[New thread, so I can insure all of you will see it]
You guys (and gals) are great. Ax and I are slowly working the issues. He wrote a bit explaining his feelings, which I read. And I had him read our thread. It eased a lot in Ax's mind.
He's agreed to work with our situation. He is still mildly (ha, I'll say very! lol) unhappy about having to adapt himself to the dog. However, he will give for our relationship.
I feel Ax and I have finally hit the heart of the problem last night: Ax is Hispanic originally from Mexico, been here 10 years, but grew up in an Mexican culture; I'm an American, military brat, grew up on military bases in American culture. The social order when it comes to pets are different to an extreme! In Mexico, pets are an after thought; dogs are kept in the yard, not allowed in the house, and always kept at a distance from the family in general.
To them, in relationships, pets aren't part of the package: if a pet is a problem in the relationship, they get rid of the pet. Ax had a very hard time even grasping the concept people, here in the US, would ever think about accepting the pet over their new partner.
I've explained to Ax I have made a commitment to Sampson, and I plan to keep it: Sampson will be with me till the day he dies; he's part of the package...
That did hurt him emotionally, but he's a strong guy; we are working through it.
It's a cultural difference now. And I'm treating it as such. I love these! I thrive on cultural idiosyncrasies.
(Although, it's normally _me_ adapting. lol)
We've agreed to changed the way we work with Sampson. Last night, I went out and got a new walking harness, tug rope, kong, and kong cheese filler. We both agree to take a positive training approach with Sampson. Ax will watch the Training Positive videos (he watched one, partially, and really like it).
In a way, this blow up was the best thing to happen to us. It is unfortunate it took such a dramatic outburst, but it's allowed us to openly communicate with each other, and finally get to the real root of a number of issues.
Thanks again for all your advice and our discussion! The back and forth we had provided a great intellectual flow for Ax to follow.
(* Reference thread: 4yr GSD snapping at my partner. Need immediate help!
PS: And any advice in dealing with the cultural difference would be most appreciated. Thanks.