Guild of Shepherds & Collies

Is Your Spouse Jealous Of Your Dog?

Who do you spend more time with - your dog or your spouse? Many dog owners would say their dog, which can sometimes create a problem. It’s more common than you might think to have a spouse become slightly jealous over the other’s beloved dog.

Spouse Jealous

This can be especially true when you have a herding dog. Australian Shepherds, for example, are extremely close to their owners. In fact, in certain circles, they are known as “Velcro Dogs” because they form such an immediate and strong bond with their owner that they never want to be away from them.

Shannon Wolfe of Genoa City, Wis., who runs Magic's Legacy, a dog herding school, believes herding helps dogs and their owners create an indelible bond. Since the owners and dogs work together, and the dogs learn how to live alongside with their people - as opposed to dogs who are solely on leashes - the dogs see the owner as the be all and end all. “I want to be with you more than anything because you have the key to my life,” is how Wolfe describes the dog’s point of view.

In addition, raising a dog together can stir up issues that are very similar to parenting, such as being too lenient, not setting rules, letting the dog do anything, etc., and that’s why so many couples fight over their pets. It can be even more difficult when you had your dog before you met and married your spouse, who may not understand the bond.

Here are some general ideas to keep in mind to help keep your spouse and dog co-existing happily:

  1. Establish rules from the get-go.Who will do feedings and walks? When and how often? If you set up a schedule with clear expectations, there will be less conflict in the future.
  1. Set bedtime rules.This is a biggie. Many fights stem over the dog sleeping in the bed or not (just like kids!). If your partner really doesn’t like the dog in bed with you, keeping a pet bed on the floor next to you can be a great compromise — and you might sleep better, too.
  1. Help your partner get to know your dog before you live together. Just like a person, it takes time to get to know all of a pet’s little idiosyncrasies and moods, and the more time your partner spends around your dog, the more likely they will grow to love them.
  1. Be responsible for your dog’s behavior. If your pup is chewing on your partner’s shoes, it’s a no-brainer that the situation may cause conflict. You know what your pup’s tendencies are, so try to prevent it before it occurs. If your dog is a chewer, supply an abundance of chew toys and keep your partner’s shoes out of reach.
  1. Be honest with yourself.If you have done everything to mend the relationship, but your partner really just does not like your dog, you might have to dig deeper into what is going on. Anyone who loves you will make an effort to learn to love your pup, too!


Article By:
By Danielle Sullivan


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