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To feel resentful that I constantly have to take care of DH's dogs?

(53 Posts)
Feelingveryalone Fri 07-Oct-11 11:46:50

My DH has 3 dogs; it was his choice to get them all. Don't get me wrong I love them and they are all lovely dogs but he just assumes I'll look after them all the time and I'm feeling very stressed. DH is currently working very long hours and sometimes staying away, so it's down to me to walk them. They all need walking separately as I can't cope with a toddler in a buggy and 3 dogs, as they are all quite hyper and pull on their leads. I took one out earlier today and have lacerations on my hand from the lead, it pulls that badly. If they're in the house, they chew things, if they're in the garden, they dig holes and DH moans at me. I am having to walk them all twice a day so that's 6 dog walks a day. 2 sleep in a run at night which needs cleaning out every morning and if DH has to leave for work super-early then it's down to me too, as is the cleaning up in the garden after them, feeding them, doing their water etc. I also have 3 children and DH isn't the tidiest person on the planet so all I ever do is clean up after everyone and I'm fed up with it. DH won't listen if I try to talk about it, and there's no way I could just ignore their needs and leave it to him if he's away or left for work early and back until late, I grew up having dogs and am a dog-lover, it's just that I didn't want dogs whilst we have young children. If he's away then I wake up feeling stressed thinking about having to care for the dogs that day.

I know I probably sound like a right moaner but as I'm sure you all understand, I have enough washing/cleaning/tidying to do with 3 children and the dogs add another 3 or 4 hours worth of things to do onto my day and it just exhausts me at times.

clairefromsteps Fri 07-Oct-11 11:55:46

You don't sound like a moaner at all. Well, not an unjustified one. Are they really just your DH's dogs or are they 'family' dogs. If they're just his dogs you'll need to sit him down and tell him he's going to need to make arrangements for them or have them re-homed. Your children need to be your priority, not three animals that you didn't ask for or want. If they are really 'family' dogs, then that's different, but it would still be worth telling your husband to pull his weight more.

Remind him that he wanted the dogs so he doesn't get to dump the responsibility for them on you or moan at you about them!

But - it's not the dogs fault that they are in this situation, so obviously they need to be walked etc. Hire a dog walker?

mistlethrush Fri 07-Oct-11 11:57:40

Get a dog walker - and get one that will do some basic training with them for you so that they stop pulling.

Feelingveryalone Fri 07-Oct-11 11:57:53

Clairefromsteps they're mainly his dogs although of course the children do love them but they didn't nag for a dog or anything like that IYKWIM.

Hec, I think I'm going to have to look into hiring a dog walker, perhaps they could take them all for one extra-long walk per day and then they wouldn't need two walks each.

crazyspaniel Fri 07-Oct-11 12:00:23

There are ways of getting a dog to stop pulling on a lead - training, headcollars, harnesses, etc. There is no reason why they cannot be walked together.

Feelingveryalone Fri 07-Oct-11 12:02:09

Mistle, if I could find one that does training too that would be good.

Crazy, we have a lead that does stop them pulling however they can all take the part off from round their noses and then they start pulling. I'm afraid I just don't have the time or energy to train them, DH promised me when we got them that he was going to train them all up etc but it just never materialised

DrNortherner Fri 07-Oct-11 12:02:25

Blimey. I have one child and one dog so understand the work involved in your situation.

What do you mean they are his dogs and not the family dogs? Did he have them before you met? If he got them when you are together then surely they are your dogs too? Anyway, walking all those dogs at different times is an absolute pain in the arse. Do you just lead walk them whilst pushing a buggy? What breeds/size dogs are they?

Pulling on the lead is bad behavior and needs sorting, if dh can improve this for you this would help.

Digging/chewing is boredom and sounds to me like they are not being exercised enough. My lab is sleeping in his bed and hasn't moved for 40 mins after a long walk and swim this morning.

How old is your toddler? Do you ever have time alone where the dogs can get a proper run?

I would suggest driving to a huge field, take toddler with you, take frisbees, balls and thrower things and give them a good run every day, then work on lead training them.

A dog walker a few times a week would be an option if you can afford it?

