Having a new lively puppy as your family member is certainly something that is worth exciting about but it could also be a bit of overwhelming for you as a first time dog owner. One thing that comes to your mind will be on how to build a strong bond with your new puppy that will last forever as ultimately, he is going to be part of your family for life!
Just like any human relationship, it takes time, effort and patience to slowly build up that bond – trust, love and likes and certainly cannot be accomplished over a week’s effort.
With that in mind, let’s get going to create that bond right from day one!
Patient is the KEY to Bonding Success
As I mentioned right in the starting, bonding takes time and cannot be just a day’s effort. Depending on your dog’s breed, it may take a few weeks or even months before you can see the result.
Each dog has his unique personality and some gets to settle down in their new environment with new people easily whereas others might need some guidance for them to feel comfortable in their new home.
Dog Breeds That Are Easily Attached to Owner
Beagle – Hunting breed, and they are good at protecting your properties.They are gentle and have strong instinct in the pack. Good at creating special bonds with his favorite persons.
Collie – Herding Breed. They are a highly intelligent and sensitive breed and love to protect their family. They are loyal to their owner and can foresee their owner’s need.
Shetland Sheepdogs – Adventurous, friendly and lovely dog breed. An excellent companion for your family, including with your young kids. They are joyful and highly intelligent. Loves to play tricks and mix around with your family.
German Shepherd – Herding Breed known for their courageous, loyal and intelligent. You see them in action in military and police work. Their willingness to listen to order makes them a good breed to build bond with you.
Do not feel disheartened if your puppy ignores you when you attempt to seek for his attention to build the bond. This is also going to be a stressful moment for him as he struggles to get used to the new people, smell and sight surrounding him.
Give him some time and things will work out well. Remember, PATIENCE makes a lot of difference.
Keep calm at all situations and refrain from yelling at him as this will make him grow fear and nervous towards you.
Maintain small socialization circle only within your family members and avoid inviting any friends or relatives over to your home to “play” with your puppy.
He needs time to build up his trust and confidence level in his new environment.
During this time, keep a watchful eye on his behavior (any signs of nervousness, fear or anxiety) and take action to calm him down. Getting something such as a toy or treat to distract his attention if he is showing some emotional signs will be a good working approach.
Get Your Puppy On A Routine Schedule
Puppies love to do something that is routine as that offers them comfort. They will know
- When they will have their meals
- When they will be out for a stroll
- When they will have a nap
- When they will have potty breaks
- Most important of all, when will be their play times.
Having a fixed schedule on these daily routines makes them know what is expected from them at a given time, and they would not ponder what’s next?
As soon as your pup gets used to the routine, he will be in much better condition to settle down and start interacting with you!
Try to be with your puppy as he goes through these routines to make him feel comfortable to have you around. As he starts to trust you, building bonds with him will be a breeze!
Set Your Rules And Stick to Them
I believe you will have a set of house rules that you would expect your puppy to adhere to.List down these rules and make sure everyone in your household knows them and acts in a consistent manner.
Every family member should know what are the acceptable and undesirable behaviors or actions from your puppy and to do a consistent correction approach.
Trust from your puppy can be “break” easily if he keeps getting different guidance from your family. He will start to get frustrated and annoying as whatever he does seems to be correct.
Avoid confusing your puppy as that will hinder your bonding program. There should be one set of rules for all, not each family member a set of rules.
A “Personal” Space For Your Puppy
Your puppy might feel overwhelmed when he is facing some many changes – sights, smell and people and often, he will feel insecure and will need to be in a space that he feels comfortable with.
In the olden time, this will be his den – a place where he will feel safe to be in, for him to rest, eat and sleep and to shield from his attackers.
So one of your primary tasks is to prepare that “den” for him. This could be any confinement space in your house such as in a bathroom, bedroom, guest room, dog pen or even a dog crate.
The area has to be away from the crowds and you need to be able to have a clear view of him from far away. This will help you to monitor his status and ensure that he did not have any accidents.
Watch out on the frequency that he is retracting to his “den”. This will help you to determine his confidence level as well as how well he is adapting to his new environment.
