How to Bond With a Rescue Dog

February 18, 2024
Annette Thompson

Bringing a rescue dog home is a magical day. You’re right at the beginning of a lovely journey with your new four-legged friend. There are lots of memories for you to make and plenty of fun to have along the way! Bonding with your new dog can take time, especially since rescues have only sometimes had easy lives. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to become friends with your rescue dog. Read on and learn how to bond with a rescue dog.

How to Bond With a Rescue Dog

How to Make a Rescue Dog Feel at Home

With dog bonding, the first step is making your canine companion feel at home. They will spend a lot of time here doing all sorts of things. They’ll be eating, sleeping, playing, and running around. Make them feel like your home is theirs from day one. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Make your home dog-friendly. Remember that your dog is probably going to be very curious! To avoid accidents or incidents, make your home as dog-friendly as possible. Keep dangerous things out of your dog’s reach. Also, set up a cozy spot or two (or more!) for your dog to sleep. Have a drinking bowl that is easily accessible, and keep it topped up.
  • Adjust your routine. If you’re adopting a dog, you’ll want to be able to spend time together. Yes, we all have commitments, but dog owners should try their best to free up some time for their pets. Your life doesn’t have to revolve around your dog, but they should be a big part of your life.
  • Get to know your dog. Our canine companions are full of character. Even though each breed has its quirks, no two dogs are the same. When you welcome one into your home, find out who they are. See what they like and dislike.

How to Make Your Rescue Dog Feel Like Part of the Family

We dog owners don’t just see our dogs as part of the family; we see them as the center of it!

As you work on bonding with your dog, there are some simple things you can do to make them feel like they’re family.

Getting a Pet Portrait

You have photos of family members in your home – why not get one of your adopted dogs? Your dog might appreciate this more than you think! The purpose of dog portraits is to personalize your decor and make your new friend feel welcome. Let’s face it: everyone likes living in a personalized space as it provides a sense of belonging!

Consider getting a custom dog portrait or painting from your photos from companies like Pixels Photo Art. Companies like this specialize in custom artwork creations from your photos, thus helping you to personalize your decor. When your dog portrait arrives, find a place to display it so everyone knows there is a new family member.

How to Bond With a Rescue Dog

There are many possibilities when it comes to pet portraits. You can create dog and owner portraits, family paintings that include your newly adopted dog, and single-character renaissance portraits where your dog can be depicted in royal outfits or on some floral background.

There is one thing I am sure of! If it can speak to your heart, it can surely do it as well from your walls! Your dog is one of a kind and deserves something as such! 

Does your dog have a place where he loves spending time? Think about creating his room out of it! Things like hanging your dog’s portrait or getting a personalized blanket or pillow will make his place feel like his own.

Going Out As a Family

We all have busy lives, though we should make time for a family dog walk. Bring everyone together and spend time on a leisurely walk outdoors somewhere. Try to do this as often as you can, even if it’s just once a month. When your dog’s out with everyone in the family, make sure everyone interacts with the dog and pays them attention. Your dog will love it! 

Involving Your Dog in Home Life

Both adult dogs and younger ones usually spend most of their time at home. When you’re at home and your dog’s awake, involve them in what is happening. For example, if you are watching a film, encourage your dog to lie beside you. If you have kids and you are playing outside with them, involve your dog too. 

How Long Does It Take to Bond With a Dog?

When talking about this question, people bring up the 3-3-3 rule. It states that when you welcome a new dog into your home, the dog will:

  • Feel disoriented for the first three days;
  • Take roughly three weeks to settle in;
  • Spend about three months adjusting and bonding with their owner.

It is a general guide; it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Some dogs may follow this, but not all of them do. Why? Because every dog is different. Yours might feel used to you after just a month. But then again, they might take longer to bond with you. 

But how do you tell when the bond is there? There’s no definite answer. As long as you love your dog and you can tell they love you in return, there’s a strong bond there. A dog that has bonded with their owner should feel safe and comfortable with everything that happens at home. They should also feel at ease with their owner. 

Developing a bond doesn’t magically happen overnight, so patience is the key. Invest some time, and you’ll have a loyal doggy friend as a reward. Keep building trust and strengthening the connection you have with your dog. It’s all about positive reinforcement – rewarding your dog for good behavior. You can do this with praise and treats – treats work very well! The more you do this, the more your furry friend will look up to you and respect you.

You’ll Have a New Best Friend in No Time!

Building up a bond with your dog may take some time. Don’t worry, though – you’ll get there! Respect your dog, pay them attention, and spend plenty of time with them. Do all these, and your four-legged companion will soon become your best friend. Dogs are fun and friendly – isn’t it great to form a genuine connection with one?


Photo 1: Pexels.com – free to use.


Photo 2: created by Pixels Photo Art (us) – you have full rights

Photo 3: pexels.com – free to use.


Be the hero a dog needs – join Bone Voyage Dog Rescue in their mission to save lives and find loving homes for furry friends in need. Your support matters. Donate, volunteer, or open your heart and home to a rescue dog. Start your journey of compassion and make a difference today.

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