Why Does My Boyfriend Hate My Dog?
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Why do boyfriends get jealous of their girlfriend’s dogs?
A Story: I had a student that invited a male friend over to her apartment to watch a movie. When she let him in, her dog would just not warm up to him. She called me to ask what might have been going on. I asked her if he was there just as a friend, or if it was more than that. I think I might have surprised her. I know a lot about dog behavior, and I know a lot about guy behavior. She said that she thought it was “just friends”, but that she found out that he had other intentions, that he did some very inappropriate things, and so she told him to go home. The dog was picking up on that, noticing that the guy felt the dog was in the way, and that he was not there just “as friends”, but for something else.
Dogs aren’t stupid. Listen to your dog!
Sex: Let’s be honest. Men are interested in sex almost all the time. Many women don’t recognize this since it isn’t the way women think. His irritation with the dog has to do with his desire to have sex, and the dog is seen as an interference and a competitor for his girlfriend’s attention. So, the dog is getting in the way. He will want the dog excluded from your time with him, banished to the back yard or a crate, and definitely locked out of the bedroom.
Irritation: Guys in this state of mind get irritated when they hear you talk about your dog. They don’t like the talk, and they don’t like your dog, especially if the dog is a small, cute dog. This type of guy is going to be more irritated if the dog does anything to get your attention: bark, beg for food, ask to be let out, want to be petted, want to be in the same room with you, and so forth. I did a lesson with a woman that was told by her boyfriend that he didn’t want the dog looking at him when he was in her apartment. So, to please him, she hired me to see if that could be done. I told her that was nutty, and that there was something wrong with that guy.
He Doesn’t Like Your Dog Talk: A horny guy definitely doesn’t want to hear any dog talk. He doesn’t want to hear your dog stories. He doesn’t want to hear about how much you love your dog, or what your dog did today, the cute name you use for your pets, or anything else. He doesn’t want to see any of your dog pictures. He might even try to talk you out of owning a dog. I think when a guy is this driven, then he is in no state to have a good relationship with a woman. The testosterone is running too hot, and he’s going to act stupid. For guys that are losers, it is going to boil over into anger.
Dog Haters: Your boyfriend could also be a dog hater. If this is the case, then your dog is in danger. Dog Haters are hateful, sociopathic busybodies, getting into other people’s business. I have found them typically to be obsessively angry people. Small things just irritate them and make them angry enough to break the law. Not every guy in this situation is a dog hater. Some are just being competitive with the dog, and unreasonable with you. But, some are dog haters… and then you have a serious problem on your hands. These types can’t be left alone with a dog, and if you threaten to break up, or if you do break up, it is even possible that type of guy will try to hurt you or the dog.
It’s All About Him: A horny guy like this wants your attention. And he will take it out on the dog, from just steering the conversation elsewhere, to demanding that you banish your dog when he is around, to outright abuse of your dog. He wants you to lavish all your attention on him. His hatred of your dog is a sign of jealously. Jealousy can lead to physical abuse, both of you and your dog. YOU ALSO NEED TO RECOGNIZE SOME PEOPLE ARE DOG HATERS… nothing you can do can make them like your dog. They might pretend for a while, or they might be outright nasty about it. If you are dealing with a dog hater, then that is a relationship deal breaker… they can and will hurt your dog. Don’t be so needy that you allow a dog hater into your life. You don’t need this guy. There are other guys that will love you and your dog. Drop this loser, and find that guy!
On the other hand… I think you can be too goofy about your dog or any other topic. If you are on a date, then it should be a date, don’t you think? I don’t think you should use the dog as a shield from intimacy. If you act indifferent to him, and if it is a date, then you are causing the problems. I don’t think that you should do things to trigger jealousy in another person. So, there is a balance. If you are 99% talking about your dog all the time when on a date, then I think that is weird. It is like talking 99% about anything on a date that has nothing to do with the other person, nothing discussed about the other person’s life or feelings, no way for them to be part of your life… it’s all about you. If you hog all the conversation on a topic that gives the other person no way to respond except to smile and nod their head politely, then you aren’t making the date go very well. And that would be true if the topic wasn’t about the dog at all. If you are with a guy, and you think you are just “friends”, then you might be wrong on that perception. Many guys will pretend to be a woman’s friend, hoping that the woman will come to like him. Women need to be blunt with guys, and let them know if they are interested or not. Guys would rather know. And guys should be man enough to tell a woman his intentions, and not sneak in as if they are “friends” when instead they have sex or a relationship on their minds. I hate the dishonesty in the mating game, don’t you?
On balance… you need to find the balance. You need to demand honesty of other people and of yourself. You need to not spoil your dog so that it is a nuisance to your guests, whether just friends or a date. You need to sort out the other person’s intentions, and yours, too, and be honest with the other person. You also need to watch out for situations that could be harmful to you or your dog. If you have a dog, then you have a dog. The guy needs to accept that is one of your interests. If he is so selfish and self centered that he can’t stand that you have a dog… then I think that is a relationship deal breaker. I think women need to keep their radar up for guys like this. You have to wonder if such a guy will also be this way if you ever have kids. Can he be interested in you, and accept your dog and your interests without getting angry? And can you have a normal relationship with a guy and your dog? I would never date someone that rejected my dog. My dog is a part of my life, and in fact, dogs are my career. Love my dog, or go away!
Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He’s known for being fun, kind, intelligent, and humane. Sam Basso has a unique personal touch. He has appeared on his own TV show, been a guest radio expert, gives seminars, publishes a dog related blog, does rescue volunteering, and is active in promoting animal welfare and fair dog laws.