Feelingveryalone Fri 07-Oct-11 12:11:07

DrNortherner, I guess then technically yes they are my dogs too as DH has got them since we got together, hence me walking them and taking responsibility for them in the way that I do. I made it clear to DH that I didn't want dogs as I knew from my childhood the work and effort involved in having dogs, but DH got them anyway and assured me that he would take responsibility for them all. Which he does in part, but not in the way that he said he was going to.

I lead walk them pushing a buggy to a massive park 10 minutes away, where they have a run and a swim in a little stream there. That's the only option available at this moment in time for me. I really don't have the time or energy to lead train them myself tbh, I think I'm going to look into the dog walker option, and hopefully they can do some basic training or offer DH some training tips.

Thanks for the replies everyone.

You know, my bil went on and on and on about getting a dog.

My sister said no, she didn't want one.

He carried on and on and on and in the end she said fine, you want a dog, you get a dog but I don't want one and I will do nothing for it. No walks, nothing. You do it all.

And she bloody stuck to it too! Funnily enough, he now says that he doesn't want another dog after this one grin

What does your husband say when you remind him of his promise to do X,Y,Z if you got a dog?

Feelingveryalone Fri 07-Oct-11 12:16:54

Oh he thinks he's dog owner of the year and that I'm lazy if I moan about the extra work involved for me. I've said to him that he needs to train the dogs more but he seems to think they are well-trained. To be fair to him if he's home he does walk them, but generally "forgets" about the cleaning up aspect of having pets, the feeding, water topping up etc etc.

Vallhala Fri 07-Oct-11 12:19:02

Claire dogs are not toys to be disposed of at whim. Rescue has enough to cope with, without you suggesting that someone adds to their burden, thank you very much. hmm

FeelingVeryAlone, I sympathise lovey. Three dogs ARE hard work, I know, I have 3 large breeds and DC myself, have had dogs all the DCs lives and a lone parent almost theoughout. I just sort of grin and bear the bad days - well I have to, having dogs is my responsibility, no DH to blame/rely on - but there's no reason why you should just put up or shut up.

I'd suggest that you sit DH down and tell him that:

1. He's going to pay for a dogwalker.

2. He's going to pay for training classes to address the pulling AND that he's paying for childcare so you can attend it.

3. He's going out to buy a huge selection of Kongs and fillings and other toys to amuse the dogs and to offer on a rotational basis so that they don't chew in the home.

4. If he argues, you're simply going to employ a cleaner for 3 hours a day so that you can care for the dogs which he took on properly and responsibly. And that he's paying for that!

I'd be bloody fuming with him tbh, so often this is the type of reason we get dogs coming into rescue - both they AND your DH are lucky that you aren't that heartless or irresponsible... perhaps remind him of that too.

What breed are they? Can anyone on here offer advice based on that?

Don't let DH get away with this, however you put the points above, whether bluntly or more politely, HE has to take responsibility or pay someone else to do it, for your sake and that of the dogs.

squeakytoy Fri 07-Oct-11 12:22:53

Cant understand why anyone who works out of the house, and is away etc, owns THREE dogs... sad not much quality of life for them by the sounds of it..

booyhoo Fri 07-Oct-11 12:29:32

first of all, you are not a moaner!! i am a dog owner, i also have 2 dcs and 3 cats, i am constantly cleaning up shit and feeding, watering, walking BUT, it is my choice to do so and i do not resent it. i cant believe your DH is being so unbeleiveably selfish to do this to you and to the dogs!!

1) he needs to employ a daily dog walker
2) he needs to train the dogs how to walk properly and how to respond to commands that you can give them during the day when you are trying to look after your dcs
3) he needs to clean their run out in the morning and the garden.
4) if he is upset about the dogs digging the garden then he needs to employ someone to entertain the 3 dogs all day long while you look after your childrn.

i cannot believe he gets at you for the dogs digging. i really can't. what on earth does he expect you to do with your 3 children while you entertain 3 dogs all day long?

LittleMissFlustered Fri 07-Oct-11 12:34:17

I would give your husband an ultimatum. He either pulls his weight all the time with his pets, or you take steps to rehome (decently, not just dumping at rescue) at least two of the dogs with people who have the time and energy to deal with them.

If you cannot cope, you are not doing yourself or the dogs any favours.

