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Why You Do Not Want a Dog

Do Not Read This If . . .

Do not read this Hub if

  • You know me well. You have already heard me say this.
  • You are a dog lover, and you do not want to explore changing your mind.

Do Read This If . . .

Do read this if

  • You are considering getting a dog. There are many negative factors to consider.
  • You know the negative factors of dog ownership. This will be singing to the choir, but it will be music to your ears.

A Personal Note

When I was growing up, my family always had pets: canaries, parakeets, cats, and dogs along other animals such as chickens, pigeons, rabbits and ducks. In fact, I was taught a little disdain for those who chose not to have dogs. Our dogs, however, suffered. We lived on a busy street, and the yard was not usually secured. The dogs roamed the neighborhood, and, of course, many were hit by cars. This was met with much emotional pain and pleas to take the dog to the veterinary if it wasn't dead at the scene. Well, our family did not spend money on veterinarians. The dead dogs were buried in the backyard, and those who survived were set in the garage on a pile of rags, and we brought them food. Some survived with their scars of of out-of-whack gaits, and some had repeated injuries in their efforts to cross Niles Street. We were not the best pet owners.

Still, though we were not model pet owners, the message was that there must be something wrong with someone who did not want to have a dog. So, when I reached a stage in life when I had a wife, a child, and a house, I thought it was also time to get the dog. Stella was a miniature dachsund, really a beautiful dog. She was, however, not easily house broken, and this was after we had new wall-to-wall carpet installed. She also liked to get out and run away. She did not come when called. One night she had again escaped, and I was trying to catch her. It was dark and she had run to a neighbor's house and was barking under their bedroom window. That was a moment when I began to seriously doubt the wisdom of our owning a dog.

When Stella went into heat, we did do a good job of keeping her in our yard. We did not do a good job of keeping other dogs out of our yard, and she began to look pregnant. My wife and I agreed to get rid of her, so I put an ad in the paper and sold her, a purebred, for $25.00.

Later, we tried dog ownership again, and while my wife truly loved the second dog, I did not. It was expensive, barked every time the doorbell rang, was difficult, again, to housebreak, bit people, smelled bad and frequently passed gas. Clancy's fatal flaw, though, was his desire to get out of the yard (later I learned from a vertinarian's assistant that the term for this trait is "uncontainable"). That coupled with his habit of chasing cars brought about his death a few years ago. I remember thinking at the time that getting him had absolutely confiirmed that I was not one to own a dog.

Not All Dogs Are Pretty


The Reasons

  1. It is unlikely that you have the time that being a conscientous dog owner requires. Most dogs require a lot of human interaction, daily walking/exercise, training, and veterinarian care. Do you work forty hours a week? Do you anticipate leaving the dog home alone? Do you have familial obligations that leave little extra time for the pet? This would be a poor situation in which to put a dog; it would be unfair to the dog. (I now realize that part of my trying to convince you not to get a dog is because I do like dogs and hate to see them in less than good situations).
  2. You are not Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer (a great show on the cable National Geographic channel.) Do you know of any
  • dogs that have bitten people and drawn blood,
  • dogs that do not always come when their name is called,
  • dogs that have been difficult to house train,
  • dogs that bark when the doorbell is rung, but do nothing if someone simply walks through the door,
  • dogs that have chewed shoes, furniture and rugs,
  • dogs whose owners are often speaking to their dogs in raised, angry and frustrated voices,
  • dogs that are so anxious to get out of the house (or into the house) that every time someone opens an exterior door, there is a battle to keep the dog from going through the door,
  • dogs that hate other dogs, men, women, children, cats,
  • dogs that have not been allowed to return to a kennel,
  • dogs that really need a large space confined to a small interior space,
  • dogs that infect the house with fleas,
  • dogs that chase cars,

Well, this list could go on. The point is that dog ownership brings a lot of trouble.

3. Owning a dog is expensive. Many websites address this issue. Click here for a reputable, pro-dog website about the cost of dog ownership (from $4000.00 to about $40,000.00 in the Midwest for the life of the dog).

