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Old 03-30-2013, 01:56 AM
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Default What is love at first sight? or did the bond take time?

The other thread had some really interesting responses so please share. What was the process like for bonding with your dog, did it take time? happen right away? was there a moment or just gradual familiarity? that kind of thing.

Merlin is only 6 months old.
But it certainly wasn't an instant bond. When I found out HE was mine I was very happy because he was one of my favorites from pictures and the first day I saw him at the breeders I thought he was very cute, as all puppies are.. but there was no *instant connection* so to speak. In fact, for the 2 days I spent at the breeders I was HORRIFIED that this puppy did not like me and that I wasn't crying or feeling anything. We went to puppy class with the breeder while I was there and he didn't even look at me or listen.. honestly, that first night at the breeders was tough. I was ELATED to have a puppy, to be there, to meet them, he was such a sweet boy but there was this nagging "aren't I supposed to feel..I dunno.. something more?"

We had our first trickle of a bond only when we were alone together, at the airport, waiting to fly home. when it was finally just me and him he was cuddling in my lap and I was like "yup, this is my dog"

but the week or so after were FULL of doubts, ups and downs, a fear period I thought for sure was the end of the world, etc..
It was honestly only when house training was OVER, when the fear period was all but gone and forgotten and my happy, bubbly, sweet, bouncy Merlin began to really blossom that I started to LOVE Merlin.

I brought him home Dec 14th and only really started to feel a real BOND with him on January 5th.. Not just because he was my cute puppy but because I really liked the dog he was becoming. I remember the exact day because I was in my apartment on this dreary day reading and he was bouncing around and I was taking pictures of him and I just..knew.

It took a month from him coming home for me to LIKE him.
and another for me to LOVE him.. feb 14th he alerted to an upcoming seizure and it really solidified that he was the RIGHT dog.
Month two (feb) was also the month I stopped STRESSING, I threw out the training log and lists and things he should know and just enjoyed him. It improved our relationship by leaps and bounds. Merlin is a smart dog, he has plenty of time to learn but having silly fun and going out and getting dirty and getting ice cream..that really helped us.

but even today, it's a process. I love him, of course I do..but the process of truly bonding with him as he grows is a process, Merlin is growing and changing everyday it seems so we are both kind of learning each other in a sense.
I adore him because he is Merlin, my gooberhead and very much my dog. He loves me because well, he does lol no doubts about that.

but I feel like the real human/dog bond for us is something that is still growing and changing as he grows and changes everyday.

So my answer for us is..
1 month for me to like him
2 months for me to LOVE him
and for us to truly bond, work in progress we are getting there, but there is so much growing and changing for him to do, he is only 6 months old!

YOUR TURNS
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:08 AM
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First, I love Merlin, sooo glad you ended up with him.

Honestly? Jackson and I bonded pretty much right away.

I mean, when I first picked him up, it was super awkward (BYB in Baltimore City, and there was another lady there at the same time picking a puppy), so we kinda did the "Wanna switch?" thing and switched puppies and, well, I ended up with Jackson (the second puppy I held). Then the breeder proceeded to tell me "that's the one who gets sick in the car" and I'm like oh great.

When we got into the car, he puked within 10 minutes and I had a moment of ... crap, what did I do? Did I pick the wrong one, should I even be getting a puppy? lol. I don't really even know what got into me honestly. I was 18 and just decided I wanted a dog of my own. But I've never made such an impulse decision (I think I started looking at dogs and then three weeks later, I had one!)

We got home, though, and I opened the crate, and this happened:


And honestly, it was like bam... this is MY dog. And we definitely really bonded that first day.

I'm not going to lie and say there wasn't some frustrating times with him, within the first 6 months, just normal puppy stuff, etc, but that overall bond was always there. I don't know how to explain it. But there will never be another dog like Jackson for me.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:16 AM
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Gavroche was love at first sight. Literally, the very first time I saw him, I KNEW he was special, and that he needed to be mine. That's why it was so hard to bear knowing I couldn't have him. And then suddenly I could He is without a shadow of a doubt my heart dog.

Logan was a bit different. When I saw his brother Amos on the breeder's website, I thought THIS IS THE DOG I NEED. After talking with the breeder, she decided Logan was a better fit (he wasn't listed on the website). I still had a feeling that THIS IS IT when I saw him and heard about him. When I first met him at the airport, he was a super sweet dog, and he had his head in my face for the entire ride to the breeder's place. Over the next day and a half I started to get to know him, and then we were on our way home. I liked him the moment I met him, but the bond just wasn't the same. It took about a year to be madly in love with him (though I still loved him before that!), and now that he's working it's a totally different relationship. It's a bond that is just as deep as my bond with Gavroche, but it's different. With Gavroche it's pure love and adoration. With Logan, it's more of love mixed with deep, deep respect with a dash of symbiosis. It's really hard to explain. And even now, our relationship only gets better and better the longer he's working.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:14 AM
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I'm not sure if I ever truly bonded with our first dog Tippy. We got her when I was 3 years old, and I loved her so much, but she hated me...probably because I dressed her in doll clothes and dragged her around the house and stuff. I wanted her to like me the most, but she always chose me last. Once I grew up, we got along better, and I loved her, but not deeply.

