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dogs affecting relationship


herea3

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I have a predicament that I dont quite know how to handle so im coming here for advice. my girlfriend and I have 3 dogs, 2 if which we got together. the 3rd she already had. generally I love animals, and will fully admit i take partial responsibility to getting the 3rd dog. however, having 3 dogs has become a huge mistake. the newest dog is out of control. when we shower the dog needs to be in the bathroom with us or he claws at the door and barks uncontrollably. not only does he need to be in the bathroom but he insists on trying to jump in the shower with us as well. hes a fairly large dog, and we have a 2nd floor condo in our complex. he insists on chasing the other 2 dogs around the house, so 1 of our other dogs has taken to growling at him any time he comes near. ( I mean like even 5 feet away) also my girlfriend works very early every morning, she gets up at 4am. I get up with her so I can take care of the dogs while she prepares for work, dyring this time I take the dogs outside (seperately as the larger dog will attack the smaller dogs if taken out together) half the time im outside with the dog for extended periods of time, in the freezing cold, as he'd rather play in the snow more than do his thing and go inside. when I bring him inside he enjoys running around the house like its a race track (keep in mind its now 430 am and we have neighbors below us.) once I take the little dogs out and bring them back in, I go back to bed. I than wake up at 7am (I have to be at work at 9) I have to take them out again so they dont pee inside, feed them and take the new dog out again after he eats. than im able to try to do what I need to, as they run around the house and act wild. my girlfriend and I have been fighting about this for a while. there was a point in time that we almost gave up the new dog but her family convinced her not to and saidd they are great dogs, you cant get rid of them. any time I try to discusd it, she gets mad and doesnt want to hear it and tells me to stop being a baby about it and get over it. im getting extremely frusterated with the situation and I dont know how to handle it. today I had made a remark of "pretty soon your going to have to decide between these dogs or me" in which she replied "I already know what ill decide" and it didnt soind too assuring that she meant me. anyhow, I really need advice. how can I best handle this?

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a common statement she will make when we discuss giving up the dog is that if he doesn't get adopted by a new family, he will be put down. I said there are no kill shelters but shes not convinced. so that is yet another hurdle

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you need to put your foot down and let the new dog have a life some place else .

 

try the approach that the new dog isn't having the life it should having to share the territory with the two established dogs .. and it is actually not right to have a larger third dog in an upstairs condo ..

 

so you don't let him go to the animal centre if your partner is saying he will be put down ..advertise yourself in the papers/shops/online and meet the family who will have him .

 

everything you said makes me feel very sorry for the new dog actually , he needs a family to himself in a bigger space and with the time to stimulate him like he needs .

 

by the way it does sound very much like you have done all you can and are looking after them all well ...so stick to your guns here ...he needs a new start bless him .

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Any chance that her family would adopt the 3rd dog since they were the ones encouraging her to keep him?

 

I had to re-home a dog once because he was not a good fit for my family. When I did so I was depressed for a while but it was the best decision for all. If you can re-home him to a nice home, she is likely going to be more ok with that than a shelter. I would not leave an animal at a shelter.

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3rd-Leg would be out of here. He need a yard and sound to be out-of-control because he's unhappy and his behavior is a way of lashing out. Also, it's totally unfair to those poor neighbors below you as well as to yourself to have a dog within your dwelling that refuse to listen. BTW, I'm sorry but I laughed the entire time that I read this because the third dog is having way too much fun...Especially the snow part!!!

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nope, I tried that route too. since they were so fond on us keeping him, maybe they should take him and keep him instead. problem is, they either a. dont want him or b. the place they live wobt allow animals which actually led to an argument at an earlier point of time because I felt that they were out of place pushing her towards keeping him, especially when they wont or cant take him themselves.

 

I guess the biggest reason that am asking for advice is because I needed reassurance that i was doing the right thing. I have actually said to her in the past that our condo is not cut out for the dog, that I had made a mistake agreeing to adopt him but that he would have a better quality of life else where. she saw it as more of an excuse than anything.

