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So my in-laws flew in for few days to visit us. My husband and I thought this would be a great experience for our dog to experience having vistors to the house, since she's only had to experience it once. My in-laws have 2 dogs of their own so they were willing to put up with her. Vada is pretty fearful and dislikes meeting new people. Now its the last day of their visit and I could not be any more peeved with them...

The first day was a little rough and Vada barked and barked forever. My in-laws did what we had said and they understood and ignored the whole time til she simmered downed. She finally did stop barking and just paced back and forth. My husband showed his parents around the house and Vada followed us around, but not close. My father-in-law ended up cornering our dog in a room up stairs by chance. She knows she is not suppossed to be in the room, but my father wouldn't let her out so she peed herself and made a dash and soon after pooed downstairs. Then to make things a little worse, the in-laws stopped just ignoring her. They kept staring her down and trying to talk or make noises at her. Finally that day ended and Vada pulled herself together.

The second day they came over, Vada only barked a little bit. She tried sniffing them and getting closer and even let them touch her a little, but she was still pretty high strung. All was going well until...my mother-in-law was sitting on the floor in the living room trying to get Vada to play. Vada was trying to get past her towards the backdoor, but she was too afraid, especially since my mother kept smacking the floor. Vada ran upstairs and had another accident. All calmed down again for a bit and was sitting on the couch next to my father-in-law and Vada was sitting next to me. He would reach over and poke her a bit. Then he suddenly puts his face right in hers and scares the life out her! She growled made a lunge for him and ran into the kitchen and hid under a desk. What he did was completely unnecessary, but he kept on and on how she'll be fine and will get over it.

So today my husband was sitting ton the couch and Vada was next to him in the corner. His mother reaches out towards her and Vada scoots into the corner. She starts shaking and can't find a way to run away so she growls at his mom. So what does she do? His mom smacks our dog across the nose and it was a fairly hard hit. You could hear the connection between her hand and Vadas nose. So VAda starts growling more and my husband tell his mom that she shouldn't have done that and we can get her to stop on our own. So all his parents have to say is how she needs to be put in her place for growling at them. Their idea is to smack her or hold her to the floor so that she doesn't start thinking she's dominant...I've been irritated all day.

Apparently Vada, who is fearful and timid, isn't trained well enough and thinks she's in charge of things. We obviously should hit her more so she understands. Nevermind the fact they have been staring her down and tormenting her for 3 days now. They have no right to put their hands on our dog like. My husbands mother undid all the progress Vada had made the past few days. Now Vada won't go near her. They seem to think since they watch dog shows and raised their dogs that way that its ok. Vada hasn't eaten much and had been pretty exhausted by their visit.

I'm sorry for the long rant, but this isn't even half of the things they have done with our dog that is driving me insane. I'm just glad they leave tomorrow morning.

Does anyone else suffer with family that doesn't think you can take care of your own dog?
 

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I don't have that problem, but, I'm sorry you and Vada had to put up with that. :(
If it were me, the in-laws wouldn't be visiting again.
 

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I don't have that problem, but, I'm sorry you and Vada had to put up with that. :(
If it were me, the in-laws wouldn't be visiting again.
Ditto.
From now on, you can meet them at restaurants or social functions outside of the house where your dog will not be.
If they need to be at your house for part of the day, Vada should be crated with a nice tasty chew toy somewhere well away from them (like a locked master bedroom!) or (if she's ok with it) left with a trusted friend for the day.

You have learned something valuable this weekend though--- you can't trust your inlaws to watch your dog, better to learn that under your watchful eye than by coming home after a weekend away of them "dogsitting"

Thankfully, my own parents are not "dog people" and came into things with no pre-existing concepts of how training should be done etc. I wrote out a detailed list of how to take care of Chester and they are willing to follow the instructions. They respect my decision making for MY house and MY dog :)
 

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If you think that's bad, wait until you have kids!
My kid alpha rolls the dog, I can alpha roll the kid.

my Mother-in-Law? Little harder.
 

