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Old 05-15-2013, 06:23 PM
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Default No Bond with Dog?

What do you do if you never bond with a dog? Not talking a puppy that is pooping and peeing all over, but a full grown dog that has been around since puppyhood. Say, you like the dog well enough, but there is just no...bond, no connection. You don't miss the dog when you're gone, you're not excited to see the dog when you're home. In fact, the thought of the dog going to someone who WOULD bond with the dog, makes you more pleased than being with it yourself. There's no abuse, no neglect, no active dislike, in fact you think the dog is quite nice - you just are not bonded. Discuss.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:30 PM
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I don't have too much of an opinion on it related to other people.

This was the case with my small dog, Bailey, that I rehomed to my parents last fall. I didn't have her from a puppy, though. I adopted her when she was just about a year old, had her for about a year and a half and never really bonded with her. I really liked the thought of her and kept her active, but there was just no real emotional bond and I had been thinking for about 9 months about keeping an eye out for homes for her to be happy elsewhere. Then we had some roommates, more dogs coming and going, and she started getting really snappy, I couldn't take her to the dog park anymore despite no negative dog interactions, and she started snapping at foster puppies of mine, then Sir really bad. My parents watched her and Sir for the summer for me when I was out of a home and my mom was always commenting about Bailey and how she had to keep her separated because all she wanted to do was be nasty and start fights. She was constantly on guard and stressed out and greyed a lot since the time I had her. My parents asked if they could keep her when I was ready to take them back and I couldn't have been more happy.

Now she's a little fat, but healthy and SOOOO much happy and that makes me feel so good. If there are better homes for the dogs where they may bond and be happier than in my home, so be it. I took a lot of flack for rehoming her, but her happiness is more important to me than my popularity. I was even told that someone from the forum would be surprised if I didn't dump another dog for a new shiny puppy in a year or so.. Because, you know, rehoming one dog to family means I'm going to make a habit out of it.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:34 PM
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I gave such a dog back to her breeder.


Actually, if it was just the fact that I didn't feel much of a bond to her, I probably would have kept her longer and worked on it more, just because she was a relatively easy dog in that she didn't need much to keep her happy and I did like her, even loved her enough to cry a lot and almost turned around and kept her, but there really was no real bond and that was tough. But there were other surrounding circumstances - breeder wanting me to do stuff and pay for stuff I never agreed to with a less than stellar quality dog, dog causing issues with my existing dogs because she didn't seem to understand proper body language, plus a few more things. She simply turned out not to be a good fit for myself or my other dogs, and while I would have likely given her a longer chance if not for her breeder making the rules as she went, who knows if I would have kept her a lot longer. That, combined with a lack of any semblance of a bond, helped make my decision to let her find a new home. After the 'honeymoon' period, there was really just nothing between us, as awful as that sounds. It frustrated me a lot, too, because I felt like there was something wrong with me not to be able to connect with her.

Sometimes I feel that it's kinder to rehome a dog if there is no bond there. My bond with my dogs is part of why I enjoy them so much... and if that's lacking, well, it's lacking. And it kind of sucks for the dog and the person in a lot of ways. I felt that this particular dog could find a home that was better suited to her, and that she did! The couple she ended up with absolutely adore her and think she's the best dog ever, and I am so thrilled for her and for them.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:49 PM
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I have next to no bond with the Chihuahua. She gets great care because she's easy to take care of and easy to have tag along with Cohen (who is considerably more demanding), but I don't much care for her personality or, well, the rest of her. Too soft, too small, too fragile, too sensitive, too slow to learn, too slow to recover. But, well, she came with my husband and he's not going anywhere. She and Cohen don't have any issues, and, again, she's a really easy dog to care for. So she sticks around and has a pretty fabulous life. I just don't let her sit on my lap.

