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My Boyfriend's Dog is Annoying Me


Astrogirl
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I need advice on a situation that is really starting to bother me.

 

First of all, I am an animal lover and have many pets. The problem here is my boyfriend's ill-trained dog. He bought this dog with his ex, obviously before I came on the scene.

 

I have tried to speak calmly to my boyfriend about his dog's behaviour, but he won't listen and cuddles him loads.

 

When we are preparing tea, his dog - let's call him Fido - stands close to the cooker watching every move my boyfriend makes, hoping to get scraps, which he usually does for the privilege of begging. I often find dog hairs in my food. I've told my bf the dog shouldn't be in the kitchen when food is being prepared and furthermore he shouldn't be begging or being rewarded.

 

Once we're sitting down eating, Fido literally has his nose resting on my bf's legs. His face is so close to the food as my bf lifts the fork to his mouth, but my bf pretends he hasn't noticed. Fido used to do this to me (sometimes still does) but I've more-or-less stopped him. However, my bf won't tell him. Yet if the cat so much as jumps on the arm of the sofa during mealtimes my bf knocks him to the floor.

 

My bf takes Fido everywhere with him - even on our dates; shops; pub, etc. I've asked him why it can't just simply be just the two of us, but my boyfriend says Fido is like his child.

 

When I go to walk through the front door Fido rushes before my feet and tries to get out before me. I try to hold the door ajar to let him know he can't push in, but he gets his body into the smallest gap and forces the door from my grip. Likewise, if I try to enter the house he rests his huge body against the door so I struggle to get in.

 

He constantly licks himself sore and lies at my side of the bed licking and snoring. He makes terrible noises.

 

If my bf and I try to have fun Fido jumps up on the sofa and in between us and separates us. If I talk babyish to the other animals Fido jumps on my back to steer my attention towards him.

 

He is so spoilt. After finishing a meal the other night, there was a little evidence of the potato scraps at the bottom of the disposable dish. As my bf gets up to take the dishes in the kitchen Fido, as usual, follows him. Now, instead of simply throwing the disposable cartons in the bin, my boyfriend chucks them outside. I became suspicious and followed my bf in a few seconds later to discover Fido wasn't there. I pretend I want to go out of the back door to check on our barn animals, but bf suspiciously blocks the way. I wriggle past and discover Fido is being rewarded for his greed. He's licking the disposable cartons.

 

At that point I'm fuming. If greedy Fido has a treat then why didn't my bf offer the cat the same? It makes my blood boil although bf will deny Fido is his favourite.

 

If the cat happens to leave his dinner Fido races to the bowl and eats his scraps. I've tried to persuade my bf to not let him do it but many a time I've walked into the kitchen and seen him watch Fido eat the cat's food (bf pretends he never noticed). He says he's only keeping the bowls clean and it's a little treat but if it's Fido's treat then why can't some be saved for the cat's treat?

 

Now Fido knows by the looks I give him I won't take his bad behaviour. If it's only myself in the kitchen and I pour his food in his bowl, he sits back until I've finished. If my bf is in the room he will literally eat it as I'm pouring it and I stretch over as I'm pouring it.

 

Although I'm careful now, if I've had snacks in my bag in the past, Fido has raided my bag. If we do happen to go to the shops without him, Fido will punish my bf by raiding the bin and anything else he can find. Within five minutes of being away, the hall, lounge, kitchen, etc., is littered with bin mess.

 

I also think Fido has a skin condition - probably from eating all the unhealthy treats he's allowed to have. He does, or did, have fleas, also. My bf blamed the cat for giving Fido fleas, even though the cat rarely scratches.

 

Back to preparing meals: if Fido gets under my bf's feet, my bf will say to him: excuse me babe. He speaks as though he's in Fido's way.

 

In the car Fido will sit breathing his bad breath on my shoulder even though bf has opened a window on the opposite side at the back for him to get fresh air.

 

I try to give Fido messages through my body language and if he's just with me he'll stay away. If my bf is with me Fido will scratch hard at my hands or try to nudge them with his nose to try and force me to pet him. Sometimes I have to sit on my hands.

 

In bed he tramples all over me and my bf encourages him to sit on the sofa with us. Fido will wriggle at the back of us until we have to sit uncomfortably forward. Many a time I will stand up and watch TV in that position.

