View Full Version : How long did it take your dogs to really bond?

29th December 2008, 06:16 PM
We got our newest Bentley 6 weeks ago and he was almost 1. As you can tell by my signature we have two other dogs. Our shih tzu is fine with him. Our other cavalier who will be 5 next month had a very hard time at first with this little fellow coming into her space. She wouldn't have anything to do with him. Finally after a couple weeks there were periodical play times and a few times that she would permit him to touch her--lol I might add that Bentley must know that she is kindling--another words of the same breed because he thinks she's pretty hot and is after her--wants to snuggle--wants to play etc. Well, my little snob princess Abbey who has been the queen of the house for 4 1/2 years is not as keen with him. There has been a VAST improvement in the last 6 weeks but I was really hoping that these two would be buddies etc. Am I expecting too much in 6 weeks or is this the way its going to be. Poor Bentley first thing in the a.m. after we let him out of crate runs up to her and Abbey growls at him--guess she needs her Starbucks first--lol. I'm making sure Abbey gets lots of attention so she doesn't feel neglected etc. Heck the first two weeks she was mad as heck at me who I am the primary love of her life. She wouldn't sit with me or nothing so again there has been a vast improvement but not as much as I'd like.

29th December 2008, 06:56 PM
It was 6 months before my first 2 girls would share a bed! after that and for the rest of their lives they were the best of friends :)

29th December 2008, 07:08 PM
My two were bonded in 5-10 days - BUT they were only 18 months apart and I think Merlin craved a friend....

29th December 2008, 08:27 PM
Dogs are pretty much like child siblings or cousins. Some are really outgoing and make friends right away. Some take a little while, some take months or years. Some will never, ever be that friendly and may even intensely dislike each other to the extent that one dog will need rehoming. The latter is rare especially with cavaliers, especially if they are all neutered and are of mixed genders (eg not 5 males in a single home), but it does happen.

It sounds like your girl is gradually accepting him but it may take a long time and you need to be ready to accept that this is as good as it gets between them (though they are likely to improve gradually). The important thing is never to try and force them to be friends or to spend more time around each other than each wants. Make sure she gets her time away from him as well, if he is being a pest and pushing her to be friendlier than she wants to be. And don't forget that the dogs could care less how good a friend the other is. Don't try and make them like each other simply because this is an ideal for you -- just as with kids, let them pick their own friends in their own time. :thmbsup:

29th December 2008, 09:52 PM
I have a friend who is still trying to get her dogs to be friends...the original dog (a cocker spaniel) will barely tolerate the new addition, also a cocker, just under a year. I do believe as Karlin says, that some dogs, like people, just take time to get to comfortable with each other, and others settle in with no problems.

We were concerned about that when we went to pick one of the California 7 rescues to foster, so we took Dottie along with us. As the dogs ran around, and sniffed each other, it seemed that she actually gravitated to Claire, and ended up trotting around after her. That was the one we picked, and they bonded almost instantly....They even chose to sleep together the first night! I know that is unusual, but we really lucked out here. No food, chew or toy aggression whatsoever.

I am sure that your gang will in time settle in and be friends as long as you show them what is acceptible and what is not, regarding aggression. Just give them some time. :thmbsup:

29th December 2008, 11:27 PM
When we got Harley at 9 weeks old Ebony accepted him straight away and they are best buddies. My older one Rosie was not to keen on him and it took about three weeks for her to play with him. She sometimes still moves away from him when he climbs over her or wants to cuddle up to her, and sometimes she decides to go and sleep next to him. Rosie is the oldest dog in our house and to me it looks like she oversees what goes on, like if they play to ruff she will interfere and bark at them.

29th December 2008, 11:32 PM
My boys were great friends from the instant they met. They are glued together much of the time, yet can also be very independent. They always snuggle together and rarely get irritated with each other. They're like 2 peas in a pod, but I know that it takes most dogs longer to form such a close bond. 6 weeks isn't very long, it seems like they're making progress so I would definitely give it more time :)

29th December 2008, 11:50 PM
Mindy was 10 1/2 when we got Max. Even though she was terribly lonely after the death of our Retriever and had never been an only dog it rocked her world. It took a week before she wouldn't run in the other direction whenever she saw Max coming. He was nine weeks old and wanted to play ALL of the time of course. We've had Max for 5 weeks now and I would say they have bonded. Mindy will even instigate play at times and she lets Max tug at her ears and collar pretty much whenever he wants to. They will also sleep in the same bed for awhile - usually because Max has flopped himself down on top of her. Hubby tells me that when I take Max to the vet she looks for him and she usually goes out whenever he does (whether that is just so she doesn't miss something I'm not sure). For his part Max has learned that if he chomps on her she will go away and when she says "enough play" she means it (although he still will come back 30 seconds later to see if she has changed her mind).