If I was having trouble bonding with my performance/sport dog I'm not sure what I'd do. Probably work harder to create a bond. I can't say for sure not having lived it.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:01 PM
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Honestly, I don't get it. It's probably not a popular opinion but I would suck it up and work on the bond. I made a big commitment bringing that dog home for life to become the owner they need. The only way we're even going to consider rehoming would be a situation where I don't think I could give a fair home to it or my previous dogs.

In my experience the biggest stumbling block to bonding with a dog can be you. I spent a long time not bonded to Trey but it was my fault for not appreciating who he was. He wasn't 'my kind of dog' AT ALL. But he was a great dog in his own Trey-like way. It was MY hangups that were the problem, not him. Once I stopped focusing on why he wasn't XYZ and started focusing on what he was it got better. He taught me so much and I am very glad we did not give him up. I don't think I really felt very bonded to him until he was 8 or so. I think several other family members never bonded to him. He was a very hard dog to bond with. Once it came though, it came hard and i miss him more than any other dog i've had.

People will do what they think is best but it always makes me sad when I hear people say they don't like a dog they live with. I don't get it at all. I don't think it's a fair attitude to have towards the dog.

Like I said, probably an unpopular opinion but there it is.

ETA: I'm referring to what *I* would do, not what anyone else should do. If someone takes the time to responsibly rehome a dog, that is their prerogative and they will hear no grief from me even if I don't like the decision.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Honestly, I don't get it. It's probably not a popular opinion but I would suck it up and work on the bond. I made a big commitment bringing that dog home for life to become the owner they need. The only way we're even going to consider rehoming would be a situation where I don't think I could give a fair home to it or my previous dogs.

In my experience the biggest stumbling block to bonding with a dog can be you. I spent a long time not bonded to Trey but it was my fault for not appreciating who he was. He wasn't 'my kind of dog' AT ALL. But he was a great dog in his own Trey-like way. It was MY hangups that were the problem, not him. Once I stopped focusing on why he wasn't XYZ and started focusing on what he was it got better. He taught me so much and I am very glad we did not give him up. I don't think I really felt very bonded to him until he was 8 or so. I think several other family members never bonded to him. He was a very hard dog to bond with. Once it came though, it came hard and i miss him more than any other dog i've had.

People will do what they think is best but it always makes me sad when I hear people say they don't like a dog they live with. I don't get it at all. I don't think it's a fair attitude to have towards the dog.

Like I said, probably an unpopular opinion but there it is.

ETA: I'm referring to what *I* would do, not what anyone else should do. If someone takes the time to responsibly rehome a dog, that is their prerogative and they will hear no grief from me even if I don't like the decision.
I'll agree with this but I also believe it depends.

I love Gwen. But if I had a choice, would I go pick her again? Probably not. The breed is not suited to me and my lifestyle. But I chose her and I'm going to be there for her. I made that choice. She can't help that she's... the way she is. And a lot of is ME. I do not use her energy and smarts to her potential. I'm a lazy dog owner. We go for walks and we've started to get into doggy stuff, but compared to most of Chaz, we are a non dog household.

It depends on why you got the dog in the first place. Did you want a heart dog? Did you want a sport dog? Did you just want a dog?

I don't get the 'bond' thing. Like I said, I love Gwen and she's my dog dog, but I don't think I would CRUSHED if someone that was better suited to her adopted her. I would miss her and I wouldn't want her to go, but I have issues with letting things go anyway.

(But I only have one dog that I got from a shelter. Dogs are not my life. Gwen is a companion. She was not purchased for her talents. )

I don't know. I think I would need a better reason than "We're just not bonding."
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Honestly, I don't get it. It's probably not a popular opinion but I would suck it up and work on the bond. I made a big commitment bringing that dog home for life to become the owner they need. The only way we're even going to consider rehoming would be a situation where I don't think I could give a fair home to it or my previous dogs.

