Bringing home a new dog is always an adventure, but it’s not an easy task. You’ll need to train and care for the dog, which means spending a lot of time bonding. The process is beautiful and always worth it, but a strategic approach is best in these cases. Read on for some tips on bonding with your new dog, creating a true companion out of a pet!
1. Routine, Routine, Routine
Routine is important for your dog. Our animals learn to expect things at certain times of day, and you’d be surprised at how good their interior clocks are.
Create a routine for you and your pup. Pick a time for feeding, walking, playing, and training. Then stick to it.
For a dog, it’s best to come up with a daily routine. Especially if they’re a pup. This helps them understand their role in the family and what’s expected of them, which creates a tighter friendship between you and your animal.
2. Learn Basic Training Methods
Training a dog in the basics can be frustrating for those who’ve never spent time training an animal before. Often it becomes easy to lose patience or to just give up and let the dog do what it wants within reason.
That’s not a wise idea, and it can cause problems in your animal’s behavior.
Training with a clicker or other device is a great idea, and most come with a booklet or DVD that shows you how to use them. You can also use treats to enforce tricks.
You may not be able to teach your dog to fetch you a can of soda, but all dogs should have their basics down. It’s doubly important if you plan on taking them into public, where a dog’s misbehavior can be amplified.
Obedience training can be done with just a bag of treats and patience. If you want to get more advanced, then you can find some great guides online if you dig deep enough.
3. Exercise Together
Spending time with your dog is the best way to bond, and one of the coolest things about dogs is how active they can make us. All you need is the right leash and you’re set for new journeys.
Take them for walks, of course, but if your dog has any athletic ability try taking them for a run. Larger or smaller dogs that can’t keep up there may have a lot of fun going hiking with you, allowing both of you to enjoy nature together.
Some dogs are even quick enough to run alongside bikes. Others, like poodles, are prolific swimmers. Do some research on your breed and find out what they may enjoy.
Exercise can either be structured or just some playtime. A good round of tug-of-war with a larger dog is pretty taxing in reality.
4. Use Treats Extensively
The way to a dog’s heart is through their stomach. In addition to scheduled feeding times, using treats to encourage the behavior you like in your dog isn’t a bad idea. Just be aware that many treats are high calorie and you shouldn’t be handing out too many of them.
There are a lot of things that our animals do that we don’t specifically train them for but enjoy. Our dogs are intelligent, and they’ll pick up the connection as long as you’re quick enough to react.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to bond with a dog and treats doubly so. Use them wisely and you can forge an even better relationship with your pup.
5. Give Them Their Own Space
Dogs need a “den” of some sort. Crate-training is ideal, allowing the dog to have their own space which no one else is allowed into. The feeling of closeness can help to soothe anxious dogs as well.
Some dogs are fine with an old blanket next to the couch, however, or just a dog bed placed somewhere. Orthopedic beds should be used for larger or older dogs, they can help address joint problems before they show up.
The important thing is to give your dog their own little area of the home to call their own. In doing so, they know they have somewhere to retreat if they don’t feel up to playing.
Crate training really is the best way to address their home, however. It’s convenient for you and good for your dog’s mental health. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easier things to train a dog for.
Bonded Dog, Happy Dog
Bonding with a dog is relatively simple as long as you’re willing to put in the time. It’s just a matter of training and spending time enjoying each other’s company. There’s more to our pets than many know and if this is your first pup, you’re in for an amazing new world. So, get ready to bond with your pup, it will be a long and sweet ride if you do things right.