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Old 12-10-2014, 04:59 AM
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Default raising from puppyhood vs. adopting an adult?

I suddenly remembered that this is something I could actually post into a topic.

In your experiences, what are the difference in relationship/behavior/anything between raising a dog since puppyhood (8 weeks old or so) vs. adopting a mature adult (say 4 years old)? Or just... what are the differences in transition? Or something?
Did it take a long time for the bond between you and the adult dog to become as deep as that of the puppyhood dog? :x It probably depends on the dog? What are anyone's experiences?

my random occasional worry that after finally adopting an adult GSD, the relationship won't be as deep and intuitive as between Rara and I/my family. I dunno. slkdjfsldjflk
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:15 AM
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Okay answering this because I'm also awake and apparently avoiding sleep. I've had a few people bring this up to me as a possible concern over the last few weeks. I can't really answer for real yet so for me, I'll only know when it actually happens.

But with that said... I feel like it's relevant to say that it took me up to 2 or 3 years to actually, really feel bonded to my dog. The dog that I got as a 7-8 week old puppy, and wanted for as long as I could remember. I loved him but I just didn't quite click with him until we (well, I) began to figure things out and smooth things over. Additionally, I have friends who know for a fact they do not bond well with adult dogs, while adult dogs have always appealed to me more so than puppies. So yeah, I think it would really depend on both the individual person and the dog. All I know for sure is that getting a dog as a puppy definitely doesn't guarantee an instant or easy connection.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:52 AM
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People who say that are full of s**t. Bond depends on the person and the dog, not the age of acquisition.

Meg and I bonded faster and harder than I could have imagined, and she was about 18 months when I got her. I have had Gusto since he was 7 weeks, and we didn't start to really connect until six months ago.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:17 AM
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In terms of bonding, yes the bond I have with Cobain is incredibly deep. But it wasn't always that way. With Cobain it took months from first interaction to fully form that bond.

Whereas with Rigby, she and I shared a bond since the moment I saw her.


Bonds form over training and compatible personalities. Age acquired has relatively little to do with it IMO
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:24 AM
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I have found raising a puppy versus an adult is actually kind of similar. Raising an adult dog feels a bit like going through puppyhood at warp speed, at least in my experience.

You have a honeymoon period, and then the dog comes out of its shell and surprises you with all these behaviours they didn't show before, they don't listen, and then they settle into a routine and everything is lovely again.

I also think people who say they can't bond with adult dogs are full of ****. Sure, maybe they bond immediately to their puppies, but is it the same bond they have now that their dog is an adult?
With a puppy, I find the feeling is more of a "this tiny thing depends on me for everything" than a bond. With an adult dog, I feel like we are a team/best friends/you complete me kind of bond. I find that hard/impossible with a puppy as they are so needy.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:28 AM
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Depends on the dog. I will say the two dogs I've immediately bonded with have been two of the ones I got as puppies- Nikki and I were bonded the second we looked at each other and with Mia it was just two days in. It was a sudden, strong bond. Nikki and Mia also had very similar personalities and I think that was a big part of it. I'm very drawn to the snarky intelligent girls.

With Summer it took a while... almost a year to really get to a point where the bond was very strong. It was there before but it grew slowly. The more work we've done together, the better it has become. I love that little dog a lot.

Hank... it's a work in progress. This last month it's starting to grow and I've caught myself telling him 'I love Hank' and then I kind of stop and realize it's true. He still annoys me a LOT. lol So it's phases right now.... 'I love this dog, he's amazing!' 'Omg this dog is annoying and will probably live 15+ more years, how am I going to live with this that long?'

It'll get there, I'm sure.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozfozz View Post
Bonds form over training and compatible personalities. Age acquired has relatively little to do with it IMO
^^ The short version. 100% true in my experience.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:36 AM
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I think it's much more dependent on individual owner and dog than age.

Personally, I prefer to get puppies. I know from previous non-dog experience that I have a hard time bonding with adult animals. I don't think it has anything to do with a mutual bond though, just my own feelings towards the animal. I think I have an immediate maternal type thing with baby animals and I don't feel that towards adults so the bond takes longer. As far as time for the animal to bond to me, I don't see any age dependency at all.

Watson and I are still working on our bond. Some days it's there, and some days I want to strangle him. But I fell hard for him the first day I brought him home. With my rabbits, I bonded immediately with the one I got as a baby, though at 5 years he would be happy if he never had to see people again. So I feel the bond, but he doesn't care at all. I got my other rabbit at 3 years old and she is much more affectionate and bonded to us, but it took me at least a year to feel bonded to her on my side.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:51 AM
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IME (and I think its obviously different for other people) I bond more closely with dogs I have had since puppy hood. Once I have bred even more (Snip, Kat, Dekka) There is something about being with them from the start for me. I don't know if it allows me to pick the absolute best fit, or if having them young and impressionable allows them to adapt to my family.

Not saying that older dogs can't fit in great. Just my personal experience, as much as I don't really like puppies (so much work) to live with I prefer getting puppies if I want a dog to really be 'mine'.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:54 PM
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Well, I've done both now. Buddy we got as a puppy, Roxie just as she turned a year old and had been in many other homes. Roxie is my heart dog.

I honestly do not miss those puppy years (well, okay, I wish I'd have seen puppy pictures of Roxie) all that much. I don't think it's made any impact. I think Roxie would still bond closely to me, even if I'd have gotten her when she was older. She's just one of those dogs.

Back when we first got her, she was so glued to me that my sisters would have to take her in a different room (which would make her quite unhappy) just to get Roxie to pay any attention to them at all- I couldn't even be in the same room if they wanted to play with Roxie. Luckily, I'm not as much of a novelty anymore, lol.

Now, Buddy, the one I raised from a 6 week old puppy... she was actually a lot closer to my dad. I was the one who fed, walked, trained, slept, played, etc with her. She did not care at. all. about me. It was actually extremely frustrating for me, as she was my birthday present.

So, IMO, it does not matter one bit what age you get a dog at. Yes, it's nice to raise them and get them around the cute puppy years, but it does not change your bond. I've really enjoyed having Roxie as an adult, though. I basically knew exactly what her temperament was like, and we were set to go activity-wise.
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