 

Instead of cuddling me, my bf will sit and constantly stare at Fido when he happens to be sitting on his own chair. Yes, the dog has his own armchair that is part of the three-piece suite. My bf tells me not to sit there because it is Fido's chair. Even the cat gets moved if Fido wants to rest.

 

Fido never goes for a walk unless I suggest it. He is so unruly on his lead. He constantly pulls and when we go to get out of the car he races to my door and tramples over me to get out first. When we're walking he constantly holds back then runs hard past my legs knocking me over. I then walk as close to the edge but he will squeeze past, even though there is a big gap my bf's side. I know dogs aren't as intelligent as humans, but I do think this dog is doing this to let me know he is further up the pack than me.

 

My bf won't have it Fido needs proper training and I dread being in its company. I have told my bf I am uncomfortable with Fido's behaviour, but he says he's a good boy.

 

By the way, this dog is big and overweight and it hurts when he jumps up.

 

Any constructive advice is welcome.

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If you want your relationship to survive, my advice to you is to change your attitude towards this dog! The poor thing is not misbehaving, he is acting like a normal dog!!!

On the other hand, you act like you are jealous of the dog! I get it, he is a reminder of your boyfriends past relationship, of his ex. But it is not that poor animal's fault!

 

It is obvious that the dog loves your boyfriend and is very loyal to him. All dogs are hoping for treats, all dogs get excited when they go for walks and pull on the leash, all dogs like to stick their noses everywhere and all dogs like to be close to their owner. It is normal dog behaviour. For someone pretending to be an animal lover, you don't seem too understanding of a dog's behaviour...

And yes, you made sure to show him your dislike. Pets feel that, and it looks like you did a great job alienating him. He doesn't like you, but is still trying to get in your graces.

 

I'm gonna say it again: it is a dog, it is not your boyfriend's ex. The fact that your boyfriend is so attached to him does not mean he is still attached to his ex.

 

So if you continue acting the way you've been, and complaining about the dog, I can guarantee that the one who gets the boot won't be the pet.

I'm sure you can find it in your heart to look past the fact that your boyfriend got the dog with his ex, and give the poor animal a fair chance. If you change your hateful attitude towards him, you will be double rewarded: you'll have a loving faithful companion, and your boyfriend will love you even more for it. If you don't, your relationship won't survive much longer :s

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The fact that it's my boyfriend's dog with his ex doesn't bother me at all. It's in his sole care in any case. I'm the one who is always feeding it and taking it for a walk or suggesting we both take it for a walk. Also, with his skin condition I tell my bf to take it to the vets, which he ignores. I just think my bf is being irresponsible. Actually, I do like the dog, I just don't like its behaviour and think it needs training. My bf says it doesn't. I have dogs at my own house and they don't behave like this but no family member is strict with them.

 

When the dog is with me he is well behaved and never gets told off for anything.

 

I just don't think it's fair when my boyfriend gives him scraps of food off our plates, allows him to lick plates, but won't give the cat anything at all.

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Both really. I don't think my bf should reward the dog for raiding the bin and destroying the house. He tears everything up. My boyfriend tells him he's good. I also think it is bad manners for the dog to beg for our food and even more bad manners for my bf to not tell him to move away. I agree he could tell him without shouting at him or hitting him. I definitely don't agree to harsh treatment.

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Lol wow you reallllllyyy fn' hate this dog. I was expecting some horrible, mean, unruly dog but this dog doesn't sound like that. He begs, because he's rewarded for begging. It's an easy fix, don't give into the begging. All the other behavior really is just dogs being dogs. Would you rather it be unhappy and lay in the same spot all day, or being excited and full of energy and love?

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I really don't hate the dog at all. In fact I think it would be better for everyone if he was shown some rules. That way we'd all know where we stand. I doubt anyone would appreciate their date bringing the dog along as well. In fact, I don't like it lying around at all when we're in the house during the daytime. I do encourage my bf to walk him more often. I don't give in to begging but my bf does. he lets him lick off plates and lets him eat the cat's food. When the cat cries for food my bf tells him to shut up and he should have eaten it when it was put out. I think the only person who is being not up to scratch is my bf as he is an irresponsible dog owner.

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I really don't hate the dog at all. In fact I think it would be better for everyone if he was shown some rules. That way we'd all know where we stand. I doubt anyone would appreciate their date bringing the dog along as well. In fact, I don't like it lying around at all when we're in the house during the daytime. I do encourage my bf to walk him more often. I don't give in to begging but my bf does. he lets him lick off plates and lets him eat the cat's food. When the cat cries for food my bf tells him to shut up and he should have eaten it when it was put out. I think the only person who is being not up to scratch is my bf as he is an irresponsible dog owner.

