I’m struggling to like my dog again

Posted by
Original artwork by Aaron Finley.
Original artwork by Aaron Finley.
I love my dog, but I don’t like him anymore. Our dog is five years old, and we’ve had him for over a year now. We adopted him from the shelter when my son was about 10 months old.

I used to be able to look past his constant barking, awful separation anxiety that leaves us un-wanted surprises when we get home, and tendency to knock over our toddler often. We’ve tried medication and behavior modification to no avail.

I used to get angry with my husband when he would talk about not liking our dog, but now that I’m pregnant with our second, I find myself in the same boat.

I don’t want my dog to be gone, I just want to enjoy him like I used to. -Mallory

Sigh. Heavy truth time: I feel you on this…

I love my dog, Jackson. He’s amazing with kids and house guests, he’s smart, he’s just so damn handsome. But sometimes I really don’t like him. He’s aloof, he’s stubborn, and he has leash aggression issues that embarrass the hell out of me. How do you like a dog that won’t cuddle with you and turns taking walks into nightmares!?

In the meantime, I’ve been working hard to accept him as he is. When I need doggy cuddles, I don’t go to Jackson; I get my cuddle time with our smaller and more affectionate dog. I’ve also been thinking about taking some classes with him that will both bring us closer together, give us a positive shared experience, which will hopefully help with his leash aggression as well.

Anyone else have advice on learning to like your difficult dog again?

Comments on I’m struggling to like my dog again

  1. Thank you thank you thank you for talking about this.

    I love my dog dearly, but I often don’t like her. It’s not her fault at all, but I sometimes daydream about not having pets.

    I was in a severe depression when I got my chihuahua and so I didn’t properly train her in the beginning.

    My life is dramatically better now, 8 years later, but she still has terrible potty habits.

    Looking back, I shouldn’t have gotten a dog when I did, but she adores me and I’ll do my best to be a good dog mom.

    She’s crate-trained, which helps.

    On top of everything else, I used to be a pet sitter and dog trainer, so I have huge amounts of shame and guilt that I haven’t done better with her.

    It sucks.

    But my wife and I are taking baby steps to make things better.

    And next month we’re taking the dog on a low-key camping trip, so that should be fun.

    We’re doing our best, but in the meantime there’s some real crappy moments.

    It helps to know that other people understand.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.