Husband Hates Our Dog

Updated on July 11, 2018
Z.R. asks from Houston, TX
13 answers

We are new dog parents, our new dog has only been with us for 11 days. It turns out my husband is now saying he doesn't want a dog and he only agreed because the kids and I wanted one. He complains about everything, if the dog licks him he is grossed out, he won't even pet her or get near her, the shedding is too much for him yet I'm the one sweeping to make sure he doesn't see any dog hair near him. He doesn't feed her, walk her or play with her. Yesterday he gets home from work and calls me to let me know he took her out of the crate so she could go outside to potty. While I was glad he did that, I was a little nervous. I specifically asked him to crate her again if he would leave the room to go shower. I assumed he did. I get home and Penny is running in the living room with pieces of carpet in her mouth. She chew the carpet from the first step of stairs. He gets out the shower and all hell breaks loose. He said "that's it! She is leaving". I kept my cool so the kids wouldn't break down in tears. I said "I told you to crate her" his response was "oh so now it's my fault, really?” I stayed quiet and cleaned up and made sure the kids didn't say a word. The kids and I kept Penny out of his way and took her upstairs to my daughter’s room to hang out. He is now prohibiting me from ever taking her upstairs again, he claims that "dog hair is disgusting in carpets and harder to clean up". I don't know what to do. The stress of having Penny gets harder each day. He complains about anything relating the dog. He said "the stupid dog won't play fetch, won't bark, yet she destroys my house". For the record the carpet was the only thing she chewed up. Oh and he also complains Penny is taking up too much time from me, he complains I can't sit and relax with him because I'm too busy babysitting the dog. Any advice, thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Forgot to add Penny's age: between 18 months to 2 yrs

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for all your advice and words...


To my surprise the husband got home yesterday and let Penny out the crate and took her outside to potty (NO I DID NOT ASK HIM TO DO ANYTHING), put her back in the crate while he showered. I got home 30 minutes later and the kids took Penny out to feed her and play with her. The agreement was that Penny's responsibility falls on the kids and myself. I was completely OK with that with the condition that he gives her a fair chance. I never expected him to complain about mundane things like dog hair and licking.

Let me tell you more about Penny:

She is shy, timid and sometimes scared of basic things. The first week she was with us she basically laid in her crate, yes the door was kept open. The first 3 days it was just Penny, husband and I. By day 3 she had already mastered basic commands like sit, stay and paw.
Kids were spending the weekend with their cousins. By day 6 she was warming up to us, especially to the kids and myself. She is very smart, she catches on things super fast. I decided to take a week off from work to adjust, the husband was also off. While we are home she is not crated and not once did we catch her trying to destroy anything. She has already learned she cannot be on the couches. As far as the chewing goes, haven't seen it again. I just ordered new chew toys for her to help her with any anxiety she might have. During the night she is super quiet, she never complains when going in the crate, she uses her paw to close the door exactly at 10 pm. Since she is been with us I've only heard her bark twice during the night when she heard noises outside. When I come out to tell her to be quiet she immediately stops and doesn't make a sound again.

Update on the husband:

We have talked about this and I have heard him out and he has heard me out as well...He says it's hard for me to get use to the dog because he has never had a dog indoors. He has agreed for us to give the dog and ourselves 8 weeks to adjust. He did admit he overreacted and he took responsibility for leaving her free to roam unsupervised. My point is to him is that after 6 months of talking about getting a dog he never once said NO. In fact, he picked out Penny's name. The second day she was home he was already recording her. None of Penny's responsibilities fall on him. The kids and I do the feeding, cleaning and everything that relates to her care. I truly believe Penny has potential. She is quiet but still active enough for the kids and she is incredibly SWEET. For those commenting on the training, yes I do plan to invest in training classes soon. And yes I did a lot of research before adopting her and several meet and greets. I am also submerging myself in all kinds of training videos on YouTube. Before adopting her we even dog sat my brothers dog every other weekend so that we could see what it was like. Not once did he complain. In fact he was the one taking him out for walks. Oh one major thing I forgot to add; I think he is jealous of the dog. He says my world is the dog now, that the time that use to be for him I'm now giving it fully to the dog. Right now we are adjusting and teaching Penny what is appropriate and what is not, so yes, it has taken more time away from him and I. I am praying he will adjust and learn to love her, most importantly for him to see that Penny makes the kids and I very happy.

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answers from Appleton on

I agree with those who said keep the dog - - rehome the husband.
This man is abusive and controlling.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

I think your husband and you have a major communication problem. The dog and the kids are the victims here.