 

All dogs will go for food if its laid out. Put the cat bowl up high somewhere, where only the cat can get it. And, well, your boyfriend just really needs to quit giving into begging. It's quite a simple fix. Within a few weeks the dog will quit begging, at least to the degree that he's begging now. Everything else just sounds like the behavior of a dog who needs a little more exercise and love.

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>>my boyfriend says Fido is like his child.

 

Therein lies the problem. He is perfectly happy with Fido and his behavior. Your BF actually treats this dog the way many people treat their dogs and the dog is not doing anything that 50 million other dogs don't do in people's homes. So this issue here isn't 'bad dog', it is that he views pets in a very different framework than you do. You would not banish and restrict a child the way you want to do with this dog, and he sees it as a child and hence worthy of 'riding up front', being in his lap, being in the kitchen, being spoiled with treats etc.

 

And you have a larger problem... you BF is extremely lenient with his 'child', and if you ever have human children of your own, you will be in a constant and neverending battle with him for how to treat and how to raise the children. If he spoils a dog like this, he will spoil his own children 10 times more!

 

So i would not get serious with him if you want children because your home will be a miserable war zone and power struggle if you do... you're already doing it over the dog, and it will be worse with kids.

 

My one suggestion is to ask him if you, he and the dog can attend an obediance class together or work to get a 'companion dog' certification. If he will agree to that, you might be able to work it out. If not, oh well, don't even bother getting serious with him if you want to have children or it will most likely end in a bitter divorce and custody fight for the kids.

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Hi lavenderdove,

 

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate and can understand his affection towards the dog, but unfortunately he is always reprimanding the cat for doing far less.

 

Thankfully, we are both older and have grown up children. I'm not sure if my bf actually is the type to have favourites as I have suspected he favours his daughter over his son. His son has also picked up on this. Don't get me wrong - he has great kids and a lovely family and as far as in-law family goes, his is great.

 

Maybe he does favour the dog over the cat and his daughter over his son, but he quickly denies this.

 

I'd be more relaxed over the dog if my bf set down some rules. Not iron-rod rules but a simple and firm 'No' to certain habits.

 

It just makes me feel sick when I see the dog so close to the cutlery as my boyfriend eats. Like I say, if the cat so much as jumps on the arm he gets quickly knocked off again. I certainly don't agree with any animal begging for food whether it be the cat or dog.

 

The dog is quite old so I'm not sure whether obedience will work but I'll certainly suggest it. Thanks for that.

 

Apart from all of this, the dog, although scruffy and dirty, has a really soft coat and I do make a point of stroking him.

 

I will rate your comment as you've been extremely helpful.

 

Astrogirl.

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Don't hate the dog for being a dog. He is doing nothing more than exhibiting dog behaviors that were never discouraged.

 

As for the boyfriend. I fear you will be banging your head against the wall. Of course he is going to deny favoritism. He may not even realize he displays it.

 

You and your boyfriend have different tolerance levels on pet interaction. Neither is wrong. I just wouldn't expect it to change. You will only enter into a power struggle that in the end the dog will win.

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I think you said the dog is an old dog right? Well wait for it to pass away. Unfortunately your boyfriend has taught it some unsavory habits and shows no indication whatsoever of ever-changing that. Then make a deal that there are no more dogs. He will obviously raise another dog exactly the same way.

 

You can also make sure that you feed your cat if he's not going to feed it properly. It is not the cat's fault the dog gobbles everything in sight. Put the cat's food up higher so that the dog can't reach it but the cat still can.

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I've been in that position myself. It wasn't as bad for me as you described, but I know the situation all too well.

 

Big stupid dog with bad habits from previous relationship enters into the picture and you both have very different points of view towards how to treat it.

 

I think the one that needs "training" first is the boyfriend. He needs to recognize that the way he's "brought up" the dog is not healthy, and that it's definitely not a child. You only have two options, really, either put your foot down to change the dogs bad behaviours with your boyfriends help, or leave them both be. Unless carrying on as you have until now is an option for you?

