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Thread: Another Dog Situation

  1. #1
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    Another Dog Situation

    Ok let's see how this goes...

    I married my wife, knowing she was a dog lover.

    I personally don't have a drama with dogs as such, my family had dogs while I was growing up but they were always an 'outside toy '.

    So she had these two dogs. They lived inside. They were seriously irritating.

    So I tolerated them, as it was a price I was prepared to pay to be with her.

    After a few years, both dogs eventually died. We were dog free. It was nice. For me, anyway.

    Eventually (it was always going to happen) she decreed that we were getting another dog, whether I liked it or not. Of course I argued against it, but equally of course it mattered not what logic I presented. Another dog was coming.

    She involved me in choosing the breed, and naming the dog, hoping it would give me some buy-in. But equally of course that didn't matter either. I still didn't want a dog.

    Now is like having a toddler in the house, on many levels. Which was precisely what I was worried about. He breaks things, he eats furniture, he chases the cats, he STINKS, he climbs on the couch, he steals food. All round naughty behavour, regardless of our efforts to train him.

    Lately she's been making comments about the dog being difficult, saying that it was MY fault that she didn't get a poodle like she wanted.

    Yeah, it was almost definitely a joke (perhaps rooted in some level of dissatisfaction) but I bit back. Normally I wouldn't but we as a family have been coping with multiple heavy issues in recent months and we are both seriously exhausted, both physically and mentally.

    Anyway, I said something along the lines of my choice was NO dog, but forced to choose I picked one I thought I might possibly hate less than the other ones she had.

    Yeah I know. Should have kept that as an inside thought.

    Anyway, I've apologized (as all husbands know is the first step regardless of fault). But I expect she's going to take quite a while to cool down after this one.

    So what am I asking?

    Well given that I'm stuck with this dog for another 10-15 years, and I don't want to lose my wife over this, how do I best go about sucking up my resentment and not taking it out on the dog or anyone else?

    I've tried to 'get involved'. - actually wife insisted I take part in the puppy training course. Didn't help. So don't bother suggesting that.

  2. #2
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    How old is the dog? If some of that stuff is puppy behaviour, it will settle. But as much as you don't want anyone to bother suggesting it, your life will be more peaceful if your dog is well trained so getting involved could be for your benefit more than hers. Your dog shouldn't steal food, definitely shouldn't eat furniture and shouldn't break things. Depending on the age, some of the chewing things could be just puppy behaviour but things like stealing food you need to train that dog not to do. And he shouldn't really stink either if he is being kept relatively clean. Sounds like you have cats though. That's definitely a more complicated scenario.

    It feels like you need to stop seeing the dog as something your wife did to you. That's no good for the dog, your wife or you. If you ended up with an ass of a dog (it happens), you can definitely mitigate that with good training. Maybe instead of a course, get a book and take it on yourself as your own little project. Your wife would need to get on board because the messages to the dog need to be consistent but, if you take this on in the short term, what you might end up with is a better behaved dog that you have bonded with in this process.

  3. #3
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    “Anyway, I've apologized (as all husbands know is the first step regardless of fault). But I expect she's going to take quite a while to cool down after this one”

    Wow!!!!

    I can’t believe you actually wrote that !
    You have zero empathy and that is not a good thing at all! Ever!

    I hope your wife realises this sooner than later because she deserves better.

    I couldn’t care less if you are not a dog lover. I don’t have to date you. But the fact that you liked that her dogs died and enjoyed that is seriously warped!

    Please leave your wife so she can actually be free to be with someone who has empathy. They don’t have to be a dog lover.
    Just someone with that can identify with feelings and in particular hers.

  4. #4
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    No -he said it was nice to be dog free. Not nice that they died. My son's first pets -tadpoles -died in the span of a month and I felt really badly for him. And I am relieved that we don't have to think about tadpoles/frog sitters during our summer vacation (the pets were a gift from relatives -we didn't ask for anything live for his birthday). Both can be true.

    OP you made your bed. You ended up agreeing to the dog. You complained and all and your wife heard that but your actions were consistent with agreeing to a dog. And she may have preferred a poodle but agreed to whatever puppy you both agreed on. So yes she needs to own that although your comment was too harsh.


    I would do a different puppy trainer -kind of like a second opinion.

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  6. #5
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    Thanks Greg, Batya, all good points to consider. Yes, he's a pup and I think formal training is going to have to happen to some degree. How far I can involve myself will remain to be seen.

