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who gets the Shiba in a break-up?
  • This is random I know but I was just wondering what you all thought about my current predicament. Tweener is 8 months old, my boyfriend and I purchased him together but technically its only my boyfriends name that is on the registration paperwork. I pay for Tweeners food and do most of the care for him, but he is ours together. It was my idea to get a puppy and I actually wanted one when my boyfriend did not but since then we have both fallen head over heels for him. Enter my current problem-- recently I found out that my boyfriend has been frequenting online dating sites, talking to women, and sneaking around. I love him, we live together, and he bought an engagement ring (although he has not given it to me) so I thought this was a stable relationship and family. Now that it appears that my boyfriend has gotten bored and is looking for alternative options for his future, I'm worried about Tweener. He doesnt do well with separation at all; if my boyfriend and I leave for even just a few days he will not eat when hes not at home and staying with someone else and he wont let us out of his sight for a full day or two when we return. I feel like since all the paperwork is in my boyfriends name I will not have a leg to stand upon if we split up and he will get to keep Tweener. This breaks my heart more than I can even think about because for me it'll be like losing both things that I love by no fault to my own. I was wondering what you all think-- has anyone ever experienced this before? Do you think that since hes only 8 months old hell just forget about me quickly if I have to move out? Has anyone ever experienced how a Shiba handles loss?
  • @Tweenersmommy People tried to rip my head off when I considered getting a shiba with my roommate for this exact potential situation. Too often it becomes a battle of "who loves the Shiba more" and not much thought is put into how hard this is on the pup.

    Legally, Tweener would go with your boyfriend, hands down. It's his name on the paperwork. But most people don't go into the legality with just boyfriend/girlfriend breakups, so it would be up to you to make a case as to why you would be the better fit for Tweener.

    Morally, I think you should keep him because it was you who wanted him and are his primary caretaker (although why are the papers in his name?). Perhaps if you two remain amicable, you could allow visits and slowly wean Tweener into a primarily yours or his situation.

    In our case, since my roommate and I aren't dating, a decision was made looong before the pup came home as to who his owner was and who he stays with. (It was easy in our case, as I hardly was fond of dogs before we got him, and I know I don't have the desire or money for that kind of long term commitment. I am super fond of Winston but it is my roomies emotional service pup and will eventually live a long happy life with him after he graduates! I plan to visit though. ;) Off topic- it has me thinking of one day fostering a shiba of my own)

    Would you be able to provide a stable environment? What if his next girlfriend didn't care for or didn't like Tweener? Would you have the money and time to dedicate to him on your own? These are all examples of questions you need to ask each other to figure out what is best for the pup.

    Even though Shiba's get very bonded to their owners, Tweener will adjust to whichever scenario eventually - although he may go through a rough period.

    As for the situation itself, and not the pup, it seems that he thinks something is lacking in this relationship. While if you love him, you can talk to him and see if this is something solvable - you may just have to come to terms with the fact that you both need something different in a relationship, and that he isn't appreciating you in this one. You shouldn't have to change drastically to appease him either - he should value a relationship with you for who you are, and not who he wants you to be.

    Best of luck!
    Post edited by Shiba_Surprise at 2015-10-01 15:20:20
  • Thats why I think that its such a hard situation-- my boyfriend owns our home and makes three times as much salaried income as I do, so Tweener would probably flourish there where he has a yard to run in and knows rather than being uprooted. Im struggling to see how he would be better cared for there than with me in an apartment though because my boyfriend works long hours and holds two jobs so I dont know how much time Tweener would actually get in terms of running around and being free outside his crate. Its a really tough situation in terms of what I want to do because my boyfriend doesnt want to break up, he just wants a family (me) and to be a bachelor.....
  • This is tough. a dog is considered property, so in a break up it would go to the legal owner. HOWEVER, though the paperwork shows he is the owner, you have been paying for the dog (I assume vet, food, grooming and such?) So that also shows you have some claim to ownership.

    You can ask your boyfriend if you can have Tweener. You can ask to share custody of him (pretty common) or you can get everything together showing you pay and care for him and talk to a attorney.

    I'm sneaky. I would talk to him about adding me to the registration before breaking up. but again, I'm sneaky like that. ;)

    If you haven't spoken with him about his sneaking around and such, you need to. If you love him and you think he loves you, I would look into couples counseling. Its not just for married couples!

