Jump to content

I can’t stand my boyfriend’s dog and the way his family treat it


Recommended Posts

For context, I have never liked spaniels. It could be because all the spaniels I’ve met have been spoiled, hyper and wriggly, but I just don’t find them cute. 

My boyfriend and I are both in our mid twenties, and he’s still currently living with his parents  

Last year they got a dog, and it’s their first dog. The family are very ‘by-the-book’ and don’t use a lot of common sense. They consult google and professionals for every tiny issue. 

This dog is spoiled in the oddest way. They indulge in an actual wardrobe for him, along with weird gadgets and expensive items to keep him cool in the summer etc. They’ve even invested in a dog psychologist. 

However, they miss fundamental training. The dog is not trained at all: he climbs on furniture and jumps up (this genuinely annoys me so much) because they’re way too gentle with it. Also, he doesn’t get walked! On the rare occasion he gets walked, its not allowed off the lead ( they’re an unnecessarily cautious family. Also, no wonder he’s such a menace in the house!). 

My boyfriend fully condones this style of dog raising (it makes me feel a bit sick, quite frankly), and I can’t stand talking about his dog or visiting the family for that reason. 

My family have had a golden retriever for twelve years. It was raised in a very traditional way (two long walks a day; bottom of the hierarchy) etc. He is SO well behaved. 

I know for a fact that if we had raised their spaniel, it would also be a well behaved dog. 

In short, I don’t particularly respect my boyfriend and his family for the way they’ve  trained their dog. It really makes me cringe; I just want to shout ‘the reason he’s sprinting laps around your lounge is because he’s not been walked in three days! He’s a springer spaniel, he needs to be walked!!!’.  And yet there he is with his premium organic chicken breast for dinner. 

It’s the contrast against my family that makes me cringe. I’m very proud of my family and the way they approach life, raising animals etc. Our dog has always been treated like a dog. We greet each other first, and the dog last. A happy dog is a tired dog, and he gets walked two hours a day. 
Im worried this is a red flag for our relationship. How is he going to approach raising kids? Is this a sign that we’re not compatible? He fully endorses the way they’ve raised this stupid dog, and heavily defends it when I question it … 

Edited by Luna Lover 28
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He’s a product of his parents the same way the dog is a product of his parents’ thoughts/values. Neither are going to bite the hand that feeds. 

No, you’re not compatible. 

How long have you been dating him? 

Edited by Rose Mosse
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

He’s a product of his parents the same way the dog is a product of his parents’ thoughts/values. Neither are going to bite the hand that feeds. 

No, you’re not compatible. 

How long have you been dating him? 

I’ve been dating him 2 years now 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Luna Lover 28 said:

 He fully endorses the way they’ve raised this stupid dog, and heavily defends it when I question it … 

 End it. You have zero respect for him or his family. It's none of your business how they treat their pet.

You seem jealous of the attention your BF gives the dog. Stop telling him how to handle his dog.

Stop going to his house and being a brat.

Focus on your work, school, getting your own place.

Join some groups and clubs, volunteer, get involved in sports and fitness. Get a life.

Edited by Wiseman2
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the thing is, it's not YOUR dog. Yes, your family raised the golden retriever in a more traditional way, but these people are raising the dog however they like, because it's their dog. I understand the way they treat the dog is a bit over the top but I know different people who treat their dogs very differently. And unless the dog is being abused or neglected, I don't think there is necessarily a "right" way to treat a dog. 

For example, my parents also have a golden retriever. The golden retriever is allowed to sleep inside the house, but not allowed to sit on any furniture or go upstairs where the bedrooms are at all. My parents' friends have two dachshunds and they sleep in their bed and they even always take the dogs if they go away on holiday. Some of my friends allow their dogs to sleep in their bed and have outfits for them. My ex had an Instagram page for his cat and enrolled it into a pet modelling agency lol Yes some of these things are overboard but some people are very big pet lovers and their pet means everything to them and is like a child to them.

