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How to create a strong bond with a puppy from the first day?

February 2023 | Highpaw stories

The arrival of a puppy into your family is an exciting and special moment in everyone's life and is always filled with joy, laughter, and a handful of anecdotes. Dogs have been proven to reduce stress and create positive emotions in people and can undoubtedly enrich the life of every person, especially children. But it often happens that the initial enthusiasm suddenly subsides and is replaced by an overwhelming feeling of the reality and obligations new owners of a small puppy must face.

It’s not even so much the frequent walks, learning to defecate and training, but more the feeling that they failed to create a strong bond with their pet or establish leadership over it. This is why we bring you some useful and interesting tips and techniques for developing your pup’s trust and building a lasting bond.



Set the stage

Before you welcome a pet to your home, make sure you are fully prepared. Get all the necessary supplies beforehand and set up the place to be welcoming and fun. Here is a tip – set aside some space that will be a designated dog zone. This way you won’t to have to take things away from your pup or chase after it while it plays. Have plenty of treats, toys, get blankets, diapers and a dog bed, and think of ways how to make the puppy’s first days in your home comfortable.


Be patient

Bonding of any kind takes time and so does this one. So, patience is key. Sometimes it can happen overnight, but most times it may take a few days, weeks or even months. We need to understand that each dog has its own personality, and some of them take longer than others to warm up to new people and surroundings. This is called an adjustment period. Not all dogs will bond instantly with their new owner and it is important to not take it personally. In fact, we need to have in mind that they are in a brand-new environment getting used to new sights, smells, and sounds. This can be a stressful time for your puppy, and you can make them feel comfortable by keeping things calm and positive during these first couple of days. Of course, it is very tempting to just go out and about with your new family member, but give it some time to adjust to their new home and family.


Make a schedule

When a puppy arrives in a new home, it tries to adapt to the new environment and people. So, incorporate a daily schedule that will add structure to your pup’s life. Routines are the fastest way to get your puppy on track with you and your lifestyle. Schedules are important for potty training, promoting good eating habits, establishing overall good behavior and confidence, as well as connecting with you. When a puppy is on a schedule and knows what's up next, it will settle in more easily knowing that all its needs are being met throughout the day. The schedule should include eating, playtime and puppy training, potty breaks, and nap times. You should try to align it with your normal schedule as much as possible, so your puppy learns quickly what it’s like to be a member of your family.


Consistency is key

In order to create a bond with your puppy, you should be consistent and clear. Also, make sure that everyone in the family is on the same page when it comes to training. That means that every member of the family knows what behaviors are fine and need to be rewarded, and which are not. Consistency is key because the quickest way to confuse and frustrate a dog is having everybody employ a different set of rules. For example, if you don’t want your dog on the furniture, make sure everyone sticks to that rule.



The most fun way to bond with your new dog is playtime. Some dogs will be ready to play the instant they come home, and others might need some time to settle in. If your dog isn’t willing to play, maybe it’s still overwhelmed by its new surroundings, so give it some time. The simplest way to start playing is to try a simple game of chase or fetch, for example by rolling a toy around the floor to see if the dog will get excited about chasing it. If it’s not, try showing them how it’s done. Also, you can eventually try hiding treats and make the puppy find them, play hide and seek, or use squeaky toys to encourage playing.


Relaxing together

Nothing beats a cozy cuddle session, so a great way to bond even more is just to spend some quality one-on-one time with your puppy chilling out together. The best time to do this is when they’re sleepy. Invite your dog up onto the couch with you for some cuddle time, or get down onto the floor and invite your dog over to show off your doggie massage techniques. Relaxing together is a nice way to spend some quality time together before bed, or after playtime, and teaches your pet that this means settling down for the day.


Puppies are just like little babies who learn something new every second of their early life. Therefore, raising a pup can seem as a difficult and demanding task. However, at the same time, building a bond is actually a fun experience and process because you get to teach the pup whatever you want, play with it, and together experience the world in the way you like. And the faster you connect with your puppy, the easier it can be for you to communicate with it, raise it, and enjoy life together.