‘My Boyfriend Is Way Too Intimate with His Dog—What Should I Do?’

This post is also available in: French

In this week’s “Ask Dr. Greg” Q&A, what do you do when your significant other has a ‘best friend’ who isn’t you?

My boyfriend’s dog keeps coming up and sniffing my ass during sex. It’s gross! My boyfriend isn’t fazed at all, and he doesn’t stop the dog. I even wonder if he likes it. When I mention it to him, he just tells me to push the dog away, but he won’t lock the dog out of the room because he scratches and whines at the door.

It started when we were first dating and went camping with some friends. My boyfriend was supposed to drop the dog off at his parents’ house, but instead he showed up with the dog when he picked me up. I wasn’t happy but thought I’d be a good sport. The dog dominated everything. My boyfriend talked to the dog constantly and even insisted on taking it into restaurants and grocery stores. It had to ride in his lap in the car, and then when we got in the sleeping bag, it slept under the covers and between his legs! My boyfriend even refused to cuddle with me at night because he didn’t want to disturb the dog.

When I bring up my boyfriend’s obsession with the dog, he just accuses me of being jealous. His dog is everything to him. He takes the dog everywhere and treats the dog like a human.

What should I do? —Scott, Hell’s Kitchen, NY

Well, Scott, it sounds like you are jealous. But, honey, you have reason to be. Your boyfriend is having a relationship with his dog that just stops short of bestiality. Seriously, just short.

Though many people see their pets as a member or the family or even like a child, your boyfriend has crossed the line. He’s having a relationship with his dog that goes beyond family member or friend.

For some, it makes sense. Dogs never talk back; they obey commands and are loyal to the end. Dogs offer a fountain of adoration and require very little emotionally. Your boyfriend basically just accepts unlimited love and affection in exchange for feeding, walking and picking up poop.

You, my friend, are not that easy. No human is. I think the only advantage we have over dogs is that we clean up our own poop—at least most of the time. But humans provide a level of depth, warmth and challenge that stimulates us for the long haul. And the stimulation in the bedroom cannot be matched. So unless your boyfriend is willing to reposition the place of the dog in the family tree, or unless you become a fan of the “K-9 69,” this is not a healthy relationship for you.

If you want to make things work with this guy, you need to tell him you would prefer to share the bedroom (and restaurants and grocery stores) with him alone while the dog waits outside. If your boyfriend can’t stand the separation, then it’s time for you to do the separating.

Next time, find a man with a cat.

Dr. Greg Cason is a licensed psychologist working in Los Angeles who has been featured on several TV shows, including Bravo’s L.A. Shrinks. Contact him by visiting DrGreg.com, and find him on Twitter: @DrGregCason