Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As my relationship with Butters grows, I find more and more how independent she is. She doesn't care if I leave, doesn't care when I come home - she just likes to go off and do her own thing. She's not the cuddly type, only coming close to me if she's really tired and starts passing out, which is when I put her in her crate for bedtime.

She's also not a huge fan of petting, and much prefers playtime. I love her to death but sometimes feel that maybe she doesn't like me or is not attached to me :( I spend every night with her after I come home from work and weekends, and take her for long walks everyday. I also spend a lot of time grooming her (which she still hates despite the continuous treats that come during those sessions), and socializing her with other dogs and people.

Sometimes I wonder if she's even happy with me at all...If she wouldn't care less if she was with another family..

I'm a little sad about this :( I know it's selfish, but I'm a super affectionate type of person, and loves to cuddle and be affectionate with animals...

Just thought I'd share my thoughts, and if anyone else feels the same way please write below!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I'm sorry. I just love a velcro dog myself, so I can imagine how you feel.

This is what I mean when I say that not every dog is right for every person and vice versa. It's not necessarily something that justifies rehoming a dog, but it's not the perfect relationship, either.

I think Butters does love you, she just isn't a cuddly dog. Some dogs aren't. Is there something else you could do with her? She loves playtime, so what about starting a sport with her? It might improve your relationship if you had the pleasure and pride of competing in agility or something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Training together really promotes bonding. Dogs can learn to like being touched. Let's say you train with really good treats. AS you give the treat, touch your dog gently. Let her learn that the treat comes when she is touched. The two will become associated. But keep the touch brief and gentle, almost incidental at first.

Hand-feeding is good too. Getting rid of the food bowl.

Exercising together is great, but I know you are doing that already.

Susan Garrett's book, Ruff Love, has some really interesting ideas. As with every book, take what makes sense and leave the rest. The program is pretty intense, but it's powerful. I use it in a modified way with most of my fosters and dogs.

Some dogs are more velcro-y than others, but I have never owned a dog that wasn't clingy. I *assume* that how I live with them promotes bonding, otherwise I wouldn't be at 100%.

One of the best ways to push a dog away is to force yourself on them. When I am just chilling with the dogs, I leave them alone. I don't babble at them on intrude. I don't touch them if they are sleeping or chewing. I give them their space. My stepson intrudes and interrupts them a lot, seeking attention, and my dogs have a much more distant relationship with him.

I hope you can get to a place where both of you are happy. Training and communication help so, so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
Pepper never lets me out of his sight, but he doesn't really like it when I pet him. He doesn't lick, but he'll touch his nose to mine instead. He'll curl up next to me or on my clothes, but rarely climbs onto my lap.

He also doesn't seem to care one way or the other if I leave him for a few hours - he just climbs into his little basket by the door and goes to sleep, but he is always happy to see me.

After 1.5 years I'm used to it, and at this point I don't know if I'd change him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,435 Posts
What breed is she again, and how old is she?

I like an aloof dog, and my Alaskan Klee Kai fits the bill. I do find, though, that as he gets older (he's two now), he's bonded more with me and likes being in the same room with me even if the door's open and he's free to wander off. He likes napping with me in my bed sometimes, curled up against my back. He's not a lap dog and he never will be, but he has gotten more affectionate and more eager to please the longer I've owned him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Kabota just licked me for the first time, and it turns out that my husband really misses Muggsy's incessant licking, so he's been training Kabota to lick. So I guess you can train more affection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Like trainingjunkie said, training your dog will really work at that bond. If your dog's 'currency' is play ... play with her. Let her know that you are the most fun thing in the world ... YOU have the fun toys (and take them when you've finished playing ... she only get to play with the 'cool' stuff with you) and you promote the most fun she has.
You want her to be cuddly and fit into your picture of 'the perfect dog' ... she doesn't know what a perfect dog is ... She's just being herself. You need to teach her to like what's important to you, by making yourself important to her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,946 Posts
Like trainingjunkie said, training your dog will really work at that bond. If your dog's 'currency' is play ... play with her. Let her know that you are the most fun thing in the world ... YOU have the fun toys (and take them when you've finished playing ... she only get to play with the 'cool' stuff with you) and you promote the most fun she has.
You want her to be cuddly and fit into your picture of 'the perfect dog' ... she doesn't know what a perfect dog is ... She's just being herself. You need to teach her to like what's important to you, by making yourself important to her.
Agree with this. Well-said.

I can't imagine owning a dog that didn't want to follow me wherever I went. I think I'd find it unnerving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,391 Posts
Your dog needs to play to burn off energy. After she is happily tired, she may be ready for a relaxing massage and cuddle.

