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Old 01-06-2014, 12:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you know when you have a good bond?

Hi all

I have had a 6 y/o male GSD for about a month now. This is my first GSD What are signs of a good bond and how long does it take? He will follow us around the house, sleep/lay next to us on the floor. The routine we have established is NILIF, daily walks, short training sessions (sit, down, stay, walks without pulling). He appears to have settled in very well(when we first got him he would pace and whine). He is kenneled when we are gone to work and out when we are home.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I always thought I had a good bond with mine after years but I figured he'd bail on me for a pack of playing children.

But when we met my wife, we both started following her around.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Can you pick him up? Roll him on his back? Open his mouth? Jump over things when you ask? How does he react when you have to do unpleasant things like clean ears or trim nails? How is his recall?

For me a bond is trust, both directions.

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Old 01-06-2014, 12:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I feel like that's something you just know.

I feel like my Sofie and I have really just now bonded well (we've had her since 8 weeks, she's now 16 months). We respond and understand the slightest cues from each other, and I know what to expect from her and her from me. She's definitely not bonded to my husband this way; she obeys him but you can tell it's just because she has to and he's higher on the command chain than her. We just adopted an older male GSD yesterday and I can already tell he's going to bond to my husband, they are already reacting to each other the way Sofie and I do.

I think pp nailed it; trust. And that's something only you'll know you have or not.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How do you know if you have a good marriage, or a good friendship, or any other good relationship?

I define a good bond as one that revolves around trust, mutual respect, willingness to listen and consider the other's wants, and joyful cooperation in shared endeavors.

Those are all amorphous terms, though, and each demands its own definition. It's hard to force something so intangible into words. But you can see it when a dog is doing what you ask, and going where you go, because it wants to, and finds joy in the act of cooperation, rather than playing mercenary for cookies or complying to avoid punishment. For me that's the holy grail, the whole reason I'm into dogs -- to get that rare and clear connection.

How long it takes depends on the dog, the person, and your shared circumstances. I usually start to get the beginnings within a couple of hours, and a decent working arrangement within a couple of weeks, but a real, true bond takes longer. Months, maybe years to really know each other.

I also don't think it's a thing you can ever take for granted. Like any relationship, it needs constant nurturing to stay strong.
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