Adopting a new pet is exciting. You can’t wait to take your newest family member home. But what happens if things don’t go quite that smoothly once you get home?
It’s normal for a dog to have an adjustment period when arriving in a new home. Even dogs who are already housebroken may have accidents in the house. Your dog may act scared of its new surroundings, or overly excited at meeting new people. This transition period may be longer if you have existing pets at home. (I’ll have another post later in the month on introductions.)
One of the best ways to help your dog bond with you is to spend plenty of active one-on-one time with them. The most basic way to create a bond is to take your dog on walks. Go far enough so the dog gets tired, and try to keep them moving rather than stopping every three feet to mark or sniff. This helps build discipline, while still letting your dog get to know the neighborhood. Tessa was fairly unsure when we brought her home, but she really started coming out of her shell when we would take her for walks. She would constantly look up at us with the most adoring look you ever saw.
Play time at home is crucial, too. Find a toy that they really like and they will get excited to play with you. Charlie had one of the toy foxes without stuffing, Tessa and Tonks love any sort of ball, and Ginny adores soccer balls (especially these stuffed ones from IKEA). Remember: a tired dog is less likely to get into trouble around the house!
Of course, most dogs will bond well with anyone who feeds them. Reward them with healthy treats for good behavior. We like the little training treats that are just a few calories each. Make a game of it. Engage their minds as well as their playful nature. If your dog has had a few too many treats prior to entering your home, you can always just use bits of their dry food to entice them.
Showing your new best friend lots of affection and patience will go a long way toward making them part of the family. Do you have stories of dogs who took a bit of TLC? Share them in the comments! I look forward to hearing about your fur babies!
Brand new reader and follower here from the A to Z Challenge. Nice to meet you!
I love your theme. I love animals so much! We have two dogs and two cats.
2015 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Matthew MacNish from The QQQE
You have gotten me very excited to get a pet! I have had pets in my house since a child, but my husband and I don’t have any! I will have to keep working on him. I will be following along from A to Z 🙂
No wonder we bonded so well with our corgi; we did give him little treats when we first got him and we all know how food driven corgis are 🙂 Great tips on bonding. I think we bonded really well with Koda because I was home all day with him in his puppy time after we got him (since I work at home) so he probably felt secure from an early age maybe? All I know is he was not a destructive puppy like some can be with chewing.
I think what’s really great about our dogs is that the Bonding Process is on-going. Great Post! Good Luck with your A to Z Challenge. We are doing it too!