My boyfriend has major anxiety around dogs and we want to move in together: Advice?

My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for some time now and have talked about my son and me moving in with him and his kids in the near future, but we have one glitch…well 2. He has an anxiety-like fear of dogs that he’s had since he was very young. He does not remember what may have happened to cause this fear because he likes dogs, but when any dog is around, he has anxiety, and his heart rate increases. I have two dogs (3 years old and one-year-old), and they are my fur kids, and my toddler son is very attached to them as I am as well, so getting rid of them is not an option. What are some options that could help us?


Could you not like slowly introduce him to the dogs like say 5 mins 1 day then 10 the next for example? Work him upto gettin to no them and he feels safe and reassured?

Before you even consider moving he needs to become best friends with your furbabies


Maybe slowly introduce them?? One at a time so it’s not overwhelming. Maybe give him treats to give to the dogs??

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He needs to get over these anxieties before that’s even considered put them on leads when he comes round so they aren’t in his face

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Get kitties instead :wink:

He needs to slowly become friends and have trust in your dogs before moving in can happen… if I was with someone like that I wouldn’t even think about living together until I know the other person is 100% comfortable cause dogs are not just animals they are apart of the family

I have very bad anxiety with dogs as well - from an incident when I was four … maybe try talking with his family to see if they can shed some light on the situation? For me - I do better with smaller dogs than I do with bigger dogs since it was a large dog that attacked me. Most people I have been with understand this … but I have been with a few who haven’t … I would suggest slowly bringing him around your fur babies and showing him they aren’t a threat to him … that is what people usually do with me once it’s explained that I’m not the biggest fan of man’s best friend.


Ditch the man- keep the dogs!


Has he never been around your dogs? I have a fear of dogs too. My fiance has two dogs and one would always make my anxiety horrible every time I came around… The more I went around the better it got.

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Maybe he can see a professional, learn some coping techniques, breathing exercises, ect. Maybe even get on a mild anti anxiety medication. Has he spent much time with your dogs? I would suggest he interact with them and try to get comfortable around them before you even think about moving in together.


Have him hypnotized or gaslight him with cat costumes.
Jk good luck and way to be a responsible dog owner.

Do not move in together until this situation is fixed. He either needs to be completely over his anxiety or you need to get rid the dogs before you move in together. Otherwise, you’ll run into major problems down the line.

He could try counseling. You could also try slowly getting him accustomed to the dogs.

If it doesn’t work, then might have to consider the alternative and break up.


You definitely need to work on their relationship first. Start having him come around more and working on doing stuff with them.

Hi, so I can offer some advice.
Are your dogs trained well? He needs calm, well trained dogs to get over this fear - and this will take time. I would do this before you even consider moving in.
If your dogs are happy in a crate, I would suggest popping them in and having him sit next to the crate. The dogs can’t get to him, he may feel at ease. When that no longer causes anxiety, let them out, but also let him know that they can be put away straight away if he starts to panic. Show him that these dogs are in control, he’s in control of the dogs - not the other way around.
Without proper therapy you may never get to the route cause and he may still be anxious around other dogs. But hopefully with time and lots of gentle interactions, he can tolerate your babies and maybe even love them like you do :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: good luck xx

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Small introductions consistently with him and your dogs. Do not move in together until hes calm around your dogs. Not only for him but for your poor pups. They can feel his anxiety.

I used to have a literal dog phobia. I would scream and run away if I even saw a dog anywhere.
I’m now 23 and have 4 dogs, and I wouldnt rehome them for a soul. The only thing that helped me get over it was when I was about 13 my parents sat me down and had a big talk with me about how we are getting a dog and I better just buckle up.
I was still pretty scared from time to time when our dog was a puppy, but I eventually outgrew it and dogs are now a very important part of my life.

I’m afraid of dogs and freak out irrationally when I see one being walked in my neighborhood but some of my friends and stuff have dogs and the more I’m around the dogs the better I feel. I’ve always found it to be a good compromise to slowly introduce the dog(s) like have it around for a bit then maybe put it outside or gate off an area I know this sounds insensitive to the dog but creating a distance to slowly allow your boyfriend to become comfortable is much better than getting rid of the dogs altogether. I also tend to feel better/safer if I can get to know a dog if it’s behind a gate or something, I can’t stand when a dog runs up to me.

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My question is… if you’ve been together for awhile, why hasn’t he met you dogs and gotten comfortable with them? :thinking:

those dogs are part of YOUR family, if he cant learn to adapt to YOUR family then its best not to move in bc there will always be problems