Your boyfriend loves this dog and approves of the way it's raised, so do his family. There isn't anything you can say or do except maybe ask your boyfriend to move out into his own place. He still lives with his parents and therefore it's their roof, their rules. It just isn't your place to be telling your boyfriend and his family how to raise the dog. You can't control them. The only thing you can do is not come to their house, or break up with your boyfriend. But as you can see, yes, your ideas about raising a pet are drastically different. This may potentially be an incompatibility.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is he the only child? For example, its not out of the ordinary for the only kid that parents have spoiled him a bit. As this is their upbringing style, that applies to the dog too. So your fears are maybe justified there. However, child is a sum of both of parents. Just because he is from the spoiled side, you maybe arent. So its very vague to assume that your future kids will be spoiled for that.

Also, its their dog. If they want to treat it like a baby, they are allowed too. Just as you are allowed to dislike it. Are you incompatible because of it? Perhaps. Its not really a huge issue but you seem to dislike it quite a bit so perhaps you are not a good match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

Is he the only child? For example, its not out of the ordinary for the only kid that parents have spoiled him a bit. As this is their upbringing style, that applies to the dog too. So your fears are maybe justified there. However, child is a sum of both of parents. Just because he is from the spoiled side, you maybe arent. So its very vague to assume that your future kids will be spoiled for that.

Also, its their dog. If they want to treat it like a baby, they are allowed too. Just as you are allowed to dislike it. Are you incompatible because of it? Perhaps. Its not really a huge issue but you seem to dislike it quite a bit so perhaps you are not a good match.

We have one child and we're tired of the whole stereotype of "only children are spoiled" - I see many family dynamics where there are more than one child and there is a clear favorite (one time I saw this where the biological child was favored over the adopted child -horrible to see) and so there is "spoiling" with multiple kids (same in some families if there is one boy, the rest girls).  Nothing to do with whether he has sibs or not.

I love how Tinydance explained this especially since she is a dog owner/her family was.  I agree. This is not a dog issue. It's a boyfriend issue. You are right OP that he doesn't agree with you how his dog should be raised.  I am not a dog owner. We had a cat growing up.  My father was really attached to our cat (I mean so was I but my father was up with him in the morning more than I was) - and he treated that cat far differently than us-meaning his pet-style differed from his parenting style. 

OP -it's none of your business. If the dog jumps on you it is your business.  I was bitten by a boyfriend's family dog many years ago -he lived at home, we were in our 20s.  It was horrible -the bite wasn't bad, the aftermath was -the doctor visit, tetanus shot and all of it completely unprovoked by me.  But I never ever thought I had a say in what was done with the dog on my subsequent visits.  Never occurred to me -their house, their rules.  

Your boyfriend is right that it's none of your business.  But if you had a child with him you'd be in a different dynamic -co-parenting, a couple and sounds like married too.  So his communication as a co-parent might be quite different.

I'd stop going to his home.  Not with a huffy attitude -simply say you're not comfortable there because the dog is all over you and you don't like it.  When is your boyfriend planning on getting his own place?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

We have one child and we're tired of the whole stereotype of "only children are spoiled" - I see many family dynamics where there are more than one child and there is a clear favorite (one time I saw this where the biological child was favored over the adopted child -horrible to see) and so there is "spoiling" with multiple kids (same in some families if there is one boy, the rest girls).  Nothing to do with whether he has sibs or not.

 

Stereotypes are sometimes there for a reason. First child, is often more spoiled one as a first and only. Or as you mentioned, boy after a bunch of girls. Or even a girl after a bunch of boys(I have one aunt like that, that side of my family had almost exclusively boys so she as first girl received special treatment by her grannie as oppose to other kids before). Or sometimes even the youngest one as they dont have too much pressure on them. As somebody who works with kids Ive seen it many times. It largerly depends on the parents style. For example, what I often noticed, as divorce rate is high here, there is a trend where both parties allow the kid everything they want and never say "No", in order for kid to be "happy" after divorce. Not realizing that they dont do a kid a favor for later. So when it comes to school, it creates a problem for the child. As teachers and other kids will say "No" and the child will often misbehave. So kid needs some work(usually with parents support and even sometimes correction of their own educational style) in order to adjust properly to new conditions. 

