Tag Archives: pets

How To Stop Your Pets From Killing The Mood

Pets are great, aren’t they?

About a month or two ago, I had a little situation with my anxiety. No one was home except me and my dog, and my entire body was racing over who-knows-what. I was on the verge of tears, and my dog seemed to know exactly what to do to help calm me down. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so grateful to have her around.

Then, not even a full week later, she invited herself up into my bed at the worst possible time, and adamantly tried to wiggle herself in between my girlfriend and I. We’d forgotten to put her to bed before beginning our romantic festivities. If you’ve never been violently shoved out of the mood by a pet, let me tell you… It’s pretty awkward.

This isn’t even the first time my dog has done this, either. When she was little, we’d have to stick her in a kennel before getting intimate… All because one time she started trying to nurse on my exposed nipple. As awkward as bad-timing-cuddles are, wrong-species-nipple-licks are the absolute worst. (Well, I’ve heard it’s even more awkward if your pet actually physically touches your genitals, but this is something I thankfully haven’t experienced.)

She’s not even the first pet that I’ve had that tried to get involved, either. An ex-girlfriend had a dog that would try to hump the leg of whoever was humping on his bed. A Chihuahua I used to own would (audibly) cry from the corner of the room the second the pants came off. Once I even dated a girl whose cat would sit on the headboard and watch. (We mostly had sex at my place after that.)

According to pet lifestyle expert Wendy Diamond, some animals just react strangely when they see their pet parents getting it on. “Some dogs are not phased by their owner having sex in front of them and do not exhibit behavioral signs of excitement or stress.” In cases where the pet does act out, she says it’s likely based on territorial guarding. She says that this territorial guarding “can cause some dogs to think that their pet parent is being attacked by his or her sexual partner, on what the dog believes to be his bed.”

So, essentially, when your pets ruin the mood, it’s because they love you. Or something like that. They don’t exactly understand the concept of human sex, but they do see the things that their parents do, and in some cases may try to mimic that behavior, in an effort to not be left out.

Obviously, that’s not the type of playing you want to do with your dog, so let’s explore some of Wendy’s tips to see what you can do to keep this from happening again.

Option #1: Remove the pet from the bedroom.

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the one that works: Take your pet out of the bedroom when you’re going to be intimate – either with yourself, or with a partner. Some pets will become excited, as they think you’re playing. Others may be aroused, although they probably don’t understand why. Still more are doing it to express dominance – whether over their owner or the bed. This type of loyalty is one of the things we love about our pets, but that doesn’t mean we want it when we’re trying to get busy.

Unfortunately, in issues of dominance or separation anxiety, it might not be helpful to put the dog out of the room. Your dog may whine and scratch at the door, which isn’t exactly going to help things along in the bed anyway. While he’s not getting in on the action, he is a major distraction to you. So what do you do now?

Option #2: Train the dog to stay off the bed.

Okay, so I’ll admit: This is another sort of obvious answer. If your dog normally sleeps in the bed with you and your partner, she may feel that the bed is hers. This isn’t normally a problem, but when she thinks that you’re trying to do harm to the thing that she thinks is hers, she’s going to act up. (Keep in mind this is coming from someone who had to bottle-raise her own dog… We’ve dealt with some separation anxiety problems over the time she’s been alive.)

Training your dog to stay off the bed isn’t as difficult as you might expect, but it will require that she has a substitute bed of her own. My dog has a bright pink kennel with a giant comforter in the bottom, but she’s a bit spoiled, too. You should also keep things in the kennel that make your dog happy, to encourage her to go in it on her own. It usually only takes a few weeks to train a dog to go to their own bed, as long as you stay consistent.

Option #3: Get them fixed.

Most likely, a dog trying to jump into your sex life isn’t because of the sex itself, but there is a connection between unaltered dogs and this “horny” behavior. Along with potentially helping with behavioral issues, spaying and neutering could also save your pet’s life.

If the dog is too old to be safely spayed or neutered, or you choose not to get them fixed for other reasons, obedience training may help. After all, it’s not really about sex – it’s about their reaction to the sex.

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Why My First (And Probably Best) Relationship Was with My Childhood Dog

I’ve had pets for as long as I can remember. When I was 7, I was that “creepy girl” who brought their snake to show-and-tell (as well as a mouse because… Well, 7-year-olds are supposed to like that sort of thing, right?). This was probably the first time I realized I was a little different than the other girls… Only a few boys stuck around to witness me feeding the snake, and all the girls ran away squealing.

I had a few birds, too, which seems weird looking back since I don’t like birds so much now. We had cats, fish, more snakes, dogs, and even a cow. (Although, to be fair, the cow was kept at someone else’s house – for some reason, my parents wouldn’t let me bring it to my little corner of suburbia. Something about how it wouldn’t fit through the dog door.)

With all these pets, there’s one who stuck out above the rest: A dog named Oren.

My mom was a pizza delivery driver at the time, and Oren was a “tip” from one of her customers. (As strange as that already is, it’s not even the weirdest tip she ever got.) This dog was everything that you hope for with a pet dog. He listened to everything he was told, even if we hadn’t implicitly taught him the command yet.

When I slept, he was right by my feet. When I went trick-or-treating, he’d walk me up to the door and wait patiently for me to get my candy before leading me to the next house. When I walked to the store (just a few blocks away in the small town I lived), he’d make sure no one hassled me along the way, and he’d wait right outside the door until I was ready to walk home.

