How To Bond With Your New Dog

Dog and owner hugging

It’s always exciting to get a new dog. Whether it's a tiny little puppy or a full grown shelter dog, bringing a new animal into your life is always an enjoyable experience. Pets provide us with comfort and companionship in our homes. However, not every dog is the exact same as every other dog. So when you bring a new pet home you’ll want to follow a few important steps to make sure you form that lasting bond that makes being a pet owner so special in the first place.

Setting Rules and Expectations

Making Schedules Hep Your Dog Understand When to Bond

One of the most important ways to bond with a new dog is to help them understand the “pack” structure of the household. Dogs are descended from wolves who also have a hierarchical family structure vaguely similar to the way a human household will operate. Even if you live completely by yourself and bring the dog home, the dog still needs to understand the so-called pecking order in the household. This isn’t to say that you need to be overly aggressive with a dog, but it helps provide them with a structure in their life that they are naturally inclined to understand.

In order to help them understand the pack structure in your household there’s a few easy things you can do. The most important one is to make a schedule for them and stick to it. Try to feed them at the same times everyday. Take them outside to use the bathroom or go on a walk at the same time. Put them to bed, or go to bed, at the same time each night. This structure in their life will help them adjust to the rules of the house. And the schedule lets them understand what is expected from them each day. If every day is different they have a difficult time trying to understand what their human wants from them and they want to do what you want from them.

dog and owner hugging at sunset
Making and sticking to a schedule your dog can understand is a fundamental way to help bond with them.

Grooming Can Be A Basic Bonding Experience

It Provides A Productive Way to Spend Time Together

Another important way you can bond with your new dog is by grooming and caring for them. Although not every dog loves to sit still while they are getting brushed or bathed, it does provide them with a bonding experience that shows you care for them. However not every dog has the exact same grooming needs as another as you can well imagine. So it's worth taking the time to look into what particular grooming habits you should get into for your dog. A dog with longer hair is going to require a fair amount of brushing. Probably on a daily basis so work that into the schedule you make for them.

On top of brushing, bathing, and cutting their nails there are some other ways you can bond with your dog. Dogs, puppies in particular, love to rough house and play around which is all fun and games until they get hurt. So when you get a new dog and they are going to be exploring and playing in a new environment it's a good idea to keep some first aid supplies on hand. Some small bandages, first aid spray, and antibacterial creams are all a good idea to have on hand when you get a new dog. Not only will you be able to care for any minor injuries your new pet might sustain, your dog will also appreciate you taking care of their injuries and caring for them. This can be a powerful bonding experience for both the pet and the owner.

happy dog in the bath
Bathing and grooming your new dog can serve as a basic bonding experience for the two of you.

Play and Fun Are Fundamental 

Spending Time Together Is Essential for Bonding

There are also some more fun ways you can bond with your new dog. One of the most obvious ways is by just spending time with them. This can take on the form of a daily walk around the neighborhood, or it can involve playing with them. Everybody wants a dog that plays fetch, but there are many other little games you can play with your new dog to bond with them. Whether you have a dog that spends most of its time indoors, or you have a great big backyard to play in, there are lots of fun activities to engage in with your new dog. Some great indoor games involve playing tug of war with a rope or chew toy, hiding a treat and having them look for it, teaching them new tricks, and many other fun activities you can use to bond with your new dog. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a big back yard to play with your dog in, there are even more fun options that you can use to engage in play with your new dog. Some of these are as simple as playing fetch, while others can get more complicated such as setting up an obstacle course for your dog to run or teaching them new tricks. The sky is really the limit when it comes to playing with your new dog outdoors and the play time will surely help you bond with your new pet.

happy dog outside
Playing with your dog, especially outdoors, is a great way to spend time binding with them.

Bringing a dog into a brand new environment can be a difficult experience for both the owner and the new dog. However, if you follow a few simple steps you and your new dog can both get adjusted to the new living arrangement. Just remember to keep them on a schedule and make sure you take the time to groom them and play with them. If you never set aside any time to be with them you can’t expect them to bond with you easily. But if you follow the advice in the article above you will be bonded with your new dog in no time. 

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