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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aaaahhh!! Need help here. I apologize in advance if this is inappropriate for this forum, but I could use some feedback. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about a friend of my husband's (that is not really my favorite person, but I make nice to keep the peace,etc.) that comes over to our house, 99% of the time uninvited, on an average of about twice a week, every week. We have had our 4 month old lab for about 2 and a half months. This guy would just help himself to her biscuits, without asking if it was okay, and give them to her. I wasn't real happy about that. I don't just give her treats for the heck of it. I use them for training, and for special times. I like her to "earn" her treats. Well, after that happened a couple of times, (and I DID tell him, "No more biscuits!" but he ignored me), I hid the biscuits. The other night he was here AGAIN, and we were down in our family room with our puppy watching TV. It's around 10pm, and our puppy is all mellow, getting sleepy and ready for bed soon. Well this friend leaves the room and comes back with something in his hand, and proceeds to give it to my puppy, who is laying next to me on the couch. I ask him, "Yo, what's that?" He opens his fist and it's a big handful of her kibble. She gobbled it up before I could even do anything. He never asked if it was okay to do that. And don't you think he would get the hint once he saw that I had hid the biscuits? Guess not! I was pissed. I know a little extra food won't hurt her, but that isn't even the point. And, two nights before this happened, he was here---AGAIN---and she was in her crate sleeping while we were down in the family room watching a program. He leaves the room, and a few minutes later he is coming down the stairs with my puppy following him! I said, "Uh, what's going on?" And he said he went upstairs and she was sitting up in her crate so he let her out. Again, never asked. I have talked to my husband about this. When these things happen with this friend my husband doesn't say anything, so when I do I look like the bad guy. But now I don't even care if I do. I need to know if I am over-reacting about this, or if my anger is justified. I LOVE my puppy and take very good care of her, so I guess I feel like a protective mom, but in my heart I feel like I am not out of line by feeling the way I do about this. But I'd like to know how you guys would feel if it were you in this situation, and what you would do about it. I'm at my wit's end with this guy. Thanks in advance!! Sorry this is soooo long!!
 

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I wouldn't even care about looking like the bad guy.  I would warn my husband before hand that when his friend got there-if he gave anything to the dog or let the puppy out of her crate without permission-that I was going to go off on him.  If he didn't want to say anything that's fine, but I would tell him that he better have my back if his friend started talking sh** about me after I left the room.  I would be beyond furious for the same reasons you said-not so much the food but how DUH is this guy that he can't respect you and how you want your dog handled?  I'm pissed for you  :mad:

And if that still didn't work-I would take the dog to my room and watch tv with her there while the friend was over. When he asks "Why aren't ya sitting with us" I would say, "Because you're an A-hole."
 

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I would let the feeding treats thing go. As a matter of fact, consider it part of training. You want her to consider other people as a good thing, a happy thing. When other people, such as this idiot come over, and she gets treats, she's going to equate other people coming over to the house with good and happy things.

Handfuls of kibble...well...before he comes over- lock her kibble- and I do mean lock- some where- when big dogs eat too much too quickly they can bloat and die.

If you and your husband and his friend are awake and are around, let her be out of the crate and with you. She has to learn how to behave when you have guests eventually anyway. Is it annoying he let her out of her crate without your permission? Sure. Is it the end of the world? Not at all.

It seems like you have a problem with this guy in general and are protective of your puppy in general (who isn't?)- but relax and don't make the puppy into the battleground. If the guy is an ******* and you don't like him around your house and that's the real reason you're upset, tell your husband to go out with him instead.
 

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gabbys mom said:
I would let the feeding treats thing go. As a matter of fact, consider it part of training. You want her to consider other people as a good thing, a happy thing. When other people, such as this idiot come over, and she gets treats, she's going to equate other people coming over to the house with good and happy things.

Handfuls of kibble...well...before he comes over- lock her kibble- and I do mean lock- some where- when big dogs eat too much too quickly they can bloat and die.

If you and your husband and his friend are awake and are around, let her be out of the crate and with you. She has to learn how to behave when you have guests eventually anyway. Is it annoying he let her out of her crate without your permission? Sure. Is it the end of the world? Not at all.

It seems like you have a problem with this guy in general and are protective of your puppy in general (who isn't?)- but relax and don't make the puppy into the battleground. If the guy is an ******* and you don't like him around your house and that's the real reason you're upset, tell your husband to go out with him instead.
Well-if you want to be mature and all that I guess that's a good route to take ;) I guess I'm just a hot-head. Your's is better advice :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks you guys. I appreciate your responses! Believe me, I would LOVE to tell this guy what I REALLY think. But out of respect for my husband, and the friendship they have, I won't. I still don't even know why my husband is friends with him; they are NOTHING alike. But that's another story. I am running out of cabinet space to lock all her treats, and now possibly her gigantic bag of Pro Plan. But I suppose I'll find a spot. We DO have her down in the family room with us when she is awake. Bottom line: IT'S NOT HIS DOG, and he is totally disrespecting me, and my property. I'm glad to hear your thoughts on it; I even had a chuckle at your comments! But it's good to know that I'm not completely out of line for feeling pissed off. Honestly, if this guy were to stop coming over altogether, I would throw a party for myself, and you all can come too.
 