 

The unruly dog I had to put up with was old as well, and I still managed to get him to stop slobbering over food by kicking him out of the room every time he did it. It go to a point where "food" started to mean "I get kicked out of the room if I slobber" rather than "mmm treat" so in the end he would just go to sleep rather than fixate on the food. That's just one example of how being firm and show the animal who's boss can help you re educate even an old dog.

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>>but unfortunately he is always reprimanding the cat for doing far less.

 

yes, but this is the same as parents who love their own children and spoil them, but get angry when someone else's kids do the exact same thing! so love is blind!

 

if the dog is really old, i would just pick one or two of the things that absolutely drive you crazy, and ask if he can refrain from the one or two things, but ignore the rest. the dog will probably not be around too much longer. If you get a new puppy together, then you can both raise the dog with better manners.

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I'm on the fence with this one. Some of the behavior is about the dog "being a dog" like the begging... but there is lack of training that it is becoming a domestic problem.

 

When I go to walk through the front door Fido rushes before my feet and tries to get out before me. I try to hold the door ajar to let him know he can't push in, but he gets his body into the smallest gap and forces the door from my grip.

This is why it is important to train your dog an enter/exit procedure. You and your boyfriend have to be in control of your dog at all times and your dog must acknowledge that he is NOT in charge. If you don't want your dog to bolt out the door, you teach him a "wait" command with a leash. The leash signifies the dog that it's time for him to go outside. It took me 30 mins to practice this procedure with my dog. My dog rarely bolts out because he will know he will be corrected if he doesn't obey my "Wait" signal.

 

If my bf and I try to have fun Fido jumps up on the sofa and in between us and separates us. If I talk babyish to the other animals Fido jumps on my back to steer my attention towards him.

I don't accept jumping behavior from my dog and this is also a training issue. This is a problem because if I have guests, some DO NOT want a dog jumping up to sit with them on the furniture OR on them with his tiny sharp puppy claws. You can try to enforce this boundary, but your boyfriend has to follow through it.

 

Dogs are excellent judges when it comes to picking up voice tone, but you have to OBSERVE the dog's energy level. "Babyish" talk is an excitement tone- if the dog is already rowdy, you are encouraging the dog to be excited and entices him to be jumpy.

 

 

The dog can still be trained at any age, but it is a lot of work. Dog training must be consistent with both you and your boyfriend, otherwise it's a waste. I don't think you can make this consistent because your boyfriend is sneaking around and encouraging bad behavior.

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Do you and your boyfriend live together? If not, it could be your rules at your place, his rules as his. His dog has learned that this behavior is ok and even expected of him by your bf, but not by you. I wouldn't like it either, and learned the hard way with our last family dog how we had inadvertently trained her to beg. Eventually she learned that is was ok with 2 out of the 4 of us, but the 2 who didn't like it could not make the other 2 who accepted it change their ways. In a household, it is not unusual for different members to have different approaches to things, be it pets, children, money, religion, politics, friends, and how you navigate differences defines the relationship. Seems to me this is a relationship issue, and not about how you feel about the dog.

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I've had dogs all my life, I've worked in a dog daycare and I currently work in a vet clinic.

 

This is normal dog behaviour. This dog is not misbehaving. Things like begging for food and sleeping on the bed can be easily fixed (don't reward begging with treats, and tell him "No" every time he jumps on the bed). Other than that, this dog isn't doing anything wrong and there's nothing to correct. This is how dogs are.

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I agree this is normal behaviour to some extent but this is attention seeking badly trained dog behaviour at the same time, it would do my head in for my dog not to be obedient.

 

I mean it's all your boyfriends fault, but there isn't any reason for Fido to be like this.

it's your boyfriend you have to talk with, it's not good you trying to teach him things and then your boyfriend doing the opposite, it won't stick. It's SO easy to train even an old dog, especially such a food obsessed one.

 

Tell your boyfriend he may think he's an awesome doggy dad, but he's probably doing more harm than good.

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  • 1 month later...

I think you should halve a calm discussion with him and explain what he sees as love is actually probably mentally stressful on his dog.

It's obvious he loves it so perhaps if he understands what he does is detrimental to the dogs mental state then he might change. He needs to be treated like a dog, not a child. And your bf should know he is confusing and making a bad situation for his dog despite his love.

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  • 1 month later...

You don't have a dog problem, you have a boyfriend problem. It's not the dog's fault at all. As much as you don't like these behaviours (I wouldn't either), your boyfriend has taught the dog that it's perfectly fine.