 

for the most part, I couldnt ask for a better girlfriend. i plan on asking her to marry me, I love her dearly, and its really hard for me to ever see walking away from her but because of this animal my quality of life suffers as well as his does. she just doesnt seem to understand. im open for suggestions, on how I can best handle this.

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yes you are doing the right thing ...

 

is there any chance a neighbour has complained ? because that would then take the "blame " off you so much .

 

I think you ought to stick to the route of his wellbeing rather than you wanting it . It is actually wrong to keep him so you are not telling an untruth here .

Lots of love and reassurance for her and lots of gentle but pursuasive words ..firm but kind ..loving but honest ...and tell her you can ask the new family if she can visit him or call now and again ...

 

keep to the facts of him and his living situation and avoid saying it is ruining your relationship if you can .

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By keeping the dog there, your girlfriend might be making herself feel better about not giving up on the dog, but she's not giving it the quality of life it, or your other dogs, deserve and is a cruelty in itself. The dogs needs an appropriate home with owners that can give it the appropriate care.

 

We're there for the dogs, the dogs aren't there for us, no matter what it feels like.

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Three dogs including a large dog in a condo is definitely bound to make for chaos unless they are very old or calm couch potato type dogs.

 

People get attached to their dogs like to children, so that is your issue. You are running up against her maternal instinct since she has already bonded with the dog and that can be a high wall to try to scale.

 

One solution I'd explore is to discuss moving from the condo and into a pet friendly place. If you got a house that had a fenced yard and a dog door, it would solve almost all these problems, other than perhaps the big dog needs some training with a professional dog trainer to eliminate some of the negative behaviors.

 

If there is no way at all you can sell your condo or move into a place that is more appropriate for 3 dogs, your only hope is to actively look for a good home for the dog yourself. If it is a purebred dog, there are rescue groups for each breed that have waiting lists of people looking for purebreds, and they can list the dog on their websites until they find someone who wants to take the dog. So the dog could potentially stay with you until someone is found to adopt it.

 

But I think if she will not consider doing what is the right thing for that dog and you and your relationship, then I would break up with her because she is showing herself to be stubborn and intractable, which his not a good quality in a partner. For all you know, you could marry her and end up with even more dogs... I have one neighbor who has at least 5 dogs and it is constant noise and chaos and barking dogs etc. at their place. If someone lives on a farm you could consider that, but people who end up with excessive numbers of pets in inappropriate locations have hoarding/psychological issues.

 

btw, it is irrelevant what her parents/family thinks in terms of the dog. The next time she brings up that her parents think you should keep him, then you immediately say, that is irrelevant because we are adults and make our own decisions, and also because they are not the ones living in this crowded condo and whose lives are being negatively impacted by this as we are. So what they think is not relevant and shouldn't be factored into our decisions.

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btw, one other piece of advice. It is YOU who is suffering getting up at 4:30 am and taking the dogs out and staying out in the freezing cold etc. What you should immediately do is tell her if she wants the dog that much, then SHE is responsible for his care and needs to be the one who takes them out in the morning, and you'll take evening duty. She might be far more inclined to find the dog another home when it is her arse out there in the freezing cold at 4:30 am rather than yours!

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very glad that I posted this. you guys are all reiterating exactly what ive been thinking and feeling for a while now. nice to know im not just being an ahole about it lol. i am aware of the rescue groups for pure breads, I actuslly called one in my area today. the dog is pure bred, hes a siberian husky.

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very glad that I posted this. you guys are all reiterating exactly what ive been thinking and feeling for a while now. nice to know im not just being an ahole about it lol. i am aware of the rescue groups for pure breads, I actuslly called one in my area today. the dog is pure bred, hes a siberian husky.

A rescue group is a great idea. Keep trying. I can't imagine a husky being happy in a condo with 2 smaller dogs that don't get along with him. (I've had 3 huskies in the past, they love the snow, need to run, need lots of exercise and time outdoors and love rough housing. They are beautiful dogs, but I think he'd do better with more outdoor space and time, perhaps with a family.)

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I agree on the newest doggy needs to find a better place for them to reside don't take to a shelter find a good home through friends maybe someone with a big property or farm for it to run around.. I wouldn't take them to a shelter though, place ads maybe put up info on grocery store bulletin boards as well. Get friends to put the word out if you have a FB account too.

