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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll preface this by saying that I know a lot of this decision will have to be made personally, but I'd like to hear what you guys think.

To make a long story as short as possible, my girlfriend and I will be moving within the next 12-18 months half way across the country. I will be bringing my dog. 'Her' dog is a family dog, but her mother just told her that she will be able to take her with us, as long as we are in housing that allows bully breed dogs. Her dog is a "golden retriever/lab/boxer" mix, but in reality is, or at least looks like, a pitbull. We have the means to make that work even in an apartment setting, and have thought about the issues that may cause in itself, and have several plans and back up plans.

The biggest issue is that her mom will only give us Luna if Oliver is neutered. Luna is spayed, but her mother just hates unneutered male dogs, thinks they will get cancer, are aggressive, etc even though she has met Oliver and knows his temperament. There's no point in trying to change her mind on this. She owns a dog kennel with Cesar Milan pictures and quotes all over the wall, if that tells you what her training style/attitude towards dogs is. She's set in her ways. My girlfriend was like her, but has seen the light since coming into my life and being around my dogs. It's somewhat of a source of contention between her and her mother.

I had no intention of ever neutering Oli unless there was a medical reason to do so. He's definitely full grown now (3.5 years and a small breed dog) so there isn't an issue there, but having had several dogs growing up who were all pediatric neuters and ended up with severe joint issues and cancer, I'm pretty adverse to neutering on a whole. I realize they could have had those issues whether they were neutered or not, but... ya know. Fear. I'm also not a big supporter of neutering without a good reason just on principle.

Luna is the first dog my girlfriend has ever really connected to, as she typically isn't much of a dog person. They are definitely super bonded and I'd love nothing more than to have her make the move and live with us. But what should be an ideal situation is made less ideal by the neutering stipulation. I'm inclined to make the sacrifice and have him neutered, but then if he ever gets sick I'll always be wondering 'what if I hadn't neutered him?'. The more I type, the more irrational I'm sounding to myself, lol.

Anyways, thoughts? Am I being a nut?
 

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Sorry to hear that you are in this difficult situation. Like you said, no one can tell you what to do. But I will say for myself that no one - not family, not friends, not bosses, not relationships - will ever cause me to compromise on my dog ethics. Also, I don't think YOU are being the 'nut' in your situation :D
 

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We have two different ways of owning dogs here. Your gf's mother has her opinion and you have yours. It comes down to how much you want to take Luna. Unfortunately Luna is currently under you gf's moms roof and have told you guys the terms that will allow you take her. It's unfair but that's where you are stuck at. I can see both reasoning's on pro/against neutering and both are valid. It is a tough decision for you, I wish you guys the best!
 

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Could possibly compromise- maybe a vasectomy instead of neutering would be ok for everyone?
Also, I currently work in the apartment industry. If you can get paperwork from a vet saying your dog is a mix and not purebred that will usually cover you for breed bans. The breed bans are mostly done because of the insurance apts have to carry. As long as the dog is under the weight limit and there are no " aggression " incidents it should be ok.
 

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It sounds like your gf's mother is the nut, here.

I wouldn't let anyone tell me what to do with my dog. If you give in, I imagine that will give your gf's mother further encouragement to control other aspects of your life, as well. I also have a feeling that this is more than "I don't like unaltered male dogs" and a bit of "I want to have some aspect of control over my daughter's life" by using Luna.

Personally, I've found that giving in to such demands only leads to those types of people making grander demands and finding other ways to gain control.
 

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Could be that the mom really doesn't want to let go of Luna but can't say no to her daughter.
So she gives one stipulation knowing you won't do it. Thus, putting the onus on you as to
why Luna can't move with you.
As others have said, don't let anyone tell you what to do with your dog, especially something
as important and permanent as neutering.
 

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The only real issue I see here is that someone else is trying to tell you what to do with your own dog. If you can get over that aspect, then just have your dog neutered. At least then you'll never have to worry about your dog impregnating any other dog that ONE TIME he might escape and you get to keep Luna.
 

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Could be that the mom really doesn't want to let go of Luna but can't say no to her daughter.
So she gives one stipulation knowing you won't do it. Thus, putting the onus on you as to
why Luna can't move with you.
This was my thought as well. Since Luna has been spayed, I see no reason for her mom to be concerned about your pooch being intact.

