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Old 09-06-2010, 11:40 AM
119 posts, read 467,900 times
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First of all I have to say that I am a huge dog lover and that I sometimes feel like I like dogs better than most people. Having said that I feel that I am not bonding very well with my adorable, sweet, rescue Sheltie and I am not sure why. She has a few bad quirks like she is still poo(ing) in the house and she doesnt like anyone, including my hubby, but me but overall she is a great puppy. She is very sweet, loves me to snuggle and pet her, loves my Lab/Shepherd mix to death and is about the cutest dog ever. But for some reason I dont feel about her like I do my "Buddy". I got Buddy when he was an 8 week old puppy and he is such a great dog. I love him like he was my son. When he ever passes it will be like loosing a child. But with Siera, even though I really like her and show her lots of love I dont feel the same way. Of course I would be sad if anything would ever happen to her but not like I would be with Buddy. My hubby said it was because I raised Buddy up as a pup and Siera came to us as a 4 to 5 YO. I have only had Siera a few months but I feel guilty that I dont love her the way I do Buddy. I, of course, never show any preference around the dogs and treat them the same. I actually give Siera more attention because Buddy doesnt really require much. He would much prefer to eat, sleep and play than get petted or snuggle. Have you ever had a dog that you just didnt bond to as much as you think you should have? Is there anything I can do different or will time just take care of this? I know that Siera really needs me and I wouldnt ever give her up I just want to love her like I do Buddy.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:47 PM
Location: In the north country fair
5,013 posts, read 10,696,212 times
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Your husband is right. Sometimes, it takes longer to bond with an older, adopted dog b/c you are not raising it from infancy. She has already had a lot of experiences (and vice versa) that you have not been there for, so trust will take longer to develop.

When I first got my cat from the shelter, I really didn't feel much of a bond. She really just did her own thing while she became accustomed to the house. However, it's been two years and things are totally different now; she is definitely part of the family now.

I think it just takes time.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:31 PM
Location: West Coast of Florida
1,439 posts, read 2,920,693 times
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It takes time to bond. I rescued my dog when she was 2 1/2 years old. She was quite a handful in the early months and it wasn't until a good 6 months after I had her that we began bonding. And that was just the beginning of an amazing friendship. Now 10 years later, with her having turned into my little old lady, gray hairs and all... I get teary eyed thinking of the day when she will pass on.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:43 PM
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,352 posts, read 20,032,749 times
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i get this on transports ..... some dogs just INSTANTLY crawl into my heart.... others not so much and even others, i am just glad to hand off.....

i fostered a border collie mix fella for a couple of months last summer..... the rescue SO wanted me to adopt him, that they were going to waive the adoption fee...... i tried and tried with this fella, but could never develop a bond with him.... i think a lot of that had to do with the behavior issues he had...... i tried and tried with those too..... but will be the first to admit that i was THRILLED (and a little sad mixed in), when he was adopted while at an adoption event while i was out of town..... his behavior was hard on me and TERRIBLY hard on and unfair to bailey..... he was returned to the rescue one more time and then FINALLY wound up with the right forever family..... bailey and i happened to be walking into petco while they were there meeting him and talking to the rescue.... i went over and joined the conversation for awhile..... told them EVERY thing i had dealt with in his time with me ..... i thought the rescue lady was going to bore holes in me with her eyes, but i didn't care..... she knew why he had been returned in the first place and it was for the same behavior that i couldn't deal with..... i believe a potential adopter should know everything possible about a dog before they make that decision..... it is too hard on the dog to keep being returned over and over and over again.......

enough about me and my story..... sounds like your sheltie girl has a lot of potential..... accidents in the house are manageable and if you are seeing improvements.... baby steps though they may be, then i think it is worth investing the time and energy in her to see her become the dog she was meant to be.......

heck, dave just had an accident in the house a couple of weeks ago..... first time in months and months and months..... i heard him jump off the bed and walk down the hall to the living room..... i just didn't wake up enough to realize that i should GET UP and get him outside..... .... and he had a bit of an upset stomach......
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:30 PM
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It took me awhile to bond with my current dog who I adopted not as a young puppy, she was between 6 and 10 months old. I even seriously considered returning her to the shelter (behavior issue). But day by day, over several months, she grew on me. I have had her 8 months now and am very attached to her.

There was one dog in my life which I got as a tiny puppy who lived with me until she was almost 16 years old. I will probably never reach that same level of amazing attachment. But I love my dog.

The attachment may just sneak up on you.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:45 PM
Location: NC
422 posts, read 1,362,625 times
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I understand. Chipper I adopted when he was 3-4months old and Zoey I got when she was 6yrs old and have had her a lil over a year right now. She has had lots of issues from whipworms, going to the bathroom in my house and even in her crate. I have to give her more attention as she is needier than Chipper and needs to be in whatever room I am in. It has gotten better over the last several months and I must say most of the accidents now occur on teh weekends when our schedule is different. It has taken much more time than I anticipated. And I too, feel bad that I would be more upset about something happening to Chipper but I realize I would be sad if Zoey was hurt. Sometimes it is hard when they can frustrate you so.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:01 PM
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All dogs are different...just like people. (I agree with you BTW...I love dogs more than people, too).
I have always bonded with every Rott we have rescued. All ages, problems, etc...etc... We had 1 female that took me forever to bond with. She was just different, for whatever reason. FINALLY one day I noticed her slowly changing. I just let her do it in her own time. She was stubborn & didn't like to be told what to do. Once I just started loving the other Rotts, she finallly realized I'm ok. She just didn't want to be pushed to do some things.
I would give her more time & love.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:56 AM
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Like you, I love my Bigun as you do your sheltie, but he's not the same dog as my SengKye, now deceased. Bigun is more adventuresome, and independent. Probably, he is more intelligent. SK was attentive and more attuned to me because he needed me more.

