Bonding in a multi-dog household - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Bonding in a multi-dog household

For those with more than one dog in your house, how would you rate your bond with each of your dogs. With which dog do you feel you have the strongest bond and with which dog do you feel you have the weakest bond and why do you think that is (both for the strong and the weak ones)?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 04:16 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

Good question. I have three GSDs, Shiloh my oldest, Shoshona, my little girl and Eli, the baby. Since they are have different personalities its not so much about which bond is strongest but instead how each bond is displayed.

Shiloh is much more independant so it would appear we have bonded less of the three. Shoshona on the other hand is very dependant and also Mama's little girl amoungst the three so it would appear the bond to be greater. Eli is my love child, he loves the world and everyone in it. For his it would appear that he bonds with everyone.

I'm using the world 'appears' because thats what it would look like from the outside, the bond we share however is the same for all of just appears different.


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Eli, 5 year old LCGSD

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 04:21 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

I feel very close to all 3, perhaps closer to the oldest to the youngest in that order if only due to time in the bucket, so to speak. But I am older and we are empty nesters, kids grown and gone, so I have more time for them now then back when... the kids were little, we tried having more than one a couple of times, and the second suffered, due to not enough hours in the day. They didn't seem to mind, but I didn't feel as close to them as I did the others.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 04:43 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

the bond we share however is the same for all of just appears different.
Here too. My kids are different. In some ways, they're alike. But they have their own quirks, idiosyncrasies, things that make me laugh (often hysterically), things that drive me crazy, and things that cause me to stop what I'm doing and snuggle with them right then and there.

I've always had 2 and usually 3 dogs. I can't say that I've ever preferred one dog to another. I've had a heart dog who seemed to understand me better than the others, but at the same time, I had the other dog that was essentially my life-long partner (who was with me through several relationships til Dh and I got married, several moves, untold adventures and I couldn't imagine life without her) AND I had my dog who ended up being my service dog because he started to alert on my medical condition when he was still a young pup. Once he and I started his training, we became nearly inspeparable and I trusted him literally with my life. Three amazing dogs, three miraculous relationships.

It takes time to develop these relationships. When I have a pup, he's kind of just a pup at first. He's charming and sweet, but it takes a bit of time to see his whole personality. I think that's partly because at first, he's bonding as much with the other dogs as he is with me.

But as he starts to experience the world, gain confidence, learn skills, and I get a front-row seat at all of this, he blossoms more and more, and I see the depth and breadth of who he is as well. And I fall in love. Not "in love" like most people can fall in love with any puppy, but I fall deeply in love with the unique little individual that my dog is, his amazing traits, his weird characteristics (the ones that make me roll my eyes and laugh), the things that make him HIM -- the whole package.

I think if I felt I didn't have as strong of a relationship with one dog as the other(s), I'd feel compelled to do something about it. Take extra trips (around town and out of town) just with him, take agility classes, etc because that says to me that for me, I"m not putting enough of myself into the relationship.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 05:45 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

Mauser and I are close - when the other dogs are not around. If they are around he's more apt to seek out Sasha to play or Tazer to annoy

Kaynya and I are very close. Even if the other dogs are around she'd rather be with me. She was ready to leave the pups alone for the night when they were 3 weeks of age. By 5 weeks we HAD to remove her from them at night because she tried to claw her way through the door and injured her paws. She likes to be with them during the day or when I am with them but wants to be with me at night (she sleeps with us).

Sasha is a total Daddy's Girl and only listens to me when she HAS to. Most of the time she will look to Mike to see if she REALLY has to listen. And this is the dog I drove 10+ hours home with, through the night, stopping at several fast food places to bribe her with tasty treats. Nope - Daddy's Girl from the moment she set eyes on him.

Tazer and I are very close but as he gets older he spends more snoozing time so we spend less US time.

Winnie is her own dog. She listens to use only when it suits her and sees us as her source of food. She is a good dog - just VERY independent.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 05:50 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

I have had four dogs. Paige and Jazmin were only 8 months apart. Totally different personalities and both totally bonded to us. Jazmin was more everyone's dog. paige is mine. Cesar was mine also (GSD)but died young so who knows. Travis is 2 1/2. he is not as glued to me as Paige because he is half husky. He wants to be outside ALL the time. Paige is always with me in the house, she trails me. I love my velcro dog.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 06:18 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

My two seem to bond stronger with select members. The oldest is my daughter and myself, the younger is my wife and son.

Yet at night the youngest stays with us and the older one goes with kids at bedtime. It is like they each share a guard job.

And if you have bacon..... all bets are off!

We just lost ( illness ) our younger one a few months ago. So we are down to one. We all miss her something fierce, she was a GSD that would not be ignored and would be the worlds biggest clown until you couldn't help but give in to her.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 06:52 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

Bison and I are close. He is with me 24/7 when I am at home. It has been that way since we brought him home. He was supposed to be DH's dog, but he prefers to hang with me. Now that we are doing SchH, the bond is getting even stronger.

Moose is different. I love the little guy, but he spends most of his time curled up on his bed. He doesn't really show any interest in what is going on in the household other than very happy greetings when we get home and spill watching when we cook. I would still be devistated if we lost him, but the bond isn't as close as with Bison.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 07:07 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

I have three GSDs and all would rather be with me than with each other.
Kacie is the most independant, as a rescue I don't think she had bonded before, or it was broken one to many times to trust again. But I share a wonderful bond with her, took her about 3 months before she decided that we weren't going to give her to someone else. Camera shy, too-thinks she is wanted somewhere?
she is not pushy enough though! If another dog gets in between us, she will retreat.

Onyx is great, but too serious and not as goofy as Karlo, I think right now in this stage of his/our life, he is who I am most bonded to. He comes up and loves, snuggles w/me...thinks he is a lapdog.

Maybe it is a male thing, males seem to be more cuddly, where females are "on", can't just give up the job...

As far as training, I am training with Karlo only right now (because of the temperaments of the other two)~that really does strenghten the bond.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 07:28 PM
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Re: Bonding in a multi-dog household

At one point I had 4 gsd's, they were all bonded to me more than the others,,

I have never had a dog who bonded to the other dog(s) in the household more than I..

Right now I have two aussies, a male and female, and Masi, my gsd.

Masi is like all my other gsd's, we have a very tight bond , my female aussie is also very bonded to me, the male, ahhh what can I say, he and I never have really "clicked", he is my husbands dog, and while he is a dog who will instantly do what you ask of him, I just don't feel the connection with him, that I do with my other two))

I'd say right now, Masi and I have the tightest bond,,she is a willing and eager pupil, and loves to do whatever I throw in front of her,,the aussie Jynx, love her to death, but she is more of the mindset, "it's all about me" LOL...what's in it for her..where Masi is "what can I do for you?"

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