When I first got my Lab, I felt like you, b/c he always was friendly to everyone else... but not much to me. But as he got a little older and I got a little wiser, I saw that he wanted both of us to be friendly with new people. Eleven years later, he's still that way. He wants some attention, then he wants to go see someone else... or he wants to go to sleep... But he wakes up to see what I'm doing, then goes back to sleep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
I think your dog is still under a year old right? If so, I wouldn't give up hope until she's around two. My youngest dog was a fairly aloof puppy. He was more interested in biting and chewing and wrestling with his sister than sitting still with his people. Then at around ten months he started to sleep up on the bed with us and since then he's turned into something of a snuggler. He's nowhere near our Boxer, who would crawl into our skin if she thought she could, but it's a marked improvement. Nowadays he really likes to come up to us and sit on our feet, which I assume is affectionate? :p Most dogs don't fully mature and get their adult mindset until they're around two.

I'd also recommend more exercise. A fidgety dog won't want to sit still enough to snuggle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
Storee was very aloof as a puppy, she just didn't have time to sit and cuddle when there was something not nailed down she could retrieve! Drove me nuts, to this day she's not a good housedog. Best I can get is making her do a long down while we watch TV, and even then you can see the wheels turning 'down... I'm doing a down..... do you see me mom? I'm down. Oh boy, I'm doing a down.... down.... down....' the entire time she's thinking and thinking!

But she is MY dog. She will not put up with anyone else walking her, they may hold her leash but walk next to me, if they start to walk her away, she will grab the leash out of their hand and bring it to me to hold. She doesn't do it if told not to or if the person walking her has some status in her mind (she's ok with going with her breeder for example, that's fine) but if the person will allow her to jump on them and softly pull the leash loop out of their hands, she's quick to return herself to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,277 Posts
It can be hard to have a dog with an independent personality, especially a puppy that needs a lot of attention and training. I imagine it feels like a very one-sided relationship. We had that experience with our girl, who is now 6. She cared way more about dogs than people. We used to joke that her hierarchy was her dog friends, peanut butter, other dogs, bully sticks, then maybe us. She was so wild and had little focus on us, in spite of lots of classes and working with 3 different trainers. That was my first experience with an independent dog and I'll admit it was a struggle. It was compounded by the fact that she hated being left alone! Wut?? I thought you were independent??? That was very confusing.

I've since learned that dogs come with all kinds of personalities, which is pretty cool when you think about it. You just need to temper your expectations and get those Disney movies out of your head. Our girl has calmed down a lot and I now see that she is very loving and affectionate, but in her own subtle way. She snakes us like a cat when we come home and pooks us in the butt. She tries to steal the socks from our feet and talks to us whenever she wants a treat or to play. She loves our group hugs (we call them Poca sandwiches, for which she usually comes running) and butt rubs and when I scritch the side of her face. She just needs her space and we now understand and appreciate that.

I think if you watch your girl as she grows and keep up the training, play games with her that she thinks are fun, etc., you'll see more and more signs of attachment. They may not be the tail wagging, lick you all over type, but they'll be there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,074 Posts
my Izze was like that, i knew she loved me but all the cuddling we did was for my selfish benifit not hers LOL, i hope that my next dog will be more touchy feely like Josefina.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts
Sydney came from a situation where she was for large portions of the day and wasn't allowed on the furniture. She wasn't very comfortable getting a lot of physical attention for quite some time after I brought her home at the age of 2. Over that past 3 years her personality has changed a lot and I think it's just due to her living in a different sort of household. She has free roam of the house and furniture and sleeps in our bedroom (in her open crate). She's not incredibly velcro but I'd say she's more average now, whereas she was quite aloof before. She LOVES getting belly rubs from new people (or I guess from anyone) and she'll curl up at your feet or rest her head in your lap. She does enjoy play more than cuddling but I think cuddling is now in the top 5. ;p

I think another thing that's really helped is all the training I've done with her to get her to accept nail trimmings and teeth brushing. Just getting her used to the idea that having her paws, or mouth or pretty much anywhere touched by a human can be rewarding instead of scary I think has been integral. I can't remember exactly how long it took but after 3 years, friends of mine who knew her in her first days home find the transformation incredible.

