and emotions.
Since your pup won’t really understand what you’re saying, it’ll be all about tone when you’re speaking to your pup. For example, if you speak in a very excited tone to a more lethargic pup, you’ll be more likely to boost their energy.
Initially, you’ll want to start with the basics. Help them learn their own name and introduce them to food luring. Be sure to maintain eye contact and teach them to come to you when you call their name.
2. Teach Your Pup Boundaries
If you want your pup to be a good boy or girl, especially in the home setting, then you’ll need to establish your boundaries with them pretty early on. Setting these boundaries will strengthen your bond while also helping them to realize that you are in charge.
You want to be the person that they look to for direction and guidance and this cannot happen without clear and evident boundaries.
Without clear rules, your puppy is free to run riot around your home, and that isn’t good for them, it isn’t good for you, and it certainly won’t be good for your furniture.
Bad habits will form and you’ll have trouble breaking them once they are there. Chewed-up furniture and toilet mishaps will be the biggest pains of a free-roaming puppy.
Of course, you’ll have the occasional mishap at the beginning while they still learn, but installing baby gates or a playpen can be a great way to ensure your pup stays in specific areas of your home.
Make sure you don’t allow your puppy to engage in behaviors you do not want in an adult dog, such as mouthing or nipping.
3. Set A Schedule
Consistency is key for a pup. They’ve just entered a completely new environment with a completely new family and they are giving it their best go to adapt as quickly as possible. You can really help them to settle in by introducing a structured schedule.
A daily schedule or routine will aid in potty training, eating habits, behaviour, bedtimes, and their confidence and thus their bond with you. Your pup will soon come to learn that meals come at certain times of the day, playtime comes at this point, bedtime is after that, etc.
This means that they can settle in the home and become more comfortable as they know when all their needs will be met (though this probably won’t stop them cheekily wanting extra food or cuddles.)
4. Play, Play, Play!
Arguably the most fun part of puppy bonding is playtime. I could sit a play with a pup endlessly and never get bored and neither will your new little furbaby. Now, you’ll need to really know your little ball of fur, because each can be a little different.
Some puppies are ready to play before you’ve even set their paws down on your carpet. Others are shyer and more reserved and will need to adjust to their new home before they are ready for playtime.
Don’t give up on pups that don’t initially play though because it’s such an intimate form of bonding that you really won’t want to miss out on. Try and coax them out with some tasty treats and be patient, but persist until they finally decide to join in.
A lot of pup play games aren’t just a lot of fun (for both human and doggy) but will also help to train your puppy.
Hide And Seek
This is a great game that will help with recall. Begin by hiding in plain sight while the puppy watches you hide. Choose obvious places like behind a door or couch and then shout your little pup’s name.
Reward them with a treat when they come to you. This will start to form the association in their mind that they should come to you when their name is called. Once they get the hang of this down pretty well, you can move on to hiding in harder and more challenging places.
Your pup will adore this game, you’ll find it adorable, and it’ll improve their recall for walks of leads. It’s win, win, win.
Tugging at a toy is the perfect way to teach your puppy to listen to you and how to learn when to play and when to stop. It’s also a great way to get a feel for just how much energy that little pup of yours has.
It’s also just a really fun way to play with your puppy and the perfect way to form that playful bond.
If you want a game that will keep your puppy endlessly occupied whilst also teaching them to always come back to you, fetch is the game of choice. Not only does it force communication between you and your little doggy but it also deepens your bond together.
There are many other games that you can play with your puppy too, but these three in particular I think are great. This is because they really stimulate your little dog’s mind while they enjoy just playing with you and releasing some energy.
It’s a great way for educational quality time that your dog will never get enough of.
Ah. The word you’ll have to spell out or mouth once your puppy learns what it means. Walkies! It’ll be their favorite time of the day and so of course it makes sense that you’ll bond amazingly with your pup if you’re doing this on a regular basis.
Just like humans, doggies need exercise time to help them both physically and mentally. Depending on the breed, some dogs will need longer walks than others.
But a walk is a great way to blow off all that excess energy that dogs have – especially younger puppies. It also helps to stop boredom and that is something I promise you, you will want to avoid.
