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Hi. Please don't shame me as I'm doing enough of that myself. I just need real opinions and someone to just have a conversation with I guess. This is going to be a long post...

I have a lab/hound mix and I got him when he was around 6 months. He is now 2.5 years old. He is a good boy. He is willing to stay home all day if I don't feel like going out and he is more than happy to accompany me on walks and the dog park to outrun brittanys and gsp's. He doesn't have any issues. He is a good dog.

But why don't I feel a strong connection with him?

He is technically my first dog, but I actually got him to "replace" my brother's dog which he rehomed when I was away. Well, he was pretty much mine as I took care of him. I could look at him and see that we understood each other. With my current dog, not so much. He stares at me and I don't know what he's thinking, what he wants.

I did do some research and I've read that some dogs you just have a connection to and others not so much. I also got over the fact that I was comparing two different dogs and accepted the fact that they were different. I waited to see if our relationship would grow. I had taken care of my brother's dog for three months; my dog for two years. Why were those three months so much more than the two years I've spent with my dog?

I plan to move to a big city in the future and I am more than willing to bring him along. More than willing to pay the extra rent, to find green areas so he could be off leash and run. But should I? I just can't help but imagine him on a farm with green pastures to run freely on and sniff to his heart's content, or with a family that has time to go camping every weekend. I guess in other words you can say, I picture a dog in my future but my current one doesn't really fit it.

I've always wanted a dog; man's best friend, as they say. But right now I see him more as a responsibility than as a friend. There are times in which I do feel like we have the potential to be best buddies but those moments seem like small acts of kindness from strangers; it fills your soul, but lasts for just a fleeting moment. I do know that it takes work, but I'm wondering if work will be enough to actually make us friends instead of what seems like students grouped together by their teacher to complete a project.

Am I expecting too much out of our relationship? Should I just accept that this is all that it might be, or should I just keep him in hopes that one day our relationship will become better?

Is it just a case of wrong dog with wrong person?

I do know that I will miss him if i do rehome him, but I also know that there are things that I won't miss about him. I feel like I'm afraid to rehome him because of feelings of guilt and failure, especially when my brother rehomed "my" dog without even telling me. I do feel like guilt and responsibility is keeping him with me rather than enjoyment and friendship, that connection that makes both lives better. But is that only the ideal they portray in movies and my experience is truly the reality of dog ownership?

Am I wrong to keep him with me in the hopes that one day things will be better? Or am I just fooling myself? Being selfish in keeping him with me? Are we just operating on different wavelengths never to meet on the same channel?

I just don't know anymore. Any help will be appreciated. I'm running so many thoughts in my mind right now and I don't know what to make of it anymore.

Should I rehome my dog, or am I overthinking?
(Or am I an irresponsible dog owner like my research tells me?)
(UGH. I don't know anymore so I'm just going to let this thread go and hope.)
 

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@Xoose as long as you put the work in to find him an excellent home I see nothing wrong with this. You've given the relationship time and it's not worked out for you.

I'm sorry you've come across some of the more extreme view in rehoming, they would make anyone feel awful.

I would recommend making a fee of at least 250 dollars and inspecting the property of any prospective homes.
 

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I agree, it should be better. For both of you.

Either fully commit to him and put in the time to build a stronger bond, or put in time to find him an AMAZING person/family.

But first, how does he act when he sees you after you've been away for a long time? If he's excited to see you and if he seeks you out over other people, and goes to you for affection, then I'd lean more towards building a stronger relationship and work things out.

The scary thing about rehoming a dog is really making sure that you're getting a wonderful, loving, person that will be a forever home. You don't want him to be shuffled around sometime in the future. You don't want him abandoned or in a shelter. It's vital, for his sake, that you find someone that will give him everything you know he needs. A place where he will be family.

OR

If you do keep him then put in effort to make both of you happier together.

If you do look for another home for him, interview, ask plenty of questions, require an adoption fee (If they aren't willing and able to pay for him then he needs someone else). Look up dog adoption application questions and ask the things that are important to you and him.

Best of luck to you both.
 

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After my last dog died suddenly during a long illness that I'd had for 11 years I was completely devastated. I've never felt the same bond with my current dog and I did a lot of comparing especially at first when I was still grieving and he was difficult with a lot of challenging behaviors.

He's not as exuberant and high energy as my last dog was. But he has more health issues and I think more chronic pain than my last dog did until he was much older. This dig is only 4.

When you get home after being away, how does your dog react? Do you get an exuberant greeting? Tail wagging so hard the butt wags and wiggles with it?

Really think about your daily routine. Would not having your dog and all the little dog rituals affect you?

Can you be in a rut?
I think my dog gets tired of the same dog park every day and likes to go to different places and meet new dogs. I try to teach a new trick or change our training routine or vary things somehow.
Even going at a different time on weekends has new people and dogs.

Look at your own feelings and kife. I used to be upset that my dog was never affectionate on long car rides like my old dog was.
Then I realized that I was so burnt out from long daily commuting and a far away job that I basically had verbal tlroad rage and was emanating stress and anger every time I got in the car. Swearing at other drivers, keeping a constant running commentary of traffic, construction, who must have bought their drivers license on the internet because there was no way they ever would have passed a road test, etc.
Then one day I realized my dog was cowering in the back seat thinking I was telling at him.
He's sensitive and when I'm stressed or angry or sad he doesn't know how to handle it so hides and is distant to my perception. Bad cycle.
I now work from home, no more road rage. Less commutimg and we spend 2 hours every night in the park. I obviously still have stress, who doesn't, but I make an effort to spend time with him and be with him in a non stressed way to focus on him and do fun relaxing things.
There really is the concept of a self fulfilling prolhecybwgere if you exoectbnefative things you can subtly influence interactions and vice versa.
It's true that stuff happens beyond our control. But you might be afraid to bond with your dog out of fear of losing him like you did your brother's dog and not letting yourself be close to him for fear of more heartbreak. The dog might be picking up on your emotional hesitation or distance and be unsure as well.
Do you play fetch or tug or do something fun daily?
 

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Hi Xoose

One thing jumped out at me from your post, when you mentioned the way your dog stares at you. I've had more than 30 dogs over the years, I've loved them all, but I can't pretend I didn't have favorites. But the one thing that stands out in my mind about the favorites is the way they would stand and stare at me for up to an hour sometimes. They didn't want anything except my attention. I think that dog loves you, and just wants you to love him back. If the love isn't there I suppose re-homing is the only option and would be best for him. but it seems a shame to give upon such a good dog.

Lynsey
 

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I agree with @lynsey. Somehow I missed the comment about your dog staring at you and you wonder what he's thinking. My dog stares at me too and I know it's because she wants something. I know her well enough that most of the time I know what she wants. Other times I ask her what she wants and then I follow her and she'll lead me. Sometimes she takes me out to the backyard and to the water faucet. That's when she wants me to spray her so she can play in the water. Other times she'll lead me to the food container. Or she'll just jump up by me and rest her head by me.

It does sound like your dog loves you and is trying to communicate with you. I wish for both of your sake that you get closer and feel that stronger bond.
 

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Hey guys, thanks for answering and letting me know your thoughts, I truly appreciate it.

I do think I'll keep him.

I'm going through a bit of a rough time at the moment so I'm ending up questioning a lot of things in my life and I know that letting him go right now would be easy, but after I get over this period of my life I know I'll regret it. And there are still so many things I want to do with him that we haven't done yet!

It'll probably be a little while before I get my life together, but looking at it now, he's always been good at waiting for me. And now, I feel that once life settles back down I will finally be able to see and feel that bond that I've been looking for.

Yeah. He really is a good boy.
 
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