Post # 47
I am not an animal person (and I really feel like I am the only person in San Diego that doesn’t have/want a pet) and I am glad that my Fiance didn’t come into the relationship with a pet (though it wouldn’t have been a deal breaker), but boy does your situation sound frustrating. It sounds like both Mr. Sweeney and Oreo need the training! He should be an equal partner in all sorts of things: raising your daughter, making a home, and raising Oreo. I say get a bark collar for Oreo (we got one for the shitzu we had when I was growing up – those are very difficult dogs to train). They aren’t too expensive, and after they get zapped once or twice, they never bark again. We eventually took the batteries out of the bark collar but had our dog still wear the collar. Because of the weight around his neck, he assumed he’d be zapped if he barked (and he never barked again) – and the only "pain" came from 2 instances where he was zapped – and then he never barked again. Money well spent.
For your Fiance, his inactivity/passiveness/apathy/not listening to your needs is awful – HOWEVER, this may have to do with how the two of you communicate with each other. Since we aren’t required by our officiant to do premarital counseling, we are instead taking a workshop on communicating and fighting so we can learn to communicate better. I think if both of you were better at both communicating your feelings and listening to the other person, these situations may resolve more quickly without removing the ring. But no one is perfect; we still have the occasional bad fight, but learning to fight (and communicate effectively about difficult subjects like money, in-laws, and children) has really helped us.
Good luck. And don’t feel guilty about not wanting the dog. You aren’t going to harm the dog or give him away – but it is completely normal to hate him sometimes and wish he would disappear. When we are out to dinner with friends, people are always so shocked to hear that I don’t WANT a dog. I am very happy being dogless, and it is hard for dog lovers to understand. But you have one, and you are trying to make the best of it by training Oreo. Good luck.
Post # 48
Hey Sweeney – I’m so glad that the Mr. is stepping up here. I am sure you will be much less frustrated – just having someone acknowledge your feelings and do something about it can be a huge step in the right direction. Its too bad that you had to get sort of to the end of your rope to get him to take some action.
I don’t know what your guy is like – it seems like sometimes it takes my Fiance forever to actually act on something. And that’s really frustrating for me, as I think he’s just not listening. Although it turns out that most of the time he really does listen; it just takes him a while to act even once he has made up his mind. I am just beginning to figure out that he usually does the right thing – just not as soon as I might like. So I am trying to get better at being patient. (Arrrrgh.)
Post # 49
Ok – There’s too many comments for me to read – I have to start working at some point today – but I was thinking about your initial post this morning and had a thought that worked for us and might work for you!!!
I feel your pain. I’m not really an animal person, and hubby had a dog when we met. A very untrained dog with anxiety issues! The one time I offered to watch the dog while he was at a conference ended in a couple tearful phone calls!! Seriously when my husband was not around the dog was full of anxiety and was a TOTALLY DIFFERENT DOG – and my husband had no comprehension of it 🙂 His whole family would has stories about that dog! None of them ever want to watch it 🙂
Anyways I insisted on dog obedience school before we got married. As it worked out we’d go straight from Dog Class to Pre-Marital Class on Tuesday nights – that always made me chuckle!! Grisman got the most improved award in class – only because he needed the most improvement!! Seriously though – even though we weren’t great with homework – he’s a changed dog. The only actual ‘trick’ he picked up was sit. I just think we’ve learned better how to handle him. (A lot of dogs bad behavior is really the owners not being in control and giving bad signals) He’s far from perfect – but I’m really glad we took the class!
OK – so the advice you’ll love me for. Our dogs (yes we now have two, don’t ask) are both born hunters (B&T Coonhound and Lab/Beagle mix) – which mean they bark at everything!! Seriously a deer will be a mile away and they’ll smell it and go crazy. THE ANSWER – BUY YOURSELF A SPRAY BOTTLE AND FILL IT WITH WATER You’ll still need to have a command word, like ‘HUSH’ or ‘QUIET’ to help the dog learn and not be confused. But you use the word once, and if he doesn’t stop barking – SPRAY! Our dog hates this! He’ll stop as soon as he sees the spray bottle now. The first couple times he may stop for a second then continue – just repeat. Command, Spray! Spray. Until he quiets down. Hopefully your dog will hate the spray too and you’ll get some quiet in your house.
NOT that I’m a dog trainer – but our teacher told us not to use the spray bottle in a threatening way – and to always use the command word first.
We also pull out the spray bottle when people come to the door. If the dogs start jumping on people we spray and they settle down pretty quick!
It has seriously been a god-send for my sanity! Our dogs are super hyper in the car too – no fear when I have the spray bottle 🙂 I’m kinda afraid one of these days they’re going to get used to it – but so far they haven’t!
Also – just a side note. I couldn’t tell from your post – but if you do try the class again, make sure you both go. It’s a team effort and you both need to learn and use the same commands if there’s hope of peace in your house!!
I hope the class helps. If not I hope your Fiance understands your concerns and finds a good home for the dog. Your description of life in your house is no way to live!
PS – Hubby never had the dog in a crate and I put my foot down and said if he’s planning to still have the dog once we got married he was going to be crate trained. (This was many more tearful conversations) He of course thought the crate was mean and cruel etc. Now that we have the crates – Hubby wonders why he faught it so hard. He loves the crates – thinks they are wonderful – etc etc.
Post # 50
jillian, i half expected you to say, "we pull out the spray bottle when people come to the door….to scare them away!" it’s way too early – i need my coffee. 😉