After adoption a pet, how do you foster that loving connection and bond with your favorite four-legged friend?
So you went to petfinder, to the shelter, adoption or rescue agency of your choice or an ethical breeder (hopefully not a pet store, puppy mill or back yard breeder) and you have done a lot of research on breeds, temperaments, energy levels, husbandry, ethology and what it means to be a responsible pet parent. Great, now comes the hard work / fun part.
You go to pick up your new pet and fall in love at first site. How do you ensure that you establish a great connection and bond with your pet before you get home?
First before you even get into the car, start with a nice long walk. Who knows when the last time your new pup went to the bathroom or had some exercise so it’s best to bond and take him/her on a nice long walk.
I would also bring some treats with you and have a little party after your pup pees or poops on the grass or desired area. It’s never too early to start puppy training and creating great habits.
When in the car it is safest to put your pup in a crate (sized correctly) with a chew toy or two inside with a nice comfortable bed or mat. I would also suggest putting on classical music or music specifically made for your dog that is scientifically proven to calm and soothe their nerves and stress. Make the trip as relaxing and positive as possible.
Once you get home, I would give your dog some water. Remember that a car ride, even for dogs that are habituated to them, tend to be somewhat stressful or make them excited which causes them to pant and get dehydrated after the car ride.
I then like to start with another walk but this one around your pet’s new neighborhood and environment. Take a structured walk together and connect with your dog. Let them sniff around, make eye contact, bond, feel each other out, perhaps relieve some more of their pent up energy and then introduce them slowly to your home. In your home show them where it is appropriate for them to go and not to go and always set them up for success so they get lots of praise for doing things you like instead of the reverse. Remember, dogs can’t speak English and don’t inherently know what you want from them so it is your job to hire a great CPDT-KA dog trainer and to educate yourself and your new best friend.
Russ Hartstein is the owner and operator of Fun Paw Care, a Miami dog training and walking company. Russ has over 25 years in the industry and is a preofessional member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers). For more information about our dog training walking and pet care services, please visit us online today.