    The problem I'm currently having is that I'm a bit of an introvert, and this dog is an extrovert on steroids.


    Billie,

    Thanks for your response, especially:

    Originally Posted by Billie28
    I don’t have to date you.
    I can safely say, after reading your post, that there would have been ZERO chance of that happening. Ever. So you can rest easy.

    Have a great day and please feel totally free to ignore my future posts.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Take the dog to a professional dog trainer/training course. Of course you realize your contempt and resentments are not just about unruly puppies. Even if you won't take the dog to a trainer, marriage therapy is a must. The dog is just a symptom and at some level you both know that.
    Originally Posted by batso1340
    regardless of our efforts to train him.

  8. #7
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    What dog breed did you choose? Because different breeds have different temperaments and energy levels. Being a responsible dog owner means researching AND choosing a breed that matches with YOUR lifestyle. Based on your post, it sounds like you guys didn’t research the breed and that you were rushed to getting a dog or losing a marriage. Choosing a dog based on looks/cuteness factors is the #1 mistake many dog owners make, and it is the main reason why those dogs get surrendered to animal control/shelters.

    I got a corgi. Very cute and popular dog, but it is not a breed for everyone. They are a working dog that needs constant exercise and mental stimulation. If their needs aren’t met and if with the wrong owner, they can be very aggressive. Unfortunately I have seen these dogs get surrendered because they bit their owners/children, have turned aggressive, or have a serious medical condition due to “backyard breeding” practices.

    Dogs are more maintenance than cats. Your have to be a consistent leader in raising them. And with the right leadership, your dog will not tear up your house.

    All round naughty behavour, regardless of our efforts to train him.
    The problems you described are signs of a distressed dog. Without knowing the breed you chose, I can’t give you precise advice. But it sounds like you guys got a high energy dog.

    I would seek and hire professional dog training on top of a dog behavioral specialist. Understanding the dog’s issues and your ownership style will mediate the problems you are having in your house.

    Lately she's been making comments about the dog being difficult, saying that it was MY fault that she didn't get a poodle like she wanted.
    No offense to your wife, but she sounds like an irresponsible owner. If she wanted the dog, she should be stepping up in training or you wouldn’t be having the problems in the house. She’s not doing her share either if SHE is the one who wanted the dog in the first place.

    Btw, Poodles are working dogs. They are for guarding and can turn aggressive if not in a structured home environment. Why a poodle?

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by batso1340
    Thanks Greg, Batya, all good points to consider. Yes, he's a pup and I think formal training is going to have to happen to some degree. How far I can involve myself will remain to be seen.

    The problem I'm currently having is that I'm a bit of an introvert, and this dog is an extrovert on steroids.


    Billie,

    Thanks for your response, especially:



    I can safely say, after reading your post, that there would have been ZERO chance of that happening. Ever. So you can rest easy.

    Have a great day and please feel totally free to ignore my future posts.
    Tadpoles are not pets. They are an interesting science experiment to a child and unfortunately most die because they are taken out of their natural habitat.

    Hardly a comparison to owning and taking care of a dog.

    Formal “training” of a puppy outside of the home is futile.
    It’s cute to take a puppy to “school” and get a “certificate” of good behaviour.
    But the only real training that works for a dog is consistent training within the home and by ALL people living in the home.

    Your wife clearly wanted to involve you so you could bond with the puppy by even allowing you to choose a breed.
    She clearly shouldn’t have.

    Lol at how you would never date me! Why did you date your wife?
    I think her and I would get on great!!!

  10. #9
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    My advice is going to be a little new-age-y.... but it works, IMO.

    First - I do agree with the others that further training and simply time (if it’s a puppy) will help.

    ... but more than anything, I think you need to try to work on monitoring your own thoughts and attitudes.

    I mean... I get it. I’m not really a dog person myself. But in some ways, dogs are not unlike people. What happens if you don’t like a person and you have to spend massive amounts of time with them? You spend time with them, you look for redeeming qualities, you try to find a connection. I mean - if you are going to spend the next 15 years around this dog (short of a divorce) - your life (and marriage) will be much happier if you find ways to like the dog.

    Things we focus on grow. If every time the dog does something you don’t like, you allow yourself to wallow in it and focus on it, you will hate the dog more and more. You need to try to catch yourself and cut those thought processes short. Try to find things you DO like and focus on that instead.

