(Closed) Just got into an argument with DH over his dog

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 17
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think just some basic practical changes could help a lot.  Use an EZ walk harness along with the collar.  It makes it much easier to grab the dog if you need to and it’s really hard for them to get out of.  If not coming in the house when called is a common problem for you guys, what about using a really long lead in the yard attached to something solid so the dog gets some freedom but you can still reel her in when you need to.

Treats are your friend.  Our dog does not have good recall.  We use treats to get her to do lots of things.  We buy tiny Milkbones made for small dogs even though our dog is big, just because she gets so many per day.

Training works best when all the humans are on board and active participants.  You might even find yourself growing to like or love the dog with time if she is better behaved and you work with her toward that goal.

I think one of the best things we ever did was a group training class at the SPCA.  It was inexpensive and fun and helped us bond with our dog in a positive way.  I would highly recommend something like that.

Post # 18
739 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Fall_In_Love22:  bad news: if it’s your husband’s dog, it’s your dog. How can you not like dogs? Wtf? It’s a baby, I would have left your ass too. 


Post # 19
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Fall_In_Love22:  Obviously the dog is not very well trained if he has to run around a yard to get her to come inside. Not to mention she is young so depending on the breed, is very much still a puppy. Train the dog with positive reinforcement and it will associate acting well with rewards like treats or love, it does help.


If the dog is about to or “almost” bite, then clearly you’re not reading her signals properly. Dogs don’t bite for no reason, they bite because you’re ignoring their warning signs. A warning sign is not always growling or snarling but could be as simple as stiff body, whale eye, etc. I suggest looking these up to try and see if your dog is trying to tell you something before she almost bites you.


I’m not surprised your husband is acting the way he is. He considers the dog a member of the family and you do not. I can’t imagine making a decision/commitment with your SO and then not taking part of the responsibility. The dog is also yours now, take responsibility, take her to training again, and keep working. Maybe it’s just a simple as she needs more exercise and refresher on training. I’d really recommend looking at more positive training techniques because based on her behaviour it seems you are intimidating her and aversion training is not good for some dogs.




Post # 20
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Fall_In_Love22:  When you say she “tried to bite” what do you mean exactly? Is she baring her teeth and snarling? Are her hackles up?

I ask because there’s a difference between mouthing and biting. Playful mouthing is annoying, but it’s nothing to be worried about in puppies. A combination of diligent, consistent training on the part of the people and growing up on the part of the puppy will usually solve a mouthing problem.

But if she is really biting people, that is serious aggressive behavior that you need to address immediately. Talk to your vet ASAP and ask him/her to recommend a trainer qualified to work with aggressive dogs.

Here’s some more reading on the difference between mouthing and biting: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/mouthing-nipping-and-play-biting-adult-dogs 

Post # 21
982 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Fall_In_Love22:  It is never the dog that is the problem, but the owners. To rehome the dog would be to give up on the dog. Every dog and every problem can be fixed if you put the time and effort into it. Find a local dog trainer and get him to go to your house and give you a personal one on one training session. He or she should be able to set you up with a personalized training plan to work on your dogs specific issues. It would be extremely selfish of both you and your husband to give away your dog just because you don’t want to properly train her.

Post # 22
283 posts
Helper bee

Sounds like your Darling Husband is a bit of a softie with this dog, perhaps even compensating because he feels like he should be the good cop because you’re the bad cop? Honestly, he should have asked you and worked together with you to pick this dog, and I understand why that would frustrate you.

First and foremost, you have a legitimate concern about this dog and you need to make sure that your irritation at your Darling Husband not having consulted with you about the dog is separate from this. You are concerned about a young dog combined with a young baby, and that is an entirely legitimate concern. It doesn’t mean the dog is violent, it means you’re a mother who wants to make sure that the baby is safe, and that the dog is safe and never gets itself into a situation where it feels so threatened that it has to act out. You need to explain this to him clearly, that it has nothing to do with the specific dog but everything to do with fairness toward the animal and making sure that your child is safe.

I second previous posters on a dog trainer, perhaps you could find some regular classes to attend that put a focus on the behaviour of the dog, and you could join him for several of the classes to get to know a little bit more about the dog and how you can help it to transition now that you have a baby. Some of the playful biting and running around the yard can mean that the dog is bursting with energy and needs an outlet, plain and simple. Consider seeing if your Darling Husband might be interested in taking the dog to agility classes, or perhaps investing in some training sessions so you might feel comfortable enough to take the dog on a walk with you while you push a stroller.

My mother purchased a dog before I was born as a companion, she and my father worked quite late into the evenings at their new business and she didn’t like to be on her own. When I was born the dog became like a guard dog toward me, she was very tiny and would ride in the little basket underneath my seat in the stroller and would growl threateningly at anyone who came to close to me that she wasn’t comfortable with. Dogs can be incredibly protective of children and can be great to have around, but a well-exercised dog is a well-behaved and happy dog, combined with training she could grow into a great member of your family.

