With Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books having been mentioned in the thread: this is not really a “peeve”, so much as a matter of personal and individual taste; but, anyway...
While having largely enjoyed the Pern material; I at times found that dragon / rider r*lationships therein felt, for me, to get into realms of uncomfortably cloying sentimentality. I admit to not being a tremendous animals / pets person. I do get it, that very loving closeness often develops between people and their near animal associates – this with ordinary Earth animals, let alone with creatures as sensitive and intelligent (and telepathic !) as Pernese dragons – sometimes, though, Pernese “dragon-dom” has given me feelings of undergoing a drowning-in-slush-and-mush experience.
With McCaffrey’s books as a whole (not just the Pern ones) – mostly, I’ve taken pleasure in her imagination / ideas / world-building in general, but as regards interpersonal / inter-species dealings in her works, the “goo factor” has been, for my personal tastes, often greater than I’ve been comfortable with. Maybe to do with my being male: stereotypes are, I feel, true to a certain extent, and (many) men incline to being not so tender-hearted as (many) women.
I’ve found for me a corrective, which I relish, to the more-sentimental-than-I-like Pern dragon / rider scene: in a novel series by the speculative fiction / fantasy author Harry Turtledove. I love this series – Darkness -- by this guy (in which I seem to be in a small minority even among Turtledove fans). It basically concerns a desperate global war waged between the different (all-human) nations of a fictional planet – where Earth-type technology (military, and “peaceable”) is largely replaced by magic, and by the use of trained giant beasts native to the planet.
Thus in this universe, “air forces” involve flying dragons, each with a human rider: the dragons breathe fire, and can drop the universe’s equivalent of bombs. Human / dragon relations here, are a complete polar opposite of those on the Pern scene. In Turtledove’s universe, the dragons are vicious, foul-tempered, and so extremely stupid that it is only barely possible to train them – occasionally they forget their training, revert to their natural instincts, and kill their rider: it’s a dangerous service. The riders – or “dragonfliers” as is the universal term on Turtledove’s scene – without exception, strongly dislike their mounts, though they conscientiously do what’s necessary to look after them. These dragons are such, that there’s absolutely no way that any sort of human / reptile bonding can happen. With my feelings about the whole thing, I find this an enjoyably cynical and totally unsentimental “photographic negative” inversion of the Pern / dragons / riders scene.
Would like to think that Turtledove is familiar with the Pern books, and has made – mischievously but without malice – this extreme variation on them. I don’t know whether anyone else on eHell has encountered this Darkness series by Turtledove, and has any use for it – dragon-related, or otherwise !
I’ve also enjoyed Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels: IMO, re the humans-riding-dragons-in-combat meme, a nice intermediate state of things between the extremes described above.