Five Ways to Deepen Your Bond with Your New Dog

Five Ways to Deepen Your Bond with Your New Dog

Many individuals enjoy having a canine companion. They might take in a new puppy or give a shelter dog a forever home. This can be an exciting time as you adjust to living with a new addition to your family. Spending time with your pet and giving them plenty of love and attention helps you gain their trust and loyalty. It also strengthens your relationship with each other.

Though you’ve made the necessary preparations for their arrival, dogs often need time to adapt to changes.  They may still be getting used to having you as their owner and may not yet be comfortable in their new environment. Making the extra effort to bond with your new pup can help them feel at home. Aside from simply spending time together, here are five activities you can do to form a loving relationship with your new pet.

Teach Them New Tricks

Training your pup is a fantastic way to build a stronger bond with them. It also allows you to set a baseline for acceptable behaviors and helps you have better control of your pup. You can begin with basic commands like “sit” or “stay” to build up your pup’s obedience skills. Then, you can move on to more playful tricks such as “roll over” or “play dead” for extra challenges, which some dogs love. When training your pup, use positive reinforcement to encourage their learning and establish a deeper connection between the two of you. Reward them with plenty of love, praise, and tasty treats for dogs.

If you’ve never trained dogs before, you can check online tutorials and read pet training books. You can also join puppy training classes near your area where you can meet with fellow pet parents and help your pet socialize with other dogs.

Exercise Together

Another way to improve your bond with your pup is by exercising together. Doing a similar activity at the same time can bring you closer to your pet. Exercising also helps improve your dog’s well-being. When you engage your pup in physical activities, it reduces anxious behavior and helps your pet feel more relaxed as they have already expended their energy. Additionally, going outside allows your dog to explore new sights and smells, which is an enjoyable activity for any canine.

When exercising with your pup, be mindful of your dog’s breed and age, as some canines may not be healthy enough to take on more intense activities. For example, small breeds like toy poodles can get tired quickly due to their short stride length. Similarly, senior dogs can’t walk long distances if they have existing health issues such as arthritis or heart problems. On the other hand, high-energy dogs such as border collies and Belgian Malinois will benefit from plenty of exercise. As such, consult your veterinarian about the appropriate type and amount of exercise that will keep your pup happy and healthy.

Create a Daily Routine

Dogs enjoy predictability because they like to know what’s expected of them and will want to receive praise from their owner when they complete these tasks. That’s why they thrive when they have a routine to follow. Building a routine that involves spending time with your pet also allows you to bond with them. For instance, setting a regular schedule for feeding, exercise, bathroom breaks, and other activities helps make your pet more comfortable with you and their new environment.  

Schedule a Dedicated Play Time

When establishing a daily routine you and your pup can enjoy, remember to include playtime in the schedule. Dogs are naturally playful and enjoy playing by themselves. However, they also appreciate playing with you. Having said that, be sure to participate in frequent playtime. It lets your dog feed off your excitement and strengthens your bond with them. Regular playtime also helps reduce bad behaviors like chewing on your belongings or raiding the trash can, since playtime gives your dog appropriate outlets for their energy and whatever boredom they might feel.

It’s also a good idea to use different toys when playing with your pup so they can easily distinguish between different games and the kind of task they need to perform. For example, you can hide a small plush toy and ask your dog to find it. On the other hand, use a customizable dog tennis ball when playing fetch with your dog. Choose a size that’s small enough to fit your pet’s mouth but big enough to avoid becoming a choking hazard.

Bond through Grooming

Bonding with your pup doesn’t always have to be a specially-planned activity. It can be a regular task you do as a pet owner, like grooming your furry friend. Bathing your dog and brushing them doesn’t just keep them clean and their coat healthy; it’s also an opportunity for the two of you to grow closer. So, make sure to pet and praise your pup as you get them cleaned up. Doing so will also teach them to consider the activity as a positive experience.

When you bring home a new pup, it’s important to bond with them to establish your relationship with each other. If you want to be closer to your new pet, make sure to plan activities that allow you to focus on spending time with your dog. They won’t just make bonding time more meaningful, but will also help ensure that your new pet is happy and healthy. 

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash