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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been dating this guy for a year now, and things are going great. We're recently been talking about having him move in with me, but it seems the big thing keeping me from taking the next step is his dog.
For a little background, I have a GSD mix that I have had for 5 years named Lady. She is a sweetheart, a total wallflower, and super chill. I also have a 6 year old son and two guinea pigs, whom my dog is amazing with. My boyfriend has a 2 year old chihuahua named Venus. In the past, when we've had his Venus, she gets really nervous, barks at everything that moves, and isn't terribly social. Venus freaks out at Lady's greetings, running around scared and avoiding her while Lady is just trying to get acquainted and moves on. Inside, Venus will bark at my guinea pigs, the trash cans, and the door, almost nonstop rotating between all the targets.
Since we have been talking about moving in together, my boyfriend has talked about how Venus sleeps with him. He made it very apparent that Venus was going to be in the bed with him no matter what. I believe that a dog should be just fine on the floor by the bed. My boyfriend is taking it surprisingly personally, like my asking to put Venus on the floor is the worst possible thing I could say. Then if we get intimate, is Venus going to be there too? I also don't want Venus to start guarding my bed. I already don't particularly like Venus because of the things that she has already done, and now my boyfriend's point of view of his dog. It's a sticky situation, and I could really use some advice. What should I do?
 

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Inside, Venus will bark at my guinea pigs, the trash cans, and the door, almost nonstop rotating between all the targets
Does she behave like this in her own home? Or is it just because it is all so unfamiliar? If so, she might her accustomed to all the ”strange” things.

To teach a dog not to bark, you could try giving a yoghurt pot smeared with wet dog food, squeezy cheese or even yoghurt. Get her to lick it, she can't lick and bark at the same time. While she is doing it, repeat the words ”good quiet” or anything else you later can use as a cue. After a couple of weeks, try saying the cue and if she quiets, you can give the pot as a reward. If that is working, you can fade that to more convenient rewards. If it isn't working, stay at the previous step longer.

I'm not getting into the bed discussion, that is not about the dog; that's about you and your partner! Good luck!
 

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I have been dating this guy for a year now, and things are going great. We're recently been talking about having him move in with me, but it seems the big thing keeping me from taking the next step is his dog.
For a little background, I have a GSD mix that I have had for 5 years named Lady. She is a sweetheart, a total wallflower, and super chill. I also have a 6 year old son and two guinea pigs, whom my dog is amazing with. My boyfriend has a 2 year old chihuahua named Venus. In the past, when we've had his Venus, she gets really nervous, barks at everything that moves, and isn't terribly social. Venus freaks out at Lady's greetings, running around scared and avoiding her while Lady is just trying to get acquainted and moves on. Inside, Venus will bark at my guinea pigs, the trash cans, and the door, almost nonstop rotating between all the targets.
Since we have been talking about moving in together, my boyfriend has talked about how Venus sleeps with him. He made it very apparent that Venus was going to be in the bed with him no matter what. I believe that a dog should be just fine on the floor by the bed. My boyfriend is taking it surprisingly personally, like my asking to put Venus on the floor is the worst possible thing I could say. Then if we get intimate, is Venus going to be there too? I also don't want Venus to start guarding my bed. I already don't particularly like Venus because of the things that she has already done, and now my boyfriend's point of view of his dog. It's a sticky situation, and I could really use some advice. What should I do?
This is definitely a hard situation. My first advice is not to move in together until this issue has been talked about extensively and resolved with agreements that are acceptable to both of you, if such a thing is possible. If he moves in with the situation the way it is now, you are headed for some very serious troubles and your household will definitely not be peaceful. What you say makes it sound as if the chihuahua would end up ruling the household, and you and your own dog should not play second fiddle to that dog.

I have had a similar situation, and the person and I never lived together at all, and it still impacted our relationship strongly. The relationship did not last, in my case, for many reasons but that was one of them.

I would never allow a dog that was behaving in that manner to move into my peaceful home. I would never allow someone who was unwilling to fully address the issues with me and make allowances and compromises. May compromises and agreements have to be made when two people live together, and the give and take must be equal. In this case, your boyfriend is telling you that it will not be equal, and that you will be expected to make all the allowances. It will turn out that this is not the only thing he will not compromise on.
 

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Does she behave like this in her own home? Or is it just because it is all so unfamiliar? If so, she might her accustomed to all the ”strange” things.

To teach a dog not to bark, you could try giving a yoghurt pot smeared with wet dog food, squeezy cheese or even yoghurt. Get her to lick it, she can't lick and bark at the same time. While she is doing it, repeat the words ”good quiet” or anything else you later can use as a cue. After a couple of weeks, try saying the cue and if she quiets, you can give the pot as a reward. If that is working, you can fade that to more convenient rewards. If it isn't working, stay at the previous step longer.