My last two dogs, both male, were also pediatric neuters and both mild hip issues. Whether or not it is connected, I am not sure. Both were German Shepherd mixes and hip problems are common with the breed.

Personally, I will always spay or neuter my dogs because I believe it is my part to curb unwanted pet pregnancies. But I plan to do things a bit differently with my next pooch. I plan to hold off until at least six months, preferably a year (two heat cycles if a female) due to the recent studies on the problems that arise with early spay/neuter. Now, I may change my mind if I get a male dog that starts jumping our six-foot fence or if there is some reason I am unable to isolate a female dog during her in-season time in that first year.
 

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I'd tell the mother it had been done, but I wouldn't actually do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for the responses - I appreciate it so much!

I'd tell the mother it had been done, but I wouldn't actually do it.
This was my knee-jerk reaction when I heard about all of this. I'm just concerened about the issues that could come up if/when they visit us, but so long as the paperwork/microchip etc. has all been shifted to us proving we now own Luna, I guess it would be too late for her to do anything about it.


Sorry to hear that you are in this difficult situation. Like you said, no one can tell you what to do. But I will say for myself that no one - not family, not friends, not bosses, not relationships - will ever cause me to compromise on my dog ethics. Also, I don't think YOU are being the 'nut' in your situation :D
Thank you for making me feel less crazy, haha. I've held firm with my dog ethics, and my girlfriend has been good about adapting to them, minus the initial resistance based on how she was raised with dogs in her family. I'm not one to give on those types of things, either. I form opinions based on facts, not nilly willy, so I tend to stand by them unless presented with sound, logical evidence for a better way of doing things. I just feel bad because she bonded with this dog so strongly because I taught her how to form a relationship with her - and now her mom has turned it around so that I'm the reason we can't keep her.


Could be that the mom really doesn't want to let go of Luna but can't say no to her daughter.
So she gives one stipulation knowing you won't do it. Thus, putting the onus on you as to
why Luna can't move with you.
As others have said, don't let anyone tell you what to do with your dog, especially something
as important and permanent as neutering.
That's an excellent point that I hadn't thought of. But knowing her mother, it sounds like something she would do. I hope to try and claim we will feel safer with Luna around (my dog is small, not scary) since we will be two relatively young women living in a new place on out own, if she wants to play games like that, lol.


Could possibly compromise- maybe a vasectomy instead of neutering would be ok for everyone?
Also, I currently work in the apartment industry. If you can get paperwork from a vet saying your dog is a mix and not purebred that will usually cover you for breed bans. The breed bans are mostly done because of the insurance apts have to carry. As long as the dog is under the weight limit and there are no " aggression " incidents it should be ok.
Maybe a vasectomy would appease her mom, although since I can't find the logic behind her insisting he get neutered, there's no real way to tell. I'm not adverse to a vasectomy, although I still don't like the idea of putting him through surgery for no real reason. And thanks for that info about the apartments - the vet has her listed as a Golden Retriever x Boxer mix, which we hope will make things a bit easier for us. But visually, she screams pitbull.


It sounds like your gf's mother is the nut, here.

I wouldn't let anyone tell me what to do with my dog. If you give in, I imagine that will give your gf's mother further encouragement to control other aspects of your life, as well. I also have a feeling that this is more than "I don't like unaltered male dogs" and a bit of "I want to have some aspect of control over my daughter's life" by using Luna.

Personally, I've found that giving in to such demands only leads to those types of people making grander demands and finding other ways to gain control.
Thank you! I agree that giving in to her on this could make her feel like she can push me around in other ways. She's a very controlling narcissist.
 

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This was my knee-jerk reaction when I heard about all of this. I'm just concerened about the issues that could come up if/when they visit us, but so long as the paperwork/microchip etc. has all been shifted to us proving we now own Luna, I guess it would be too late for her to do anything about it.
Yep. Usually I don't condone lying, but with controlling people like this it's sometimes easier to pretend to give them what they want and then just get away from them. It could even be the case that she doesn't intend to let you take Luna at all and is just making the neuter a stipulation because she doesn't think you'll do it, in which case if you actually neuter Oliver she'll come up with some other excuse for why you can't take Luna and then you'll have neutered Oliver for nothing. Let her think she won, take the dog, and make sure absolutely everything is in the gf's name so by the time her mother finds out you lied, it's way too late. But no matter what, don't let her "win" for real.
 