A more pertinent question is why you are allowing your boyfriend to treat you so disrespectfully. Can you let him know, without getting distracted by any talk of cat vs dog, that you need him to help deal with this?

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  • 2 years later...

I have to agree with you. I have a similar problem, I don't like it when my boyfriends step fathers dogs beg for food, And it's as if they demand or expect my food. And they won't go away until it is done, I just completely ignore them or go to a different room and shut the door behind me. It is so annoying. Especially when they have their own food. In addition to that one of the dogs will jump on his bed when no one is home, I personally don't care I remove him. And then he will proceed to cry beside the bed, and then I completely remove him from the room. It's disturbing while trying to sleep.

 

I do believe that this is due to not being trained, to the fact their owners have been too lenient and this is literally irresponsible. I would not trust someone who puts an animal at the same level of a human being. A dog has its place and a human being has their place as well. its okay to have affection towards them after all isnt that the whole purpose of a pet? but boundaries need to be set. Dogs are not that stupid they know what works, the reason why they beg for food and annoy me is because their owner gives in to it. However, had their owner not allowed it from the start the dogs would know not to bother. Also with the cat problem I would be upset to, you boyfriend says he doesn't favor the dog but he clearly does. The signs are all there. If I were you I would walk away from this relationship. At some point you will have enough, it will all completely annoy you . If he can't be responsible for a dog I doubt he can be responsible for other things.

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  • 4 years later...

I have the same problem with my bf and his dog. We met then got engaged and we talked about get a dog since we’re to old for kids (I’m 43, he’s 50). Well he was told there is pitbull for grabs the owner didn’t want her 3 yrs old dog. Well my bf didn’t discuss it with me and took it apon himself to pick her up and starting calling it “his dog”. I was upset because I wanted it to be something we did together and do it when the time is right. My fiancé has no job barely has any money and expects me to buy everything for the dog. I told him the time wasn’t right, and now he gets mad because I don’t allow the dog to run a muck through my house and I tell her no when she follows him everywhere. He doesn’t buy her good food when I told him about pitbulls so she has gas all the time n it smells in my small room and he doesn’t care and says I complain to much. She pulls him on walks and says she’s a dog who cares but when we take her to the beach he yells at me to take her because she’s not listening to him. Then I try to show him how to teach her who’s the boss but then never uses the training. Almost every morning he wants me to walk her n when I say no he gets pissed off n then he’ll go home. He has no money for vet visits she has flees, she smells and he feeds a 3 yr old dog puppy food n that’s why she’s gassy. She constantly licks her self she has bad anxiety pitbulls love to socialize n exercise but he never takes her out. So at night n throughout the day she sleeps a lot and makes annoying noises and I tell him why she does that and he tells me the internet is full of crap nobody knows what a dog is thinking. This dog is sick every month with diarrhea n vomiting. I can’t stand this anymore 

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10 minutes ago, Elicortez said:

I have the same problem with my bf and his dog. We met then got engaged and we talked about get a dog since we’re to old for kids (I’m 43, he’s 50). Well he was told there is pitbull for grabs the owner didn’t want her 3 yrs old dog. Well my bf didn’t discuss it with me and took it apon himself to pick her up and starting calling it “his dog”. I was upset because I wanted it to be something we did together and do it when the time is right. My fiancé has no job barely has any money and expects me to buy everything for the dog. I told him the time wasn’t right, and now he gets mad because I don’t allow the dog to run a muck through my house and I tell her no when she follows him everywhere. He doesn’t buy her good food when I told him about pitbulls so she has gas all the time n it smells in my small room and he doesn’t care and says I complain to much. She pulls him on walks and says she’s a dog who cares but when we take her to the beach he yells at me to take her because she’s not listening to him. Then I try to show him how to teach her who’s the boss but then never uses the training. Almost every morning he wants me to walk her n when I say no he gets pissed off n then he’ll go home. He has no money for vet visits she has flees, she smells and he feeds a 3 yr old dog puppy food n that’s why she’s gassy. She constantly licks her self she has bad anxiety pitbulls love to socialize n exercise but he never takes her out. So at night n throughout the day she sleeps a lot and makes annoying noises and I tell him why she does that and he tells me the internet is full of crap nobody knows what a dog is thinking. This dog is sick every month with diarrhea n vomiting. I can’t stand this anymore 

Oh dear. I think it's your boyfriend that's the problem. The poor pup needs a home that can afford his care and food, more exercise. 

Are you sure this is the right man for you?

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