My Husband Hates Our Dog – 13 Tips for What to Do When Your Spouse and Your Dog Don’t Get Along

Photo by sasastro on Flickr

Make no mistake, marriage can be stressful.

Sharing your life with another person means making compromises, especially when it comes to your dog.

It’s important to remember that even though you might be a die-hard dog lover, your spouse might not be swept off their feet by the charm of a four-legged companion.

So what do you do when your spouse and your dog simply can’t coexist?

Surprisingly, this is a common issue in many households.

However, trying to find solutions to your dog-related tensions can be difficult if you don’t know where to start.

This article will cover a few things that you should consider when dealing with a spouse who doesn’t like your dog.

Communicate the Issues Effectively

Take the time to talk about your values regarding your dog if you’re in a relationship.

For example, if having an indoor dog who sleeps in your bed is important to you, be sure your partner shares your values, or you could wind up in a fight.

On the other hand, if you can address the issue early on and reach an acceptable compromise, your dog will feel more at home with your partner.

Address the Specific Problem

If your husband’s attitude toward the dog is causing conflict between you and your partner, take a look at how the dog behaves.

Are there certain behaviors that are triggering or escalating issues?

For example, Rottweilers can be intimidating dogs in general, so if you have one of these breeds for security reasons, but your husband fears it, consider getting some training or working with a trainer to teach your dog some obedience commands.

You could also try separation training, which involves teaching the dog to stay in a specific area and ignore distractions until called or signaled by the owner.

Be Aware of Physical Issues

Does either of you feel unsafe around the dog?

Does it climb into your lap or bark in your face?

Dogs who are overly excited around people can be a problem in certain situations.

Consider talking to a trainer about basic obedience training so the dog will respond to commands and leave you both feeling more comfortable.

Another problem that can cause conflict is a dog’s size.

No matter how well-meaning or well-trained, small dogs will not be at ease if your spouse feels threatened or intimidated by their presence.

Big dogs who are protective of the home may inadvertently be intimidating as well.

Discuss this with your partner and figure out what level of security you are both comfortable with.

Be Aware of Environmental Issues

If either one of you has allergies to your dog or is bothered by the smell, this can also cause conflict.

If possible, you could try to schedule grooming more often to alleviate the effects of allergies or have the dog bathed more often.

You could also use grooming or environmental solutions to mitigate the dog smell in your home.

Supply Alternatives for Your Dog

Boredom or tension can sometimes cause dogs to act out.

Be sure your dog has plenty of things to occupy their time and that you don’t encourage unwanted behaviors by giving them attention when they’re misbehaving.

If boredom or pent-up energy is causing your dog to act out in a manner that upsets your spouse, consider hiring someone to help you walk and exercise the dog.

However, if your schedule is too busy, or if you’re not comfortable handling the dog’s energy, look for a place that offers professional training.

Don’t Confuse Love with Loyalty

Some dogs are particularly loyal and will choose to spend time with one person over another.

If your dog seems to be choosing you, it’s essential to understand that this doesn’t mean the dog loves you more or better than your partner.

Instead, it means that they consider you an alpha authority in the family pack, which makes you the pack’s leader, even over your partner.

If you’re not willing to be the leader of the pack in this way, then it’s crucial to work with a trainer or behaviorist who can help you accept that role.

Your Dog Should Never Make You Behave Unreasonably

Some owners have trouble resisting their dogs or telling them no.

If you find that your dog is causing you to act out in an unreasonable way, or if they seem to be manipulating you into doing things that are not healthy for the dog, or your marital relationship, it’s time for some tough love.

A professional trainer can help counsel you into dealing with these issues and help you learn how to assert yourself as a leader while still allowing you to enjoy the pleasure of your dog’s company.

Foster an Open Communication Policy

While you may not agree on every issue regarding your dog, set ground rules for conversation.

Are you allowed to talk about the dog in front of each other?

Is ridicule or criticism out of bounds?

How often can you bring up a particular topic before it’s considered “brought up” and you agree to drop it?

Approach the Problem from a Positive Angle

It’s vital for your happiness in the relationship that both of you feel good about how things are going with your dog.

Think about ways to work together on training and pet care issues that can improve everyone’s mood.

For example, if getting out frequently during the day is difficult, take a look at having a dog walker come by several times per week or consider taking the dog to doggy daycare during the hours you’re not home.

Accept the Differences

You and your husband don’t have to agree about everything, and that’s perfectly okay.

Have open communication and discuss any issues, but don’t let your dog cause conflict in areas of the marriage where you shouldn’t have to be arguing.

Instead, look for compromises that will make everyone happier.

If you can’t agree, consider finding a third party who can help mediate between the two of you.

For example, talk with your veterinarian or a trusted friend who is an animal lover. I

f there’s a particular behavior you’re having trouble discussing together, consider speaking with a professional to mediate the discussion between the two of you.

Make Your Choice Based on What’s Best for Everyone Involved

While some dogs can live harmoniously with cats and people, it’s not always the case.

It is up to you as the dog owner to do what is best for everyone involved in the household. If someone in your family doesn’t want a dog, you’ll have to find the right compromise.

If a person is allergic, it’s often best for that person to have their own space in the house.

Many people with allergies can live and work around dogs.

Sometimes though, this just isn’t possible for some families.

It’s Not Just About Avoiding Arguments

In other situations, there is no allergy or child, but there seems to still be conflict.

It might seem like keeping everyone in the house happy all the time is impossible.

But instead, you can work toward giving each individual what they want by making room for your dog to have more than one place in the house.

It’s All About Training and Patience

If you’re finding that everyone in your family isn’t getting along, it might just be a case of lack of training.

If everyone has an established place and there are clear rules, then everybody will know how to behave. In this situation, patience is critical.

For example, your dog might feel that he’s being punished when he gets moved from his spot in the living room when family comes over (though you might be doing it for safety reasons).

By spending time in training, you’ll see how much better your dog gets with time.

Like any child, it takes time for a dog to learn the rules and how he should behave in certain situations.

But if everyone is clear about what they want from the start, then it’s easier to teach your pet when he needs to be somewhere else.

And if you can all agree that everyone in the house is important and deserves a little space, then it’s easier to make sure your dog has his place too.

After all, as far as the dog is concerned, he’s part of the family.

And like any member of your family, he should be accommodated.

So keep working toward an amicable solution, and you’ll find that everyone in your family is happy, content, and healthy.

Final Thoughts About What to Do If Your Husband and Dog Don’t Get Along

If you’re at the point where your husband doesn’t want to be around your dog, it’s time to take action.

There are many ways that a pet can improve your life and make you happier in general, but if they make someone else unhappy, there needs to be some compromise on both sides.

We’ve outlined some steps below for how to start making more peace with man’s best friend- even when he has an aversion to them!

Follow these tips for success, so everyone in the household gets along better together.

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!