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How do you and your partner/significant other divide dog duties?


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I'm just curious - How do you and your partner/significant other divide up dog duties? Especially if you both had dogs before you ended up moving in together. Is it wrong of me to still feel like my dogs are my dogs and his dogs are his dogs? I am a much more active person than my husband and I enjoy taking my three out to exercise and play. He, however, is much less active than me. I feel like his dogs don't get enough exercise, but I can't handle five dogs. His two don't even have a solid recall, so they can't be off leash. I have been working with them - stay, wait, leave it - basic commands. I feel like he should be taking the time to do this, not me. I have enough to do with my three. He will sleep until the last possible moment and then leave for work. Sometimes he will take them all out to pee. But then I'm stuck feeding them, taking them out to poo, cleaning up the poo, etc. Then I have to hurry and then I'm late for work. I'm always the one to go buy their food. I've been giving Odin his antibiotics and pain killers. I made the vet appointment for Kato. I made the appointment with the behaviorist. Unless we pack them all in the car and go to the dog park (maybe twice a week) his dogs don't get any exercise unless I take them for a walk. Is is wrong to expect him to take care of his dogs and I take care of my dogs? I don't mind feeding them all and I take them all outside when they need to potty. But I feel like he needs to step up and start some training and a regular exercise schedule with his two dogs.

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My friend had this exact same scenario almost, and she felt that he needed to be the one to train/exercise his own dog. But, that didn't happen, because like you she is the active one, and he is the lazier of the two. She ended up training and exercising his pup for her first year, and now that she is solid on recall, and starting in frisbee, he now wants to be the one to do everything with his dog. After all her hard work he finally is helping (if you can call it help) and will take his dog out for playtime. It's really divided in their household, he takes his dog to play, but he won't take hers. (Even though they are very well mannered and well trained.)

 

At my house, I do most of the work because I was the one that wanted a dog. But if I don't have time or if my bf gets the itch he will take Rockstar out to play or for some frisbee practice. It's nice to have the help!!!

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DH:

 

Two play sessions per day with the dog, early morning and late evening--he does this in the basement--say "basement ball" and watch Polly's ears perk up :D We've recently added a kitten to the mix and Deegan goes downstairs with them and climbs all over stuff and generally has a blast.

 

The animals are also dishwasher-loading assistants to him every evening--the kitten climbs in and smells like tomato sauce the rest of the evening, Polly is the "Head Plate Licker"

 

Me:

 

Everything else :rolleyes:

 

vet, maintenance meds, major outside play during the week, um, feeding. I'm not kidding. My husband would not remember to feed himself if not reminded, so if I get hit by a truck, these animals are in big trouble. Training, worrying, grooming, obedience, thinking games for the dog, litter box duty, long explanations about why for the love of God, YOU CAN NOT LET THE DOG JUMP ON YOU EVERY NIGHT AFTER WORK TO GREET YOU AND THEN YELL AT HER WHEN SHE TRIES TO TIP YOUR 75-YEAR-OLD MOTHER OVER LIKE A CORD OF WOOD!!!!!!

 

Charlene

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My husband would not remember to feed himself if not reminded, so if I get hit by a truck, these animals are in big trouble.

 

I can relate! If I have something to do after work, I will come home around 8 or 9 pm and ask, "Are the dogs fed?" The answer I always get is, "I was just about to feed them." Um, sure you were.

 

The cat is 100% my responsibility, which is fine because I had her before he moved in and he is not a cat person at all. I just think that since we both had dogs before moving in together, he should take more responsibility for his two. I have his two with me today at work. Normally I bring my dogs and they looked so upset when I left without them!

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From the moment we brought Senneca home, she was my dog. In fact, my wife was reluctant to get her and even a little scared of her initially. Now, after six months, Senneca has worked her BC magic on her and my wife now calls her "my baby". Our duties are as follows: I take for morning walk and evening dog park outing; I feed her; I groom her; I clean up after her (only one 'accident' so far); I take her to agility classes. My wife? She just enjoys her company during the day and generally spoils her.

 

[Oh and right now, while my wife is at our daughter's place, the first thing she asks about when she phones is "How is Senneca"!]

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Another interesting thread :D

 

I think in our family the dog-chores are divided 60-40, with me getting the larger part.

