From the moment a puppy enters your life, you have the opportunity to develop a deep, lasting bond with them. Like other new pet parents, you’re likely dreaming of years of companionship and joy with your new buddy! Building a deep bond with your pup from the beginning will bring your visions of loving companionship to fruition.
The love between a human and their puppy happens naturally – I mean, just look at those sweet faces! However, a deep and lasting bond takes a bit more effort to fully develop. Dogs understand our words, emotions, and gestures like no other animal, and their renowned ability to interact with humans is one of their most noteworthy characteristics. But how can we use this natural ability to interact with us and their selfless devotion to develop a bond that will last for years?
Takefumi Kikusui, an animal behaviorist at Azabu University in Japan, works in a lab focused on the study of oxytocin. In 2015, Kikusui began to wonder if the mother-infant bonds created by oxytocin were replicated in the human-dog bond. Canines are one of the rare animals that gaze into a human’s eyes as a sign of understanding and affection, and Kikusui chose to focus on this mutual gazing to see if oxytocin levels rose in the dogs or their owners based on this eye contact.
Remarkably, his experiments showed that there was a tremendous increase in oxytocin for both owners and their dogs in duos that spent the most time making eye contact during a 30-minute session. For owners, oxytocin levels increased by 300% and their dogs experienced a 130% increase.
This research shows that affectionate, non-threatening eye contact with your pup can be a significant contributor to developing and strengthening your bond. But are there other behaviors that can similarly impact your puppy’s trust and devotion?
Behaviors that Promote Healthy Attachment
Use Clear and Concise Communication
Any command longer than three words will be hard for your puppy to understand. Therefore, when you use lengthy or confusing commands your pup gets lost in what you are trying to say. Choose one or two-syllable words to train your pup, accompanied by a simple hand signal. Using clear commands with your puppy will help them understand you, deepening your bond as your communication improves.
Provide Structure for Your Pup
Puppies thrive on structure! They need boundaries to help them understand where they can go and what expectations you have for their behavior. Building healthy boundaries helps establish you as a trustworthy leader in your home. Excessive chewing and potty accidents are the two most common challenges new puppy owners face. Teaching your puppy to behave appropriately will reduce your own stress and frustration surrounding your puppy, and further develop your bond as they learn to please you by following your expectations.
Teach your puppy to understand that your presence is reassuring, not threatening. Teach your puppy to allow you to touch their food, handle their paws, and clean their teeth and ears. Building trust allows your puppy to feel confident and safe. Be sure to watch your pup’s body language for signs of stress, and avoid threatening or dominating body language yourself when spending time with your puppy.
Get Assistance from the Pros
Still feeling a little shaky about bonding with your new puppy? We recommend training programs to all our new pet parents. Not only will this help you establish some trust and basic commands, but you will also begin to deepen your bond as you learn together! We feel confident you and your pup will walk away with a ton of newfound knowledge.
Ready to Pick Out the Perfect Companion?
Sugar Sweet Puppies From Heaven offers adorable, happy, and healthy puppies contact our Lawrenceville, GA pet store location to find the perfect puppy for your family.