How to Forge a Bond With Your New Puppy

"Penny, 'come'."

“Penny, ‘come’.”

You’ve seen them.
I know you have…person and dog walking down the street totally in tune with one another; the dog gambolling through the woods who upon hearing,’Come’, speeds off to his person, the dog who sits patiently on the sidewalk while his person has a lengthy chat with a friend…
That kind of interaction is hard to imagine right at this moment as you look at the peeing, pooping machine now sleeping quietly at your feet, isn’t it? It’s taking all your energy and patience just to get this little creature to go potty outside. I know. I get it.
Now, though, is the best time to begin to train this small puppy to do what you do want. Potty training,for some,is a nightmare. Here’s the easy way
Earlier this summer a young man and his Staffie/Mastiff X came to puppy play groups on Sunday morning. The puppy was amiable and playful and just as boisterous as you’d expect a puppy to be who has just been given tons of space and freedom and other dogs to romp with.
When I called out, “Please call and restrain your dogs,” the young man bent down a little, called, “come here”. Nothing happened. Later,a Sunday regular said, “Did you see him trying to get his dog to ‘come’? He didn’t even use her name!”
I was scheduled to begin working with the young man and his puppy that week so I was able to say, “Hey! Cut him a little slack. He’s never owned a puppy before.”
I usually work with new puppy owners in 6-week packages which often have unforeseen delays causing the time to extend to 2 months or more.
We are now finished and this young pup who barely knew her name two months ago, is one of the top contenders for our weekly games. She comes when called, earning her off-leash freedom in the woods. She walks beautifully on a leash. She ‘stays’ when asked. She performs puppy push ups speedily.
And yes, she does all this because her person trained her to.
But the BEST, the very BEST of all of this is the relationship that has developed between human and pup. You can see on the video that Penny wants to do what Sean asks her to.
Why? I suggest it’s because during those countless hours of reward-based training, a bond has developed between these two… that magical, indescribable connection that has served both man and dog for centuries.


Puppy training requires time and patience. It can be overwhelming, for sure.

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