I desperately need some help with a dog problem I am having because it is starting to cause a potentially huge rift in my relationship.

I guess I should make it clear first up that I am really, really, really not a dog person. I just don't really like them very much. I grew up with cats, and I find dogs extremely difficult to live with unless they are exceptionally well behaved.

I recently moved in with my boyfriend who has two dogs, a well behaved 3 year old male Border Terrier mix and a 2 year old female Maltese x King Charles that was abandoned by its previous owners and seriously neglected as a puppy, resulting in some severe behavioural issues.

Quite simply, the dog does not stop barking. I can't watch TV in peace, and I work from home as a website designer and I find it hard to concentrate when I have to get up to yell at the dog every 10 minutes. And to top it off, I honestly can't remember the last time I slept through a whole night without being woken up by barking. The thing is, it's really difficult to discipline her because she only barks when she's alone. She will sit outside and yap constantly and as soon as I go out there to tell her off, she stops immediately and hides under a bush where I can't get her. Before I moved in my boyfriend would let the dogs sleep on the bed with him, but I don't like sleeping in a bed that stinks like dog so now they have their own beds in the laundry and get shut in there at night. So she sits in there and barks constantly and as soon as I get out of bed to tell her off, she stops before I can actually catch her in the act.

It's really starting to make me very depressed and angry and hateful towards the dog, and being someone who has never lived with a dog previously, I am finding it really difficult to cope with. My boyfriend is the best thing that ever happened to me and apart from the dog issue our relationship is perfect, and I'd hate to see it ruined because I can't handle living with a dog that never stops with it's harsh, grating yapping.

I'm feeling really upset and desperate and I don't know what to do, so any advice would be very much appreciated.