Anyway, I am sure yours is well behaved. However in this particular case, if they spoiled a dog like this(dog psychologist, to what extent people will spend their money lol), I dont think their parent style is different. So I am interested if it is "the only child" stereotype lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not your dog & you don't live with it.  you've lost respect for the owners over how they care for it and you think the dog is stupid. (poor dog. I'm sure he's not.  let's try to remember you're blaming a dog)

But! You're right. This is a major red flag for you and the relationship. 

If you move in with this guy or marry him, this will be a problem, as you view pet care differently. So at least in this instance you are incompatible.

I have found that when I outgrow a relationship, I start to judge things that are actually none of my business or feel outraged over things that are somewhat petty. When in reality, I am learning I actually don't like the person very much anymore. Maybe it's based on differences of opinions or choices but it's ok to decide someone isn't for you anymore. 

Sounds like maybe this relationship has run its course.  

Edited by Lambert
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't have respect for your boyfriend or his parents.  So why are you with him?  Do you think you can "change" him?  Because I can tell you most assuredly, this is an exercise in futility.  You'll be angry and frustrated every time you two visit his parents if you ever marry or live together.  You'll probably get into arguments (if you don't already).

Think about this: his parents and this dog will be in your lives for as long as they live (and for however long you're together).  You can't cut them out of your boyfriend's life.  So, now what?  Can you accept this is the way things will be forever?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

First child, is often more spoiled one as a first and only.

Yes that is the stereotype.  Some follow that and it's not there for the reason to repeat stale cliches that are offensive to individuals.  There are also stereotypes about race, height, disabilities that have many exceptions yet people who continue to perpetuate them out of boredom or lack of awareness of individuality.  I'm tired of that sterotype plus others and it's not helpful to suggest in this case that her adult boyfriend might be an only child and also spoiled IMHO.

My child is not always well behaved. Like many children.  The definition of "spoiled" is hopelessly broad and subjective.  Some say an infant can be spoiled which is ridiculous to me.  We're happy with our parenting approaches and we're a work in progress.  But treating people as individuals is really important to us both in parenting and otherwise.

Edited by Batya33
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Some follow that and it's not there for the reason to repeat stale cliches that are offensive to individuals. 

Its offensive to you because you got "triggered". Just because I said its often the case. Which, it is. Because we can assume in this individual case that it might be like that. To suggest that its like I said something offensive to race and gender just, well, silly. Just because I said this about this individual case doesnt mean your kid is like that and for you to get offended. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

Its offensive to you because you got "triggered". Just because I said its often the case. Which, it is. Because we can assume in this individual case that it might be like that. To suggest that its like I said something offensive to race and gender just, well, silly. Just because I said this about this individual case doesnt mean your kid is like that and for you to get offended. 

No you're wrong in your assumption. I'm not triggered because what you wrote about can't trigger me because I know it's trotted out as often as the silly napoleonic sterotype about short men.  I find racial stereotypes offensive too and they don't relate to me. It is as harmful because it's making a negative generalization about a person based on a status he or she cannot control.

Stereotypes are stereotypes and when they're negative they're often offensive and wrong.  Your sterotype happens to be inaccurate and based on old outdated notions of spoiled and when it was much more unusual to have one child.  My main point was I don't think your trotting out old cliches is helpful to the OP and could be harmful as it assumes that her adult boyfriend might be behaving this way because he was an only child.

I mean certainly if you believe in this stereotype - go for it - just was troubled by how you raised it in this context.  

Edited by Batya33
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Luna Lover 28 said:

He fully endorses the way they’ve raised this stupid dog, and heavily defends it when I question it … 

Unless the dog is being abused, it's not your place to judge how they choose to raise him. It seems that you're not being forced to be around the dog, therefore why go there?

After labeling this dog as stupid, I'm afraid that says more about you, than it does the dog, (imo).