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Yep. Usually I don't condone lying, but with controlling people like this it's sometimes easier to pretend to give them what they want and then just get away from them. It could even be the case that she doesn't intend to let you take Luna at all and is just making the neuter a stipulation because she doesn't think you'll do it, in which case if you actually neuter Oliver she'll come up with some other excuse for why you can't take Luna and then you'll have neutered Oliver for nothing. Let her think she won, take the dog, and make sure absolutely everything is in the gf's name so by the time her mother finds out you lied, it's way too late. But no matter what, don't let her "win" for real.
I agree, she may have no intentions of giving you Luna, either. I mean, you know your gf's mother more than anyone here, of course, but...based on the brief explanation you have given, this is a real possibility, as well.
 

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Other people who are not you and not your GF should not be telling you how and what to do with your dogs. Think about this.. what if you have kids?

I would not lie about it either. That sets a different (and just as unhealthy) precedent.

Quite honestly, I would leave Luna behind. Sadly it puts a wedge between you and your GF. You can allow this or not. Up to you.
 

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I agree with 3GSD4IPO. Don't lie. I won't go into all the reasons here, but I'll just say that I don't think it's right to outright lie -- except if it will hurt someone's feelings -- and even then, it is sometimes best to go with the truth, as gently as possible.

Explain to your girlfriend that you do not feel it is right to force surgery on your dog just because her mom is demanding you do so.

From there, leave the issue with Luna where it belongs -- between your girlfriend and her mother. They need to decide, just between them (and maybe dad or other siblings if they are part of the household to whom Luna belongs) where Luna should live after you and your girlfriend move.

Since Luna has been spayed, it is difficult to understand the woman's motivations for wanting your dog neutered. Is your girlfriend's mom OK with her daughter moving? Maybe her demands are not just to prevent Luna from leaving, but preventing her daughter from moving as well?

Good luck to both you and your girlfriend!
 

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So, I'll offer the other side.
1. Don't lie. Don't compromise your integrity for a manipulator.
2. Discuss long and hard with your gf.
3. Investigate the neuter, I've found no negative research regarding a neuter after 2 years old. Should have no medical issues that resemble pediatric neuters.
4. Discuss the vasectomy with the mother. Hear her out, don't argue. If she says she doesn't like the intact look, that's a possible red flag.
5. Consider the possibilities that she doesn't want the two of you together, or that she doesn't want her baby to move away? Can't manipulate long distance.
6. Negotiate respectfully, but hard, that you get Luna before the neuter. Make sure that your gf is with you. If the mother refuses, calmly state clearly that she doesn't trust you, so you can't trust her, and walk calmly. Then, wait.
7. One thing to consider is that even if you neuter and get Luna, the mother could whine and cry, making the gf feel very guilty at the last moment about leaving, or about taking Luna, trying to manipulate y'all into returning Luna ... at the least.
8. On the other hand, When you get Luna, with paperwork etc., then in good faith, do the neuter or vasectomy as soon as possible.
9. You have to understand whether your gf will cave under the last minute pressure and manipulation, either to stay with her crying mother, or to leave Luna when you leave...
10. The mother may try to manipulate discord to try to break the two of you up... Prepare your gf for this contingency...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I very much appreciate everyone's views on this situation. I've been given a lot more to think about!

My girlfriend knows what type of person her mother is, so when I bring up some of these points I don't expect her to be overly surprised or argue with me about anything. I think it will be disheartening for her to realize her mother might be playing these kinds of mind games because she was so pleased to hear she could take Luna, but a reality check might be needed so we can be prepared for whatever happens down the road. I don't have any doubt that she will be coming with me regardless of what happens - and I don't believe she'd leave Luna with her if at all possible. I would respect if her move is delayed while she figures out how to get the dog, or figures out whether or not it will be possible to take the dog, etc.

Currently I'm not budging on the neutering aspect of things, but I'm more open to a vasectomy. However I'll continue to do my own research on the topic.
 
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