Bonding for service dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Bonding for service dog

Hi all, I've searched around and haven't been able to find an answer that I feel fits my situation closely enough. I'm in a power wheelchair, limited arm mobility and obviously no leg mobility. I just got a one year old GSD to be my service dog. The SD training will start after she is adequately bonded to me. My question is how do I get that bond with me to take precedence over my wife or other dog? Things are still new for her, she definitely listens to me and gets really excited to see me, but if my wife gets up or leaves Violet follows and whines, leaving me behind. I understand that everything will take time but how can I ensure that she bonds with me? My wife lets her out in the morning and helps me by filling her food bowl up, but I feed her by holding the bowl, I walk her, and I try to shower her with love while my wife is trying to ignore her to insure the bond. Am I making an issue out of a non issue? Is there anything else I can do to strengthen and imprint the bond? Thanks in advance for the help!

Caveat: my trainer has me holding off on any training until the bond has taken and she is following me everywhere.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:57 PM
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your trainer would actually be the best source for this information since she has a better understanding of your limitations as well as what sort of activities may interfere with future training.

some ideas that come to mind are hand feeding, grooming, fetch, t-touch/massages, recall games with high value food rewards, tethering her to you, hide and seek.

and a question, you mentioned that she'll follow your wife when she leaves the room.... does she do the same for you?

all of that said, a lot of the bonding process just happens naturally over time. try not to set the expectations too high right now... the bond will certainly strengthen as training starts too. what your trainer may just be looking for is some sort of affiliation and desire to work/please you.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:59 PM
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sure would like to know the lines , , the previous work done with her, as in did she come straight out of the breeding program , was she bred specifically for therapy (means a lot), did she transition into a foster home, did she have to meet benchmarks in a selection process, and , almost done, how was she chosen for YOU !

you might be interested in these assistance dogs - not suggesting the breed , but some good information on the qualities and experiences that make for a good assistance dog
http://www.rutlandmanor.com/choosing...ing-stock.html

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fodder View Post
your trainer would actually be the best source for this information since she has a better understanding of your limitations as well as what sort of activities may interfere with future training.

some ideas that come to mind are hand feeding, grooming, fetch, t-touch/massages, recall games with high value food rewards, tethering her to you, hide and seek.

and a question, you mentioned that she'll follow your wife when she leaves the room.... does she do the same for you?

all of that said, a lot of the bonding process just happens naturally over time. try not to set the expectations too high right now... the bond will certainly strengthen as training starts too. what your trainer may just be looking for is some sort of affiliation and desire to work/please you.
Thanks for the reply! She does follow me around. I think I may be expecting too much too fast. When people say hand feeding, do they mean holding FOOD in your hand or holding the BOWL in your hand? I have no problem doing either.

I will talk to my trainer, I've been asking him a ton I just wanted some other opinions as well. I don't know why I didn't think of the trainer looking for a connection or desire to work. That makes sense.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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sure would like to know the lines , , the previous work done with her, as in did she come straight out of the breeding program , was she bred specifically for therapy (means a lot), did she transition into a foster home, did she have to meet benchmarks in a selection process, and , almost done, how was she chosen for YOU !

you might be interested in these assistance dogs - not suggesting the breed , but some good information on the qualities and experiences that make for a good assistance dog
http://www.rutlandmanor.com/choosing...ing-stock.html
Thanks for getting back to me. As far as lines, I haven't personally seen the papers, the trainer is going to help me with all of it next week when he comes down. I was told that the lines were impressive and know that the dogs are bred for specific purposes. They breed working dogs and service dogs and select the dog for the task based on temperament. I was selected by the dog not the dog selected for me. In a designated area, I was asked to stay fairly still and have no interaction with the dog unless he/she came to me in which case I was asked to praise/pet. After 8 dogs the one that I perceived as the calmest and most affectionate was the one the trainer said had picked me. As far as previous work done, there has been very little so that she and I are trained together from what I gather. And as for foster home, no she came directly from the breeder/trainer.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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sure would like to know the lines , ,
Forgot to put in there that what I know about the lines is that she is German not American
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fnberzerker View Post
Thanks for getting back to me. As far as lines, I haven't personally seen the papers, the trainer is going to help me with all of it next week when he comes down. I was told that the lines were impressive and know that the dogs are bred for specific purposes. They breed working dogs and service dogs and select the dog for the task based on temperament. I was selected by the dog not the dog selected for me. In a designated area, I was asked to stay fairly still and have no interaction with the dog unless he/she came to me in which case I was asked to praise/pet. After 8 dogs the one that I perceived as the calmest and most affectionate was the one the trainer said had picked me. As far as previous work done, there has been very little so that she and I are trained together from what I gather. And as for foster home, no she came directly from the breeder/trainer.
Is that a normal selection process for service dogs?

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:35 PM
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^ speaking broadly, no

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:37 PM
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Feed her yourself and spend all your free times it's her. That is the best way to get a dog to bond. She can bond with you and stil enjoy other family members.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:44 PM
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What organization are you working with?

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