How to Deal When Your Dog Doesn't Approve of Your S.O.
Does your animal's ire mean you should dump the person you're dating? Not necessarily. Before you jump to any conclusions or do anything you might regret later, there are a few options to consider. Keep reading to find out what steps you should take first.
Start With Self-Examination
Before you start placing the blame elsewhere, it's important to acknowledge your own role in the situation. A lot of the time, the reason your dog dislikes your new S.O. is because much of your free time is now going to the person you're dating. Your dog may see them as a threat to your relationship, as they associate this person with a lack of care and attention. If that's the case, it's only natural that they're jealous. If your dog lashes out because of it, try to understand where they're coming from. Continue showering your dog with just as much affection as you did before and see if that changes their attitude. See if there's a happy medium that allows you to balance both relationships and keep all parties happy without overextending yourself.
(Feast via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Take a Look at Your S.O. Second
We're not saying that it's a major red flag if your dog dislikes your significant other, but you shouldn't immediately rule it out, either. If you've been having reservations about the person you're seeing, your dog might just be reading your cues and acting on them. In that case, it's a good idea to search your feelings further and understand how you really feel about your S.O. Maybe your dog just doesn't like their vibe. Animals can be intuitive about people, so try not to completely ignore your dog if they seem timid or fearful around this person. And if your S.O. actively dislikes your dog, and not just because the dog is giving them the cold shoulder, maybe it's your S.O. that's the problem. Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't even try to get along with your dog?
(Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated via Cartoon Network)
Don't Force Anything
While your first urge might be to create situations for your dog and your significant other to bond, you shouldn't make them if your dog doesn't feel up to it. Introduce them together slowly, and allow your dog to set the pace. Even the slowest progress is a step in the right direction, so let it happen. If you force things, you're only going to make your dog dislike your S.O. even further.
Care for Your Dog Together
If your dog allows it, the best way for them to warm up to your significant other is to have your S.O. be involved in the care of your dog. Start with having your partner help out at feeding time, and dole out snacks to your dog when they're being good. Your animal will quickly start developing positive associations with them. From there, if your dog is open to it, have your S.O. pet your dog, gift them toys, teach them tricks and bathe them with you. Go on long walks together with your dog, and have your significant other hold the leash. Even have them pick up after your dog from time to time. If they're not willing to do those things with you, your dog just might be onto something.
Reward Your Dog for Being Nice
If you train your dog with treats as a reward, give them a little something whenever they show kindness toward your partner. If you don't have any on hand, pet them and praise them with warm words to affirm doing a good thing. Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement, and if they're rewarded for good behavior around their significant other, they'll be more inclined to break the habit and start enjoying your S.O. more.
(Lady and the Tramp via Buena Vista Distribution)
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