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Hi everyone, I'm interested to know how everyone's dog shows their affection or bond with you (owner). I'm sure the bond between owners and dogs appear differently depending on the person and the dog's temperament. Does anyone have an aloof or independent dog? I would love to hear about your dog's way of showing their love because most of the time I can feel that my dog loves me but then other times I feel like he doesn't care less about me.

My dog is from a working line and he is 8 months old. So this is how he behaves:
- Always bolts to me when I do the recall command regardless of whether he is in the park or eating his dinner. I've been doing this everywhere with him with extra good rewards.
- He will check in on me in the park if I walk or run the other direction and will run my way but rarely looks at me during our walks.
- Generally very fast and good in responding to commands and learning new tricks. He will do this at home and in the public anytime but tend to get distracted by flies in the house if our training sessions go for a bit longer than usual (i've tried to limit each session to 5 minutes).
- In the park, we have been playing fetch and doing some training. His gaze never leaves me when we are doing training and I have his full focus for at least 45-60 minutes.
- Will tolerate lying on my lap only when he is half asleep. The rest of the time, he tends to lie on the floor a few metres away from me or on the pillow next to me.
- He isn't a big fan of petting. He will tolerate maybe a few pats and then move away to do his own thing. Sometimes he will want a belly rub or more patting by putting out his paw so I try to give him space but it feels upsetting when he isn't a big cuddler.
- He has developed really good manners - always sits and looks at me after filling his water and food bowl before I release him. He never jumps up on table or people to get stuff as he will always sit when he wants something.
- He doesn't really care when I leave and come home. Last time I was gone for a whole day while my parents were home and when I came back, he just stared at me, came over to say hi and then left after I stroked him 3-4 times. Others have been telling me how excited their dogs are when they return, but my dog seems to be really chilled. I use to ignore him for the first few minutes before I left and came back because I was scared of encouraging separation anxiety but it now seems like his a little too laid back??

So can anyone tell me whether he is just an independent aloof dog or whether he really doesn't enjoy affection? Sometimes I'm scared that I don't really share a strong bond with my dog based on all the cuddly and affectionate stories I hear people tell about their dogs.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it, different dogs show affection in different ways. Keep playing and training and your bond will continue to grow.

Freyja is a super velcro dog. She follows me everywhere, sometimes walking into me if I stop suddenly. She lays touching me and sometimes she tries to get as close as she possibly can, which wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't almost 120lbs. She loves training and listens well. We play all the time, she'll bring me a toy, normally a tug toy and we'll play. She seems to prefer me to play with even taking toys from other people and giving it to me. Even when there are other people she follows me, but like I said, she is a velcro dog.

Vegas use to follow me room to room when he was young, but he didn't need to be touching. Sometimes he'll come over and lean and seems to really enjoy that. He seems to enjoy everyone, giving them all attention. He does spend most of the time with me, sleeping near by. But he is more independent than Freyja is.

Shorty seems to prefer my BF, but spends a lot of time pestering me too. He is a very needy dog, he demands petting. If you don't pet him when he wants it he whines and pushes your hand.

I do train with all the dogs, mostly Freyja. Vegas still learns a few new things but Shorty is very hard to train. It seems he has more patients than I do, he'll just sit and stare. But he knows the basics. Vegas doesn't play, and Shorty only sometimes. But I know the boys and I are bonded. Freyja and I too, but she is always interested in doing things. We all go on walks. A bond is built over time, one day you'll look back and see it. Playing, feeding, training and just interacting all reinforce the bond. But some dogs are just more independent and show it differently.
 

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Dogs like people have their individual preferences and behavior patterns. Ours, for example, loves to lay against either my wife or me, for a period of time, then becomes very independent, and will go off into a different room, alone, and nap, sometimes for hours. The going off on her own, only began after she became very secure, we think, after she had been with us for a couple of years, and knew she was part of the family no matter what. She is still very affectionate, but she decides when.
 
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