Five ways in which owning a dog can test your relationship with your partner
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Five ways in which owning a dog can test your relationship with your partner

Dogs
Breed Facts

Dogs are excellent companions, loving pets and highly loyal friends, but it is also definitely true that dog ownership can also sometimes prove rather trying, and owning a dog will certainly come with its up and downs and various trials and tribulations!

While jointly owning a dog with your partner means that you can share the workload and spread both the cost and time commitment involved in dog ownership between you, jointly owning a dog can also test your relationship in various ways as well, and there is likely to be a need for some compromise along the way!

Firstly it is important to decide on what type of dog you want, and make sure both of you are on the same page about this; if one of you wants a Border terrier and the other wants a Border collie, for instance, you’re both going to have to make some compromises!

In this article, we will look at five ways in which owning a dog with your partner can test your relationship with each other, and how you can work around this and keep everyone happy!

Read on to learn more.

Good cop, bad cop

However similar you and your partner think you are, owning a dog will really show up your differences, and nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to your style in handling the dog and maintaining the rules! One of you will almost certainly be a little more lax with the dog than the other, and it is important not to get into a good cop, bad cop type of scenario where the dog is forbidden to do something by one owner, and allowed to do it by the other.

You may think that you’re doing the dog a favour by letting them break the rules occasionally, but this will ultimately confuse your dog and do them a disservice in the long run!

The main caregiver

However evenly you intend to share the workload where your dog is concerned, one of you will ultimately end up being the main caregiver, and this may happen by your own arrangement, or be something that transpires naturally over time. There may also be an element to this of who the dog naturally gravitates towards the most, which may be as simply decided as who gives them the most treats, or who makes their walks the most fun!

It is important to accept that this is something that is likely to happen, and not to get het up over it!

Who is responsible for training?

Training your dog and making the rules is an important part of keeping your dog under control and well managed, and everyone has their own ideas on how to go about this!

Find a training programme or philosophy that you are both on board with, and try to ensure that training your dog is done one on one, with one of you being the main trainer that will work closely with the dog, advance their skills and make the rules!

Once the dog has begun to learn and execute the basic commands reliably, the other party should be brought into the mix too, to ensure that the dog responds to both owners, and will follow commands from both of you. However, trying to split training between the two of you equally can be challenging for you and potentially confusing for your dog, and so one of you should ultimately direct and manage training, while the other works with them in a secondary role.

Make sure you know who is doing what

If both of you come in from work and feed the dog, your dog will likely think that this is brilliant, when really all that will happen is that your dog will soon get fat! Agree between yourselves who is feeding the dog each day and make sure that you communicate any changes to this, in order to retain your dog’s continuity and routine.

If you both usually get home in good time to walk the dog but one of you has to work late, don’t assume that the other party will get home on time; let your partner know just in case, so that the needs of the dog can be taken care of regardless, without any assumptions made that may mean you both think that the other party is doing it!

Take turns

If you truly wish to be joint owners to the dog and have a lot of input into their lives and spend a lot of time with them, this is great and one of the best ways to ensure that your dog has a happy, fulfilled life. But there will come times when say, both of you are exhausted and it is raining out, but the dog still needs their walk regardless! This is why it is a good idea to agree to take turns doing the unpleasant jobs like cleaning up dog pooh from the garden, or walking the dog when it is raining and you are both tired.

Having two owners should mean that your dog has twice as much love and opportunities to do things, and not that both of you will try hard to avoid doing the difficult or unpleasant things that your dog needs!

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