Whether you’ve had your dog for some time or you have a new puppy or rescue dog, you will both be happier if you can create a strong bond with your best friend. Building trust and bonding with your dog often takes time, effort and thought. But there are some simple ways of creating a bond with a new pup, and strengthening a bond you already have with an existing doggy member of your family. It’s not rocket science, and it’s actually difficult to go wrong by just spending quality time with your dog. You can invite your pup up onto the couch for some cuddles, or get down on the floor and give your dog a relaxing massage, which is a vital part of the bonding process.
1. Patience is a Must
Patience is the key to successfully bonding with your dog because all dogs, like all people, are different, and some might take months to trust you completely, and some can do it in a day. Every dog has a personality all of their own, as any dog owner will tell you (the same goes for all animals, even chooks) and some will instantly warm to new owners and new surroundings, and others need more time to settle. Even humans need time to adjust to new surroundings and situations. Don’t take it personally if your new dog takes some time to bond with you. All the new sounds, smells, and sights take a little getting used to, and as we said before, not all dogs make instant attachments to their new owners.
2. Stick to a Routine
Dogs thrive on a routine, so try to set down times when you feed, go for walks and when you play, which will help in the adjustment process. A routine helps your dog to feel comfortable; he or she knows what is going to happen next and that they won’t starve or die of thirst. You can help your new or old dog adjust if you:
- Feed around the same time every day
- Consistently go outside for potty breaks
- Go for walks at the same time each day
- Go to bed around the same time
As a dog becomes more accustomed to your household routine, a surprise now and then can be exciting for them if they have a strong bond with you, but in the early days, try to do things around the same time.
3. Try to be Consistent
Dogs respond well to rules if owners are consistent and clear about them. Also, there’s no point in you setting down a rule if someone else in the family, or a friend allows the dog to break it. Have a family meeting and talk about what behaviours are okay and deserve a reward for the dog, and those that aren’t. Have everyone agree on the rules and make them aware that it is to keep the dog and the family happy. Being inconsistent will frustrate and confuse your dog. If everyone in the house has a different set of rules, your poor dog won’t know how to behave, and it’s unfair for someone to punish them for something you allow, and for another person to let them do something you don’t allow. If you don’t like your dog begging, then make sure Mum isn’t sneaking food to him under the table.
4. Rover Needs His Own Space
Dogs need a place in the house to call their own where they can retreat if they want some time alone, or need to de-stress. Give your dog a comfortable bed or a safe spot especially if they’re in a new environment. Don’t take it personally if your dog goes off to her special space, just remember to give him time to debrief because suddenly landing in a new home can be a lot to deal with.
5. Play With Your Dog
One of the most enjoyable ways to bond with your dog, whether she’s new or old, is to play with them. If you’ve had your dog for some time but haven’t been playing, then it might take awhile for him to get used to the idea again, and a little coaxing might be needed. If you have a new dog, you might find they’re ready to play right away, but don’t lose heart if it takes a little while, so let her settle in before you try again. Try some simple games like fetching a ball, or roll a doggie toy around on the floor to see if they want to chase it. Here are some other games you can play:
- Throw a frisbee in the yard or in the park
- Find a treat you’ve hidden (this develops their instinct for following a scentl)
- Play tug o’ war with a rope toy
Read some fascinating and informative blogs about dog behaviour, how to stop them from biting while they play with you, how to stop them from running away and other great hints and advice about owning a dog on the website Paws, Claws and Tails. Email them or fill in an online message form to find out about lodging a picture and information about your dog’s talents and abilities so they can audition for TV shows or advertising. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including house cleaning, financial support and health care. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.