How to Bond with Your Dog After Adopting Them

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man hugging dog showing how to get a dog to like you

As the saying goes, a dog is a man’s best friend. In the US, there are approximately 78 million pet dogs. To put it in perspective, around 44% of households have a dog. According to the ASPCA, 1.6 million dogs are adopted from shelters annually. If you are one of the people who has just recently adopted a pet dog, there are a couple of tips and tricks that can teach you how to bond with your dog after bringing them home.

How to Bond with Your Dog Step 1: Stay calm

One of the biggest mistakes one can make when bringing a pet into one’s home is to get overwhelmed by its presence and greet it by projecting too much energy. In this case, there are two main reactions that you can elicit from the pet.

On the one hand, the pet can get too excited and it can jump on you. On the other hand, this can scare the pet and it can make it aggressive. To avoid this, it is recommended that whenever you get a new pet, you remain composed and that you only speak calmly when addressing it. This way, the dog will feel safe and it will gradually start to trust and love you.

Besides, instead of approaching the pet while standing or from the side, it is recommended that you kneel down and that you face the same direction as the pet. You should never stand in front of it as this might startle it and cause it to attack you. 

Provide it with Personal Space

Dogs are similar to humans. Once they are introduced into a new environment, they need to find a place where they can feel safe. This is why the specialists advise in favor of providing your new companion with an area that it can claim as its own, such as a corner of your living room. Here, you can install a bed and you can place all of its toys

Once you see the pet retreat to this area, you should never bother it. It is also helpful to instruct your family members, including the kids, that the dog should never be disturbed when it retreats to its safe space. 

For the first couple of weeks after you have adopted your new pet, you should let the pet approach you, rather than trying to get into its personal space. Instead, wait until it is ready to interact with you.

happy dog lying in dog bed

Protect Your Pet

We often look at our pet dogs as our protectors. However, there are numerous instances where we should act as the protectors of our pets. For instance, if your dog is shy around new people and it hates being petted by strangers, you should not allow others to touch it. This is particularly important when it comes to mediating the interactions between our pets and small children. 

Many toddlers do not know how to properly act around dogs and they tend to grab on their coats and ears. In these situations, the pet can get aggressive and, in the long run, it can become frightened of interacting with strangers. So, to avoid this, make sure that your beloved companion is ok with strangers touching it before you allow it.

Be Present

Because we are so caught up in our busy lives, we often forget to be present when interacting with our pets. The relationship we build with our pets is similar to those we have with humans. Therefore, for the dog to trust and love us, we have to make time to interact with it actively. 

For instance, whenever you take your pet for a walk, you should refrain from using your phone or thinking about your problems. Instead, enjoy the time you get to spend with the pet and talk to it as much as you can.

Feed the Pet

One thing that you can do to strengthen the bond you have with your fluffy companion is to feed it. Instead of placing the food in its bowl and ignoring it, you should encourage it to earn its food by using food as a reward. 

When you have the time, you can prepare food for your pet, as there are numerous nutritional recipes that you can find online. You can be sure that this effort will not go unnoticed!

If your pet suffers from certain medical problems, you should provide it with appropriate food. You can read this guide from to learn more about this topic. 

woman holding poodle showing how to bond with your dog

Do Some Research

You can find out a lot about canine behavior by reading books and various articles on this matter. Dogs are great communicators and there are numerous facial expressions and body language hints that show you that your pet is feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Knowing how to interpret them is a key aspect that can help you understand when is the right time to step in and protect it from situations that are making it feel uncomfortable. 

Another thing that you should pay close attention to is its likes and dislikes. If you know what your pet loves to eat and what games it likes to play, you can use them as rewards or as treats. Also, you should take the time to figure out what your pet dislikes, so that you can remove these stressful stimuli from its life. For example, your dog might hate loud noises, strong scents or being dressed up in clothes. 

Use Touch

Studies have indicated that physical contact with a pet such as petting or grooming it, can lower the stress that your companion feels. This is particularly true with pets adopted from shelters. 

So, when your dog shows signs of distress and it needs to be encouraged or to feel loved and secure, you can pet it so that it knows that you are always there for it. You should only do this if your companion likes being touched in these circumstances. However, if you notice that this only increases its stress level, you should respect this and give it the space that it needs.   

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