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bebopalula --

Please forgive me for what is going to be a very, very personal response to your question. However, please know that this is totally with the hope that it might help you in the long run...

I wonder if maybe the problem is not so much with your husband's friend. I wonder if perhaps this is a clue that you have more of a "marriage" type of issue to deal with. What I mean is this: I think, looking at the big picture, the way to handle this would be to tell your husband that this really bothers you -- that you are trying to train the puppy and you think your friend's actions might be sabotaging your efforts (whether they are really sabotaging your efforts is a different issue; but to me it's not what's most important). Now, if your husband respects you and values you, I would think he would be willing to stand up for you. He might want to initiate a discussion with you, to see if you could both come to an agreement about whether this was actually harming the puppy's training. But in any case, in the end, my opinion is that your husband should be willing to unite with you, as a teammate, and take a gentle stand with the friend. So my advice is, give your husband that chance (if you haven't already.) Tell him "Honey, I know how much you enjoy your friendship with "Mr. X," and I'm glad you have guy friends to hang out with. However, I'm not sure it's the best thing for our puppy for "Mr. X to be feeding the dog, or letting the dog out of its crate, when we are trying to establish rules and a routine with the puppy. This is important to me; would you mind explaining to Mr. X that we have a relatively structured routine we are trying to stick to? I am glad to have Mr. X want to socialize and be friends with our pup, but can you explain to him that there is a time and a place for giving treats, but at other times, we need the puppy to sleep (or to do without treats or whatever). Now, your husband might want to discuss this with you, and maybe reach some type of compromise. But, bottom line, he should value your wishes and be willing to gently take a stand with his friend -- thus placing himself "on your team," so to speak. If he refuses to take that stand, then I think this might be indicative of a bigger issue -- a marriage issue (lack of respect for your wife), as opposed to a puppy issue.

Might I suggest, that perhaps one of the reasons you are SO upset by this, is a subconscious feeling of anger toward your husband BECAUSE you might feel that it appears that he is "siding" with his friend and not you on this issue?

Again, please forgive my "getting personal" here, I'm just trying to help.

Finally, more specifically on the puppy issue, would it be possible to, say, invite "Mr. X" over a bit early, and then encourage him to feed the puppy its dinner? Or, maybe, pick an appropriate time for him to have a "play session" with your pup -- thus allowing him to have his desire to befriend your dog fulfilled, while doing so within boundaries that you set up?

Once more, I wish to ask that this response not be offensive to you, but instead be taken in the spirit that I am trying to help...

Steve
 

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Thanks, Gabbys mom.

My initial, gut reaction would be pretty much a parroting of regarese's suggestion above!

But, given that I am removed from the situation, and thus can THINK about proper action BEFORE acting (gee, what a novel concept! ;) ), then that's what I came up with!

Steve
 

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i think i would just take off when he comes. go take your pup for a walk. but yea lock your treats.
That's another good idea- unless he's one of those another one of those annoying guy friends that will never ever leave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, Steve. I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful response. You didn't offend me at all. I can't really go into details about this whole situation, as this is a Lab forum, and I don't want to abuse it, but yeah, you are probably on to something with what you said in your post. My husband and I have a very good, solid marriage. We are best friends and truly enjoy and love each other, and our life together. So him not sticking up for me about this is really throwing me for a loop! He HATES confrontation, (who actually really likes it?), and so do I, but at some point, you hope your partner will go to bat for you so you're not hanging out to dry. Well I suppose now I'm getting into another area that is most likely suited for another forum, so I will just say.......thanks. I really do appreciate your insight and sincerity.
 

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bebopalula --

I am SO glad that you are not offended! Before I hit the "post" button, I really hesitated. I was really concerned that I'd offend you by making the thread much more personal than perhaps you intended. In the end, I decided to post it -- with the hope that the chances of offending you might be less than the chances of helping in some way!

Given that your marriage to your husband is solid and you are best friends, I can understand your feelings. I know in my marriage, that sometimes when I find myself in a similar situation as this, I WANT to do what is right (take a stand for my wife), but sometimes I fear the response from the other party, and really just don't want to "rock the boat." It sometimes seems easier to avoid the issue (i.e., if I upset my wife, she will probably forgive me; if I upset the OTHER person, who knows what might happen). However, I have started to learn (it has taken 8 years of being married -- I'm slow ::) ), that to avoid the issue, or hope it goes away, or to tell my wife that "I'm trying not to upset the other person," is, in effect, telling her that she is NOT the most important person in my life -- and worth standing up for. But, the fact is, based on the marriage vows I took, I PROMISED her that she'd be that person. After all, that's what love means, right? Doesn't it mean that you choose to put someone else's needs above your own? So, I think that, even though it is hard at times, I owe it to her that if a conflict arises, and I have to take a stand, I need to stand on her side -- even if it means potentially risking a friendship. And the bottom line is, if the person is REALLY a friend, most of the time your discussing the situation with them will NOT cause a rift, but in fact will usually end in a harmless way (like "oh, I'm sorry -- I didn't know this was causing a problem.") If the friend IS angered by, in your case, such a simple request, then he really is not much of a friend to your husband -- because it would say that he (the friend) does not value and respect the wife his friend (your husband) has chosen.