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Luckily your in-laws don't live near you, so they won't visit often. I think it's unrealistic to expect your in-laws not to visit again. I'd board your dog while they're there, or crate her in a room away from everyone (telling the in-laws NOT to go in that room - period). It would be worth it for yours and your dog's peace of mind.
 

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Slap the mother-in-law on the nose and hold your father-in-law's head to the ground. Stare them down and get uncomfortably close after it's already become an awkward situation.

See how they react to it.
 

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If someone hit my dog, I would fly into a rage. I've never hit anyone in my life, but I'm pretty sure I would reflexively smack anyone who dared hit my dog across the nose, especially my fearful dog. I don't mean to blame you here; your in-laws were totally in the wrong and you have every right to be mad at them, but you should have removed their access to Vada after that incident where your MIL kept smacking the floor and scared Vada into having an accident. If not then, definitely when your FIL terrified her by putting his face right in her face. They clearly have no desire to follow your rules regarding your dog, so I'd deal with them the same way I would a little kid: You don't treat my belongings or pets the way I ask you to, you don't get to play with them and I don't give a crap whether you're offended by that or not.

I hope Vada calms down after they leave and that these incidents haven't scarred her too much when it comes to meeting strangers.
 

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If someone hit my dog, I would fly into a rage. I've never hit anyone in my life, but I'm pretty sure I would reflexively smack anyone who dared hit my dog across the nose, especially my fearful dog. I don't mean to blame you here; your in-laws were totally in the wrong and you have every right to be mad at them, but you should have removed their access to Vada after that incident where your MIL kept smacking the floor and scared Vada into having an accident. If not then, definitely when your FIL terrified her by putting his face right in her face. They clearly have no desire to follow your rules regarding your dog, so I'd deal with them the same way I would a little kid: You don't treat my belongings or pets the way I ask you to, you don't get to play with them and I don't give a crap whether you're offended by that or not.

I hope Vada calms down after they leave and that these incidents haven't scarred her too much when it comes to meeting strangers.
This, MIL would have been put out the door VERY quickly, my Hubby wouldn't hve been able to move quickly enough to stop me. It's MY HOUSE, MY DOG, MY RULES, follow them or LEAVE.
 

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I know it's hard to stand up to in-laws, but... if they are going to be in your home around your dog you need to advocate more strongly for her. "As long as you're under my roof, you follow my rules" applies here IMO. They clearly think she is being defiant when she is scared out of her gourd, and sad to say they've probably set her back. After the FIRST time they freaked her out - FIL trapping her in a room to the point where she peed herself - I would not have allowed them to interact with my dog any further and if they continued to ignore my instructions they would not have been welcome back in my home.

This stuff is WAY beyond a difference of opinion about training or them thinking you can't take care of your dog and it's not harmless. Between getting in her face and slapping her, they are lucky one of them didn't get bitten, and if they continue acting the way they are they probably will be someday. And then it's going to be the poor dog who pays for it. You HAVE to control their access to her before someone gets hurt and she's stuck with the label of being a biting or dangerous dog.
 

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I also shook my head at the line, "My in-laws have 2 dogs of their own so they were willing to put up with her." Oh, how benevolent of them, staying at your house for free and "putting up with" your dog while they're there!
 

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Oh my. Yeah, there would have been someone in the doghouse..and it wouldn't have been the dog. Your inlaws were completely and dangerously disrespectful, of your home, your wishes and your poor dog.

No way in hell would they ever again be near my dog. If they "need" to visit, the dog would be safely put away in a room where they have no access or attached to ME.

You wouldn't want to even imagine what I'd do if someone smacked my dog. It would not be pretty.
 

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I don't suffer with family like that because mine wouldn't do that.. but if they did they wouldn't have spent 5 minutes in my house. It IS hard to stand up to family, but think about how hard it is for the dog. The dog can't say any thing and apparently in this situation just has to tolerate it. I do not tolerate hitting my dogs, and I tolerate scary behavior towards my fearful two even less. I'm here to protect them.
 

