Reddit user’s ultimatum to husband over dog: Pooch will be given up if not housetrained before baby arrives


Reddit users defended a woman who told her husband that if their puppy was not housebroken by the time their third child arrived, the hubby would have to rehome the dog. 

“AITA for telling my husband if his puppy isn’t potty-trained when our baby is born he has to rehome it?” asked Reddit user “bookwyrm_momma” in a May 18, 2023, post to Reddit’s “Am I the A–hole” subreddit. 

In the post, the woman explained that she and her husband already have two kids and two “medium/large-sized dogs” — and that she found out she was pregnant with their third child in February.

“Shortly after, a friend brought over two puppies that were abandoned on the side of the road,” she said. “I said we could take care of them and rehome them, but I don’t want more dogs.”

After ensuring that the puppies were healthy and no longer had fleas, ticks and worms, bookwyrm_momma and her husband were able to quickly rehome one of the dogs.

“My husband was getting attached to the other one,” she said, despite her reminders to him that she did not want three dogs, she wrote.

She told her husband that if he wanted to keep the new puppy, he would have to rehome his other dog, an Aussie, that “he never really bonded with.” 

“It is May and we still have three dogs, and the puppy is not housetrained,” she said. “I’m getting very frustrated.” 

“It is a huge mess every time.”

The woman also said that her husband works from home — so he cleans up the majority of the young dog’s messes. But she still has to do this chore on occasion, she said. 

“The darn dog continues to walk while peeing, so it is a huge mess every time,” she said. 

Fed up, bookwyrm_momma issued an ultimatum last Thursday, she wrote.

“I told my husband that if the puppy is not housetrained by the time the baby is born, he had to get rid of it,” she said. 

“He thinks I’m overreacting and being hormonal, but I said from the start that I did not want a third dog. AITA?” 

“I told my husband he will have to get rid of his puppy. He loves the dog, but it isn’t housetrained, and we have a baby on the way,” the mom reiterated in a later comment on her own post.

“Surrendering your pet to a local shelter that is already overcrowded should be a last resort.”

“I know he won’t want to get rid of this dog, but I don’t have the energy to take care of an untrained puppy and a newborn on top of our other kids and dogs,” she also said later.

Fox News Digital reached out to bookwyrm_momma for comment.

Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, a Utah-based nonprofit animal welfare organization with several shelters around the country, told Fox News Digital that “pets are a commitment and adopting one is an important decision.”

She added via email that “there are cases where adoptions do not work out for a variety of reasons.” 

She also said, “At Best Friends Animal Society, we have found some of the main reasons why people return pets is that they have too many pets, housing restrictions, pet behavior and financial reasons. Returning pets is part of the stigma surrounding adoption — and a reason why some hesitate to adopt from a shelter.”

A person faced with a pet situation that is not working out should seek to rehome their pet rather than take the animal to a shelter, said Castle. 

Presently, “many shelters and even rescue organizations may not be accepting new animals” due to overcrowded conditions, she said. 

A person looking to rehome a pet should ensure that the pet’s medical records are up-to-date and provide the adopter with the animal’s medical history, she added. 

“Rehoming sites like can also be very helpful in spreading the word and help you find a new adopter,” in lieu of dropping the animal off at a shelter, Castle added. 

“‘Being hormonal’ is demeaning your very valid concerns. He’s being completely dismissive of you.”

“Word of mouth should not be underestimated. Tell anyone and everyone about a pet who needs a home and ask friends, co-workers and family members to help spread the word,” she also said. 

“Surrendering your pet to a local shelter that is already overcrowded should be a last resort.”

New York City-based clinical psychologist Dr. Jayme Albin, PhD, told Fox News Digital of this situation, “Power struggles in romantic relationships and families can be a challenging problem, especially when the family is growing. Often, people will argue over ‘their need’ for something as a way of being territorial or seeking control.”

She added, “This is a very dangerous way of seeking attention in a relationship because it leads to resentment and a negative dynamic.”

“Often, people will argue over ‘their need’ for something as a way of being territorial or seeking control.”

Dr. Albin noted, “Everyone [needs] to be open to new ideas and prepared to flexible — but also, they should listen to each person’s boundaries. If there’s a real reason [the mom in the story] doesn’t want a third dog, the husband should try to consider her feelings.”

She added, “Just as she should try to figure out why he wants more attention.”  

Albin noted that the husband calling the woman “hormonal” is “an attempt to gaslight or discount her feelings as significant enough to matter.” 

On the AITA subreddit, people can reply to posts and indicate the poster is “NTA” (“Not the A–hole”), “YTA” (“You’re the A–hole”), “NAH” (“No A–holes Here”) or “ESH” (“Everyone Sucks Here”).

Users can “upvote” responses they think are helpful and “downvote” ones that are not, and the original poster is given a chance to say why he or she might be in the wrong. 

Bookwyrm_momma was determined by the Reddit community to be “NTA” in this situation, especially when she revealed that the dog is said to be about eight to nine months old.

“A 5-6-month-old puppy should already be majority potty-trained if not fully potty-trained, and an 8-9-month-old should definitely be potty-trained,” said Reddit user “PurpleMarsAlien” in the top-upvoted comment. 

“An 8-9-month-old dog who is not fully potty-trained is heading toward a dog who will never be,” PurpleMarsAlien added. 

Others were critical of the fact that bookwyrm_momma’s husband cited “hormones” as the reason why she was upset about the dog.

“NTA. Your husband wanted the dog, he should be cleaning up all the messes the dog makes,” said Reddit user SirMittensOfTheHill. 

“‘Being hormonal’ is demeaning your very valid concerns. He’s being completely dismissive of you. He’s being selfish and an AH,” that user added.