He was one of my best friends… Not that I had too many friends because of the aforementioned “let’s bring a snake to show and tell” fiasco. He taught me what to expect from someone who cared about me – and as strange as it seems to say it like that, there are actually a lot of similarities between a good dog and a good partner.

He was truly loyal.

He loved going for car rides, but he wouldn’t get in someone else’s car. Only ours. He was nice to everyone, but he reserved his extra attention for us. If anyone even threatened to mess with me, my brother, or the house, he turned into the meanest dog you’d ever seen – but once they were off the property, his job was done, and he’d sit. When someone who wasn’t supposed to be at the house would come, he’d chase them as far as the gate – and then sit.

We never had to close the gate, because he understood who fed him and who took care of him, and we never had to wonder where he would be.

He was helpful.

On grocery day, he’d hold the door open for us by sitting in front of it. If I brought rocks in the house (something I always did, despite being told numerous times that I shouldn’t), he’d take them back outside for me before I forgot. If I tried to sneak any random animals in the house (usually garden snakes or frogs), he’d block the door until I put the critter down.

He was fun.

I’ve had a lot of dogs who were afraid of trampolines, but Oren wasn’t one of them. If I was on the trampoline, he was on the trampoline – having at least twice as much fun as I did. I’m pretty sure we even napped out on the trampoline a few times. My brother and I were His People, and if we needed anything, he was right there – even if what we needed was just a friend.

He was gorgeous, in his own way.

He wasn’t the most “conventionally attractive” dog – just some random mutt with a “muddy” color pattern – but that didn’t stop him from being one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever owned. Maybe it was just because of how amazing he was in every other way, but his long, silky, mottled coat was something almost mesmerizing.

He cleaned up after himself.

I’ve been trying to teach my puppy to clean up her own toys like Oren did, but so far it’s not working out so well. Oren didn’t have as many toys, but he kept him together. (After spending the last several days taking care of my nieces and nephews in addition to my puppy, I’m really starting to miss having something that kept up on its own mess.) He never had any accidents in the house, he never left treat crumbs all over the floor, and he certainly never left his tennis balls in the middle of the walkway.

He cleaned up after me.

If I left my toys all over the place, he’d nudge them out of the walkway so that I didn’t get in trouble for it. If I dropped some food on the floor (as eight-year-olds are likely to do) he’d clean that up, too – but only after he was told he could. He even made sure I got in the shower when I was told to, by badgering me until I did. Hey, don’t pretend you don’t need someone to push you to take a shower sometimes.

He gave me gifts.

He knew I liked rocks, so he would leave some pretty ones near my playset on the front porch. He knew I liked frogs, so he’d dig them up for me – and then make sure I didn’t take them in the house. He even helped to deliver some gifts bought by my parents – without messing up the wrapping. “Take this to Barbara,” they’d say, and he would.

He was forgiving.

I remember one summer day, he napped in the shade of my brother’s truck, instead of the truck bed. My brother had been in a hurry and forgot to check under the truck before pulling out, and Oren got hurt. (Thankfully, only his tail was run over, so there was a little kink in it, but no serious injuries.) The very same day, Oren cuddled with my brother at bedtime – to let him know that he wasn’t mad about being run over. Of course, the guilt of this was enough that my brother made sure to check after that – and Oren slept in the shade of the trampoline from then on.

He understood “no”.

I think in “real” relationships, there’s this assumption that “no” means “maybe” – but it doesn’t. Dogs understand that, and yet it seems like such a complicated concept for so many humans. Not only does no mean no, but only yes means yes – and Oren understood that. If it wasn’t his, he waited until he was told he could touch it. If he didn’t get an answer, that was a no. If he was told “yes” by someone who wasn’t part of our family, that was a no. If the person who told him “yes” wasn’t the person who owned that particular item, that was a no. And if there was no room on the couch, he’d never squeeze himself in – sometimes, the “no” is implied.

He could be trusted.

Aside from being able to leave the gate open, or being able to leave my toys out without worrying about him snatching them up, we could also leave food out while we went to the bathroom or something, and we’d know that it would be perfectly safe when we came back out. Food was only his if it was given to him. Toys were only his if they were given to him. And if he was told not to do something, he wouldn’t have to be told a second time.

He was protective.

If he didn’t recognize someone who came by (and they weren’t accompanied by someone he did know), he would do what it took to make sure they weren’t trying to peek into the house. At some point, someone actually shot him over this – we never did find out who – but he took his responsibilities very seriously. When I’d walk to the store, he’d check in on me periodically, by looking through the door. Once, he came just inside the door because I had gotten out of his sight, but once he had confirmed that I was still okay, he went right back outside where he was supposed to be.

He became the reference I would compare all future dogs to.

It’s not very common that you get a “perfect” dog without even trying, and maybe he set my expectations a little high – but even though he wasn’t my first dog, he’s the first dog who made a difference in my life. Truthfully, though, these aren’t just qualities you want in a dog – they’re great qualities for your partner, too.

While it sounds a bit weird to be comparing a dog to a girlfriend, realistically, you should be looking for someone who has all these qualities… And we should all strive to be this type of person, too. There’s a reason why so many of us feel so close to our pets. They offer us everything that we wish we could find in a human. Believe me – it’s not that hard to be a good person. Just try to be a little more like a dog.

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