Why not take the dog out of the equation, and focus on your relationship?

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

My main point was I don't think your trotting out old cliches is helpful to the OP and could be harmful as it assumes that her adult boyfriend might be behaving this way because he was an only child.

Oh please, dont pretend you care about OP in your "triggering". You just got triggered because you have an only child. OP has nothing to do with it. Neither does race or gender or any kind of stereotype you are trying to pin on me just so you want to have an excuse in your triggering. Which again has nothing to do with you. You just found yourself in my words and somehow and got offended. 

Also, OP herself was assuming her child would behave the same way as her boyfriend's dog because of upbringing. So I think its valid to ask. But hey, as long as you are here to warn me about me stereotyping lol.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Luna Lover 28 said:

He fully endorses the way they’ve raised this stupid dog, and heavily defends it when I question it … 

If you are jealous about their springer spaniel there's a lot more wrong with this than you think.🐕

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

Oh please, dont pretend you care about OP in your "triggering". You just got triggered because you have an only child. OP has nothing to do with it. Neither does race or gender or any kind of stereotype you are trying to pin on me just so you want to have an excuse in your triggering. Which again has nothing to do with you. You just found yourself in my words and somehow and got offended. 

Also, OP herself was assuming her child would behave the same way as her boyfriend's dog because of upbringing. So I think its valid to ask. But hey, as long as you are here to warn me about me stereotyping lol.

In my post I agreed with Tinydance and her advice very individually and particularly cares about the OP's situation -and I agree with it.  

"Your boyfriend loves this dog and approves of the way it's raised, so do his family. There isn't anything you can say or do except maybe ask your boyfriend to move out into his own place. He still lives with his parents and therefore it's their roof, their rules."

The OP's boyfriend is an adult choosing to live with his parents. Choosing to have and raise (or condone raising) this dog in the way it is being raised.  As an individual person making his own adult choices in the matter.  And, she is interfering in matters that are none of her business unless -as I added- if the dog jumps on her she's entitled to ask that the dog not jump on her.  And they're entitled to tell her that if she doesn't enjoy being jumped on they prioritize the dog's freedom to jump as he pleases.  And she can leave. This is the sort of caring advice I signed onto in my post trying to focus on the boyfriend as an adult and dog owner.  

We can agree to disagree.  I'm used to stereotypes about children and parenting -very easy targets for stereotyping. If her boyfriend is living with his parents because he wants to be child-like (however he was raised) then that is a bigger problem than this family pet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mmm especially with the other post it seems to me like you are building your case that you guys aren't compatible so that you feel less guilty when you dump your boyfriend and looking for support from strangers on an online forum. Generally people don't look for reasons to break up with someone unless their feelings are waning. 

How about offering to walk the dog a few times a week? It would calm the dog down and it would help you and the dog bond. And you could sometimes go on walks with the bf. He obviously loves the dog and the dog is important to him. So if you care about him shouldn't you try to make an effort to love the dog even if the dog doesn't meet your high standards of appropriate canine behaviour? Having arguments about dog training and criticizing the dog isn't exactly helping to build intimacy. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Luna Lover 28 said:

It’s the contrast against my family that makes me cringe. I’m very proud of my family and the way they approach life, raising animals etc. Our dog has always been treated like a dog. We greet each other first, and the dog last. A happy dog is a tired dog, and he gets walked two hours a day. 

Im worried this is a red flag for our relationship. How is he going to approach raising kids? Is this a sign that we’re not compatible? He fully endorses the way they’ve raised this stupid dog, and heavily defends it when I question it … 

Spaniels are hunting dogs so they're high energy and need outlets such as daily exercise.  Dogs need daily exercise just like humans.  Whether humans or dogs,  I like them if they know how to behave properly. 

Even though you disagree with how your boyfriend and his family are raising their dog, you need to keep your mouth shut and look the other way because you're right to have your opinions to keep to yourself but it's none of your business with all due respect.  It's their dog whether you approve of their methods or not.  Since the dog doesn't live with you, all you can do is observe and be relieved it's their dog and not yours. 