The POWER Of Games
Do not underestimate how fast you can build up your bond with your new puppy simply by spending time playing games with him. These tricks work awesome well.
Just like when your kid joins the kindergarten, his teacher will often let him play some games with his mates and over time, they will be a good friend.
This principle also applies to your puppy. Through playing games with him, you are indirectly making him trust you more and treat you as his pack leader. This will make him love you and wants to connect to you and build that bond and relationship.
Of course, you need to select the right games to start you. I will suggest going for those interactive games as it will ensure that both of you are involved in the events. Puzzle games might not be a suitable one as it would only engage your pet.
Interactive Games Such as :
- Tug of War
- Use a Flirt Pole
- Find the Treats
Works pretty well on my German Shepherd!
Let’s Relax Together
You can’t go wrong with this approach. I believe you would have “seen“ this in your work space where it’s commonly known as “chill out” or “team building”.
This is the time when you will have a “relax” session with your colleagues and Boss and have a “fun” time together. This works great in developing that trust and bond within your team.
The same goes for your new puppy. How about having him with you to have some cuddle time or get down to the ground to show him your “special” message skills? You might not have noticed these small actions but it means a lot to your puppy.
Just like a simple praise “Good Job” from your boss would make you happy and willing to take that extra mile to get things done. (He had got your trust!)
Get Some Hand Touch – Hand Feeding Your Puppy
At times, a simple hand touch could mean something to us. Just like a hug from a friend when you are feeling down could provide some relief to you.
Simply by hand feeding your puppy gives him that sense of touch, and he will trust you much more easily.
Hand Feeding Your Puppy Provides These Benefits:
1. Trust Relationship – Your puppy will know that when you reach out to him, “GOOD” things will happen. In this case, he will get his food! This will also train him to be attentive to you since he will need to focus on you when you are handing out his treat! Your dog will relate that fist of food with positive association and will reach out to you more often.
2. Impulse Control – Use this approach to make him exercise self-control. In case if he is not behaving himself, you can simply keep your hand closed until he corrects his behavior. Soon he will know that to get his treat, he will need to follow and obey your instruction.
3. Work Great For Shy Or Fearful Canines – Dogs who are under social tend to be shy or fearful. By hand feeding them., you are building the missing socialization and get your dog to really pay attention to you.
Communication – Learn the Right Language
Just like how you communicate with your kid, you need to set the right tone of our voice and body language to build the communication channel with our new puppy and get them to listen to us.
Puppies don’t really know how to comprehend our human language, but they are able to interpret our body language as well as our tone of the voice to “know” our emotions and what we want from them.
- An excited tone will make your puppy feel energized and will motivate him to do what we want him to do.
- A low and calm tone will make him feel comforted and can make an anxious puppy to relax.
Of course, this will work even better with our body language and hand signals.
If your puppy jumps on you upon seeing you and you disapprove of this behavior, you can simply turn your body on him, and he will get the idea that this action will not earn him praise from you. This will discourage him from repeating this behavior.
Same likewise, you should also get to know some the behavior signs that your puppy is showing you (Of course, he wouldn’t be able to “TELL” you).
Signs That Your Puppy Is STRESS
- Excessive Licking
- Change In Eyes – Blink rapidly
Communication is a two-way process. You need to be able to comprehend what your puppy is trying to “tell” you through his body language, and he also needs to be trained on how to interpret what you are trying to tell him through your tone of the voice and your body language.
Communication is undeniably a “Powerful” tool to build and foster any bond and relationship with your new pet. Use it at your advantage to start building that trust and love with your puppy.
Reward Right Behaviors Or Actions
A new puppy in a new environment with a new BOSS (who is YOU) wouldn’t know what are your expectations and house rules till you tell him.
Do not let him do the “guessing games” as that may make him feel confused and uncomfortable. Make sure that you reward your pup instantly when he exhibits the behavior or action that you wanted him to do so.
This will build his trust and confidence level as he will know what needs to be done to please you.
Dogs are like humans, and they hunger for your praise and acknowledgement. By communicating to him clearly – through reward and praise, that he is doing great, that will create a positive association for him, and he will love to do that for YOU!