 

Me:

Morning Walk, feed dog 2x a day (Chris never feeds him unless we're talking junk food - I sometimes find half a donut in the dog's bowl - I promptly put it in the garbage, or various vegetables - it appears Chris believes Ouzo needs to have an "exciting and diverse" diet (!) ), evening walk and play time, all training, I am mostly doing all the "go see what he stole" comando-style missions. I am the one taking him to the dog parks most of the time - occasionally Chris joins us and then acts all bored and wants to go back to the car :rolleyes: so he's no longer invited to our outings :D

 

Chris:

Mid-day walk and play time, schedulling vet appointments, buying dog food (with specific and precise instructions from me to what brand and what bag size), cleaning occasional "accidents" following the ingestion of forbidden foods (chicken, bones, etc), late night walk, Boogie Man for when Ouzo's not behaving ("Stop it or I'm calling Chris"), great wrestling buddy to Ouzo.

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I do most of the work.

 

I do the almost all the training, feeding, vet trips, play time etc... My husband will do it if I am busy (minus play time - he is usually bad about it but does it sometimes). I have to say I was actually quite impressed the last couple months when our acd had her 2nd TPLO. My husband did 4 out of 5 vet visits and did most of the visits to the holistic vet for early therapy work and he never complained (of course the acd is his baby).

 

I also pay for 95% of the dog bills - food, vet, grooming, flyball, etc...

 

I wanted these dogs so it is only fair that I do most of the work and pay for them. Now there are days I do wish he would help (not money wise) more especially when he says he will start helping more. There are days he is awesome with the helping but that is rare.

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Allie is my dog, so I do the bulk of her care. My boyfriend does take her for the odd jog, and takes her out in the morning when he's the first one up. Although he grew up with a pair of GSDs, he wasn't really a dog person when I met him and I still feel that his understanding of dogs is limited, so I think our system is fine. On the other hand, he did a great job looking after her when I was at my parents' for Christmas.

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I would have to say that I am the most involved one, but as both dogs were a "family" decision, everybody has their own assignments and fills in on someone else's duties, if needed. Exercise with the dogs is shared (my spouse and I alternate the weekday morning walk/run), teenager does afternoon ball/trick training/frisbee session and one or or more of us does an evening walk/run/ball with the dogs (as long as its not 20 degrees below freezing).

 

I do most of the vet visits, food purchases, etc., but the dogs survive just fine when I'm out of town.

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Hmmm...sounds like my house. I'm the one who does pretty much everything with the dogs. He may let them outside to go potty, but that's it other than picking up their food when needed. All vet appointments, training sessions, training classes, taking them places, grooming, bathing, etc. is on me. It's funny that I found this thread, because I've been in a mood all afternoon over fairness in this household considering I, also, manage to have to try to keep up this house for the most part, and 90-95% of the time I'm the one taking care of our daughter. He can do things just because he wants to, but it's a major issue for me to try to do anything. So, tell me, what exactly are they good for? :rolleyes:

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I don't think there is an actual line drawn on who does what. I take them to the vet, cuz he's out on the road, I'm home. I buy the dog food when I go to town anyway. I cut their nails cuz mainly, Lonny's too scared he'll hurt them! I train them, he works on untraining! LOL Not really but all he wants to do is love them, he knows intellectually they need to mind, but he just has a hard time doing it! Which is why he is not allowed to take the dogs outside the fence without me there. But, if he's home, he will spend time outside throwing the frizbee/ball/toy, and inside he gives me a break, cuz he will also do the throwing inside! If he's home he will also go with me to the vet. And he will check their feed/water bowls and fill them if needed. I did get a little "neeners" on him though. When Skip was younger, he used to "nip" you to let you know he wanted to play. After about 3 times he understood that is a BAD thing to do with me. HOWEVER, Lonny, Mister I Don't Want To Hurt Their Feelings, would just laugh, and say, hey, don't do that, you silly boy! I kept telling him, DON'T let him do that, you will be sorry. Oh, it's no big deal, he just barely nips! HA! One day, while he had the dogs outside, Skip was pretty wound up, and Lonny was doing something other than throwing the toy, and Skip nailed the back of his calf! Left a bruise and a knot! I laughed at him. Served him right! NOW he makes Skip not do that! Some men...........