From one golden retriever lover to another, I too raised my late golden retriever from puppyhood to adulthood for 14 years.  She was extremely well behaved, trained, super intelligent, had ultimate self control, quiet, calm and great.  She wasn't a barker.  She was stunningly beautiful and of Guide Dog caliber (even though none of us are disabled).  She only barked if someone rang the doorbell which I was grateful for.  She put many dogs to shame!  She behaved better than people!   She had two walks per day, everyday of her life.  She had a doggie raincoat and paw shoes for inclement weather, too.  She was well groomed, her teeth were brushed daily, I brushed her coat daily, paws were cleaned all the time, she was clean everywhere everyday and my husband and I took excellent care of her throughout her life.  I even cooked homemade dog food for her several times a week!  She loved it.  I agree with you, all dogs should be treated with common sense.  However, other dogs are not your dogs so dog owners will do as they will whether you agree with them or not. 

Don't see your boyfriend as long term because he could very well insist upon owning a dog with you and not agree with you regarding how to raise and care for the dog.  As for raising kids?  That's a discussion you need to broach with him out of conversation's sake.  If both of you can't and won't agree on fundamentals such as how to raise and tend to pets and children, your boyfriend is not husband material.  If he's not the serious type according to your philosophies, then don't consider him serious in your life either. 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

From one golden retriever lover to another, I too raised my late golden retriever from puppyhood to adulthood for 14 years.  She was extremely well behaved, trained, super intelligent, had ultimate self control, quiet, calm and great.  She wasn't a barker.  She was stunningly beautiful and of Guide Dog caliber (even though none of us are disabled).

Sorry to tangent here -but I am not a dog lover, I like certain dogs a lot.  But a couple of times I've seen and spoken with a person with a golden retriever who they were "fostering" for the weekend as part of the dog's training to be a guide dog.  If fostering is accurate.  Usually at a restaurant -one couple confided how attached they were getting! But what a laudable contribution to make to helping train a guide dog. (And yes the dog always was supremely well behaved).

OP - I agree with the rest of what Cheryln wrote.  Also this may be a pandemic puppy situation -- I know of several families who adopted/purchased "pandemic puppies" even though they clearly weren't ready for the responsibilities -often those puppies end up "rehomed" and the shelters in my city apparently are overwhelmed.  Maybe that is what is going on here. Doesn't make it right but might explain that they are not well versed in how to train this particular breed.

Edited by Batya33
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Long ago, my cousin, aunt and uncle brought their unruly dog to my mother's house when I was a teenager.  This dog walked all over our sofas, ran in the house and was h _____ on wheels!  😡 This dog had free reign of the house.  He was reign of terror!  Fortunately, they had only one or two overnight stays and that's the last I ever saw of this dog.

As for other people's dogs or pets, they tend to them however they prefer.  As long as the animal doesn't live with you, it's none of your concern which should make you feel relieved.

The boyfriend is another story.  If you don't share similar values regarding how to raise pets, children or share the intellect you prefer, both of you are mismatched.  He will always disappoint you if you're expecting more out of his personality according to your preferences 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/2/2022 at 2:45 AM, Luna Lover 28 said:

For context, I have never liked spaniels. [...]

My boyfriend and I are both in our mid twenties, and he’s still currently living with his parents  

I'm heading straight for what stood out to me rather than reading replies first, so bear with me if this has been addressed.

For context? You head straight to the dog rather than describing your overall relationship with BF, and that means that the dog is a distraction from what is actually important.

Sure, you make great points, and at face value I agree with probably all of them. But you're missing the important stuff--and probably the REAL point of your question.

How long have you been with BF?

BF is mid-20's and still enmeshed in his family's household. Is he financially dependent on them?

Does BF have goals, and is he doing well at attaining them?

Where do YOU see YOUR SELF heading?

What are your goals and where do you stand with those?

How happy are you with BF overall, and how well does he align with YOUR goals?

Head high and write more if it helps.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...