30th December 2008, 03:42 AM
Holly and Amber took a long time to bond - or rather, the situation was like yours in that Amber adored Holly and Holly didn't reciprocate. Now they snuggle together and Holly is shameless about using Amber has a buffer zone between her and Alanna.

With Alanna, once the 'is that a dog or a furry slipper' issue had been resolved, Amber was happy almost at once. Holly was more cautious and made it very clear that Alanna was to respect her personal space .... and Alanna has done so, to the point that she now looks at Holly funny when Holly tries to initiate interaction! I'd keep them separate when they're not supervised ... but otherwise, don't worry about it too much and let the dogs sort themselves out. Just be patient.

Love my Cavaliers
30th December 2008, 05:05 AM
My 3 older ones were 4, 5, and 6 when we got Oz at 10 weeks of age. While Riley and Oz accepted him right away, Madison has still to come around - even more than a year later! She will lay in a pack with him and Riley on a chair or doggy bed in the living room, but really wants nothing to do with him otherwise. He tries so hard to get her to play with him and she will give in for about a 30 second bout and then walk away from him. I think I've come to the realization that this might be as good as it gets. Luckily, she is not outright aggressive with him. It's sad though because he adores her. I really don't let Riley play with him (decompression surgery in June for SM) but Oliver will play. The one he really wants though is Madison. He's still a little pistol though. Maybe when he calms down more with age, she'll tolerate him better. We'll see.

30th December 2008, 01:24 PM
Thanks for all the great replies. Appreciate it. I guess time will tell. Like I said there has been vast improvement from day 1. Like one poster said I feel for our new Bentley as he tries and tries. I never did say though that our female which we've had for 5 years is like this with all dogs. When we have gone to friends house she's a snob and won't have anything to do with it. She's not like this with our shih tzu at all but of course he was here already when we got her. This morning both Abbey and Bentley were on my lap which is a major accomplishment from 6 weeks ago. Heck 6 weeks ago I was being punished and she wouldn't even sit on my lap alone with no other dog.

30th December 2008, 04:12 PM
Sound like yours are coming on a treat hopefully the start of a blossoming relationship! To echo Karlin we always gave our girls their own space, own beds, never forced a relationship between the two (not that I am saying you are) and they came on together lovely in their own time. I recon they're running round together now in the spirit world :lotsaluv:

30th December 2008, 05:36 PM
Yes, re beds, I waited until they'd really bonded before crating them together. They seem to like it now - especially during cold nights - really cuddle up.

30th December 2008, 06:35 PM
Well from personal experience it definitely varies, Dougal and Tandie bonded extremely quickly. Dougal was only 11 weeks when we brought him home. We already had Tandie a few months (an adult rescue) and I think Tandie just liked having the company so she tolerated his puppy advances very well.

After Tandie passed away we got a female rescue (also an adult) who Dougal had no problem with, but they certainly weren't buddies. If you saw them now though! We have Dora around 4 months and they are constantly cuddled up together. Last night they were sitting in front of the fire, leaning against each other and Dougal was licking Doras face. Ours have separate crates, but at night sometimes they get in together and dougal really dislikes having to leave Dora's crate (she doesn't go into his!!) so sometimes I let them sleep together. It certainly took about 3 months for them to get this close, but I would say they were 'friends' within a month or so.

30th December 2008, 07:56 PM
Cavaliers can be such snuggle buddies!:hug:

30th December 2008, 09:07 PM
My dogs all piled into a sleeping heap from day one, and will allow any dog to join them. Sleeping aside, I think it was nearly 18 months before Cody and Abigail had their first play session independent of Gavin, while Gavin and Abigail hit it off from day one, as did Cody and Gavin. Jasmine has been with us since September and sleeping is the only real contact she has with the other dogs so far, she's not really a player at the moment.