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Why can't I bond with my dog?

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Here is the short version of this as the long version could take a lifetime.

 

Basically 2 years ago i was presented with an ultimatum, Take this dog or she's off to be pts. ! A year previous to this my long time friend (sharpe x english bull) had died, It crushed me and i vowed never own another dog, Before this i owned two GSD's that both lived to the ripe old age of 17.

 

Anyway, The "new dog", I'm having a real hard time bonding, i still haven't.

I walk her, Feed her, Play with her when i get home, Take her on long country walks when i'm able, she also sleeps upstairs with us as she's still quite insecure, I know in her previous home she was bullied by two other larger dogs and often went without food, Pretty sure she was beat too as when i go to stroke her on the head she cowers, sometimes even pee's, Either way within seconds she'll roll over in submission.

It's twisting my head, I know 100% she's far better off now than she's ever been, and she'll never come to any harm, My 4 kids adore her, But i see in her eyes she knows the love isn't quite there from me, Maybe it due to previously owning a succession of large confident dogs. ?

She's not going anywhere, She's with me till her days are done or our bloodline dies out, ( i do love her!!!) So i guess i'm just venting, but i'd welcome (non troll) comments or advice on my situation.

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I'm not a dog behavioural expert (& perhaps that could be what's needed) but I think before you can help your dog I think you need a greater understanding of her past. From what you have described it seems as though she has undergone some serious abuse, both from her human (I hesitate to call them that) but also she got no respite from her pack. It seems as though she got no break from abuse/bullying in one form or another. Now imagine this was a child that had gone through that level of abuse, that trauma will always stay & it takes years before that fear of being abused isn't forefront in her mind. Try and spend some one to one time with her & also to be petted let her come to you, call her & even if she doesn't come immediately (the use of treats here helps) still keep your tone happy & as you pet her lower yourself down to her level and don't go straight for the top of the head or her back but under her chin, and as she relaxes then move always keeping aware of her body language, is she appears to tense then move back to where she is relaxed. It id highly possibly that she will always have the initial fear instinct & trust will take time. I wish you both luck & hope that you both find a way to bond

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I am a firm believer that you don't feel the 'furry soul mate vibes' with some animals, either at all, or to the same intensity, as you do with other animals. In that there's no difference to how we love the humans in our life- some we love so much it hurts, but our partners we love differently to how we love parents, children or friends. If a partner dies then when you have grieved and fallen in love with another partner the second partner doesn't get loved in the same way, or even to the same intensity as the first partner, and the second partner in no way replaces the first.

 

I don't think that I will ever love any other cat with the same passion that I loved my beautiful blue Burmese boy Tico, who died without warning just before his third birthday. This doesn't mean that I don't love my other cats, or that I didn't love those who I had before him, I just loved him differently.

 

The dog you have now is not one that you would have chosen and you didn't get her at the right time for you either. Both of these are likely to affect how connected you feel (or don't feel) with her, but then so could hundreds of other factors, from behavioural issues to health problems for any of the humans or animals in your family.

 

The 'I'm going to guilt you into taking this animal or feeling responsible for their death' routine is something that I've seen a huge number of times whilst working in rescue and it stinks. It's a piece of emotional manipulation that annoys me so much. If they want to have the dog put to sleep then that's their issue, not anybody else's, and they alone should bear the responsibility for that. It's unfair in the extreme to effectively force someone to take in and take responsibility for an animal that they wouldn't otherwise take into their home.

 

It's very likely that there's a residual resentment inside you somewhere about the circumstances of how the dog ended up with you, but the only person who can let it go is you.

 

You can't expect to love every dog in exactly the same way as the last dog you had, or the last soul mate that you remember with the rose tinted glasses that come with the natural bias coloured by your love and I think that even the concept of bonding differs from one relationship to another. To expect all other relationships to be that perfect can hamper the development of new relationships, if you see what I mean.

 

It's great that you are committed to being responsible for this dog- I hope that your relationship with her improves over time :)

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Hi there i could give you some help with this if you would like a home visit please pm me many thanks from Steve

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This reminds me of one of my dogs a bit.

 

I had Meg for 16 years and she was a funny little dog, a Collie Jack Russell x, she never did really bond with me too much, she seemed to only love my kids and would have done anything for them, never bothered with me much at all.

 

I suddenly realised that things were a bit different a while after the kids had left home, Meg began to sleep at my feet and followed me everywhere, she was such a funny little character very independant, but she began to rely upon me as she was deaf and going blind...but forever as soon as she saw little Boys anywhere she would go mad with excitement thinking her little Boys were back, it was very touching really.

 

The last 4 years of her life she became my dog, and I do love and miss her very much.

 

 

Look at your dog with "new eyes" you will find things to love there always are...and time changes things, I hope that you find a way to bond with her, I am sure that she would love that so much :)

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Maybe you could try doing some extra bonding with her.

I don't know.. Maybe there's some sort of doggy relationship sessions you could take her to? Help encourage your relationship.

 

I will never love another dog like my Lady, because I grew up with her by my side. I know I will never get that kind of relationship again, because I can't grow up again ( :hihi: )

But doesn't stop me getting dogs or striving to have another equally good relationship, even though it will never be that one again. Just different kinds and degrees of love.

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@ Kerrangaroo.

 

Gutted, But they'd have to go through brick walls first.

She's ours now, I'd never give her up as i honestly believe she couldn't find a better home than the one she has now, Though i'm factoring in that she'll never really bond with anyone.

 

She follows me incessantly, I can't even go to the toilet without her, Really. She goes crazy on my return even after an hour apart and i'm more than happy to fuss her.

 

I just get the impression she's done with humans and will never fully trust one again, So it's a two way thing if you will.

 

Maybe i'm just being over sensitive.

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I believe you have already written what the problem & solution is, you say you can't bond with, yet your devotion & love rings through in your words, you say you think she is finished with humans yet she follows you around & clearly misses you when you leave the room. As has been said by others your love for her may be different because she was forced on you but the love is there, maybe there is some resentment & that is what she is picking up on?

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@ Kerrangaroo.

 

Gutted, But they'd have to go through brick walls first.

She's ours now, I'd never give her up as i honestly believe she couldn't find a better home than the one she has now, Though i'm factoring in that she'll never really bond with anyone.

 

She follows me incessantly, I can't even go to the toilet without her, Really. She goes crazy on my return even after an hour apart and i'm more than happy to fuss her.

 

I just get the impression she's done with humans and will never fully trust one again, So it's a two way thing if you will.

 

Maybe i'm just being over sensitive.

 

:) That's why I asked.

 

The relationship is there, you need no outside help only time as the problem appears to be in your head not the pooch.

It's taken one of ours almost a year to settle in properly and he still has room to improve. Only now can I see who he really is and only now can I honestly say that 'I love him.'

Until recently he has been given space and time though his behaviour is not dissimilar to your dog in that he follows me and shows plenty of affection when I come home from work.

 

The thing is, they're all different and because of that we have to adjust to them. Sometimes it's easy, with others we have to wait and see their character come through.

What he already has from you is enough, anymore will eventually come. As for bonding, it sounds like the glue is pretty strong.

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Know for sure that dog will never replace the one you lost in your heart and your body language will be portraying this to her. She doesn't have a clue what you saved her from, she only knows you feed and walk her. It was so hard for me after Sheba....but our Zeus her replacement faced same fate...he's lovely but not Sheba. It takes time luv, try taking time out Sat with her and just cuddle....break those barriers :) happy dog and content you......eventually. Remember life is not in the past, it's for living! X

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A cliche saying but so true - enjoy what you do feel for her & don't worry about what you don't

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