My family’s current dog was great with kids, hasn’t bit anyone in 11 years of his life, but he peed absolutely everywhere until he was 3 years old and ran away if we so much as walked in the door and refused to come home. My mom called the spca at one point asking if it was worth keeping him, and they told her his breed could be difficult and to hang on for a little longer. It was like all the lights came on when he turned 3, and he’s an absolute gentleman now.

Post # 23
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Plus 1 to all above me!

This dog is a family dog and is still young. I have a hard time sympathizing with anyone who says they hate dogs yet has one in their home, it’s not fair to the dog.

Post # 25
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Fall_In_Love22:  Hate is a strong word. Why do you hate all dogs? Did you have a bad experience with them in the past? Are you afraid of them? I know plenty of people who aren’t pet people, but I don’t know anyone who would say they flat out hate dogs.

Post # 27
231 posts
Helper bee

Its going to be hard to find compassion here I think because I think most people are dog lovers. me included.


Training is the key to living happily ever after with a dog. Consistency, repetitive basic training. Sit  stay  down..over and over.


Never ever chase a dog when they do get off lead, it could send them into danger. They think its play.


Find treats that he loves ( dried liver) is great. same as kids reward good behaviour not bad.


I do hope you fall in love. With proper and consistent training your little child will have many happy childhood memories with their first friend,,it will also teach the child compassion.


Good Luck


Post # 26
231 posts
Helper bee



Good Luck


Post # 28
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

None of this is the dogs’s fault. A dog fails at good behaviour when the training isn’t consistent. A few months is not enough. It takes ongoing repetition to teach a dog how to behave the way the humans want. Dogs want to please… you have to be willing to teach them what you want them to do.


Rewards / treats are the best way to get the dog’s attention. Don’t punish bad behaviour, reward good behaviour. Find the correct reward for that dog. For some dogs, play is a reward. For others it is food. I have a dog who has poor recall off leash, but she will do anything I want if she knows I have some barbecue chicken for rewards.


Learn to accept the dog. When you bring a dog into your home, you accept the responsibility that the dog is with you for life. You must mold the dog into what you want from it by training, handling, and rewarding.


Young dogs mouth, Give the dog something to chew on. Large bones are great. So are Pig’s ears.


You need to learn to like the dog. It is part of your family. When you said “yes” to the dog, you accepted a new life into the household. It’s not a new playstation, or a new car. You can’t just dispose of it if it becomes a nuisance, or you get bored with it.


The dog needs more training. The dog needs more handling. The dog needs more exercise. Perhaps you could hire a professional dog walker to take the dog for long walks or for playtime with other dogs. Or you and your husband could take the dog to an off leash dog park.


Post # 29
58 posts
Worker bee

If you hate dogs then you should never have agreed to getting one. I think that you are the one who is acting like a child – as a grown-up you need to acknowledge the responsibility of pet ownership. The dog needs to have more training and you both need to do this together.

I would say that neither of you thought this out but now you need to act like grown ups which doesn’t mean dumping the dog at a shelter.

Post # 30
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Dogs are like fuzzy two year olds – you always need to stay on top of what they are doing. Training isn’t something that lasts for a few months, it is a life long commitment. If the dog is misbehaving, most of that is your husband’s fault if he is the one who is primarily the dominant one in that relationship. As it is your dog too, you also have the responsibility of learning to handle a dog for the welbeing of your family and saftey of your children. If you can’t commitment to that for the duration of a dog’s life, I would say not even to try to have any dog ever again because the problem lies with the owners.

I don’t think it is a lost cause just yet. Go back to the trainer. Watch some dog training shows like Cesar Millan. Read books on it. Dogs can change if you know what you are doing. You may find that the dog grows on you once you’ve established the boundaries. 

Post # 31
412 posts
Helper bee

1 and a half is still really young for a dog. And she’s in a new environment. I think a willing couple could easily work with this dog and have a nice happy family. You are not a willing couple because you never wanted a dog and you don’t even say it is your dog. It’s his dog and you aren’t helping to make anything better. You don’t like dogs for some reason. If I am to be totally honest- I personally don’t 100% trust people that hate dogs to be good with children. I think it’s the same nurturing instinct. At least for me it is. So I guess I’m just as prejudiced against dog haters as you are against dogs. Either way- I’ll not have non-dog people watch my kid and you can help find a better family for the dog. And we can all be happy. He’s going to resent that though. Just FYI. My Father-In-Law always wanted a dog and still mentions that Mother-In-Law wouldn’t let him have one for decades now. Was super jealous we got 2. 

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