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We share pretty good. Well, good enough. I do the training while he watches hockey and laughs at me. I buy the food and pay the vet bills, but he comes with me to the vet and buys the treats. We both take her for those beloved "Car Rides" to the P-A-R-K (We have to spell everything fun, cause she knows what they are!) and we both walk her in the neighbourhood, she just isn't that into it if we both aren't there. He takes her out 90% of the time and he's her wrestling buddy. She is too strong for me, so I get the pets and face licks after.

It's an ok split, but I am the one who spoils her with bits of chicken or beef after dinner.

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I was the one with the pets, so Mike never felt the same bond with them that I had. They were my babies. So it was all up to me.

But when I lost Grover, my big beautiful tabby, I had Mike go with me to the shelter to help me pick out a kitten. I thought that if he had a hand in picking the kitten, he would bond with it from day one and therefore feel more of a responsibility toward the new kitty's care. He did bond with Gonzo and loves him to death. And he will help me clip Gonzo's nails when I ask. I still have feeding and litterbox duty, however, so that didn't work quite like I'd hoped. :rolleyes:

 

Then 5 years ago, we ended up with Scudder, a 7 year old BC who came to us when my father died. I had thought that since we were coming into that situation together we'd bond to Scudder equally, but that didn't really happen. Poor Scudder was a difficult dog and it was hard to bond to him, even though he was a total sweetheart.

So when we lost Scudder to cancer this year I tried to think of a way that Mike would bond with a new BC and keep the new dog from becoming such a mama's boy.

 

I discussed it with him and we decided that I would handle Finn's play/training sessions and Mike would handle the daily walk. So far, that's working out well. It's definitely made him more aware that the dogs need more than a pat on the head while clicking the TV remote. He'll let them out if he notices the signals (anyone but me think men don't quite tune into the dog's signals as well as women do? If a dog is barking and jumping and running to the door and back to you and jumping and whining......I think women figure out pretty quickly that the dog needs to go outside. Men? Not so much.) and he'll feed them if I'm not home. He goes with me to the vet and most of the time we shop for food together. And the best part is that Finn has developed a strong bond with both of us.

 

So far he's keeping up with the walking duty every day (3 miles M-F, 9 miles on Saturday and play at the park on Sunday) and shows a strong interest in training. Only problem is that he got caught up in the whole "I'm the pack leader" thing from watching too much Cesar ( I hate, hate, hate that "sssshhtttt" noise. Hate!) so I've had a little bit of a battle on my hands trying to ease him away from that mindset. I don't think Cesar is totally wrong on some things but I favor a reward based training method.

And, you know, using actual words for the dog to learn.

You can't "ssssshhttt" at a dog and expect him to know that you mean "down" and then "ssssshhttt" again and expect the dog to know that this time you mean "sit". Grrrrr!

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It seems I'm not alone. :D We definitely have a "his dog" and a "her dog." I've been told that it "shouldn't be like that" for whatever reason... people are sometimes appalled that we see them that way instead of "our dogs" - though if you met us all you'd understand. But anyways. Zeeke is husband's dog... I was just the girlfriend at the time DH got him, and while I was involved it was fully DH's decision. German Shepherds are NOT for me. I wanted to be involved, but Zeeke has never ever been my dog. Not even a little. That dog worships the ground hubby walks on, and I think too frequently sees me simply as "that other person who lives here."

 

Despite the fact that I was home 24/7 for the first four months of his time here, I was the trainer, the feeder, the one in the house. Didn't mean a fig to him. I was still just "the other person." When daddy is home, he is at daddy's feet. When daddy is home he is upset that daddy is not home.

 

So.... we got Zoe. Zoe is MY dog. She is small, sensitive, and skittish - all traits that annoy my husband. He does play with her and loves her in his own way, but she is very decidedly my dog. I have no issue with that. She is my shadow, and I adore her.

 

Okay, as for chores... well, it's a little uneven because I don't work full-time, though things have changed because I'm pregnant. Normally we take turns taking the dogs out... he'd take them in the morning, I'd take them in the evening. If we were both around, then we'd take them out together. But lately I've been at work in the evening and there is no WAY I am getting out of bed in the morning to slog through snow, so he's been taking on most of that duty.

