How to Bond With Your New Puppy

Updated on January 1, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a small animal veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.

Frenchie puppies need bonding.
Frenchie puppies need bonding. | Source

Are there steps to bonding with a new puppy?

When you bring your new puppy home, there are a lot of requirements you will be making of her. For example, her schedule must fit your own, she has to go outside to urinate and defecate when you tell her to, and she is not allowed to wrestle with her litter mates or hang out with her mother when she needs comfort. You decide how she will be socialized, when she can play bite, and where and when she is allowed to dig and bark. When you are busy making these demands of her, remember that the most important thing you can do to make your life with her special is to bond with her. What steps should you take to bond with your puppy?

New puppies need to learn to bond as soon as they get home.
New puppies need to learn to bond as soon as they get home. | Source

Start bonding right away

1. Talk to her: So what if she does not understand what you are saying? She at least will understand your tone of voice. As you talk to your dog and give her new commands she will learn new words. There have been many dogs that have learned over 150 words, but even if your puppy does not reach that level she will always be able to tell what you are saying just by the way you are saying it.

2. Make eye contact with her: Dogs will avoid eye contact with animals they are afraid of or nervous around, so when you make eye contact with your dog you will build a special bond. Gaze into her eyes and she will cease to fear you and build a special bond with you.

3. Feed her: This should be a simple ritual but many new puppy owners do it wrong and end up destroying any chance to bond using food. Put her food down, let her eat, then take it away after five minutes, whether she eats it or not. The food will be coming from you, always from you, and she will learn to care for you as the provider. (This method of providing food also has other benefits. She will look at you as the food provider and will not assume she is providing her own food whenever she wants; dogs look to their food provider as the dominant member of the pack. If she is not eating because of illness you will realize it right away and be able to examine her and take her to the veterinarian early.)

Curious new puppies need to learn to bond.
Curious new puppies need to learn to bond. | Source

Continue bonding every day

4. Pet her: This is something we do for ourselves but it can be another part of the bonding process. Even between dogs in the wild, submissive dogs approach dominants for a little attention. Make sure you decide when to do this but call her to you, stroke her under her chin and behind her ears. She will appreciate your attention and will bond even quicker.

5. Groom her: Some grooming tasks, like clipping the nails, giving a bath, or pulling a tick, are unpleasant and not great bonding exercises. Brushing your dog, however, is something she will learn to appreciate and she will seek you out when it is time for this exercise. Take advantage of this opportunity.

6. Play with her: A puppy will spend a lot of time learning how to interact with the world through playing. Some of the games you can play with her are fairly mild but, although there are a lot of books warning you to not wrestle and play tug of war, remember, you are bonding with your new puppy. If you decide that these games are too rough for you or her, if you decide that she is too aggressive or hard to control, you can certainly stop. When she is a new puppy, though, concentrate on bonding!

Bonding can wait until his nap is finished!
Bonding can wait until his nap is finished! | Source

What part of bonding is most important?

7. Exercise her: This is the most important part of bonding with a new puppy.

Dogs learn to follow their leaders when they are out walking and your puppy will learn to follow you and bond with you when she is out by your side. Wake up a little earlier each morning and take your puppy for a walk. It will release some of her excess energy and make her less likely to develop nervous habits like separation anxiety and excessive barking, will also give you a great feeling when starting out your day, and of course will be great for bonding.

Take your dog for another long walk in the afternoon or evening when you come home. I take my dog for a final walk in the evening just before I go to sleep. None of these walks are just “potty breaks”. The whole point in the walk is to exercise, and when the dog needs she can stop to defecate-that is just an additional benefit.

I hope you can benefit from these ways to bond with your new puppy. If you follow all of these steps you will have a special puppy. She will repay you in ways you cannot even imagine.

A Cane Corso puppy.
A Cane Corso puppy. | Source

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

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      • Gretchen Ferce profile image

        Gretchen Ferce 

        6 years ago from Arizona, USA, 85640

        Puppies are sweet and they loved cuddle and playing. It is not really hard to but the way you show it to your puppy. I love this hub, and how I love my puppy too. :) thanks for the share.. Great day.

      • profile image

        DoItForHer 

        6 years ago

        On the Native American reservation dogs run loose everywhere. Literally. They have never been a problem for me. Many are injured and diseased, though.

        In the city where dogs do not roam loose my dog and I get attacked occasionally; however, disease is far less common and injuries are generally cared for quicker.

        Would be nice to have the behaviors of the reservation dogs coupled with the care of the city dogs.

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        About the only neurosis I see is in the families. I was evaluating a Pit Bull today and he is almost always locked up because the wife was afraid of dogs. I hardly ever see that with street dogs because they are everywhere and people are not afraid of them, otherwise they would not be able to leave their homes.

        Urban legends? I think they are everywhere. I had not heard the "brain outgrowing the skull" myth until I read it on the internet!

      • profile image

        DoItForHer 

        6 years ago

        Even though Brazilians have a long way to go to increase their standard of care for their dogs, I but there is a lot less canine neurosis.

        Are there also fewer myths? Like locking jaws, brains outgrowing skulls, etc.

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        Thanks all of the photos are from dog lovers here in Brazil. Brazil now has the second highest population of dogs, behind the US, but Brazilians still have a long way to go to reach the standards of dog care in the UK.

      • the-artist profile image

        the-artist 

        6 years ago from Iloilo City, 5000 Philippines

        Superrrrrr Cute!

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        Thanks for taking the time to share Delta´s story. Your comment about expectations made me think of this girl I saw today on Yahoo answers; she asked "how can I stop my beagle from chasing rabbits?" She did not want to let the dog be what it was, wanted to change it into something she expected it to be.

      • tlmcgaa70 profile image

        tlmcgaa70 

        6 years ago from south dakota, usa

        wonderful hub. i must say though that with my dog Delta (she died last January one month before her tenth birthday) i helped her be born, and from the beginning, even before she was weaned, i spent a great deal of time with her, at first because i had to supplement her feedings, and then because i fell in love with her. even before she was weaned she began spending almost whole nights in bed with me. at first, as she was so tiny, i would put her in a kitty litter box and she would use that. as she got closer to weaning and was bigger i began taking her outside in the middle of the night even, just long enough for her to go as it was often below freezing (i made her a coat using an old sock, lol). once she was weaned, she was given her food free feed. it was there whenever she wanted it. perhaps it was because i bottle fed her part of the time (her mother the rest), but somewhere along the way she started asking me for permission to eat or drink. i never understood what made her do this as it was not something i taught her, and i assumed it had to do with me being her alpha. it is natural for me to bond with any animal i have, but i have never experienced such an incredibly close bond with any dog as I had her. we could almost read each others thoughts, and at times we actually did. i think one of the best ways to bond with any animal is to treat it like a valued member of your family, something precious. like your child. respect it for who and what it is and don't force it to do or be something it cannot do or be. let them be themselves and don't expect anything of them, just see what they become. for example, don't get a dog and EXPECT it to be protective or super intelligent or perfectly obedient. provide all you can to help it become these things but if it doesn't still love it for it. if it becomes these things then your have something wonderful to. anyway, these are my thoughts on bonding. i enjoyed your insightful hub. i voted up and shared.

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        Thanks for sharing this, the puppy phase is really special and one reason it is so hard to adopt out of a shelter. I like mixed breeds but I still want to socialize and bond with a dog as a puppy.

      • wetnosedogs profile image

        wetnosedogs 

        6 years ago from Alabama

        oh, I always wished I knew my dogs as pups. They were all at least a year old when I brought them home.

        I shared this.

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