Congratulations on your new puppy! You are soon to embark on a wonderful long life journey together filled with love and memorable experiences that you will treasure forever. But if you’re getting off to a ruff start, don’t worry. Raising a puppy is hard work! Puppies need as much care and attention as human babies, but they’re far more energetic and likely to chew your table legs! If your new puppy is on the boisterous side or needs some time to settle, and you’re unsure of the best ways of bonding with a puppy, this article contains a few top tips to help you navigate this exciting time.
We know that you want to shower your new little bundle of joy with love all the time, and it can be discouraging when your puppy doesn’t reciprocate. They may be constantly overstimulated and excited in those first few weeks, which can lead them to make a little more mess than you may have expected. Or, they may be quiet and reserved, and cause you to feel like they’re not bonding with you. But you should know that both experiences are totally normal! Studies show that it generally takes about three weeks for puppies to become completely accustomed to their surroundings and begin to show their true nature.
If your puppy acts like they’ve had one too many doses of the zoomies at all hours of the night, recognise that they’re just excited to be in your home. Puppies also need plenty of rest! They may be used to a crate (some people prefer this for toilet training and others don’t) or you may want to transition them to a special new dog bed! Our range of dog beds are available in various styles and include a fluffy, plush cushion to ensure maximum comfort for your new pooch
Your new hosts an exciting plethora of new smells and things to see that your puppy is probably thrilled by that you may not even think twice about! Alternatively, if your puppy seems to be taking a while to come out of their shell, just give them some time and gentle encouragement. A cosy blanket that they may have had before you picked them up can be really comforting as it will smell familiar. We have a selection of beautifully soft personalised blankets on our website to help your furry friend settle into their new home and make them feel special.
Give them time to explore independently
One of the best ways of bonding with a puppy to bring them out of their shell (or calm them down!) is to allow them to explore your home! Supervision is important here, but letting your puppy take in all of the new smells and sights of your shared space together can allow them time to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. Not only does this give you quality time together, but one of the most important puppy activities is smelling! A puppy's sense of smell is roughly 10,000 to 100,000 times more developed than ours, so there are definitely a lot of things they can smell that you don’t even know about! Smelling develops a puppy's brain, so it’s vital to allow them time to explore! They will become more comfortable, and get to spend quality time with you!
Play & Socialisation
Play and socialisation is one of the most, if not the most important puppy activities. Playing teaches puppies about relationships and socialisation and teaches you about your puppy’s personality. Taking some time each day to play one-on-one with your puppy with toys or just doing things together can help to strengthen the bond between you, and make your furbaby feel like a special and valued member of your family. Equally, introducing them to different playmates early on is key to socialising your pup, both human and hound.
Our dog carriers act as a cosy home from home when socialising your pup and double as a travel bed for when your pup needs a snooze. It also helps protect their little paws when out and about at a café for example - simply pop it on the floor and they can hop in. If you’ve used your carrier at home first, it fast becomes their safe little space…just be sure to supervise them as puppies like to chew and play with the straps (Grannicks Bitter Apple Spray comes in super useful for this).
Bonding with a puppy means developing trust. Dogs are naturally pack animals, and when you adopt a puppy, you become their pack. The first few nights can be really hard as they adjust to their new home - and this is totally normal. Your puppy will have become accustomed to sleeping with their littermates and mother, so trying to get to sleep in their new home may be nerve-wracking and challenging. Fortunately, a comforting blanket, calm music on the radio and establishing a routine with your pup will help. By creating a safe and comfortable den for your puppy, they will associate their bed with winding-down time, and eventually learn to soothe themselves to sleep. The nights may be long, but the inseparable relationship you will build with your pup is totally worth it.
You may have noticed that your new puppy is an insatiable little ball of energy. But as they get older, they will need to learn when to calm down, and this can be helped with a routine and some queues from you, especially when the evening draws in. Exercise is not only a great way to tire your puppy by the evening and establish a routine, but it is another of the great puppy activities that will strengthen your bond. The quality time you spend with your puppy while exercising is sure to leave a lasting impression! What’s more, exercising outside is a great way to accustom your puppy to their collar or harness and lead and how to behave around other dogs.
If you’re taking your puppy out for a trip to the town or on your favourite trail during the colder months, try popping on a cosy dog coat and get them used to how it feels putting this on from an early age.
Puppy training is one of the most important puppy activities there is. Not only will it make puppyhood a more enjoyable experience for you, but your pup will have your undivided attention and treats to be rewarded with! Your puppy will feel valued and appreciated when you reward them and establish a new level of communication between you. Once your pup begins to learn commands they will have adopted a host of skills that help to stimulate their brain. It’s a win-win situation!
A note from us
You’re doing great. As cute as they are, we know that puppies are a lot of work and can be overwhelming sometimes. But puppyhood doesn’t last forever. With a combination of various puppy activities and lots of love and understanding, your bond with your puppy will soon be unbreakable. Remember to take lots of photos - you can never have too many! You’ll always look back on this moment in time with so much fondness.
Holly & Teddy xx