Feelingveryalone Fri 07-Oct-11 12:35:17

Thank you so much Vallhalla and Booyhoo for the advice, much appreciated.

Squeakytoy, I disagree that the dogs don't have a good quality of life, like I said I walk them twice a day and make sure that they are kept happy, healthy and fed. I have seen dogs with a lot worse quality of life than mine have, unfortunately I don't have the time to stand playing with them in the garden for hours but I do the very best that I can. Much better quality of life than the dog that an ex neighbour had that was left tied up outside day in day out in all weathers (I reported it to the RSPCA, they didn't want to know as the dog wasn't being abused), or a friend's dog that rarely gets walked.

booyhoo Fri 07-Oct-11 12:41:49

of course you dont have time to stand in the garden all day, you have 3 small children! i really dont know how he expects you to devote one on one attention to what is essentially 6 children!! surely he knows how much time children and dogs by themselves take up. it just isn't workable that you can prevent the dogs from digging/chewing and properly care for your children. he is asking a hell of a lot from you and doesn't seem to be appreciating any of (the huge amount of work) what you do.

Vallhala Fri 07-Oct-11 12:43:40

LittleMissFlustered, "dumping" a dog, as you put it, in a reputable rescue will ensure that he is cared for 100%, vaccinated, neutered, fully assessed and that his new owner is homechecked and "assessed" before he is handed over. It also ensures that he would come back to the rescue if the home failed him AND that if he was unable to find a home he would have sanctuary for life.

Rehoming privately means that you cannot homecheck the new owner - this could lead to a dog being abused, used as bait in fights, all manner of harm coming to him - you cannot insist on seeing their rent or mortgage agreement to ensure that they are allowed dogs in their property and that the poor dog has nowhere to go if the new owner doesn't want him.

Please don't go around suggesting that a dog sent to rescue is not doing the decent thing - it is by FAR the more responsible and advisable way of rehoming a dog.

Vallhala Fri 07-Oct-11 12:45:59

What breed are they?

They certainly sound like bored dogs to me too - would agility suit them? Again, DH could pay for it and pay for childcare whilst you take them or he could make the effort to take them himself or care for his children.

<<finding it hard not to suggest that you put DH's balls between two bricks and bang together hard!>>

CoffeeIsMyFriend Fri 07-Oct-11 12:49:50

I know how hard it is to care for 2 large breed dogs and have small children too. I remember it well, luckily for me I had land at the time and could exercise the dogs next to our garden while the little ones slept or were at nursery. IT is hard work, it is endless work and your DH needs to realise that you do not want to do this full time.

Others have given advice. How old are the dogs and what sort are they? We can help with some training tips and mind games for the dogs to help stop the hole digging, I also know that one!

booyhoo Fri 07-Oct-11 12:50:52

<<finding it hard not to suggest that you put DH's balls between two bricks and bang together hard!>>

grin

agreed val.

LittleMissFlustered Fri 07-Oct-11 13:12:21

Vallhala I didn't mean to insinuate that rescue centres were a bad thing, just mindful that they are oversubscribed these days. We had to re-home two dogs when I was younger due to a house move and we were unable to take the dogs with us. We homed them ourselves within friends and family. that was the sort of thing I meant >_<

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 07-Oct-11 13:18:34

I think you should tell your DH to arrange a dogwalker and say you can no longer do it. Really, leave it up to him to sort out. He should also get someone in to sort out the dog run thingy everyday. (perhaps the same person)

tigermoll Fri 07-Oct-11 13:33:07

You say you 'didn't want dogs while you have small children' - so why did you get dogs and then have children?

When you got the THREE dogs you must have known that was a lot of work, and that they would live for at least ten years each. What was the plan for when you had children?

If your life has changed to that you can no longer cope with the dogs properly, then it doesn't matter if you know about other dogs that are just left tied up, or have a worse quality of life than your dogs. You have a responsibilty to make sure that they are getting the attention they need, not just 'more' than some dogs you know of. Rehouse them or get a dog walker.

Ormirian Fri 07-Oct-11 13:35:46

Bloody hell! I am not surprised you are worn out shock 3 dogs and 3 kids.

No advice but lots of sympathy!

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