My Dog is Interfering With My Marriage

As I mentioned to you before, I adopted a puppy named Frankie, an adorable little guy who was found in a box on some railroad tracks. He’s been with us a week today and he’s hilarious. He likes cat toys (although he still likes his dog stuff too), loves to eat his dog food, and is the cutest thing when he’s napping. He’s finally 8 weeks old, which is really the right time to take a dog away from his mother but he was taken from her much earlier than that. I attribute much of his behavioral issue to that but I’m being honest: my dog is interfering with my marriage.

Today also marks 1 month since I got married. However, this past week has been a strain. Frankie has been driving me crazy. He’s definitely playful and lovable. He has a bit of a foot fetish because he loves licking my feet, and takes his anger out on his doggie bed. He’s been quite a handful though. Our 2 story townhouse is probably a bit overwhelming to him, and we try not to give him access to too many things. He dives under our couch and tries to hop up on the fireplace. I’m not too upset with the lack of potty training (he’ll pee on his pads 50% of the time, and refuses to poop on them), but he’s a lot to work with.

Whenever I’m on the computer and he’s up on the couch, he steps all over the MacBook and bites it. He likes shoes, and I try to tell my husband to stop leaving his shoes on the ground because Frankie will get to them. Our house has carpet and Frankie finds where there may be frayed edges and bites on those. He bites and scratches, even if you tell him “no” or “stop”. Oh, and crating him is a nightmare. I crate him if I leave the house and he goes absolutely bonkers. He not only cries, but screams, louder than I’ve heard any dog scream before. Same when he’s crated to go to bed, even though that’s getting a little better.

I use a spray water bottle to discipline him and it’s a temporary solution. He runs right where you’re walking, so I’ve accidentally kicked him several times because he ends up being right where my foot is going. He barks and is aggressive when I ask him to calm down. He doesn’t allow me to get much work done (because most of my work is on the computer) and sleeping is obviously interrupted by taking him to use the bathroom.

I love this dog; he’s a sweet puppy but he’s mischievous and difficult too. Hubby’s been on 1st shift (6am-2pm) this past week, and has refused to sleep with Frankie around. I’ve slept on the couch 2 nights in a row, and hubby slept on his futon the other nights while I took the bed with Frankie’s cage next to me. He doesn’t help much because he’s either at work or sleep. I’ve been waking up at 5:30am-6am after broken sleep. It’s been really difficult.

Last week I had a breakdown and highly considered giving Frankie back. I’d hate to do that, and it’s not that I can’t give him attention and love, because I have, but I can’t do it at the expense of my work and my marriage. I’m trying to work with him, knowing he probably misses his mom and is still overwhelmed by the move, but I don’t know if I have the patience to let certain things go.

What’s your opinion? Should I keep working with Frankie and hope things get better, or should I find him another home in order to keep my marriage safe? What are some ways you dealt with your new puppy?

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16 Responses to My Dog is Interfering With My Marriage

  1. Don’t give up on your little bundle of joy!  If you haven’t already done so, consult The Dog Whisperer’s web pages for advice.  Sounds like you need to teach the puppy you are the boss or alpha member of the family.  Also, check out the advice on – they have lots of helpful articles.  Good luck!

    • I’ve been checking out The Dog Whisperer’s site and may go ahead and buy a book or two. I don’t know if it’s harder to be an alpha member if I’m a female? He’s truly testing me. I’ll read as much as I can. Thanks so much.

  2. Dogs need a lot of training.  My Boxer recently got out of the backyard.  She went straight to the front porch and waited for me to get home.  VERY smart and VERY well trained. 

    If you don’t teach dogs, they can destroy your life.  Teach them well, and they are the best companions ever.

    • I’m working on teaching him. I know a week definitely wasn’t enough time, so I’m trying different training techniques (the positive reinforcement, stern voice, squirt bottle, etc). It also helped that I found out his breed, so I’m working with him.

  3. Puppies take longer than a week to train, that’s for sure! Just stick to it and you’ll win in the end.

    And as far as them howling and crying when they’re left alone, it’s normal and he’ll stop after a while. My dog did the same when she was a pup. You have have to be persistant AND consistent. Good luck!

  4. It’s normal for puppies to act like yours.  My baby just turned two and the first few months was HELL.  She cried all the time in the crate from loneliness and just wanting attention.  We just got her a smaller crate that was more snug, put some of our clothes in there with our scent and let her cry it out in another room.  Although, sometimes we found out that she just needed to pee. 

    It wasn’t pretty the first few months but now we’re having a secret love affair. 

    • I’m going to try to hang on and keep hope alive. He can be really sweet (like now, he’s sleep on my feet) and he can be ridiculous (when he runs upstairs when I tell him not to).

  5. Please persevere,  as everyone else has said, it takes a while to train a dog.  You have given him a home and it would be SO sad if you gave up on him so quickly.  Friends of ours adopted a difficult dog which had failed training as a helper dog,  he is not a puppy and certainly very smart- but with “issues”.  They have worked hard with him and results are good.  Keep the faith!

  6. Dog’s aren’t for a week they’re not toys. They take lots of work but you get so much out of them. They need consitency to learn to.  It can be hard not to get angry but the dog is not deliberately trying to do anything, they’re a dog not a person so, stow the attitude.

    • You’re right Ben. There were a lot of other things going on at the time, and Frankie’s behavior was the straw breaking the camel’s back. Things are getting better though. I understand he’s a dog and not a person, hence, a huge and obvious communication barrier. Don’t look at it as an attitude; it’s a build up of stress and admitted impatience.

  7. The puppy years (yes, multiple) are really difficult! My pup just turned two, though, and she is now the best dog ever. But she was a terror as a puppy, and it took a lot of consistent training, exercise, and socialization (like the dog park) to get her to this point. Good luck with your little terror — he is adorable!

    • I’ve been reading just that: training, exercise, and socialization are key. I’m going to have to make a constant effort to include this in our schedule. Ah, puppy years. They grow up so fast. Thank you!

  8. I think this might be the reason my hubby won’t let me have a dog. LOL! I think I’d try training him first or…you could call Ceasar Milan. :) Otherwise…the puppy might need to become someone else’s problem.

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