My girlfriend of eight months has a seven-year-old chihuahua mix that is extremely jealous, if not needy. When I first started dating gf, whenever we needed some cuddle time, she would have the dog lie down on the other end of the couch or his bed. But as time went on, this happened far less to the point where every cuddle session includes him in the middle or on both our laps or hers. If she gives me attention from there, he will literally sit up in her lap, stare, and paw at her to get it back. She crates the dog before bed but only at the last minute- literally right at bedtime when we’re both tired and THEN gf wants to cuddle but I’m passing out. Every night. For months.
I can sort of live with that. What I can’t live with is that ever since we moved in, my cat doesn’t get much cuddle time because the few times the cat has visited the bedroom, the dog of course is always on the bed between gf and I. A few times he’s bolted off the bed at her so cats terrified to come in the bedroom. If gf and dog are out for a morning walk, the cat will sneak in, every time, for some love.
As for cuddling my cat on the couch, if the dog sees this, he will slowly inch his way over until he’s in between my hand/arm and cat. Being a cat who also doesn’t trust the dog much yet, she just immediately leaves. My cat really hasn’t had much physical attention in a long time and she really does love affection from people.
Tonight while in bed I was falling asleep when my cat started crying from the living room. This was a rare meow used in distress; she wanted some attention. So I got up out of bed and gf asks where I’m going and I replied, “I’m going to cuddle cat, she sounds sad and she didn’t get any attention tonight” and gf got all pissy, “Well what do you want me to do about it?!?!”.
I think this fly-off-the-handle response was because she knows her dog is neurotically attention seeking, and that I've dropped hints for months that it bothers me that I cant cuddle gf or cat without him incessantly begging for attention. I said, "Well, maybe you could move dog when he jealously gets in the way every time he sees anyone else getting attention?“
She fired back, “well why didn’t you tell me that?” and I shrugged, “well he’s your dog. I don’t feel comfortable asking you to make him move or give me space. And it's not how I feel, I just would like to cuddle cat or even you. But I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say this!” Gf goes, “Forget it goodnight”.
Once I went to the couch, cat was in my arms purring to the point of drooling. I don't know how to communicate that gf’s dog is literally getting in the way because this feels stupidly silly but it’s actually important to the point where it's a deal-breaker.
I can recognize the difference between a dog coming in to join the fun the humans must be having compared to being jealous that they’re not on the receiving end of any and all attention being dished out.
I love dogs and have trained them for years - and have been, at gf's permission, training her's all of the basic commands she never taught him. She avoided taking the dog anywhere because he was so difficult to manage and made walking a miserable experience but I worked on that too and he's actually a pleasure on walks now. I use a lot of positive reinforcement.