The dog is not a puppy. She is already adjusting to yet another home, whether she came from a shelter or a foster situation. So rehoming is extremely difficult anyway, and the dog doesn't know who is the boss or where she fits in this situation. Unfortunately, you and your husband and not at all on the same page. Unfortunately, the shelter or seller of the dog did a terrible job of determining the attributes of the new home and the suitability of this dog to this family. You and your husband didn't not properly prepare at all. You don't know how to train (or you don't both agree on it), and your husband not only doesn't care about the dog, he doesn't much care about sensible conversations/negotiations/communications with you. The dog is out of control because she has zero idea what is expected of her, where she fits in the family hierarchy, or who is in charge.

This is a terrible situation for the children, frankly, because they are seeing resentment and "poor me" from their father, and the slave mentality from you (cleaning up all the dog hair and running interference to keep your husband happy). These are the models they will use for their own future relationships.

I have a rescue dog, and while I will tell you that all dogs are tons of work, I'll add that rescues are even more. I think you have to re-home this dog immediately before she is damaged by being attached to you, and I think that needs to be done by a dog expert. My dog was abandoned/re-homed several times, and she has a lot of anxiety and separation anxiety which we've worked on for 6 years. She's made great strides but we were united as husband/wife, we work from home, and we are experienced dog owners. The only other option is to have a really good dog trainer/behaviorist come to the house and teach you both how to train and control a dog. Endless crating isn't the answer. If you're not going to spend the time, the money and the concentration on this, then give the dog a fighting chance at a good life and sensibly, responsibly, re-home her.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

If your husband doesn't want the dog, I think you need to find the dog a new home. I do think that's unfair, but really, what's the alternative?

It is unfair that he agreed to this before you brought the dog home and has now changed his mind. Maybe he had no idea what having a puppy would be like. Maybe he thought it wouldn't bother him. Maybe he's just being ridiculous. But none of that really matters. He does not want to have a dog, and that's the reality you are now living with.

You can't make him be ok with the dog. So maybe when he's calm or in a good mood, talk to hiim about it. Let him know that right now you are training a puppy and that there are just some things you have to deal with in order to do that and tell him about how long that will probably take. Be honest with him. Give him some time to digest it and then ask him if he thinks he can live with that. Can he be patient for the time it will take to train the puppy. If he thinks he can, great. If not, well, maybe the best thing you can do is find a new home for the puppy.

I do not want a dog. My kids and my husband want a dog, but I don't. I just don't. I know that's selfish, but it's better that I be honest with them about it. If I gave in and said ok, I would hate it and resent them and probably want to act just like your husband. I'm happy with our family the way it is. I don't want to take care of a dog. I just don't. I think your husband should have been honest about how he felt.

Maybe he thought he could deal with having a dog, but he can't ... or at least, it sounds like he can't. Find out whether or not he can get used to the dog. If he can't, find the dog a new home.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Get rid of the husband and keep the dog.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Crate your husband and muzzle him while you are at it.
He's suppose to he a grown up and he's whining.

Unfortunately for the sake of the dog you are going to have to give the dog up to a family who will love it unconditionally.
You and the kids will be sad for awhile but your husband just can't handle living with any pet of any kind.
I'm sure he'd find something to complain about a gold fish.

Really, I think you and Hubby need some marriage counseling - because you and he are not on the same page and I think this dog thing is just one example and a tip of the iceberg.
From what you write here - keeping the dog and re-homing your husband almost sounds like a better option.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Wow, your husband is an a$$.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Stand up to your husband and stop being a door mat. He can not forbid you from taking the dog upstairs in YOUR house. You two need to talk and find some compromises but he is not the boss of you, you are a grown woman. As for the damage, dogs need training and a puppy will damage things from time to time, you asked him to crate the puppy and he failed to do so, so yes, the carpet was his fault. Penny is still a puppy she will need training and patience to learn all she needs to know. If it was me I would sit down and have a serious talk with my husband, not just about the dog, but about who he was treating me and how he doesn't get to just make rules for the house without discussing it with you and you agreeing.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

babysitting the dog?

more like babysitting your great oaf of a baby husband.

sorry, but that's some wrong bs. you having to tiptoe around and try to keep the dog from setting him off is no way for you or the kids or the dog to live.

in 11 days he expects her to fetch, bark on command, and be perfectly potty and house trained?

sorry, but he's an idiot.

i'd start with retraining him.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I am going to be honest. We had a dog my husband loved...she died and we will not be getting another.

My husband has clearly stated he does not want a dog. The kids and I really really would love to have a dog as the last one died when they were little.

I know life wold be miserable for my husband having a dog around again. He loved our last one so much but with his OCD tendencies it would be hard for him to do it again. Puppy training, picking up poop, the chewing, the endless shedding, isn't worth the stress it would cause my husband. Sounds like your husband is stressed out too.

I feel for all of you guys. You all need a plan together OR to re-home the dog. I hope you can sit and visit with him and find out what he is disliking so much about the animal. But he seems really stressed out and he may just not be an animal person. They do exist. Good luck!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When he says he only agreed because you and the kids wanted a dog - is that true?

