Post # 1
My Fiance has a German Shorthair male (unfixed) he has let this dog have free reign his entire life (almost 8 years). The dog has free run of the house night and day. He sleeps in FI’s bed, climbs all over furniture, chews socks, slipper, etc. The other year he knocked over the Christmas tree.
Told Fiance long before we were engaged, that I didn’t approve of that kind of behaviour, that I wouldn’t allow a dog to sleep in the bed, and that he needed discipline. No one in FIs family will allow the dog to come visit (he has been told “You are welcome, but leave the dog at home”). He has attacked other dogs that come into the house. Any time we are intimate the dog will either crawl in the bed, have an attack of gas, or stands by the bed and whines. Fiance will literally stop and take care of the dog.
We have been looking at houses and I have been conscious of making sure that there is a fenced yard and a safe (but confined) place in the house for the dog to stay so that he is warm, dry, etc. Fiance thinks that I have no compassion and am cruel to animals “Want to lock him in a dungeon”.
This has almost destroyed the relationship. Anyone have any advice?
Post # 3
I’m with you here. This dog is practically crying for discipline. Dogs actually like boundaries–it helps them feel safe. That’s why crate training, when done right (i.e. not punishing them with crate) WORKS. They are used to being part of a pack, with a distinct leader who makes and (kindly) enforces the rules. That’s just the way dogs are!
Your FI’s attitude is wrong. I know he means well (my Mother-In-Law is the same way), but dogs AREN’T humans and it is worse for them to treat them like humans–i.e. thinking a crate=dungeon. Look into good quality obedience training or read Temple Grandin’s “Animals in Translation” and/or “Animals Make Us Human.” Tell him that, for the most part, a dog who is going crazy all the time is NOT a happy dog. Good luck!
Post # 4
I have 3 dogs currently and am a complete animal lover. You are not being cruel at all. It is not ok to have an animal run around wild as you have described. I am really sorry this is driving a wedge between you two.
I have to ask you something I’m sure you’ve thought about if you plan for children. How is he going to manage parenting a child if he’s not been able to establish proper boundries with an animal?
I would insist on obedience training for your sanity!!
Post # 5
Have you talked to your Fiance about maybe doing some training sessions with the dog? He def is in some serious need of training. I think if you can get some training for him it will calm him down, and you can better manage him and may not need to lock him away. Your goal should be to get him to a point where you don’t have to lock him away, that isn’t training, and that’s why some people think of it as harsh. Our female dog has issues with people in our house and she gets anxiety, we were just thinking to lock her away when people come over, and had been, but then we brought in a trainer and he said that is the worst thing to do, it’s like your punishing your dog and your not making the issue go away, if anything making it worse. So we took his advice and we now are able to keep her out with guests. For awhile we had to keep her on a leash but it worked. I think anything you do for an animal in sense of training is going to take work, whether they are a puppy or older.
Post # 6
Wow that’s ridiculous.
If he is not willing to take his dog to formal training, the following things are easy
1) Make him sit before you feed him. Make him sit before you put a leash on. Don’t pet him when he begs for attention (ignore him). If he comes on the furniture without being invited, either push him off/make him get off or move away ignoring him. Create boundaries with you as the alpha. Fiance doesn’t have to do it, that’ll just mean you’re in charge…but without team work, the behavior won’t REALLY improve all the time, but probably around you.
2) Exercise. Lots of it. That way, he won’t have much energy to misbehave. Try to find a doggie day care if you’re not willing to run/jog/take him to a park. If he’s a pointer (it doesn’t say but I think it sounds it) then he MUST exercise a lot. Try agility class if you can find one in your area – mixture of mental/physical fitness and discipline.
3) Get him fixed. While he’s too old for it to have a drastic impact on his behavior, it does generally calm dogs down.
Post # 7
TRAINING. And does he get enough exercise? And is he walked? It’s all fine and dandy to let a dog out in your fenced in back yard but dogs also need to be walked. That could help.
Post # 8
The dog needs to go to a training class. Since you will be marrying the dog’s “daddy” I would also suggest that you go to the classes. You both will have to follow up on the training every day at home, otherwise the training will be a waste of money.