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You wouldn't want to even imagine what I'd do if someone smacked my dog. It would not be pretty.
I'd like to think my thinking brain would be able to blurt out "Welp, visit's over! Time for you to leave NOW!" before my lizard brain kicked in with white hot rage and painted the walls blue.
 

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Poor Vada and poor you.
I tell anybody when they first meet my dog what is and isn't ok. If he had any fears or things that would set him back they would know. I would have told them off day one at the first sign of trouble.

I worked at a daycare. Once a woman I worked with grabbed my dog by the collar and yanked him backwards (almost fell on his back) because she thought he was playing too hard with another dog (he absolutely wasn't). I cannot explain to you how I reamed this woman out. Long story short I told her that she obviously didn't understand dog body language and play styles and if she ever does anything like that again I will be speaking to the boss. I then went on to tell her that she was not to touch my dog ever again and if she did it would be the end of her.

Family would be the same. I don't care if they're my family or my boyfriend's family. If they lay a hand on my dog they are out of the house. Luckily my boyfriend understands this. This isn't something I'm just saying either. I constantly get on my dad for letting my dogs get away with so many things that they are not supposed to . They're mine, not his, so any interaction is under my rules.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well it's the end of the day finally. A very tense and awkward day...

The in laws voiced a lot of opinions and we voiced quite a few back. It was a pretty quiet day to say the least. Vada was spared any furtur torment today as the in laws finally just left her alone. Vada calmed down a bit and now that they are gone she's happy as can be. She's finally ate a good meal and sleeping like the dead as I speak.

We try not to have conflicts with his parents especially since we only see them maybe every 2 years or so. His mother really isn't a woman I want to have conflict with unless I want to suffer forever. Whenever they visit again Vada is gonna have some day trips to a daycare.
 

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This, MIL would have been put out the door VERY quickly, my Hubby wouldn't hve been able to move quickly enough to stop me. It's MY HOUSE, MY DOG, MY RULES, follow them or LEAVE.
Exactly. Where do people get off, thinking they can touch someone else's dog?
 

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I'm glad to hear they're gone. Frankly I had a MIL like that (first husbands mother), I didn't care about suffering as I could inflict as much as given. Hell, I told my own mom where to get off a few times when she stuck her nose in too far, of course she knew I would because she raised me not to back down when I knew I was right (and in my home I'm always right).
 

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Well it's the end of the day finally. A very tense and awkward day...

The in laws voiced a lot of opinions and we voiced quite a few back. It was a pretty quiet day to say the least. Vada was spared any furtur torment today as the in laws finally just left her alone. Vada calmed down a bit and now that they are gone she's happy as can be. She's finally ate a good meal and sleeping like the dead as I speak.

We try not to have conflicts with his parents especially since we only see them maybe every 2 years or so. His mother really isn't a woman I want to have conflict with unless I want to suffer forever. Whenever they visit again Vada is gonna have some day trips to a daycare.
You're a wise woman. Speaking from long years of experience dealing with a difficult father-in-law, saying what some of the other posters said about kicking out the in-laws and laying down the law isn't going to help. It will simply strain the relationship further. They're uneducated in the ways of dogs obviously, and unwilling to change their ways. Old habits are hard to break. The doggy daycare option is best for your dog and ultimately easier on you, too, especially since the in-laws visit so seldom.
 

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Speaking from long years of experience dealing with a difficult father-in-law, saying what some of the other posters said about kicking out the in-laws and laying down the law isn't going to help. It will simply strain the relationship further.
Huh, I've had the exact opposite experience with difficult relatives. The laws of learning apply whether you're a dog or a disrespectful house guest, in my experience... behavior that is tolerated or rewarded continues, behavior that gets you kicked out of my house is extinguished if you want to keep coming to my house. I mean, you don't have to be nasty about it or anything, but I find that a simple "you're not welcome here if you do X" or "call me again when you're ready to behave like Y" goes a long way. *shrug*
 
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