I'm not getting into the bed discussion, that is not about the dog; that's about you and your partner! Good luck!
This advice on teaching a dog not to bark is perfectly good, and is among several methods that would probably work with this dog.
However, it sounds to me as if, in this case, the dog's owner is not going to be willing to work with the dog, and in my opinion the OP shouldn't have to take on the attempt to train her boyfriend's dog, a dog she doesn't even like or want to live with.

If there were not the other issues and the boyfriend were happy to work with his dog to help him to adapt to the new environment and behave properly, that would be different. But it doesn't sound like that to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does she behave like this in her own home? Or is it just because it is all so unfamiliar? If so, she might her accustomed to all the ”strange” things.

To teach a dog not to bark, you could try giving a yoghurt pot smeared with wet dog food, squeezy cheese or even yoghurt. Get her to lick it, she can't lick and bark at the same time. While she is doing it, repeat the words ”good quiet” or anything else you later can use as a cue. After a couple of weeks, try saying the cue and if she quiets, you can give the pot as a reward. If that is working, you can fade that to more convenient rewards. If it isn't working, stay at the previous step longer.

I'm not getting into the bed discussion, that is not about the dog; that's about you and your partner! Good luck!
I know Venus barks at home when there are unknown people or noises. Like we will be on the phone and a delivery will come and Venus is in the background barking. I will give this a try. Thank you!
 

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Hi.

Chihuahuas are yappy little dogs but they makes great watch dogs for that reason.

Venus freaks out at Lady's greetings, running around scared and avoiding her while Lady is just trying to get acquainted
Remember a Shepherd mix is huge compared to a Chihuahua. If someone many times your size approached you, wouldn't you be a little intimidated?

That said, how is Lady trying to greet Venus?

Then if we get intimate, is Venus going to be there too?
That's a question to ask you boyfriend, not something we can answer.

I also don't want Venus to start guarding my bed
Is there any reason to suspect that she might? Does she guard anything else?

Perhaps your boyfriend is taking the sleeping on the bed thing a bit personal, or perhaps it's because he can sense you don't like his dog. Turn it around. How would you feel if he took a dislike to Lady? ;)

This is as much about your relationship as it is about his dog.

By sheer coincidence I was watching a clip from the show It's Me or the Dog USA. The clients were a couple, had two dogs (both Yorkshire Terriers or crosses by the look of them). Victoria Stillwell was brought in because one of the dogs was shut down and not eating because the other (the so-called "boyfriend's dog") was food guarding. VS advised separating the dogs at meal times to allow the more timid one to eat, which worked, but then the aggressor wouldn't eat. It led to arguments.

Meanwhile the girlfriend is referring to the dogs as " his dog" (aggressor) and "my dog" (shut down). "My dog is trained, so I don't see why I should train his dog!"

VS's reply was simple - the dogs belong to both of you.

And that's the situation you'll be in if he and Venus move in. Venus won't just be his dog anymore - you'll share responsibility for both her and Lady.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hi.

Chihuahuas are yappy little dogs but they makes great watch dogs for that reason.



Remember a Shepherd mix is huge compared to a Chihuahua. If someone many times your size approached you, wouldn't you be a little intimidated?

That said, how is Lady trying to greet Venus?
Lady does the "approach calmly and sniff the bum", which turns into ring around the rosy and tail tucked for Venus. Like I said, Lady is very chill. There is no sign of aggression on her side from my point of view.

And as far as I know Venus doesn't guard anything.

Thank you for the advice. I will do my best to make sure my relationship with Venus is good going into this. :)
 

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Lady does the "approach calmly and sniff the bum", which turns into ring around the rosy and tail tucked for Venus. Like I said, Lady is very chill. There is no sign of aggression on her side from my point of view.

And as far as I know Venus doesn't guard anything.

Thank you for the advice. I will do my best to make sure my relationship with Venus is good going into this. :)
I wasn't for a moment suggesting Lady was being aggressive, but there are loads of different inappropriate ways in which dogs try to greet each other, and so many owners who don't know what a polite dog greeting is,that we needed that point clarifying

I'm sure I read somewhere that dogs prefer to be the greeter (butt sniffer) than the greeted (the one being sniffed). It resonated because it perfectly describes my two, too. Doing a Google, it seems to apply most to " reactive" dogs, and/or dogs who know each other as opposed to strangers.

When you see Venus tucking her tail, intervene and move Lady away, even if she's not doing anything wrong. It shows Venus you're listening to her and have her back.

The same goes for the reverse. ;). Any sign that Lady isn't happy with something that Venus is doing, you intervene and back Lady up too.
 
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