Bored puppies often mean disruptive puppies which in turn means a whole lot of yapping, chewing, or digging which can ruin your home.
Not only this but a good amount of exercise means your pup is less likely to become ill with ailments such as obesity, diabetes, breathing issues, and several other canine diseases.
However, we’ve all heard the phrase everything in moderation, and that applies to this situation too. You shouldn’t take a developing pup for too much exercise as it can damage their developing joints.
Also the more walks you do now, the more their stamina will build up meaning once your pup grows into a dog, they are going to want lots and lots of exercise.
It’s always best to talk to your vet before you begin your puppy’s schedule to see just how long and how much exercise they should be participating in.
And don’t forget how overwhelming and overstimulating the outside world can be especially to a little puppy. Think of all the sounds, smells, and sights that they’ll come across, it can be a little bit of a sensory overload to just chuck them into the deep end all at once.
Start first with just your garden, or the driveway, and as they become more accustomed to the outside world, you can take them further.
You’ll also want to work on obedience commands while walking your little pup to make these walks easier for the both of you. Things like heel and sit are commands they should know well so that you can keep them safe.
6. Puppy Training
We’ve already spoken a little about how important communication is with your new puppy and how the tone of voice is a super important part of that communication. Another way to really learn a language that your dog will understand is through command training.
Not only does this make life easier for you and your pup, but it’s also just a wonderful thing to be able to ask your pup something and for them to be able to listen and understand.
It will just bring you so much closer together. Not only this but pups actually love being put to work for those they love, it makes them more mentally fulfilled and keeps the boredom away with physical activity.
You can train your puppy yourself or you can enroll them in training courses the choice is really up to you. But if you’re hoping for that deeper emotional connection between you and your new best friend you may want to try it yourself.
Don’t worry there are tons of youtube videos that can help guide you through it if you are unsure, and I am slowly updating this site to include everything you need!
7. Make Sure They Have A Space Of Their Own
Remember how earlier we talked about all that sensory overload of hundreds of new sights, smells, and sounds? Well, this can happen within the home too so it’s really important that you give your puppy its own safe space so they can have some alone time when they need it.
I know it’s difficult to give your pup space, after all, you just want to snuggle and play with them all day, especially when they haven’t been in the home long.
But you need to respect their boundaries just as much as you are teaching them to respect yours if you want a decent relationship and bond.
If puppies don’t have their own space you may be making them feel uncomfortable or unsafe and so they won’t open up to you fully.
And then of course, if you smother them too much you’re going to have a pup that struggles massively with separation anxiety when you do need to leave.
So it’s really important to find the balance between spending quality time together and also allowing your pup to develop at least some level of independence.
8. Build Trust Through Handling And Cuddles
Now, I don’t know about you, but you don’t have to tell me twice to cuddle and cozy up with a puppy – I couldn’t think of anything better. But you’ll also want to ensure that you are also participating in teaching your pup how to be handled too.
You want to get your pup used to being touched. So you’ll want to stroke more than just their backside and belly. Try introducing touch to their ears, nose, mouth, legs, and paws too.
Doing this when they are tired and sleepy is your best bet. Keep a few treats in one hand and with the other slowly start to introduce touch to the previously mentioned areas. If they let you touch them, reward them with their favorite treat.
Doing this when they are tired in the evening means they’re more likely to let you first of all, because they aren’t as boisterous and filled with energy.
But not only this, it also helps with that puppy schedule we talked about earlier, meaning that your dog will know that cuddle time is winding down and bedtime.
If you are soon welcoming a little pup into your home, I promise you that your life is about to change for the better.
There is no feeling like cuddling up with your best friend to watch some tv or having a best friend to take on adventures. It’s a special thing to give all your love to someone or something that is going to devote itself to you.
There is no bond like it. They easily and effortlessly become a member of your family and there is no denying that. This is why it is so important to ensure that you bond with your puppy in those early stages of their lives.
Hopefully, now, you have a better understanding of exactly how to do that and you are ready for all the irreplaceable memories that will be soon coming your way.
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