Bonding Advice Needed - Page 1

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by css33 on 23 January 2018 - 01:01

I am getting a new puppy and I need some advice for bonding. This will be my third GSD, but the issue is that my wife doesn't work, so she is at home during the day and spends much more time with the dog and they always bond to her. They always bond to me as well, but she is #1 in their heart. What can I do to be #1 even though I wont have a much time during the day with the pup?

by Hundmutter on 23 January 2018 - 05:01

Take the dog to work with you ?
Seriously, I have known dogs that spent all day driving around with their owners and yet still were pretty stuck on the other partner at home. The key to bonding is not who spends the most hours with the dog, it is about the quality of the relationship in the time they do spend with the dog; and who pays the highest wages.

Now you need to look honestly at how you related to your previous dog:
If you: always allow/expect your wife to be the person who puts food into the dog's bowl; leave the wife to cuddle up in front of the TV with the dog; never pay that much attention to the dog; are not the one who walks the dog regularly for its exercise (because that gets delegated to the wife or kids so often ...) - then you will not command the loyalty of the dog. Only you can tell us if any of this is true of you & your wife's habits with your previous dogs.

If however you are the person who feeds and exercises and cleans up after the dog for the majority of its life, because that is how you arrange the schedule even though you do not spend much of your day in the home with the dog, and you do not delegate most of that to your wife; if you are someone who does not expect the dog to bond just because you take it to Training Club once a week; if you are a person who, having taken on the majority role in your dog's life, are also the one who provides the most enriched and stimulating and exciting company while the dog is with you, then you stand a chance of being Numero Uno in your pooch's life. This latter point will take the most imagination and effort on your part: make life with you the most interesting and rewarding part of the dog's existence and it will bond with you. Force that, or be inconsistent with it and give up on it just because you are feeling tired some nights, whatever, and you can be assured whoever does give the dog consistency of reinforcement WILL get that loyalty. Good luck.

by Lover of Loyalty on 23 January 2018 - 06:01

I find this too cute and a sweet question! We got Kissy on Christmas day two years ago and she promptly fell asleep under the tree amongst the presents. Made such heart warming photos. I raised her daily doing everything including ball time! But she bonded with my husband! His secret? Took her fishing on Saturdays!!! She still bugs me to play ball but adores the ground he walks on! Oh well, the other three are definitely mine. My secret? I train them. So go figure?!

by yogidog on 23 January 2018 - 07:01

A lesson in stop the jealousy is what is needed Teeth Smile not a lesson in bonding Tongue Smile

Q Man

by Q Man on 23 January 2018 - 14:01

Bonding and Winning your dog's heart and affection is very simple...Just follow a few rules...

1-Feed your dog...(Even if your wife feeds the pup during the daytime you should be the one to feed him/her when you're there)

2-Take your dog for walks and spend Time with them...

3-Play with them...(Most people don't know how to Play with their dogs)...It's NOT the length of time you play with them but the quality of the time...

*When I have puppies I make sure that EVERYDAY I take them outside and Play with them...This will also help build their drives if done correctly...



by css33 on 23 January 2018 - 21:01

Thanks. This is exactly the type of advice I am looking for.

by GSD MAN on 24 January 2018 - 15:01


I’m in a similar situation with my wife staying home and spending more time with my dogs. However, I’m still #1. When I arrive home from a long days work, Im treated like royalty and my dogs completely ignore my wife. :)) I’m a lucky guy! I get all of the attention from my wife, kids and dogs. GSD’s are pack animals and they know who the Alpha is. It’s not a bad thing, but your wife is the Alpha. I tell my wife everyday that she is the Boss, but my kids are quick to jump in and say you are the Boss. It doesn’t matter how much I try to relinquish my status, kids and dogs are so smart and know who the Boss is. My advice is, it’s not the person that does the most cuddling that wins over the dog. It’s the person that sets rules and limits inside the house that becomes the Alpha. Lastly, feeding time, make sure that you participate in feeding your dog as much as possible. When the dog gets between 6 months to a year old and you are only feeding him 2x a day, make sure you are the one feeding him. True pack leader gives the least affection and still remains #1.
Best of luck!

by Centurian on 24 January 2018 - 15:01

Bonding .....

An interesting choice of word in the dog world . Personally I don't look at dogs as being to much diffedrent than people. I stress  ' to much '   not to imply that both humans and dogs are the same .. They are not the same yet we are extraordinarily similar.

I state this : who does the dog love  ...... the one that the dog respects ! Respect [ assuming people really understand that true meaning present day ] is earned ! Respect is not earned by doing this one thing or that one thing... BTW the giving of food can be a bribe if the parameters are not correct in general , because you can simply have value to the dog as a means to getting his food and other than that the dog can be done with you if other parameters are not met. ...... Gain your dogs TRUST and RESPECT - the rest will follow . Not rocket science in realizing this ...


by Jessejones on 26 January 2018 - 18:01

What I have learned...
Consistency is also key.
Dogs love routine and have the most amazing internal clocks on the planet.
Do things with your dog, every day at the same time. He will quickly start to anticipate doing these things with you at the same time each day, and already be waiting in excitement. Shape his daily routine.
Even if you are at work all day, shape it in the morning before you go to work and in the evening when you come home....every day, same o’clock.
For example, just you and dog: Go for long walks, same time every day. Talk to dog while walking, show him things, have him walk on logs and other little tricks.
Go out to play, same time every training, same time every day. Or as close to same as you can.
Bonding with a dog does take commitment. Don't let them run their own life just parallel to your life, in the same house, doing what they want when they want to.
Dole out resources one by one (toys) and remove them once the dog is finished playing with it. Do not leave toys laying around. Be the master keeper of all things great.
Fairness is also key.
A dogs sense of fairness is an awesome thing to behold.
Never correct or punish unjustly. (I would say never punish period, but will include as the parameters of “punish” are flexible)
Never let your bad mood out on them.
Always be clear in your commands and expectations. Always try to be the same so the dog knows what is expected of him. Be black and white...not grey. Watch your dog out of the corner of your eye all the time, to see what is catching his attention so you can be prepared at all times. And always be calm and in control of each situation (as much as possible.)
I can understand the OP’s lament. Just another thought....perhaps it also has to do with choosing the puppy. The person choosing the pup, often becomes the main person in the dogs life. Maybe the simple act of choosing the dog, already creates a bond going both ways? Like attracting like or such?



by Hundmutter on 26 January 2018 - 21:01

@jessejones  Thumbs UpThumbs UpThumbs Up

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