Beast of Burden



Dear Dharma,

When I met my now husband, he had this yappy little dog that was, quite frankly, a pain in the butt. Living the swinging bachelor life, it was no big deal for him to not properly train the dog or to regularly clean up its business in the yard.

I set some ground rules when we moved in together. He cleaned up the messes (with some “nagging”) but refused dog training, leading to a dog that barked too much, jumped on our guests, and constantly bothered the neighbours.

When the dog disappeared one day, I didn’t miss it at all. My husband, on the other hand, was grief stricken.

After watching him wallow in sorrow for weeks, I agreed to adopt a puppy to replace “the beast” but on the condition that it was trained from the get go. Fast forward two months and we get a call from the local shelter. “The beast” had turned up, a little skinny and worse for the wear, but alive.

I love our new puppy but I don’t want two dogs in the house, especially one as undisciplined as “the beast.” Naturally, my husband does not share my view.

Which dog goes?

Reluctant Beastmaster

Dear Beastmaster,

Which dog goes?

Which dog goes?

I already know you’re not going to love my answer.  And you already know what my answer is.

No dog goes.

I mean, come on… walk me through either scenario.

You’re going to give up a puppy you’ve already had in your life for 2 months, that you love and are committed to?

No, of course you’re not.  And let’s be honest.  That option was never even on the table, so don’t be all “which dog goes”, like you even considered putting the pup on the chopping block!

As for the Beast… what, you’re going to tell the shelter, “Sorry, never really liked him much anyway, so do what you like with him.”

I’m sorry you don’t like this dog, and I can understand not enjoying being around an ill-behaved animal.  But none of that is the Beast’s fault.  It is your husband’s, 100%.

Why he would refuse training this dog properly is beyond me, and it does no one any favors, including (and especially!) the dog.

Dogs need to know their place, and when they don’t, it creates stress for them.  For the love of Pete, seriously, have your husband watch even one Cesar episode.  If he doesn’t hear that, like, a million times, then he obviously has the TV on mute.

And I hate to say this, because I absolutely do feel this is your husband’s responsibility, but if he won’t step up, then you may have to.

Gah, I know, but… weigh your options.  A house filled with negativity and stress, or a home with two well behaved dogs.



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  • Double duty dog owner says:

    Oh gosh, a tough one. But you’re absolutely right on this one, Dharma. Not to compare but I will, like all kids, some are easier than others. I would suggest the Reluctant Beastmaster take charge and take on the training. Top notch classes and bill her partner for the costs. This little dog needs an alpha and she’s going to have to be it. Let’s hope the 2 little dogs get along.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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