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.
ARCHMX TDCH Pongu the Insane, CD-C, RE, RL1X6, RL2X5, RL3X2 (GSD mix, b. Apr 2010)
Crookytail the Tigerwuff, RL1, ITD (Akita mix, b. Jan 2011)