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How long does it take for a dog to bond with you?

How long does it take for a dog to bond with you?

Welcoming a new dog into your home can be a surprising experience. After getting accustomed to your other pets, you’ve likely forgotten what it’s like to interact with a new dog.

Your new dog is likely feeling scared or at least apprehensive in your home. They are in a new environment and they don’t know where to go or what to do.

It’s your duty as the caretaker to help your new pet feel more comfortable. You must start bonding with your pet if you want them to settle in.

Find out how long the bonding process may take and other relevant topics by continuing with the rest of this article.

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Bond With You?

As a pet owner, you must understand that the bonding process will take time. Exactly how much time will depend on the dog you’re caring for.

Your dog’s personality will determine how quickly they can bond with you. On top of that, your new dog’s age and background will also affect how soon they can forge that bond.


It probably won’t come as a shock that puppies bond with their owners quickly. Your new puppy will likely start warming up to you just a few days after you welcome them home.

Puppies have no reason to withdraw themselves from you because their background is clear. They haven’t bonded with a previous owner so they don’t need to detach first.

Most puppies are also not subjected to traumatizing experiences at their young age. They have no reason to fear you so they are more receptive to your bonding efforts.

Adult Dogs

Don’t expect an adult dog to bond with you immediately. If your new adult dog came from a previous owner, they likely got used to being around that person. They may still look for their previous owner while they’re staying in your home.

It’s hard to blame them for still having that attachment especially if their previous owner was good to them. All you can really do is shower your new canine companion with love and hope that they learn to trust you eventually.

Forming a bond with an adult dog can take a while. It may take weeks or months before they start recognizing you as their new owner.

Rescue Dogs

It’s sad to think that some dogs were abused by their previous owners, but that does happen in some situations. A dog may endure so much abuse that they become withdrawn or fearful of other humans.

Trying to bond with a rescue dog will not be easy. It may take several months before they come out of their shell. Even then, they may react unexpectedly to your bonding efforts.

Give rescue dogs a chance to trust you first. Let them go at their pace so the two of you can form a strong bond.

How Do I Know When My Dog Has Bonded With Me?

Dogs aren’t adept at concealing their emotions. It’s easy to tell if your dog is growing more fond of your company. Included below are the telltale signs that your dog is starting to form a bond with you.

Your Dog Makes Eye Contact Consistently

What does your dog do when you go to pet them? Do they look you in the eyes or turn away? If it’s the former, that means your dog is bonding with you.

A dog who maintains eye contact is expressing love and trust. They want you to know that they trust you. Reciprocate that sign of affection by giving them a loving gaze as well.

Your Dog Is Relaxed around You

Dogs often feel anxious in unfamiliar environments. They may remain tense and on-guard as if anticipating danger.

When your dog starts to bond with you, that anxiety will melt away. You’ll notice them roll onto their back more so you can scratch their belly. They feel comfortable doing that because they trust you completely.

Dogs also blink more when they feel comfortable. Watch out for that if you want to know how your pet is feeling.

Your Dog Checks on You during Walks

One way to tell if your dog has bonded with you is to take them out for a long walk. You can even try visiting some new spots.

If your dog looks back at you often, that means they have bonded with you. They are looking back to check that you’re there. It’s nice to know that your dog cares as much about you as you do for them.

Your Dog Responds to Your Commands

Dogs don’t listen to just anyone. More often than not, they will only heed the call of their owner.

You know you’ve formed a bond with your dog if they consistently respond to your commands. For your dog, following your commands makes sense because they trust and love you.

How to Get My Dog to Bond with Me Sooner?

There is no trick to forming a bond with your dog. If you want them to trust you sooner, you must simply invest time in them and also give them attention.

Reserve time in your busy day for your dog. Just hang out with them at home and take some time to relax. Play with them whenever possible so they associate your presence with feelings of happiness.

You can also try being more involved in your dog’s feeding. Hand-feeding your dog can help foster trust between the two of you. Don’t shy away from using treats as well because your dog likely won’t be able to get enough of them.

Continue spending time with your dog and giving them attention if you want them to bond with you faster.

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Trust You?

The age and background of your dog will affect how long it takes for them to trust you.

Once again, puppies show the least hesitance when it comes to trusting people. That’s a given since they have no reason whatsoever to believe that you will endanger them.

It may only take a few hours before your new puppy is eating out of your hands.

Adult dogs will require more time. They will probably keep to themselves for a few days. Try giving them their favorite treats so they can understand that you mean them no harm.

Trusting a new human can be difficult for rescue dogs. They may not spend that much time around you because of the unpleasant experiences they had with previous owners.

You have to demonstrate to your new dog that you are worthy of their trust. That can be a gradual process that takes months to complete, but it’s worth it just to see the joy on your new pet’s face.

Do Dogs Pick a Favorite Person?

Yes, dogs do tend to identify a favorite person. More often than not, the person who ends up being their favorite is the one they spend the most time with while they’re young.

To be more specific, the person around your dog the most before they reach the age of six months will likely end up being their favorite person.

Of course, you can still change who your dog’s favorite person is. Spend more time with your dog if you want to be their favorite person. Giving your dog treats and playing with them will also help with that cause.