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So I have a bit of a stressful situation regarding my new labrador puppy! I was meant to be collecting her a week after the litter are ready to leave (8 weeks) as that is when my 2 weeks annual leave from work starts which was ideal as it meant I had time to settle her in and start the bonding..

BUT now the woman selling the puppies (who has been amazing and is no doubt a great dog owner who cares a lot about the pups) has found out she has been booked a surprise trip away the day after all the other puppies are going, so I have to collect her then. I have work that week which makes this a bit awkward! The day I'm meant to collect the pup I have an evening shift and a sleep in (I live with a friend so doing these won't be a problem once she's settled) and then a morning shift the day after, meaning I'll be gone for 24 hours. I am trying to sort it so I can swap this, which will mean I have 3 days off once I pick her up, then 2 days at work before my annual leave (these 2 days I have people who can stay with her all day).

However, if I can't swap that evening/sleep/day shift, I will have friends who can look after her and my housemate will obviously be there at night, but I'm worried this will mean me and the pup won't get that initial bond as pretty much as soon as she's home I'll be out the door for 24 hours. After that I will have 3 full days with her, then after 2 days work, I'll have 2 weeks to spend with her, training and bonding etc.

I guess I'm just unsure of how important that first day with a new puppy is for starting the bonding process? Can anyone give me some advice/put my mind at rest? I will try everything I can to get those shifts off but just want to be able to relax a bit in case I can't..

Thanks :)
 

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It's a very individual thing, but in my personal opinion, a bond is developed over time and is a continuous process. It's certainly not something that's developed within 24 hours.

I don't bond with puppies at all. I get puppies so I can influence how they're raised and turn them into nice and stable mature dogs, who I then bond with. I'm just not a puppy/infant person, and find it hard to bond with a dog until I know exactly what kind of dog it's going to be.

So I think that even if you can't switch your work shift, as long as you're providing the majority of the training and exercising and food over your puppy's life, you are the person your puppy will "bond" with. Even if your roommates are looking after her every once in a while.
 

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I agree, a bond is something that develops over time - we are talking months/years, not days or weeks. Puppies also tend to be kind of jerks in a way, they go through so many phases and they don't necessarily love you all the time and want to be with you no matter how much time you spend with them. Puppy raising is mostly about instilling 'values', teaching basic commands, teaching the dog what's expected of them and how to live in your home. It's about teaching them that you are a safe and consistent person in their life. Once the dog matures is when you really start to bond, in my opinion. Then again, I'm much like Hiraeth in that I don't really like puppies in the first place, so maybe some people do bond with puppies. I love my puppy, of course, and I'm attached to him, but the older he gets the more we become an actual team instead of just me running around cleaning up messes and working on menial things like potty training and basic manners.

I can see where you are coming from with your worries, but I'd try not to over think it. Your puppy will bond with whoever puts in the work and the training. My fiance and I both take care of our dog - she walks him and feeds him and spends a good amount of time with him. But I'm the one who puts in hours of work training and I take him to the dog park, for hikes, camping, etc. He is more closely bonded to me than he is to her.
 

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A bond with a new dog is not built in a day. It will be fine. For the most part, puppies are sweet dopey things who love everybody (or hopefully do, unless they have fear issues). But the bond you build with the dog as you train and go on adventures together and spend time watching Netflix is something that happens gradually.
 

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Yeah, YOU might bond with your puppy from the moment you see him. But a puppy doesn't usually bond to a single person in just a day or even a week. My dog was happy to walk away with anyone that had what he wants for the first year or two of his life. That 'everyone is my best friend' personality. Before I knew better, I was jealous and thought he didn't have an ounce of loyalty. Now he still loves people which has been such a blessing, and not to say he still wouldn't walk away with someone offering steak... But as he matured he very much became 'my' dog.
 
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