The first day when you bring that bundle of joy home, you are considered to be his only parent. Whether he grows up to be a desirable dog or an unruly canine, you are responsible for his upbringing and character development. However, in the quest of training our dog, following several rules, techniques, and instructions, we often forget the more important aspect, and that is to build a strong bond between us and our dogs. In almost every case, a strong bond between you and the dog mitigates a lot of obstacles and blocks during the process of dog training, as it naturally motivates the dog to look up to you for instructions and commands.
The best time to establish a bond between you and your canine companion is when he’s still a puppy, as that is the age when he’s most responsive and flexible and the tendency to bond with his master or owner is at its peak. Apart from this, the tender age of puppyhood is the time when he learns most of the tricks and retains those for a longer time. Another very important factor to keep in mind is to choose a breed that would suit your lifestyle and attitude and would be able to cope with the same with his own behavior.
It is not advisable to go by the puppy’s look or size, rather it is crucial to choose one with whom it would be easier to co-exist and connect for the long term. In certain cases, one can even go and consult a vet before choosing the apt breed that would be compatible with the owner’s lifestyle. For an owner, it is advised to retrospect that a little puppy is like a little child, whose life at this age has to be filled with all the positive attributes, in a balanced manner to make him grow up into a healthy, happy, energetic and compassionate companion for a lifetime, and this responsibility of bringing up your puppy into a desirable dog depends upon how strong is your bond with your dog. Let’s see what we can do to fulfill the purpose.
The ideal age at which a puppy should be brought home is when he’s 7 weeks old and this will allow you to have a natural bonding with your puppy, as he will connect with you through his senses like smell, taste, and voice. Try to spend the maximum time with your puppy, and teach him to move, walk and play with you.
Watch it grow and explore life with his natural enthusiasm and curiosity, besides teaching him the various ways of life and correct social disposition. The more time you would spend with your new puppy watching his every move, act, and deed, the more he will look up to you for guidance, protection, and instructions, and there lies the foundation of obedience and dependence.
Take measures to socialize your puppy from the very beginning by introducing him to the children and other family members, smaller pets (if any), friends, relatives, neighbors, etc. It is important for the puppy to get acquainted with more and more human faces and their sounds, smell, touch, gestures, expressions, and activities. This will not only socialize the puppy but will also make him compare your presence and touch with the others and see him coming back to you for comfort and security.
The cutest sight for any puppy owner is to find his puppy sweetly following him wherever he goes, it’s fine, as a puppy feels like a small child who when left alone, fears being abandoned. However, you can do an activity of leaving him for a few minutes and coming back to him after that with a treat. Doing this on a regular basis (leaving your puppy for some time and coming back to him with a treat) would grow a feeling and confidence in your puppy, that you would not be away for a long time, and this certainly shall strengthen the bond of trust between you two.
A very important feeling that an owner must inculcate in his puppy to enhance the bond of love and belonging is to make the puppy feel like an integral part of his owner’s life and this can be done by making your puppy a part of your daily activities like visiting the nearby market to pick household stuff, carrying him to the school to pick your children up, taking him for a morning or evening walk, teaching him few tricks like fetching things for you and helping you to pick up stuff during cleaning up the rooms, etc. another very important way to make your dog look up at you for comfort and help is when you potty train him properly.
To build proper potty habits in your growing puppy it is important to be with him almost all the time when he wakes up in the early morning or in the mid of the night. Look for indications and signs and observe his body language when he needs to do his business and take him out after every meal (which should preferably be 4/5 times, depending upon his age and breed). It is also advised to take him out at other times as well if the need arises.
Obedience training your puppy about some activities like sitting, lying, fetching things, coming to you on calling his name, and teaching him a few tricks and playful activities, etc is a great way to make your dog’s life full of enthusiasm, as he will take you as the most exciting part of his life. Always find a particular amount of time to spend solely with your dog/puppy and make the best of this time by playing various games with him like Frisbee, go-fetch, taking him out for a fun walk, taking him for a swim, and so on.
Grooming your growing puppy like brushing his fur/coat with a dog brush, clipping his nail, bathing him, and drying him afterward is a wonderful way to connect with a dog with a special bond. It may happen sometimes, that your puppy may miss picking up some lessons and tricks on time, ending up doing some mistakes and undesirable stuff inside the house; be patient and tolerant towards your puppy and never hit him as this will not only confuse him but will also break his trust on you. Clean up the house as soon as possible and pay extra attention so that he never gets to repeat it again.
Remember to apply positive reinforcement techniques rather than punishing him, as this will motivate your puppy to do the right thing and will also make him look up to you for appreciation and acknowledgment, strengthening your bond with him. It is important for an owner to establish himself as a consistent source of excitement, care, nurture, protection, affection, guidance, and discipline to his puppy/dog.