Bonding 101: Maximize FUN, Minimize FRUSTRATION

Or A Walk With No Expectations:

Have you heard we are fostering Roscoe?

He is a big sweet heart. If you are looking for an active dog to add to your household, get in touch with me (quick)! We are fostering him through Wags Inn Canine Charities.

But . . .

I don’t know if I can give him up at this point. (I believe that’s know as ‘foster failure’).

When you first bring home a new dog, it’s all excitement and newness, especially if it’s a puppy or young dog. However, you quickly realize that a puppy is an upheaval in your life. As is an older dog. They just throw off the nice little balance you’ve worked so hard to establish in your household.

I don’t know about you, but change isn’t super easy for me. And home is my little sanctuary. A new dog changes the energy, rearranges the timeline, and sometimes overturns the quietude. Frustrating.

Frustration is not good for the relationship. It is a withdrawal from the bank account.

But it’s also bound to happen from time to time, especially as you are learning how to fit your new dog into your old life. It’s a shaping process. It requires teaching some new behaviors, reinforcing good choices (on both your parts), and rearranging your own expectations.

You both adapt to each other. A new dog changes the shape of your life.

As this process unfolds, you are bound to come up against frustration and resistance to change. Better make sure you are making plenty of deposits into that new relationship bank account! But how do you make deposits? Any positive experience is a deposit into that account. Any negative experience is a withdrawal.

Today, we took walk with absolutely no expectations. No training goals. No fitness/exercise goals. Just going out for a walk with my two doggies. Anything could happen. We laughed. We sniffed. We got soaked. I didn’t even know it was going to rain.

When you welcome a new dog into your life, things have to move around a bit. Sometimes I resent that Rio and I don’t have as much training time together. Sometimes Rio resents it too. But finding ways for the three of us to have fun together is a great bonding experience. It fuels the relationship.

It takes me back to when Rio was young and Kavir and I were integrating him into our lives. There were some bumps along the road.

Bonding happens when you have fun together, when you can let go and laugh and be silly together. It happens when you learn together. It happens when you overcome challenges together. Camping was a great bonding experience for Rio and me (not to mention for Kavir and me <3).

Today, a rainy day walk in the park brought me and my two pups a little closer together. I laughed and ran with them. They ran, stopped, sniffed and ran some more. We all got soaked. No expectations resulted in lots of FUN.

So Roscoe and I are bonding. Is he here to stay? To be continued . . .

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