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Need help bonding with dog (first time dog owner)

1073 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  T Lledsmar
So, I've never been a dog person. I grew up with cats and reptiles pretty much my whole life and I've never particularly liked dogs due to their noise, neediness, and having to train them. My husband however is a big dog lover and grew up with dogs. We have been together for 5 years and he finally convince me to get a puppy. We went to several shelters and ended up getting a 4 month old mountain cur mix named Duke a few months ago. I just...I don't like dogs and I'm having a lot of trouble getting attached to him, and dealing with being his primary caregiver since I'm unemployed due to covid. He's a sweet dog, relatively well behaved, trains fairly easily and is very smart, but we just don't click. I care about him but I don't love him but my husband absolutely loves him. I take amazing care of him, with bathing/grooming, treats, playtime, food, playing outside, training, ect, but having not grown up with dogs, I don't know how to be a dog owner. Any tips on how to bond with him and develop a better relationship with my dog?
Dog Comfort Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog
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First, your husband wanted a dog even though you didn't, convinced you to get a dog despite your hesitancy....and he's making you be the primary care giver?! What? I think that needs to be a discussion!

I absolutely do not blame you for not being able to bond with the dog. You didn't want him in the first place! You're not a bad person or doing something wrong for not liking dogs, and there isn't anything that's magically going to make you like dogs. I understand you're home all day due to the pandemic...but it doesn't mean you're obligated to do anything with what is essentially your husband's dog. You can co-exist in the same house but not really have that much interaction.

For example, my dog is mine, my husband was okay with me getting the dog, but he really doesn't care much for pets. I do all the feeding, training, cleaning, etc, and my husband does essentially nothing, haha, although he'll throw food in the bowl and let the dog out to potty if I'm gone. The dog and the husband co-exist fine, but I wouldn't say they have any strong bond. They don't need one, and neither really seems to desire one. They like each other, but if one or the other were to up and die they'd get over it relatively quickly, as morbid as that sounds! My husband was laid off for two weeks, and he said the dog laid around and slept all day until I got home from work, at which point I did the dog related chores.

So, if you don't like dogs and you don't feel like you can form a bond with an animal you don't like...don't. You'll be much less stressed. But, your husband needs to step up and take care of his dog, and you need to have a discussion about what you are willing to do and what are squarely your husband's jobs!

But, if you're looking to just enjoy the dog a bit more, find a game you both like and play that. My husband has a tennis ball bazooka that he likes to shoot, and the dog likes to chase the balls, obviously. So, every once in a while they'll play that. It's stupid and has no rules but they like it. If I'm gone for an extended period of time that's how my husband exercises the dog, too, haha.
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Here's how I see people with respect to dogs.
There are three types of people.
1. Dog People - we "get" dogs, appreciate them for their personalities and quirks.
2. Not Dog People with Dogs - people that do not really enjoy being around dogs
3. Not Dog People, no dogs at their house.

Why do some people feel so strongly about dogs to have them share their home and life? Childhood dogs "sunk in?

I sounds to me like you are just not dog people.
I think you husband did you a big disservice by adding a dog to your household expecting you to do most of the work.
At the minimum your husband needs to raise his involvement with the dog and do most of the labor.
Your husbands dog may need a new home.

Talk to your husband about "his"dog.

Good Luck,
Uncle Foster
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I can only offer personal experience. When a pet is brought into my home that I do not want, I will have nothing to do with it. I don't care for in any way, any of the critters the kids have dragged home. I don't have to cohabitate with them either as everything is either in an enclosure (ie:reptiles) or it lives in the barn(what we call the finished and furnished heated and a/c building where the cats and dogs live) or the stable (farm animals).

I'd have a talk with the Boyfriend. You aren't the problem here and neither is the dog.
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