I guess the moral of my story is that you might just have to stick it out, and help her along with training that rewards acceptance of human touch. Her personality/tolerance level is certainly not set in stone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to keep you all updated on how things are going so far - I've taken a lot of advice into consideration here, and to both our benefit! She has become a lot more attached to me now, and every time I move, she jerks out of her relaxed position and happily follows me even if it's just a trip to the kitchen. she's always eagerly looking up at me, and I suppose it's because we've been doing a LOT of training, mostly clicker based, but also just general good behaviour training. She's coming along slowly, but I'm enjoying the process far more than I would've imagined. She still doesn't really snuggle with me, but rather watches me while she's resting, sometimes her eyes look so soulful. I love her more each day, and though there are definitely frustrations with puppy rearing, I find it enriching, and a learning experience for me. I guess no relationship is perfect, but you get what you sow, and I'm trying my best to show her everyday how much I appreciate her in my life by always trying to understand her and meet her needs and desires.

Thanks everyone, and will keep positng about further puppy frustrations to come! She's now 10 months old and we had a long off leash session at the baseball diamond and we just ran around each other like a pair of nuts. People were staring, but it was such a joy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,277 Posts
I'm so glad things are working out! I think if you could fast forward XX months and then XX months again you would be amazed at the good changes still yet to come in your relationship - it's all good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,946 Posts
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to keep you all updated on how things are going so far - I've taken a lot of advice into consideration here, and to both our benefit! She has become a lot more attached to me now, and every time I move, she jerks out of her relaxed position and happily follows me even if it's just a trip to the kitchen. she's always eagerly looking up at me, and I suppose it's because we've been doing a LOT of training, mostly clicker based, but also just general good behaviour training. She's coming along slowly, but I'm enjoying the process far more than I would've imagined. She still doesn't really snuggle with me, but rather watches me while she's resting, sometimes her eyes look so soulful. I love her more each day, and though there are definitely frustrations with puppy rearing, I find it enriching, and a learning experience for me. I guess no relationship is perfect, but you get what you sow, and I'm trying my best to show her everyday how much I appreciate her in my life by always trying to understand her and meet her needs and desires.

Thanks everyone, and will keep positng about further puppy frustrations to come! She's now 10 months old and we had a long off leash session at the baseball diamond and we just ran around each other like a pair of nuts. People were staring, but it was such a joy.
Awesome! Be careful: training (and especially clicker training) is extremely addicting! I would suggest you keep this up to continue strengthening your bond. Look up "shaping" and incorporate it into your training. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, look into various dog sports: agility, disc, flyball, Schutzhund, treiball. Nosework is another one that requires less skill/athletic ability on the handler's part and is quickly gaining popularity in the states. These types of activities can increase a dog's confidence and get them enjoying working with their handler as a team.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,391 Posts
Got pictures? What is the breed?

Re: Petting - Some dogs like to be scratched, some like to be rubbed... none like 'patting'. Some like ears scratched, jaw scratched, or neck scratched. If you have short finger nails, you can rub inside the ears, with the same sensitivity that you'd rub your own closed eye lids. And most puppies like to have their belly rubbed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Awesome! Be careful: training (and especially clicker training) is extremely addicting! I would suggest you keep this up to continue strengthening your bond. Look up "shaping" and incorporate it into your training. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, look into various dog sports: agility, disc, flyball, Schutzhund, treiball. Nosework is another one that requires less skill/athletic ability on the handler's part and is quickly gaining popularity in the states. These types of activities can increase a dog's confidence and get them enjoying working with their handler as a team.
That would be amazing! Shes definitely showing her smarts more each day, and I would love to have her play frisbee!! She fetches toys well but is still having a tough time with balls, but hopefully we could do some kind of agility course :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Got pictures? What is the breed?

Re: Petting - Some dogs like to be scratched, some like to be rubbed... none like 'patting'. Some like ears scratched, jaw scratched, or neck scratched. If you have short finger nails, you can rub inside the ears, with the same sensitivity that you'd rub your own closed eye lids. And most puppies like to have their belly rubbed.
I have some pics on my profile but I'll try to post up some recent pics tmr! She definitely is not keen on being touched on top of her head, but loves it behind the ears, chest and on her cheeks :) sometimes she starts to slowly close her eyes and she looks so relaxed! Try doin the TellinTouch massage, not sure if she likes it,

It's funny cuz it took me 6 months to teach her to sit and I thought she had a development problem, but now she's accelerating in her learning and she definitely reads hand signals far more effectively than vocal cues tho today she sprinted to me on her four wee legs from about 100 feet away as I yelled out the recall which was amazing!!! Training a small dog is So tough because u have to crouch, and it's generally harder to communicate a good sit outdoors when they're so far below and there's a cute dog just down the street :( for anyone who has a dog less than a foot tall, any suggestions? I don't use any leash corrections , so far just doing positive training with some mild voice corrections mixed in - thank u!!!
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top