Hi Sasha, I have a bit of a sticky situation with someone I will most likely be sharing parts of my life with for the foreseeable future. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years, serious relationship. His brother has a girlfriend/babymomma. They have two young kids (under 3) with a third on the way. They also bought a puppy while she was pregnant with the second. It is a Bernese mountain dog, obviously gigantic and hyper but absolutely lovely. My "sister-in-law" is also a dog groomer and believes she knows best when it comes to training her dog. My boyfriend, myself, and other family members have all seen her be extremely rough with this dog. For me it is verging on animal abuse. I understand having a firm hand with a dog and letting him know you are his dominant, but this takes it too far. For example, he jumps up on us when we walk in the door. I am always prepared for this, have never said a word about it bothering me, and always push him off and say down/no etc. understanding their wishes to train him not to jump up.

Her reaction is to grab him by the scruff/collar and yank him off. The last time this happened she practically threw him up against the wall. It makes it extremely awkward so my question is at what point in time do I say something to her, and what is acceptable to say?


This is not an etiquette question, T, f-ck that; I don’t care how awkward sh-t gets, when it comes to abuse of any kind, you have to say something.

The first course of action would be to tell your bf to talk to his brother about her behaviour ASAP. He needs to express that you’re all disgusted by the way she treats the dog. The hope here is that message trickles down and she gets a f-cking clue.

However, if everyone is too pussy then it’s your responsibility to confront her and give this horrible situation a voice. And it’s as straightforward as telling her that throwing anything up against a wall is not acceptable punishment. Again, the hope here is that this will effect change but if not, then I really think you have no choice, but to call animal services. I hope that’s not what it comes down to, but if it does and you need help locating something in your area, let me know.

Ugh. Keep me posted xx