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btw, one other piece of advice. It is YOU who is suffering getting up at 4:30 am and taking the dogs out and staying out in the freezing cold etc. What you should immediately do is tell her if she wants the dog that much, then SHE is responsible for his care and needs to be the one who takes them out in the morning, and you'll take evening duty. She might be far more inclined to find the dog another home when it is her arse out there in the freezing cold at 4:30 am rather than yours!

 

Agreed. Stay in bed and let her do what you do every morning.

 

There are many charity rescues that will add your dog to their list and when a foster place becomes available they will take yours.. Trick is to find the right one. I do NOT however recommend taking the dog to a shelter, a cold and lonely kennel with lots of other dogs barking and being away from its family and canine companions who he clearly loves to play with is no place for any dog. Nor do I recommend placing ads in newspapers as you do not know where it will end up, and with dog baiting sickos always on the look out for a free or cheap dog he could end up in a very dire and dangerous situation, not what you want for such a lovely dog even if he is a pain in the backside I'm sure. He just has the wrong 'energy' for your household, thats all.

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Unfortunately the new dog is trying to establish himself as alpha to the pack--i.e. you, your girlfriend, the other two dogs. Also if he's a fairly large dog it must be hell for him living in a smaller space with animals and humans he feels he has to dominate in order to establish his place in the pecking order. Either give him up to a better suited home or get him some serious training classes with you and the girlfriend, so he sees the two of you as alpha and he is made to understand that he must obey and accept his place in the pack. Otherwise you are facing a future incident where he attacks one or more of the dogs or possibly one of you.

 

I live on a ranch with several large and small dogs, I am very careful to establish that I am the alpha at all times. I also rescue a fair number of dogs from the highway near my ranch. I always take them to a trainer and do a number of things to establish that I am alpha without using physical force or hitting the animal. That just breeds anger in them and then they really will fight you for the turf. So yes, either invest in training classes or accept that this dog is just too much for the household and it goes. As others have said there are a number of places that are no-kill shelters or that have foster places until an animal can be placed. Don't take him to a regular shelter since those are a death sentence too many times and horrible places that traumatize the animals worse.

 

Anything else than those two things is just a ticking time bomb bluntly since like it or not dogs need a certain type of stability and order in their household too or they can become aggressive. And this one already is. And he's teaching your other dogs to be aggressive too as well. Sorry, you are going to need to override your girlfriend on this if she doesn't want the issue handled. All of your safety depends on it and the happiness of the dogs too, since right now they sound miserable as well.

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Just saw where you say he's a Siberian Husky. Oh please, please don't let a magnificent dog like that stay locked up in a condo. It's hell for him there, it really is. I have two and they are wonderful animals, but I also have 20 acres in which they run and patrol and it makes a world of difference. I get why your girlfriend has trouble letting go of the dog, but maybe show her these posts and get her to see that she needs to be thinking of the dog, not herself. He's not a toy or a possession, he's the type of dog that needs to work and to have space. Siberian Huskys are outdoor dogs, they are sled dogs, they are working dogs. It's what they are happiest doing. Sitting in a small space with two other dogs he doesn't feel kinship with must be really hard on the poor guy and yes, he needs a pack that is with him at all times so every time you both leave he is doubly unhappy.

 

I feel bad for the dog, he needs to run and he needs to work to be really happy. Huskies are a very particular breed and I will also say they are closer in nature and mentality to that of their ancestor the wolf. They are not dogs to keep in a small place, ever. Please don't do that to him. As agent says huskies take serious work and I am always socializing, playing and working with my huskies--i.e. I take them with me when I go out riding and they run with me and look things over. They also guard the place and know that's their job and they love doing it. One of them is a rescue that I got who had obviously been kept penned up or in a very small place and it took me months before he'd even come into the house without freaking out.

