You have a new four-legged friend in your life! Whether you’ve adopted a dog from the shelter, or it’s been passed down to you from a family member, now is the time to make sure that this new addition is well cared for. Dogs are social animals and need attention from their human companions as much as possible. To be able to give your new pup all of the love they deserve, here are six ideas for connecting with them.
1. Take Walks Together
Taking your new pup on walks isn’t just a great way to get exercise, it’s also an opportunity for you and your dog to bond together. These early days are important. Your pup needs to learn what is expected of them for you two to have the best possible relationship down the road. When your dog pulls ahead on their leash or stops to sniff at every other tree, completely ignore them. When they begin to pay attention only to you again, turn to them briefly, give them a treat and resume your walk. This reinforces the fact that walking with you is rewarding for them.
2. Spend Time Training Your Dog
Teaching your dog basic commands like sit, lay down & stay is an essential step in developing a strong relationship with them. This may sound be daunting at first, but training doesn’t have to take up much of your time. You can attend dog training classes or even YouTube videos that teach you how to give these commands. Just remember that the early days of training are the best time to teach your dog these skills; starting when they’re younger means it’s more likely that they’ll listen to you later on.
3. Visit Dog-Friendly Locations
Once your dog is completely housebroken, taking them out to meet new people and places is an exciting way to spend your time together. Take them with you on errands, visit a dog-friendly patio for lunch or go to the park in your area. They’ll love being out of the house and meeting other doggies.
4. Make Time For Playtime
Dogs have a natural instinct to play; that’s why they turn everyday objects into toys! While you don’t want to encourage your dog to play with your shoes, letting them be a part of the game when you play fetch is perfectly fine. For an extra burst of energy, try playing tug-of-war or hide & seek with them. If you need some help keeping up with your pup’s playful spirit, check out the Zoom Room near you for dog training.
5. Create A Safe & Comfortable Home
Dogs are incredibly grateful for a secure, comfortable environment to spend their time in. Set up your home with plenty of dog beds and homes that they can rest in when needed. If you have stairs, setting up an area at the top or bottom for them to sit mostly out of the way is helpful. Allowing your pup to rest in their own space will encourage them to use it throughout the day. This is also a great way for you to know where they are if they’re not right by you.
6. Show Your Appreciation Regularly
Dogs are very much like children in the sense that they crave affection. Not only is it important to shower them with love and kisses, but also hugging, cuddling and even massages will go a long way for your pup. This is an investment of time, not money; making sure your dog feels loved doesn’t take much more than your time and attention.
If you follow these six steps, engaging with your pup will be stress-free. You’ll have a better idea of what they respond to best and how to show them that you’re excited to spend time with them! At the end of the day, that’s what matters most when it comes to your pup.