Whether you have adopted a dog as a puppy or an adult, the bonding process between pet and owner is a critical one. Many new owners make the mistake of assuming this bond will form automatically, when in fact your dog needs you to take certain actions to build a lasting relationship.
To bond with your dog you will need to spend time one-on-one together where your dog has your complete focus and attention. If there are other members of the family it is important that they also spend one-on-one time with the dog. If your household has multiple dogs it is important to spend time with each on their own, whether this is an outing together for the two of you or simply a play session. This should be done on a regular basis.
Your dog will read a lot into your body language, particularly before a bond has been established. It is important that you use non-threatening behavior. When possible, get down at eye level with your dog when playing with him. However, make sure you do not stare into your dog’s eyes for more than a few seconds as this can be construed as threatening.
Routine is an important part of the bonding process for your dog. Daily training and reinforcing good behavior will help to achieve this. Brushing your dog daily will also establish one-on-one time while building a routine. This handling and your touch will cement a bond with your dog for years to come.