How to Bond With Your Puppy From Day One
Few things are as exciting as welcoming a new puppy into your life. Those little bundles of energy are loads of fun. From the first day that your new fur buddy comes to live with you, you can start forming a loving bond that will last for years. Here are some ideas for how to bond with your puppy from the moment she becomes yours to love.
How Do I Encourage Bonding With My New Puppy?
Your pup's first day home is loaded with opportunities to start building a bond of trust. Creating and sticking to routines will give her a sense of security and teach her that she can depend on you. Schedule time off work so you can spend the first few days getting to know each other. Have a plan for how you'll train your pup and what you'll focus on the first day. Also, determine how and when you'll introduce her to other family members and pets.
Creating a space
Nothing makes a new pup feel more at home than knowing she has a place to call her own. Begin by showing her the crate or exercise pen you've set up for her. Toss treats into her crate or exercise pen so that she can explore. If there's room, crawl in and spend time in there with her playing with her toys. Hang out as she gets comfortable.
Next, let her explore her new surroundings as you watch closely. Use treats liberally to create positive associations with the new things she encounters. Introduce a leash and collar right away, letting her get used to wearing them as she explores. This will also give you an easy way to rein her in quickly if you see her heading for trouble.
As you show her around, establish boundaries, which will also help her feel secure in her new home. Show her where she should potty, where she'll sleep, and where she can get a drink. Gently correct her when she makes a mistake by showing her the right thing to do. Reward her with treats and praise when she gets it right.
Nap time can be great for bonding with your baby dog. Hold and cuddle her while she sleeps — this will help her associate you with peace and security. Touch and handle her paws, ears, mouth, and tail to get her used to human touch and handling. For sleeping overnight, it's a must to keep her near you, whether in a crate or in her own bed. You'll be there for those middle-of-the-night potty appointments. She'll feel more secure with you nearby. She'll quickly learn she can count on you to meet all her needs.
Mealtimes are also excellent bonding opportunities. Feed your pup by hand and hang out next to her bowl while she eats. This will help avoid bad habits like guarding her food. It will also reinforce her perception that you're the giver of good things.
Exercising together will help to socialize your pup and show her you're lots of fun to be around. Walk her to her favorite potty spot and let her sniff around. Stay close to home until she's had all her shots, and avoid areas where other dogs do their business. If your baby girl is small enough, tuck her into a dog carrier or sling and take her on adventures with you. This will help her become your littlest BFF.
Playing and training
Puppies love to play. Interactive games with your bundle of fluff will help you become her favorite person. Training is also a must. Combine the two by keeping training sessions short, fun, and loaded with treats and positivity. When you're finished, reward your good girl with a game of tug or fetch with her favorite toy. This will help you both blow off steam and be sure to end training time on a fun note. It will also keep her looking forward to the next session.
What Do I Need for a New Puppy?
Imagine how you want your new baby doggo's first day to go. Prepping for your pup's arrival will make it easier to focus on her. In this way, you can make her feel secure and welcome and start strengthening your mutual attachment. Here are some things you can do:
Puppy-proof your home, removing or securing cords, chewing temptations, and choking hazards. Shut doors or use pet gates to block access to off-limit spaces.
Set up everything your new puppy will need ahead of time, including a crate or exercise pen and a bed or blanket. Don't forget toys for teething and for interactive play.
Stock up on a variety of treats. You may need to experiment to see what your pup likes best and what will motivate her.
The Joys of Puppy Parenthood
Bringing home a new puppy is a special time. As you get to know your pup, observe her body language so you'll learn how she communicates her needs and moods. Be on the lookout for clues that a bond is forming, like your puppy making eye contact, showing a desire to be near you, and engaging with and responding to you.
Puppyhood goes by fast, so strive to be present and enjoy every minute.
Soak her up like a biscuit in gravy! Make the most of this opportunity to establish your relationship with your baby doggo. Then get ready for oodles of snuggles, cuddles, caresses, petting, frolicking, puppy kisses, baby barks, squeaks, and excited jumps in circles when you see each other.