Matrix was our second foster puppy for a dog guide organization, so as much as I loved him and enjoyed having him around, I did not let myself get attached because I thought I'd never see him again after he went for training. After he was disqualified for having HD, I jumped at the chance of adopting him and we bonded right away. We had our ups and downs, especially while I was being an angsty teen, and he was diagnosed with epilepsy and went through a major fear/aggressive phase, but he was always MY dog. We grew apart when I adopted Mitch, and I wanted nothing to do with him after Mitch died, but I'm starting to let him back into my heart.


It wasn't love at first sight with Mitch, but I felt drawn to him in some way the first time we met. He wasn't an easy dog to like, very stubborn, sort of wild, but I think he was so much like me that we bonded quickly and deeply. He was my ideal dog, and I still feel like I lost a part of myself when he died. I've never been as happy as I was when he was alive.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:10 AM
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With Bristol it was the first time I held her, she was 3 days old. BUT I had come to accept that I wasn't going to have another baby, and especially a girl baby so I transferred that to Bristol, like I said she saved my sanity at the very least.

Gage, within a week, he was an 8 month old giant assed puppy that needed a home, my home, IMO, a home that would love him, and not breed or re-home him.

Diesel, he took longer to bond with us, but now he is ours 100% I don't know if he would even remember his old family.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:16 AM
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I never bonded with the family dogs. I'm sure that deep down I knew they are not my dogs.

With Izzie it was love at first sight, stars aligning type thing. She was tearing around and saw me and basically climbed me to scream at me and at that moment I was like "yup, this is my dog". Now we're pretty much an old married couple. Love this little dog.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:44 AM
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I joke that dogs dont grow brains until theyre over a year and maybe this has biased me against puppies, but I never really bond to my dogs until theyre adults. Kitty is my heart and soul and soulmate and Ill die when she goes, and I didnt even really *like* her until she was over 2, and then it was like WOW where did this awesome amazing funny smart fantastic dog COME FROM?!

I find it very easy to rehome young dogs that arent working out, because I dont bond to them right away so I guess I have a more objective outlook on it? But that was all thrown out the window with Tori. Maybe its because I whelped her and rubbed her and helped her take her first breath, maybe its because I laid in the whelping box with her for 3 weeks and cuddled with her when they started walking. Maybe because this is the first dog Iv ever owned that I actually OWNED from the moment of birth. She was firstborn, last to breathe, pain in the *** from the start. The owner of the bitch would give me this Look and say "you know shes yours, right?" and her puppyname was Trouble. Whatever the reason, Im hopelessly in love with her, nearly as much as I am with Kitty. And it was instantaneous. And this has never happened before
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:52 AM
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Well, the first thing I said when I saw Sally was "That dog has pit in it. If it's not gone by Saturday I'm calling animal control." Definitely not love at first sight--yet, 8 years later she's curled up on our recliner as I type this. I don't think it was instant with Jack either--it didn't take me a long time to bond with the dogs, it just wasn't instant.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:13 AM
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With Meg, I'd say it took about 3 weeks for me to really fall in love. When I first met her, and my friend swore "This is your dog", I thought she was ugly, scared, and I could see she was limping. Not exactly my future agility dog. I agreed to foster her for a bit and see.

Three weeks later, my friend and I were camping out in my car waiting for concert tickets, and Meg was snuggled between us under a blanket and being her usual endearing self, and my friend said "You know you are keeping this dog, right?". And I looked at Meg and got all misty eyed and said yes. From there on out, most things were just easy with her. It took a lot to build up her confidence and turn her into an agility dog, but as a companion and pet, she was just naturally my other half.

Gusto was a lot harder. I'd been working on getting permission to bring him home, and then my mother surprised me by picking him up and having him in the laundry room when I got home. I remember him crawling all over my head as I picked him up and thinking "Holy crap, what the heck do I do now?!".

He's harder dog to bond with for me. He's amazing and fun and funny and clever, but he's less interested in me than Meg is, and much more interested in the world around him. He'll snuggle up tight when we are hanging out on the couch or in bed, but sometimes barely gives me a passing glance when we are out and about. Training with him has helped immensely. He adores shaping and games and will get really into that sort of thing.

The point where I really knew he was mine was when he was was so sick from his poisoning last year. He lost his vision for a bit, and we weren't even sure if he was going to live, and all I was thinking (in between bouts of bawling) was "what do I need to do and know to keep a blind dog happy and safe". There was no question of letting him go or finding a way to replace him with another dog I could do sports with - I was going to alter my life to make sure he could stay in it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:32 AM
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I liked Eve immediately. Took her a few weeks to bond to me, and after a month or two we were super tight.
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