If I think about my life, my relationships with everyone I know are different, because each of the individuals are different. My dogs are individuals of a different species.

I've learned that expectations are the way to unhappiness. Love freely, and expect others to be who they are, at every given moment with them. Each moment is as unique as the individual before you, right now.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:07 AM
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If you're lucky, you will occasionally meet a dog of a lifetime. The others are beloved friends. Some of my adoptees have felt like honored guests, but eventually I do come to love each one on his own terms. Even the wild beagle, who became a great footwarmer even though I still have the broken dishes and child locks on the cabinets to remember him.
I adopt shy dogs. They are unlikely to become lap dogs or great buddies, but I do love caring for them, and eventually, they do at least follow me around, sleep in my room, and seem to like my company. I just petted Miss Eloise, who is ten, who I've had for almost three years, and she still runs if I reach for her, as a rule. But she watches me, sleeps on the bed, and follows me around at arms' length, and I love her.
Usually, a shelter or rescue can suggest which adoptee really wants a person, or will warm up with time, or isn't likely to. The shy dogs are very hard to place in homes, because they aren't so gratifying (at least at first). My current five run a gamut of attachment to me, but they're all my family and household. (I do like to have one or two who are very attached to me, it's true).
Oddly, my original two pups, who I got the day they were wearned, were never that attached to me. They were busy with each other. They liked me well enough, but weren't cuddlers or anything. But the 14-year-old cattle dog I adopted came up to me the first minute I met him and put his head on my knee (and his caretakers knew he was like that). (RIP, Ezra)
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:40 AM
268 posts, read 704,086 times
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I havent read all the replies, but I did want to add my 2cents.
We have a dog we raised from a pup as well as a dog we adopted at age 3, she is 5 now. Neither scenario is easy. The puppy years are challenging...when you adopt an adult dog, it is just as challenging, but in a different way. Both are alot of work. The dog we've had from a puppy grew up in our home, he is over 9 now. he "knows" us, inside and out, all of our ways, habits, vocabulary....the newest member came to us housebroken,but with alot of "quirks". It was obvious she'd also never been walked, never had a leash...what we did was, establish a concrete routine that she could count on, day in and day out. Now we eat, now we walk, now we go to bed...a large part of it is, it takes TIME and she/he needs to come to believe that you are reliable and that he/she can trust you. It doesnt happen overnight, and it varies depending on the dog. I can tell you that it took about 9 months for me to see this new dog even wag her tail. Can you imagine? She showed no enthusiasm for anything, and we were kissing her butt !
I read your other thread, about the dog not liking your hubby. We had that, too. If my husband entered the room, she walked out. And she would look over her shoulder at him and give him the dirtiest looks ! He was never anything but patient and kind with her, but honestly, it got so frustrating when no matter how much we loved her and spent time with her, there was zero reciprocation. We kept at it....when I worked on Saturdays, she would go on hunger strike when my husband fed her, she would skulk around, it was tough. Then one weekend I flew to my sisters house and left hubby with the dogs. On day 2 he felt sorry for her, she was still not going into a room where he was, she was still not eating. He picked this big girl up, put her on the couch, fed her cheerios, stroked her, held her...sang...took a picture with his cell and sent it to me, I was shocked!
When I got home, things were NEVER the same again. She became HIS girl. She follows him around. Gone are the dirty looks, and they were so funny, we kind of miss them ! From the moment he gets home in the evenings, this dog's face is lit up with the goofiest looking smile youve ever seen.
And the walks? She HOWLS, TALKS, cuts up, like youve never seen, when we get the leash out. No more timidity, its " let's go" !
Her true self has finally emerged. It took about a year to BEGIN. Im not kidding you. I questioned myself, " did I do the right thing? Will this ever get better? Will I ever love her? Will I ever feel that over the top love I have for our other dog?". Well, I can honestly say now, yes, we had a hard go at it, but it is worth it. We cant imagine life without her. We LOVE her so much. It doesnt matter anymore, that she didnt know us her first 3 years. She is ours. And she acts like it! This morning she jumped in our bed, kissed our faces all over, rolled on her back with her belly up, and then started "vocalizing" her happiness, it went on for several minutes. What joy ! It has finally "clicked" with her. Seeing her blossom has been a real thrill for us. I am so lucky we never threw in the towel. She doesnt even resemble the uncertain, introverted, unaffectionate dog she once was.
I am certain this will happen for you all, too. Just keep loving her and time will do the rest. Good Luck !
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