 

I buy the dog food, I book the vet appointments, I track their health records, I clean their ears and eyes, I do the flea treating. I would trim their nails, but I can only do Zoe's because Zeeke throws a fit. (The groomer actually said to hubby, "I couldn't get his front paws done, but next time I'll get them... I'll have a muzzle ready." Yeah. He does NOT like getting his nails trimmed.) I do NOT brush Zeeke, which means Zeeke doesn't get brushed. I don't do much training with zeeke either, which means Zeeke doesn't get trained. My husband loves his dog and loves to play with him, but he isn't really much into putting much time into it. I have to nag constantly, it's very irritating. :rolleyes: We share feeding duties, whoever is around and is closest to the bowls. Frequently he'll get the bowls from their crates while I'm making our dinner, I'll get the food into the bowls and hand them back to him. (Avoids constantly stepping over the baby-gate, a real bonus.)

 

The cats are about the same. DH plays with them and cuddles with them. I feed them, I take them to the vets. I normally am the pooper-scooper, but with me being pregnant DH does that. (He is not pleased about it at all.)

 

All in all it works pretty well for us... I just wish DH would groom his dog and spend more time training/playing with him. He's not really a couch potato dog, to say the least. (Mine is.)

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(anyone but me think men don't quite tune into the dog's signals as well as women do? If a dog is barking and jumping and running to the door and back to you and jumping and whining......I think women figure out pretty quickly that the dog needs to go outside. Men? Not so much.)

 

What is WITH that?? It's not like my hubby sees it and ignores it... he honestly does NOT notice things. I'll say, "Honey, your dog is FREAKING OUT." And he's all, "What? Where?" :rolleyes: It astounds me how oblivious they are. I can be locked in the bedroom, half asleep, and I'll hear Zeeke ripping up some paper at the other end of the house. Hubby, sitting in the same room, totally oblivious. I just don't get it! I used to get SO angry at hubby before I decided men are just dense and should be pitied.

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ooo...such a good topic! All dog responsibilities are ultimately mine. DH helps make the food. Sometimes he will participate in the fun, mostly showing off Cedar's talents to outsiders, and throwing ball really really really far when Cedar and I take him for a walk :rolleyes:

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This is just a hilarious read for me. My friend with her 3 pooches and 4 cats would be able to echo all these posts and so can I.

 

I'd say the playing, the feeding are about 50/50. How those 2 things are done, are totally different however. I teach the tricks and training, then DH will have fun with it. I buy the food, do all the grooming, do all the research and figuring out foods, Curly's got something wrong, maybe Colitis, IBS still undiagnosed. I am the vet person mostly too. If DH talks to the vet, I come home and ask, "Did you ask about the ______? What about the ______" and its always the same...No. So then I have to talk to the vet.

Whoever mentioned jumping at the door...Oh we have that problem big time but add a bunch a super peircing barking. He reinforces all that everytime-altho I think he's getting better.

 

When I say, 'someone on the BC said,' he gets glossy-eyed, and if I am posting he gets annoyed. If I ask him to read a part in a book, not the whole book, he puts it down as if he'll read it and never does. So...

 

Ok now for his props. He is the pooper scooper. I have an utterly ridiculously sensitive gag reflex.

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:rolleyes: Your suppose to divide them!? LOL Usually Im in charge of training, feeding exercising, vet trips, med giving, food procurement, grooming, lovings. Matt is in charge of lovings and occasional exercise and or feeding if Im not going to be around
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Oh my, this thread made me giggle. I often wish my husband would partake more in the division of dog duties and it's good to see I'm not totally alone...

 

To be fair both June (BCX) and Emma (BC) are my dogs so I should do most of the work. My biggist wish is that he would come do some of the totally kick a** things that BCs do. He really has no interest in coming to agility or even the park to watch the girls play what only can be described as 'Tackle Frisbee' (June, very intense frisbee dog, Emma very intense on herding June so it's more like quarter backing than throwing the darn thing). The result of his lack of participation is that he only sees the crazy run around the house like a maniac, stare at you until you go crazy, freak out at every little noise part of them and not what makes all that worth it.

 

It's funny because when I got Emma a.k.a Demon Dog a.k.a Smevil (Small and Evil) in September I spent a month worrying that I had taken on too much to handle with all her quirks and issues. He was the one that kept telling me I could do it. Now that I've taken the bull by the horns so to speak, he doesn't have anything to do with her. He did however take really good care of June when I had to leave the state for two months last summer for work. They went to the park and played frisbee or ball all the time. She actually lost a few pounds and I was amazed at how muscled her rear end was from all those flying leaps. Is it strange to think your dog has a great behind? :rolleyes: June is six and is a really well behaved and trustworthy pup, so maybe that's why he would take her out. In a few years when I get Emma all trained up and the teenager in her is a little less obnoxious, maybe he'll take more interest in her too?