I am not a dog person and have never owned a dog, but I caved last year because the puppy we ended up getting was so cute (FI LOVES dogs and he wanted one). haha. Our dog is a black lab beagle mix and she is a bundle of energy. Luckily she’s calming down with age (will be 2 in June). When we first got her she was a tiny 10 pound thing, and it was relatively easy to correct her, plus she didn’t do much. Around 6 months I was ready to give her back to the humane society because I could not control her. My Fiance said that I needed to be the pack leader and she would then respect me. You know what! It worked!! We noticed that when we get lazy our little girl walks all over us and is crazier than usual. We have to constantly be on her, and she respects us. The most important thing is that she still loves us. ** My Fiance gave her less & less boundaries last summer – she was pretty well behaved, but I thought she needed more structure (like sleeping in her crate instead of having full reign of the living room/kitchen). I didn’t win that argument until after she ate the wood trim off the window & floor, ate her beds, and eventually ate a hole straight through our couch (and then started eating our new couch). I had enough I demanded that she be in her kennel anytime we couldn’t be around her. She is doing just fine 🙂
I was thinking the same thing about children. Dogs are a pretty good indicator (and training tool!) for how you will treat/discipline your own children if and when you have them. If your Fiance lets his dog walk all over him, I bet he will do the same if/when he has children. If this is something you do not like (with a dog) I would have a heart-to-heart talk with him, or even talk to a counselor.
I am so sorry that your FIs dog is so unruly. I get how frustrating that is. Even though we have trained our dog and are constantly on her she can get annoying because she has so much energy.
Post # 9
oh yeah, that’s another thing. Dogs need exercise! They need a lot or a little depending on the breed. A tired dog is a good dog!
Post # 10
You are not being cruel at all — if anything, you Fiance is being cruel (inadvertently) by not providing the dog with the boundaries he needs.
A large, undisciplined dog, especially one with a history of attacking other dogs, is a huge liability. If he ever hurt another dog, damaged someone’s property, or, worst of all, hurt another person, you guys would be responsible. I would really put my foot down on this one. Good luck.
Post # 11
You’ve gotten excellent advice so far, and I would suggest starting in with all of it, from crating and obedience classes to adding some structure to that dog’s life. Also, start implementing the Nothing In Life Is Free program…it is incredibly easy to do, and your dog really only need to know one command to start it, which is “Sit”: http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm
Also, like others have mentioned, is this dog getting enough excercise/mental stimulation? Breeds that were bred to be working dogs, be it herding or hunting, tend to have a need for either a lot of excersise and/or a lot of mental stimulation. They need a “job” to do. After he passes basic obedience, I would definitely enroll him in an agility class, since it will provide him with both physical and mental excercise. And it’s fun for people, too!
Post # 12
Thanks for everyone’s advice. Yes, he is a pointer, but as many with his breed he has hip problems (dysplasia) and therefore, care has to be taken on the exercise to tire him out but not cause him physical pain.
Having never had a dog, I appreciate knowing that I am not completely off base.
Post # 13
I wish I had some advice for you… I’ve been in the same boat since my (now) hubby and I moved in together. It has been the topic of countless fights.
Post # 14
- Wedding: May 2018 - Coyaba Resort, Montego Bay
Exercise and hire a trainer IMMEDIATELY! Good luck!
Post # 15
With bad hip or two, something like an agility class might do just the thing because the dog can go at any speed.
Our dog has arthritis in her front elbows (and she’s only three!) and we give her tons of salmon oil, Cosequin DC, and we have minor pain medicine if she seems sore. We limit her big play time to 10-15 minutes and for her, that does the trick. A good walk probably won’t hurt him but still feed his need to “go”. Also, it might help him keep it from getting lame. Ask a vet what they recommend in terms of physical limits.
There are also good mental games you can play with the dog which will make a difference. Target training, games with hidden treats, etc.
Post # 16
I would talk to his vet about what can be done to keep him as comfortable as possible while still getting physical and mental exercise, and what types of exercise is appropriate for him. Agility may not be out of the question or it could be, but only your vet can tell you that based on his degree of dysplasia. Swimming would probably be a great option, but of course that depends on the availablity of pools in your area.
Out of curiosity, why is he not neutered?
Also, in regards to the dog being on the bed when you are trying to be intimate…I can understand your discomfort. Our dog does not sleep in our room, but the other night he had to. My husband was feeling amorous, but it was really hard for me to get into it because all I could think about was the dog laying on the floor at the foot of the bed listening to us. We dicussed it later, and we definitely won’t be intimate with the dog in the room again. Ever. lol. If I were you I would just make a simple rule: no sex when the dog is in the room. Bedrooms have doors for a reason. If he has to choose between sex and the dog, I would HOPE he would choose you. lol.