In my experience the biggest stumbling block to bonding with a dog can be you. I spent a long time not bonded to Trey but it was my fault for not appreciating who he was. He wasn't 'my kind of dog' AT ALL. But he was a great dog in his own Trey-like way. It was MY hangups that were the problem, not him. Once I stopped focusing on why he wasn't XYZ and started focusing on what he was it got better. He taught me so much and I am very glad we did not give him up. I don't think I really felt very bonded to him until he was 8 or so. I think several other family members never bonded to him. He was a very hard dog to bond with. Once it came though, it came hard and i miss him more than any other dog i've had.

People will do what they think is best but it always makes me sad when I hear people say they don't like a dog they live with. I don't get it at all. I don't think it's a fair attitude to have towards the dog.

Like I said, probably an unpopular opinion but there it is.

ETA: I'm referring to what *I* would do, not what anyone else should do. If someone takes the time to responsibly rehome a dog, that is their prerogative and they will hear no grief from me even if I don't like the decision.
This.

Personally, I just really like dogs in general. I have an "ideal" in mind of doggness, but truth be told, I'm not that picky about the details of a dog's personality. I tend to easily appreciate individuals for who they are, there are very few true deal beakers for me as far as a dogs personality is concerned.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:53 AM
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This was kind of the case with Ma'ii for a little while. Although we've had him for a year and 1/2 now, it wasn't until just a few months ago that we actually started bonding. I've always loved him, don't get me wrong. But there was no real...connection, I guess you could say for lack of a better term. A lot of this was because he made doing things together very difficult. He can be a VERY, very obnoxious dog, and makes even the simplest things like sitting down and cuddling nearly impossible, lol.

I eventually acknowledged there was a lack of bonding with him and I, and decided he deserved more effort then that. I began taking him out on one on one outings and hikes. Through this, we got to know each other better, and we began to bond. He's a VERY, very smart, and very sensitive dog that just needed someone who was willing to take the time to really get to know him well - something that I admittedly had never done. A lot of it was also a matter of I kept comparing him to Charlotte, who is a dog I bonded to right away from the start, and was subconsciously expecting him to be similar to her. Which is unrealistic and very unfair.

If I had put in the effort to bond with him, and still nothing happened, I don't think I'd have ever given up on him. I'd have kept pushing and kept trying, until the day he died. The only exception to this would have been if someone came along that I knew well who clicked with him better and who could have offered him a better life.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:57 PM
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That's a hard question to answer and I think a lot of it would have to depend on the situation.

Maybe it's just my history with having to rehome my dogs against my will, but I just don't think I could do it again even if I wasn't bonded to the dog. I can't say of course, but I just have a natural aversion to the idea of rehoming a dog after my personal experiences with it. It tore me up. Still does.

I don't have a bond with Violet like I do with Chloe. She is not the best fit for me. She gets on my nerves a lot, and does things that make me want to kill her half the time, but... I love her. She is my parents dog and when I move out she will not come with me. But if for any reason my parents couldn't handle her, I would take her. It would screw everything up, and I wouldn't be able to get another dog like I've been dreaming of, or have small animals because she would kill them. But I would take her. I wouldn't resent her for that or be unhappy. I love her. She makes me mad and she's not my ideal. But I would do anything for that dog. And as much as she irks me she also makes me laugh.

But the idea of someone rehoming a dog because they are not bonded does not bother me at all. Not if they take care to find the right home for them. I don't see anything wrong with that, and I'm sure in a lot of situations it would be better for the dog.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:57 PM
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Sounds like this person wants to rehome the dog, which is completely A OK in my books. They can give the dog to someone who will be very fond of it, which is nice for the new owner and for the dog. The original owner will then either be able to get another dog they really enjoy, or lighten their current load. Who loses? No one. Win win win.

Pawning off a problem dog on an unsuspecting owner is bad. Abandoning an dog to a crappy life or to die is bad. Not because ownership of a dog goes from person A to person B, but because someone is being harmed.

In most cases there is NOTHING WRONG with giving a nice, well-adjusted dog to another person who wants to take good care of it. Most dogs, especially if they aren't bonded to the person they're with, will adapt just fine. Rehoming is not dirty or shameful. If it's going to improve everyone's life... do it.
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