    Example: One of my friends has a dog. I hated it. Every time I would walk in the house, he would bark like he wanted to bite my face off. And he made huge messes. But I WANTED to like the dog. So, I stopped focusing on his big bark-fest and brushed it off as just a fact of life. One day I noticed that when he was done barking his heart out, he would tilt his head and look at you. It was totally quirky. And it started to make me laugh. It was kind of endearing. And when he wanted to be pet he would find your hand - whatever it was doing - and push himself under it. So ridiculous.
    Anyways - the point of my story is that the dog wiggled it’s way into my heart because I LET it. I stopped focusing on the negative and looked for positives.

    More than anything else - I think that’s what you need here. No dog (or human) is 100% positive or 100% negative. There are likely redeeming qualities in there. Focus on what you want to grow.

  11. #10
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    Honestly, without knowing anything at all about your wife, her discipline of canines, and her ability to train and stick to a plan, I have this idea in my head that she DOES NOT TRAIN. She behaves like my mother and stepfather and tries to raise these animals like they are toddler children, and even then, as a parent to a human child, her discipline and rules are severely lacking. That's when you run into this issue of unruly dogs who basically rule the household and dominate your life and cause a lot of destruction, and part of this destructive behavior is a complete lack of routine, rules, and structure...they are floundering and insecure. It is your job to create security!

    Unfortunately you will probably always be bound by making sure temptations are always locked away (garbage cans, shoes), but but a certain level of "alpha dog" and discipline would make your life seriously easier. Your wife has to be willing to be "the bad guy" as an alpha in the household. She cannot get all weepy when the dog tucks his tail between his legs and is upset.

    Dogs do not feel the same emotions as people. Dogs are pack animals, and there is a pecking order. You and your wife are the dominant alphas. You enforce the pack rules....period...end of story. Watch any documentary regarding pack animal behavior. Nobody in the pack cares one iota if that other dog gets reduced to the bottom of the barrel...us humans, when we watch, we feel really bad for the little guy. We are humans. We feel differently. Stop.

    My suggestion is to spend the money on a behaviorist (training), and probably in-home will be required at this point ($$$). This will be wasted money if your wife continues to coddle this tiny beast and doesn't become a united front with you as a fellow "alpha dog" in the pack. She has to "be mean" and enforce the rules, and so do you.

    You probably won't get out of furniture issues, nor will you be able to live a life where you don't have to lock away the garbage can or be allowed kick off your shoes at the door and trust them to be safe. You may have to implement crate training, if you haven't already. It won't be easy, but this is the canine's instinct, in that they follow a pecking order in the pack. Some are alphas and some are betas. End of story. You and your wife are part of the pack, and you are the alphas and you will not relinquish this control.

    I am an animal lover, and I'm just done with having pets for now...just done. No more dogs unless they temporarily visit and I can send them home...well behaved dogs. Sometime in the future, I will collect myself a couple more furry beasts to share my home, but for now, I'm like you, this breather of space. My children are grown, and I don't have to worry about schedules and being home to deal with the dog or the cat or the young children. It's my place right now.

    My parent's dogs...mean, nasty, ill-behaved because they coddle and don't discipline or follow any structure. They run roughshod on the household, and my aging parents can't really deal with some of the crap that got pulled in the past, like jumping and being underfoot, biting when filling the food bowl.

    It's amazing how well you can get along with your canines if you take control. You're stuck with dogs...can your wife take control as an alpha? Can she learn from a behaviorist? Can she implement these rules?

    Some dog breeds are high-strung, busy, get bored easily, anxious...other breeds are couch potatoes, and they barely notice you're gone by the time you get home, just before they feel like getting into trouble. A behaviorist can assist with breed-specific issues.

    I had a corgi who was ill-trained when I acquired him and destructive. I hired a behaviorist. I learned about crate training at this time and had to do a lot of work, from making sure to walk, to leaving constructive toys (and rotating to avoid boredom) for him...and it got better, and my soon-to-be husband at the time was pretty no-nonsense on dogs. He grew up in an "outside only" household, but he brought his dog into the home...and was very, very strict. His dog helped train mine.

    United front. Your wife simply cannot be wishy-washy. She is the alpha, as are you, and she needs to strong on implementing her place in the pack.

    There are several behaviorist strategies available out there...research these. I used "click and treat".

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