By the way, it's important to say that I may be learning some of these things INTELLECTUALLY, but as my wife will vouch, I still often don't succeed at putting these lessons into practice -at least not right off. (I like to think, though, that eventually I will usually come around and realize my mistakes! ::) )

Maybe if you just sit down with your husband, IGNORE the dog issue, but instead just tell him you are hurting -- hurting because it feels like out of his desire to avoid conflict (which you can understand), he is nonetheless telling you that hurting your feelings (to such a degree that you have had to go online twice to post how upset you are) is more acceptable to him than having a talk with his buddy. I'm sure he feels like he is in a tough spot (doesn't want YOU upset, AND doesn't want to rock the boat with his friend), but once it gets to be such a big deal for YOU that you are really this upset, maybe it's time for him to stand up and take your side, however gently he wants to do so with his friend.

Finally, I'd simply like to say thanks for not taking offense to my delving into your personal life -- I was concerned how you might take it...

Steve

Oh, and for the rest of the folks reading this thread -- sorry I've turned it into a "mars vs. venus" post, instead of something pertaining to puppy training! :)
 

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(at least 80% of dogtraining has to do with people and their relationships - to the dog, to each other, and to each other about the dog, so, steve, this isn't hijacking at all....)

Best of luck!
 

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bebopalula said:
So him not sticking up for me about this is really throwing me for a loop! He HATES confrontation...
Mine is like that too and our marriage is solid as well. He's a site supervisor for a constuction company, but can't ask a restaurant hostess when our table will be ready ::) . Does he tell YOU if he's annoyed at his friend as well? If he is annoyed, maybe he wouldn't mind you doing the dirty work of telling him to cut the crap. That seems to be how it works in our home, but like I said before-I make sure I tell him he better stick up for me after ;)
I understand you wanting to respect your husband's friendship, but how about the friend respecting HIS friend's wife's requests when he comes into your home. That should trump the friendship in my opinion.

On a funny note-how about making a bandana that you can put around the dog that says, "DO NOT FEED-MOM WILL BE MAD!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
regarese......that bandana idea is too funny! You are right when you say "what about this guy respecting MY feelings?" Yeah, I'm puzzled by that. He is almost 50 years old. Can a person be THAT clueless at that age?? I mean, forget about the dog stuff I mentioned, just the fact that he is here---self-invited---2 to 3 times a week......wouldn't it occur to him, "Hmmm, maybe I'm coming over too much and being intrusive".....or, "Hmmm....they rarely call me to come over. I always call them. Maybe I should back off a bit." DUH!! Either this guy is extremely dense, or he is doing it on purpose, with the intent to get under my skin and cause problems with me and my husband. The more I think about it, the more I am beginning to think that is what's happening. I think he is jealous of our marriage. He's single, lives alone, and has very little social life. But whatever..........I'm getting off-track. I suppose I'm going to have to actually SPELL IT OUT for this guy, because he is just not getting it, and I really doubt my husband will talk to him about it. Ah well. Thanks for the responses everybody!
 

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gabbys mom said:
I would let the feeding treats thing go. As a matter of fact, consider it part of training. You want her to consider other people as a good thing, a happy thing. When other people, such as this idiot come over, and she gets treats, she's going to equate other people coming over to the house with good and happy things.
Or it's going to turn her into a nusiance always looking for treats from EVERYONE who comes over. Sorry, but I don't buy that. Your house, your rules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
dani........What you just said is pretty much how I feel. My pup is so excited when people come over, and she's so happy to play with them that I KNOW she thinks of it as a happy, positive thing. She doesn't need the treats, she is too excited anyway! And yep, my house, my rules. I do appreciate your advice gabby'smom, but I agree with dani that she could become a pain in the neck always looking for treats from our guests. Right now she doesn't even think about them when we have company because she's too busy playing and soaking up all the attention from someone new!
 
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I would just calmly confront this guy about giving treats etc. If someone came into my house and started rummaging through my cupboards looking for something to give my dog, I would be pretty PO. It's my house not his. If he wants to give the dog a treat he should ask and not continuously go looking for more.

I think this guy is probably just lonely and when he sees how happy your dog is to see him, it makes him happy because he has a friend and wants to treat her, he likes the attention he gets from your dog.
 
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