I think this will only get worse. You're going to be walking on eggshells and think about every time the dog does a doggie thing, and you have to try to make peace between the dog and hubby - or hide what dog has done. Do you want to do this for next ten years? The kids, and you - and pup - will all be tense.

I don't know if this is your hubby's personality in general (or just since dog). I'm going to guess his general demeanor. If so, and you are a peacemaker - then realize this is going to make your life that much harder. I don't think best model to show your kids (you cleaning up after dog, and trying to playcate your husband).

Have a serious chat with hubby, when not upset, about if this will work. Offer alternatives. Just say you need to know - focus on issue, not emotions or people. Just say what you are willing to do - you need to know what he is willing to do. No blame, no pointing fingers.

Then re-home if necessary. It's unfortunate, but in the long run, if it's not going to work out, it's not.

ETA: As for your marriage, your husband, etc. that's a whole other topic. Obviously - there's some pretty big issues there in how he handles things, talks to you, and what your kids are observing. I agree with the other moms. I am responding on how to handle the dog immediate issue.

If you want advice on how to stand up to your husband, you simply stand up to him - but that takes being assertive. If he's generally a whiner, complains all the time to you, and berates you (in front of the kids) ... then you have to question why you're with him, and what you want to do about it. If you need help figuring out whether you're happy in this situation, and what you can do to change it - you can see a counselor if answers are not easy.

Husbands rarely change - we can. That's the key. It's ok to vent .. but if you want change, you have to be the one to do it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I do not want pets. I side with your husband on that note. Dog hair is gross. Dogs stink. HOWEVER we have 2 dogs, a parakeet, and 19 chickens. I do not complain, I do not tell them the pets gotta go I am not a selfish a-hole about it. I tell the kids to sweep up the hair, I make husband clean up the poo, the kids feed and water. I will help when needed but for the most part they want it they take care of it. they do not have to tiptoe around. They don't have to take the dog to a bedroom away from me.. So I think your husband is being immature. He needs to find a way to get along with the dog.

Also back when I lived with my parents I had a cat, my dad was anti pets but I didn't have to tip toe around, I didn't have to keep the cat out of his site, he didn't complain nor tell me the cat has to go... When I moved out my dad let me leave the cat there, when the cat passed away dad admitted to having grown attached and that he actually liked petting the cats soft furry head. So again. Your husband is the issue. Not the dog.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I think Gidget's answer offers the best ways forward from your situation. Sometimes people can't predict what the reality of a certain will be like for them. Sure, your husband might have had unrealistic expectations of life with a dog, especially a puppy. It would have been nice if his expectations had matched the reality better, and it would be nice if he could respond with more kindness and look for the nice things about her. However, you only have the current reality, which is that he is extremely unhappy with the dog in the house. It would be worth talking calmly with him so he can get clear about whether his feelings about living with a dog are likely to change once she is grown up and trained. If he can't see his way through that process and can't imagine that he will ever be okay with licking and the hair, I do think you'll need to find another home for the dog. Sure, it's not good to give up on something because it's hard and to make a dog go another adjustment, but if your husband will never become happy about living with the dog, it's only fair to let her go to a home where she will be loved and appreciated by everyone. Also, your family can't be at peace if one of the adults is so adamantly unhappy, and you have to do what's necessary to make the family peaceful. Good luck with it!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm trying to get past my initial reaction to your husband's behavior to give you some practical advice that might help you to keep the dog. Here's what I came up with:

You say that you are new dog owners. I suggest that you sign up for a dog training class and learn how to train your dog ASAP. Your husband needs to go with you to the class to learn how to handle the dog safely and responsibly. He will also get some perspective on normal dog behavior. Once your dog learns to obey basic commands, your husband might settle down. For example, if your dog is jumping and licking people in the face, that IS gross (I love dogs and even I hate that) and your dog needs to be taught not to do it.

Beyond the obedience classes, are you open to gating off part of your house so that there is a dog-free zone? I know people who gate off the kitchen to keep the dog out of food, others who have bedrooms as dog-free zones for allergies. It is possible to have a dog-free zone in your house too. The dog will be fine with that as long as there are times and places when she has access to you and the kids so that she's not constantly alone.

Make sure your kids are taking the dog for a long (at least 30 min, not just around the block) walk every evening. It will give your husband a break and is a good energy release for the dog (it's also great for the kids).

The kids should also take the dog outside and brush her every day to keep the fur level in the house down.

This is a more expensive suggestion, but if you can, get a Roomba. It's an automatic vacuum. I have one and it is amazing at getting up all the fur from the carpet.

I realize that these things are a lot of work but having a pet does require effort. The kids should put in a lot of this effort - feeding, brushing, walking, playing in the yard are all things that they can do.

2 moms found this helpful
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