One of the most common reasons people bring a puppy into their lives is companionship! The relationship between a puppy and a human is definitely a special one. It’s a fun experience teaching your new puppy, playing with them and experiencing the world with them. And the faster you bond with your puppy, the easier it will be to communicate with them, raise them and enjoy life together!
Before we dive into these five tips, understand that a little puppy is still learning!
During the first few months, your puppy will go through growth spurts and build up his mental library of positive associations with the environment and people around him. Be patient with your puppy through the process of puppy training, playing, getting them to listen, and just everyday interactions with you! Training your dog is as important as bonding with it.
- Establish communication with your puppy
First of all, knowing how to “talk” to your puppy will really help you form a strong bond! Puppies cannot understand human conversation, but they can be taught to understand certain words for obedience commands. And they constantly influence our emotions, body language and energy!
Our tone of voice plays a big role in this situation. For example, an excited tone can raise your puppy’s energy and motivate him to do something you want him to do if he is more modest. On the other hand, an excited tone can further intensify an already high-energy puppy. Speaking in a neutral, even voice can help calm an excited puppy and help calm more anxious puppies.
Start your puppy learning the basics of communication by introducing food treats, making eye contact, learning to recognize his name, and coming to you when you call him.
- Give your puppy boundaries
Puppies need boundaries to help them understand the rules of the home. Having good boundaries with your puppy helps strengthen your bond and relationship with him as his leader and someone he always looks to for direction! It’s a good idea to house train the puppy as well.
Without boundaries and letting your puppy roam freely around the house, hang out on the furniture when they feel like it and generally do as they please can lead to bad behaviour and these puppies are more likely to get into trouble! Unwanted chewing and potty accidents are two of the most common puppy problems that new free-roaming puppy owners have to deal with!
While they are still learning, you can start setting boundaries with gates or a playpen to keep your puppy out of certain areas of the home, or in a designated spot where you can easily watch them!
- Create a daily schedule for the puppy
When a young puppy comes to a new home for the first time, it tries to understand and adapt to the new environment and family. Incorporating a daily schedule will instantly add structure to your pup’s life!
Routines are the fastest way to get your puppy on track. They are important for potty training, encouraging good eating habits, instilling overall good behaviour and encouraging their trust and bond with you! When your puppy is on a schedule and knows what’s coming next, he can settle down more easily knowing that all of his needs are being met throughout the day.”
Creating a daily schedule for your puppy mainly consists of food, games and puppy training, potty breaks and naps! You should try to fit in as much as possible with your normal schedule so that your puppy really learns to be part of the family!
- Make it a game
Nothing helps deepen your bond with your puppy more than a little play time!
There are puppies that want to play as soon as they enter your home, while others need some time to get used to their new environment. So by having their favourite food or treats on hand, you can get them to play with you! There are several games that not only provide great quality time, but also serve as puppy training!
Some of our favourite interactive games to help deepen your bond are “Hide and Seek”, “Tug” and “Fetch”!
With the “Hide and Seek” feature, you can start teaching your puppy this game by first hiding in plain sight, such as hiding behind the couch or the door when the puppy is watching, then calling your puppy’s name and rewarding them with food or a treat, when they come to you. This helps reinforce the habit of coming to you whenever you call and wanting to come to you when you call them! As they get better, you can get more creative with your hideouts and make it more challenging and fun for your pup!
Tugging is a great activity to teach your puppy to listen to you and to turn the game on and off. It’s also fun to feel their energy on the other end go into the pull toy and connect with them that way!
Each of these games really stimulates your pup’s brain while helping him learn that you’re pretty fun! These types of quality games will have your pup looking forward to spending more quality time with you!
- Exercise your puppy
A great way to get extra quality time and much needed exercise for your pup is to go for walks and enjoy playing outside!
Like their human parents, puppies and dogs benefit from regular exercise both physically and mentally. Boredom can lead to disruptive behaviour such as unwanted barking, chewing, kicking and general puppy antics. And leading a largely sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, weak bones and joints, breathing problems and other canine ailments.
Exercise has many benefits, but everything should be in moderation! Puppies can certainly have high energy, but too much exercise can damage their developing joints and build up the stamina to require more and more physical activity in the future. As you begin planning your puppy’s daily activity schedule, consult with your puppy’s veterinarian about what safe activities and movements your puppy can participate in and do.