Building a bond with the puppy - this is how it works

Your puppy has moved in. Proud of your beautiful puppy, you want to invite all your friends and family and go for a walk all day to share your sweet puppy with the public. That's understandable, but first he should discover the world in peace and quiet. In the first days, nights and weeks, he needs one thing above all: time! We will show you how to build a bond with your puppy and how to become a team.

Who does a puppy form a strong bond with?

Puppies depend on protection and security in their first weeks of life and orient themselves to the person who satisfies these important basic needs. The following three basic requirements must be met:

  1. The human is the safe haven for its puppy.
  2. The human cares for his puppy.
  3. The human spends time with its puppy.

How do I build a bond with my puppy?

If you want to build a trusting relationship and bond with your four-legged friend, make sure not to measure your relationship with the puppy against other bonding partners. Concentrate solely on your own successes without looking at the training and progress of other owners and their four-legged friends. Especially in dog schools and at puppy meetings, some dog owners try to boast about the commands and obedience they have already learned. Strict issuing of commands and premature training will indeed make an obedient dog out of your puppy, but this will be at the expense of a trusting coexistence and bonding behaviour.

Our tip: Between the 9th and 12th week of life, your puppy should discover the world and socialise. Be careful not to put any pressure on them, because puppies don't have to follow difficult commands or walk perfectly on a leash.

What creates a good relationship with my puppy?

As with any well-functioning team, the bond and relationship between your four-legged friend and you is based on four pillars:

  • Love and affection

Both do not always have to be present in the form of cuddling and physical closeness. Soothing words, small affectionate speeches as well as eye contact and friendly gestures of body language are important components of a trusting coexistence. Feeding can also be a form of affection if you don't just put the food in the bowl on the floor, but feed your pet from your hand now and then during a joint walk or playful dog training sessions. This is a particularly good way to reward your puppy, for example, for easy walking on the lead or for seeking you out. This way, your puppy will understand hand-feeding as a bridge to a closer bond.

  • Attention

Your dog can "read" people accurately and recognise the current mood based on our smells and breathing, voice tone and body posture. In return, learn the language of your pelt nose, be attentive and pay attention to the smallest signals of your puppy. This way you will quickly be able to respond to his needs and correctly interpret his whining, barking and body language. Is he tired, overwhelmed or particularly receptive to new impressions and training sessions?

  • Patience and understanding

Always be patient with your pet. Sometimes a flower smells so exciting that your puppy will sniff it for minutes. Puppies can't understand commands and words straight away and will need much more time to put them into practice. Stay calm and patient if he does not immediately respond to your signs and words or commands.

  • Safety and security

Your dog should be allowed to hide in your arms or between your feet in unfamiliar situations, e.g. on discovery tours or when meeting unknown dogs, if the situation frightens and unsettles him. Don't reprimand him with looks or comments like "You'll have to go through it!", but help him to grow into a self-confident dog. Encourage your four-legged friend with appropriate rewards when he takes courageous steps and overcomes challenges.

What are the prerequisites for good bonding?

In order for you to build up a good bond with your puppy and for this to result in a stable relationship with your dog, certain requirements must be met. These concern your personality as well as the atmosphere and organisation in everyday life.

  • Reliability and trust: Give your puppy the feeling at all times that he can rely on and trust you 100%.

  • Stability: Be a rock in the surf! Your consistent and confident demeanour encourages your puppy to master new challenges.

  • Structures: Give your puppy the opportunity to orientate himself to set routines in everyday life. This allows him to concentrate on the socialisation process and the many stimuli and impressions.

  • Empathy: Your puppy has needs. Respond to them and be considerate of the structures he needs, even if that means putting your own needs on the back burner for the time being.

  • Time: Your puppy needs time to find its place in the family. Especially in the first weeks, he will go on daily discovery tours in the house and needs you by his side. To make this possible for your dog, take at least two weeks off and refrain from time-consuming hobbies.

How can I foster the bond with my puppy?

In the first weeks of living together, you will build up a bond with your puppy. In the next step, you can strengthen this bond and let it mature into a stable relationship. These three points will help you to form a strong team with your puppy that will remain inseparable until old dog age.


  1. Rituals
    After the first few weeks of settling in, return to your daily routine. Get your puppy used to being left alone for hours at a time. Introduce each goodbye with a fixed routine and leave the house with a specific sentence such as "I'll be back with you later! Your puppy will gradually understand that your absence is limited and that he can relax and wait for your return. A fixed routine before bedtime also helps your four-legged friend to adapt to your rest times.
  2. Physical closeness
    There are many ways to offer your dog physical closeness. Contact lying is an instinctive behaviour and especially important for a trusting relationship. Dogs like to snuggle up to each other when sleeping or snoozing to give each other warmth and affection. Grooming is also a sign of strong bonding. Brush your dog's coat several times a week, stroke him in combination with a dog massage and strengthen your relationship with your pet. Your dog is likely to return the affection and lick your face, hands or clothes. Even if you don't always find this pleasant, allow him to clean your body more often.
  3. Play
    Daily play promotes your togetherness, so let's get out there! Scuffles, romps or playful training - even without toys - are fun for both of you and make you a well-coordinated team.

Our tip: You start the game and you finish the game! If your puppy becomes overconfident or bites and reprimands you during play, draw clear boundaries and put him in his place. Because your role as the leader of your team must not be questioned here either.

What characterises a good bond with my puppy?

Does your puppy follow you outdoors and on walks without a lead? Does he seek your closeness and expect protection and security from you when dog encounters or unfamiliar noises and impressions unsettle him? Furthermore, your four-legged friend is able to relax in the flat without physical or eye contact with you and can stay alone for hours without becoming restless? Great, then you have done a good job! Your dog trusts you and knows that he can rely on you. If he also shows affection by lying down in contact with you or demands a cuddle, and if he is willing to learn and play around, your four-legged friend has fully accepted you as a bonding partner.

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