 

Maybe as a start talk to these guys: link removed And find him a good home with plenty of space, please. I know they're beautiful dogs, I know how cool it makes one feel owning one, but the fact is as someone who lives on a ranch I have to say as people your first priority is always, always to the happiness of the animal. Not your own emotions or other feelings over owning the animal. I had to give up a gorgeous stallion once simply because it was too temperamental and I'm a small woman who could not handle the horse. I found him a great home at another ranch where he gets to pick and choose his mares and he is so happy. Of course I cried giving him up, he was one of the most beautiful horses I'd ever seen, but he was unhappy and I loved him enough that his happiness came first. That's what your girlfriend needs to do now too. Good luck and I hope you both find this gorgeous dog a good home with lots of space to run and play. He needs that.

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Wherever you got him from obviously didn't do a background check on where his new home was going to be - and if they did, then whoever came should be sacked.

This dog needs constant attention, training, and a large space - none of which either of you can give him with your work schedule and home. For the dogs sake alone, he shouldn't be there.

 

For your and your relationships sake, your girlfriends stubbornness needs to go. I'm sure deep down she knows you are right, but might be hesitant to do so because she feels she is giving up on him.

Do some research on owning a husky, I'm sure you will find something that will prove your point or even show her the responses here on top of that. Not only are you sacrificing your happiness in order to control this dog, but in keeping him you are sacrificing his as well.

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Having read that he is a Siberian husky, I think you should change tactics with your girlfriend and place it on what is best for the dog, how it needs a garden, space, regular exercise and how sad you are that he is cooped up in an apartment without these things. That it is cruel to keep him in such a place and that seeing as the smaller dog is already growling at him that you are worried that he might seriously injure (or worse) one of your smaller dogs through frustration being cooped up alone with them all day, and/or he might feel the need to be the dominant one in the pack while you are in work. These are legitimate concerns afterall.

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Huskies are working class dogs. You need to have a high energy lifestyle for the dog to be content. Huskies should be walked over a couple miles every day or taken to the dog park daily for a couple hours to run/play if you do not have a yard (I had to do this with my Corgi who is a working breed while living in an apartment). Anytime you get a dog, you need to research the breed and see if it's energy level is compatible to you and your home.

 

Raising three dogs is very tough- I wouldn't recommend it. Your dog sounds a lot like mine who is still a puppy. He's refuses to come back in the house, even if it's in the negatives!

 

Just because the dog doesn't work out doesn't always mean you are a bad owner. However, he should be given to a family who can support his physical needs and demands. That would be the right thing to do.

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Huskies are built to run at a lope (what we'd equate to a fast jog) for 8+ hours.

 

So if you have one in a small condo - they need not walked - but RUN at least a couple hours a day.

 

It also doesn't sound like you've had the time to train him not to respond to the smaller dogs - and huskies are known for chasing smaller animals - and sometimes even for killing them, since they have a high chase/prey drive, especially if they're bored and not exercised.

 

Huskies can be great for someone with a very active lifestyle - someone who runs 5-10 miles in the morning to "wake up," regularly goes on hikes or trailing, and finishes the day with a refreshing repeat of the morning run. It doesn't sound like you guys have that much time. If you do, and she wants to keep the dog, she needs to make sure he gets exercise - and some puzzle toys for in between to occupy his mind.

 

Alternatively - if you can't find a rescue, or they're overloaded, contact your local husky club. Odds are they will have a LOAD of activities to suggest - including pulling and packing, teaching retrieval, flyball, and other things that will help channel your furry guy's energy.

 

In the meantime - whenever you have to leave him, get two heavy duty kong toys, and stuff with peanut butter and freeze. When you have to leave him - give him one. It'll give you at least an hour or two of him exercising his jaws in a non-destructive way.

 

Ideally - he needs an active (very active) family with space and no small pets. So if you can talk to a rescue about rehoming, that would be my first choice. Huskies are gorgeous. They're happy go lucky. And they're tornadoes with teeth. I fostered one for six months, and even with extensive exercise, he taught me a lot about the breed the hard way!

 

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Show her this link, or other similar ones (this one was most descriptive) about "is a husky a good dog for me?" in google. All recommend a minumum 1.5-2 hours of vigorous exercise, watchfulness with small animals (cats, dogs, rabbits etc) and a lot of human contact.

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