    I wish you luck! This is a very tough situation.
  • NikkitineNikkitine
    Posts: 776

    So sorry that you're going through this, I hope things will be able to work out for you and your boyfriend. You guys should definitely have a night to sit down and really talk about what could happen in the future with your relationship and with Tweener. Your boyfriend can't have his cake and eat it too. It's not fair for you and selfish of him to not want to let you go even though he wants to be single.

    The good news is that dogs adapt quickly and although he will miss you, eventually he will adjust to his life. However, even though your boyfriend is more stable in terms of home/financial life, if he can't provide the time to take care of Tweener, then I think he should go to you. More than anything else, I think the quality of life for a dog is dependent on the relationship and time spent with the owner rather than just having a big yard to run in. I know plenty of apartment Shibas that are very happy as long as they get enough exercise through walks and playtime.
    Posts: 1507
    Before breaking up have you considered couples counseling. Ambivalent feelings and anger can quickly escalate and destroy communication. During counseling you can discuss custody issues in a safe environment if it is resolved that your relationship is ending.

    It would be better than what happened to this couple even though it ended happily for the Shiba involved.,,20827246,00.html

    There also was a thread on this forum about this case.
    Post edited by INU RYUU at 2015-10-01 22:23:33
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @Tweenersmommy - There is actually a thread in the Premium Members category that discusses this exact topic, I highly recommend you, and anyone else in a dual-ownership role, read it (which does require purchasing a premium membership):

    This is why it is SO important to talk about these things BEFORE things go bad.

    I also recommend talking to your boyfriend about this, since it sounds like you have not yet. Ultimately, if you decided to end things with him, you will have to sit down and rationally discuss what is best for the dog. Just because he has the bigger house with the yard does not necessarily mean that he will get the attention and care that he needs.

    Shibas are pretty resilient creatures. Mine have been through a lot with me, including several moves (the last removed them from their rural-ish community and plopped them smack in the middle of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the US - big house, large yard to a condo). So, whatever you guys decide, your pup will be fine as long as he gets the love, attention, exercise, and care that he deserves. :)

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • BragiBragi
    Posts: 33
    Personally I think you should keep him as long as your ex is willing to let him go. Simply for the fact that you take care of him the most. Because it is in your boyfriend's name it legally belongs to him but it is possible to transfer ownership as long as you have the paperwork.

    From my perspective, he "cheated" on you, meaning he was willing to leave you or manipulate you for his own gain. Is that the type of behavior that would be good for a dog? My understanding is that puppies are especially like children, they adapt to behavior, nuisances and routine. As long as you think you can provide a better environment, in the end it would be better if your pup was with you.

    I don't think he will forget about you, but with time he will be more apathetic and just not care anymore. He's still really young so it is hard to tell his temperament, but again your ex cheated or has cheated on you, is that the sort of temperament that a good dog owner would have? Dogs value loyalty...

    With that said, good luck!!!
  • My husband and I discussed it, and we decided that Sessa would stay with me if we ever seperated or divorced. We are in a happy healthy relationship but have had rough patches and that's what prompted me to discuss it with him a few years ago. I wish you the best. I think of shibas as children, if they have love and time, they have all they need. Money and things mean nothing without love and attention.
    Shiba Inu:
    doin' their own thing since 300 BC.

    With a black button nose, little pricked ears and a curly tail, the Shiba enters the world knowing he is a superior being
  • This is tough... my husband and I are death do us part but if God Forbid something happened, he would let me take the pup. She's in my name, but if my pup was in his name and something happened, he knows how much I've wanted a puppy to myself and how much I love the dang thing so I would be able to keep it. The same goes for the other way around.

    I would talk to him def, even if you're not trying to hint a break up to him, just ask... maybe watch a show or movie with him where they're in the predicament and you can ease a convo in that way? I like @MoxyFruvous idea too lol

    Either way @Tweenersmommy good luck with everything!
  • TacyeTacye
    Posts: 38
    I agree with Moxy: hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. @tweenersmommy I'm not sure who said it, but if you love him perhaps you should get some counseling. You didn't specify and it's completely your business, but if he's only been "lurking" and hasn't actually made the physical transgression yet, perhaps the relationship can be saved. It will at least buy you some time to stockpile some cash. >:) does anyone know if AKC paperwork can be changed? What if a dog is sold or the owner dies? There must be someway to change it. If that's the case, maybe you can change it on the down low. Good luck to you and keep us posted!

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