(Closed) Am I overreacting??

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

No, you are not at all over-reacting and in my opinion the fact that he would do this to a dog that is deaf makes it even worse. Deaf dogs have to be handled differently, particularly since they are visual and you use hand commands. If your Fiance starts hitting the dog, he’s going to associate hands as a negative thing and in turn could really start acting out and having behavioral problems.

Edit: Just wanted to add that I in no way think that dogs that are not deaf should be hit either. But, particularly deaf dogs, since they respond to hand signals/commands, it’s imperative that they are not afraid of your hands, etc. I also don’t see what the dog did wrong in the first place. He’s an 8 month old puppy that you say isn’t getting enough exercise, so he got in trouble for running around in his own back yard and then getting overly excited when your Boyfriend or Best Friend was chasing him? Poor pup. Sounds like he really got the raw end of the stick on this one.

Post # 5
Member
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Woah! I’d be REALLY upset if I were you. You’re not overreacting at all!

Definitely talk to your Fiance about this.

Post # 6
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t think you’re overreacting.  This would really, really upset me.  I get that not everyone shares the same beliefs about never hitting a pet, but even if he didn’t “hurt” the dog, it still very much upset you and upsetting you in this way is something your boyfriend should not be okay with doing. I think you need to talk to him about respecting your feelings and trying to change the way he handles these things.  It’s good to have conversations like this and helps to, if nothing else, set a precedent of open communication and respect for the future of your relationship.  If he continues to refuse to respect your feelings on this matter, I would seriously start to question why I choose to be with someone like that.

Thank you for your good work with the SPCA, by the way.

Post # 7
Member
3098 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Ooooh, I’d be super ticked! No, you’re not over reacting at all! I don’t think it’s appropriate behavior to use towards any dog, but especially one that can’t hear you and only knows hand signals for commands. This is definitely something for you two to talk about and come to an agreement on, because if you plan on having children in the future, I can see that the differences in punishment style could really cause an issue.

Post # 8
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t believe he was hurt at all, so don’t worry you told the story well enough that it didn’t makeit seem as if the dog was hurt. But, that’s not the point, it’s that;

1. He didn’t do anything wrong at all, he was being a puppy, he was outside and your fiance engaged in natural playful behavior and got him more excited by chasing him in the yard and then getting mad when he wasn’t ready to come inside at the very moment he wanted him to. 

2. You don’t wish for him to hit your dog or discipline him in this way and he’s not respecting your feelings.

3. Your dog is deaf and you need to handle things carefully with a deaf dog.

Honestly, if he reaches for a pool skimmer just because the puppy is running around the back yard, what’s he going to do when he eats his shoes, etc. You do need to set some boundries here and I think a positive way to do it maybe to involve your Boyfriend or Best Friend in a training class with your puppy. It would be a good way to let your boyfriend feel some control in the situation and learn the proper way to correct a dog, particularly a deaf one.

 

Post # 9
Member
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

No, you are not overreacting.  The way that people treat animals is often a strong predictive factor as to how they will treat children.  I’m not just concerned about hitting a deaf dog, but the fact that he seems to feel the dog is your responsibility.  You may have wanted the dog more than he did, but if the two of you are in a serious enough relationship to get married, then you need to be in a partnership in which pets are shared responsibilities.

Post # 10
Member
555 posts
Busy bee

I am one of those crazy people who believes the way people treat animals reflects how they will treat children and the elderly so IMO you are NOT overreacting.  I would have MAJOR problems if my Fiance did this to our dog and, yes some people may think this would be extreme, but I would request some counseling as I would see it as a precursor to future behavior especially if such a small thing triggered it. Children need lots of patience and I would be worried.

Post # 12
Member
1757 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I would be absolutely LIVID, and I agree with everything 2010bride2bee said. Your dog didn’t do anything wrong except fail to act in the exact way your boyfriend wanted him to act – welcome to the reason why puppies need training! Plus, you’ve explicitly told your boyfriend that you’re only comfortable with physical discipline in a select few circumstances – this was not one of them. Not to mention the possibility of the negative associations your dog might develop, and the chance that he’ll either become fear-aggressive the next time your boyfriend picks up the skimmer, or just outright aggressive.

You work at an SPCA (which is awesome, btw; having worked as a shelter veterinarian, I know how hard it can be) – do they sponsor training classes? Or know of anyone that does? Or can they refer you to a behaviorist, ideally one that has worked with deaf dogs? (And for all of these options, make sure the trainer uses positive reinforcement methods, rather than old-school punishment-based training.) It sounds like you and your boyfriend need to attend some sessions with your dog. Maybe once he learns about appropriate training methods, he won’t be as quick to pick up the pool skimmer.

Post # 14
Member
1757 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

The skimmer should be used as neither a physical nor a psychological weapon. Whether he actually hit the dog or not, he obviously threatened the puppy for doing NOTHING WRONG. And even if your boyfriend still maintains that “it worked”, sometimes the ends do not justify the means. 

Perhaps you could try to generalize the situation, rather than focusing on that one specific incident. It sounds like the two of you need to get a better understanding of what’s appropriate training vs what’s unacceptable. Rather than scaring/hitting him with the skimmer, perhaps your boyfriend could try strategies such as rewarding the dog with a treat when he does the desired behavior.

Quite honestly, the fact that he doesn’t feel like he did anything wrong bothers me way more than what he actually did. Especially since it’s your dog, and you’ve told him that those types of disciplinary measures are not okay. You can easily teach someone how to humanely train a dog. You cannot always teach them that humane methods are better.

Post # 15
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Okay, well lets say he didn’t hit the dog which is very doubtful considering the dog is deaf and let out a yelp…one would assume this is because he felt the skimmer touch him…Doesn’t sound like it worked either because didn’t you say he still chased him into the house.

In any case getting a dog to do what you want out of fear is asking for big problems. If he doesn’t change his behavior you are going to have a dog that is fearful of your fiance and could very likely turn out to be aggressive. Then what do you do?

You need to decide what is more important to you, letting it go for the sake of not fighting with your boyfriend, or the way you want your dog to be treated (and the way he deserves to be treated). For your boyfriend to be so adament in his stance is alarming and strongly indicates he thinks he’s not doing anythign wrong and plans to continue to discipline the dog this way in the future.

If he’s not open to changing the way he treats the dog, or learning how to handle the dog through training, perhaps, the dog would be better off being rehomed (particularly now while he’s still a puppy, easier to train and doesn’t have any behavioral issues that can and will likely occur if this doesn’t stop) and if you are going to stay with Boyfriend or Best Friend you’d be better off without dogs in the house? In my opinion that would be the most selfless thing to do in this situation IF you are certain your Boyfriend or Best Friend isn’t willing to change his ways.

I’m sure working at the SPCA you see what damage can be done to dogs that are not treated and trained properly. I’d hate for this to really turn into something bad for you and Blue. 🙁  Being that you must truly love animals since you work for the SPCA, you may need to be sure your Boyfriend or Best Friend is on the same page as you or this could potentially cause major issues in the future. I have a housefull of animals, some handicapped and if my Fiance wasn’t on board, we wouldn’t be together. It just couldn’t work.

Post # 16
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

What breed is he? Most of the deaf dogs I’ve encountered in rescue have been pits, boxers and great danes (probably because a good deal of deaf dogs are white). All of which go through a long puppy phase and some breeds will be even more prone to having severe behavioral issues if you use fear as a way of getting them to obey.

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