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Well, I guess I'm pretty lucky because Steve helps with almost everything with the dogs. He usually feeds them in the morning, unless I can manage to get into the kitchen before he gets all the meals ready. Often, he'll be getting our dogs meals ready (they eat raw, have some supplements, and one has medication), and I'll be getting the kibble meals for whatever foster dogs we may have. Same goes for evening meals. Steve also always helps me walk all the dogs, including the fosters. Sometimes, he'll even do it by himself, if I have agility or something else in the evening. Vet trips are mostly my responsibility unless he's available when I'm not. Then, he'll take the dog or dogs in. On weekends, he always goes on the hikes and beach trips, etc. He'll even do some training, but I do most of that, simply because I enjoy it more, I think. Steve did go to almost all the obedience classes that we did with Charlie, and even went through an agility class with Milo and Charlie. But, he got frustrated pretty easily, so he leaves all the dog sport activities to me, which is fine.

 

The only thing that I think I take almost full responsibility for is the expenses for all the dogs. The fosters are covered by the rescue account (assuming there is the $$ there), but I pay for almost everything for our three dogs. Occasionally, he will pick up food or will pay for a vet bill. Oftentimes, he'll cover a really big vet bill for me, just to be nice.

 

I had Milo before I met Steve. Steve has never had dogs. After we had been together for a year and a half or so, we (I) adopted Charlie. Then, a year later, we (I) adopted Skittles. Steve will still refer to them as "your" dogs, but he has started recently to refer to them more and more often as "our" dogs. That only took about 4 years! I think he's pretty attached to them. They certainly are quite attached to Steve.

 

watchinfootball2.jpg

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Okay, Mary, when someone can lay on a hardwood floor, curled up with three dogs, and uses a dog bed for a pillow, that person is officially a "dog person". And he definitely thinks of them as his too! What a sweet guy! You and the dogs trained him well!

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DW is retired, while I work full-time. In the early morning (while DW sleeps in), I feed the dogs and walk them, cleaning up after them. During the day, DW exercises Annie by throwing a ball with a lacrosse stick in the back yard (Annie's favorite game) several times per day; she feeds the dogs in the late afternoon and cleans up after them before I get home from work. (Due to her health, she cannot walk the dogs during the day.) In addition to outdoor play, she keeps Annie busy with indoor play. (Missy is pretty laid-back, and does not need to be entertained.) DW is also the one who drives Missy to her weekly rendezvous with the vet, sometimes taking Annie along for the ride. Once I get home, I walk the dogs, then entertain them for the evening until bedtime. On the weekends, I take over all feeding and exercise duties.

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When my husband was living with me we had five dogs - one his, the other four mine. He would on occasion feed them if I was tied up, and once every few weeks he would pick a day on the weekend to get up early with them so I could sleep in. At one point he was running his dog in agility, but elected not to do that. In the event that I would go somewhere and didn't take the non-working dogs he would allow the others to stay there with him at the house. However, I did 100% of the vetting, training, and pretty much any other general care and exercise of the dogs - including his.

 

Edit to add: the one REALLY wonderful thing the DH did was to take them all out for their final potty trip every night. I miss that a lot - because now by the time I take them out it takes me an hour to get sleepy again. :rolleyes:

 

Now that he's gone, I have four dogs... and do 100% of the care for the ones I have. Not much different really.

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Mary, that's so sweet! Steve is a real catch, that's for sure.

 

Anyway, I was kidding in my response earlier. It seems I do the bigger load of dog responsibilities, but my DH is certainly willing, it just depends on our schedule. Morning potty trips and feeding is my duty. If he's home, he'll do the evening feeding. We take turns taking them out if we're both home. He prefers that I either take them to the vet, or at least accompany him, since he's afraid of not asking the right questions.

 

He took Jack through puppy class and two obedience classes. If anyone knew how Jack was/is in close quarters with 11 other unknown dogs, you'd realize what a feat this was. :rolleyes: The instructors said he had the patience of a saint. He is thinking about getting involved in flyball with Lilly, depending on his work situation, but other than that, I do all the dog activities (flyball, agility, stockwork). He does come with us sometimes and is always supportive. He takes them on walks and to the park, too, of course.

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