4. The dog will limit you to being home to attend to the dog's needs. You will have to come home to let the dog out, feed the dog, and walk the dog. If you are going on a trip, you will have to board the dog. Taking the dog with you will limit where you can get lodging or force you to impose your dog on your hosts, who do not like your dog as you do.

5. Many dog owners regret their decision to get a dog but keep the dog fearing disapproval for getting rid of their pet. Check out in your area for free dogs. If you want something more extreme -- heartbreaking even -- go to your local dog pound to see the dogs owners have taken there.

6. Who do you know that appears to be an excellent dog owner? I personally do not know one person in this category. Well, who do you know who is a good dog owner? What is the chance that you will be an even adequate pet owner?

7. Dogs can spread diseases such as ringworm, intestinal and other types of worms.

8. Dogs cannot behave like members of the family, so they should not be treated like members of the family.

9. Dogs will shed and cause an odor in your home. Some dogs shed more than others, and dog hair will be everywhere, from the floor, where left unabated it will collect into big fluff balls, like dust bunnies, to clogging dryer vents and refrigerator coils.

10. The dog's toenails will scratch hard surface floors.

11. Although it is easy to find information on how dog ownership causes owners to exercise more (because they take the dog for a walk) and that petting dogs lowers blood pressure, I wonder about the statistics on how many accidents are caused by tripping over dogs, how many people are bitten by dogs, how many automobile accidents are caused by dogs on the street.

Another Helpful Article

Final Thoughts

I've written this at personal risk. I like to be liked, and not many people like those who focus on what they don't like. (I've always said that people are much better at remembering what you like rather than what you don't like). This is, however, so important, and so few people are unwilling to actually say it. Do I find a puppy cute? Absolutely yes. Can I pet a dog that belongs to someone else -- and even enjoy it? Yes. Still, I know that I don't want a dog. I dislike the smell, the required care, the cost. I would not be an excellent dog owner, and because I do care enough about dogs, I don't want to see them subjected to anything less than excellent care. You may be like I am -- best not being a dog owner.


Robin on September 02, 2018:

Wow, so many years' worth of passionate comments here on both sides of the issue. This article and its comments have been invaluable to me. Every person on here has a unique story and a unique reason for wanting/not wanting a dog. It is truly an individual choice. You see, I am a dog lover who does not want to own a dog. My family wants one, and I have been wavering for years simply out of guilt. I have such a difficult time with the argument that "kids deserve to grow up with a dog." I do believe that is true, and feel constant guilt (welcome to motherhood) that I am depriving my kids of this wonderful experience. But the truth is, I am the one who would do 95% of the work, and I don't want a dog! Husband works 50+ hours a week and travels for work, I work at home 25 hours a week, and our teen/preteen kids are as busy as all kids those ages with sports, school, and friends. I know my kids and hubby would help with a dog, but I also know they are not home a lot, and I am. In my bones, I feel I do not want to change my life. Sometimes I feel like I am just holding it together as it is, and I don't want a giant responsibility like having a dog on top of everything else.

While my arguments are sound and logical, it's so hard to extricate myself from the massive guilt I feel. Literally every day I look at my kids and think, "They would love a dog so much. Why can't I do this for them? What's wrong with me? Why am I so selfish?" I also look at all my friends, working and busy moms too, who have dogs and are able to make it all work and even enjoy it, and I feel so lacking. My family knows I've wavered on this before, so they bring it up every so often, which renews the guilt and anxiety I feel.

Between work and parenting, I have very little downtime, and I imagine that downtime disappearing even more with the addition of a dog. I guess the real deciding factor is, all of that is worth it if YOU (the dog's primary caregiver) really want the dog. But if, like me, you want the dog FOR someone else, it is not the right thing to do. I guess I need to remind myself that, OK, maybe my kids do "deserve a dog," but you know what? They also deserve a mother who is calm and not overloaded. I can be a better parent without this added huge responsibility...and maybe I deserve to put myself first in this situation.

Nancy on April 09, 2015:

this article is very true, good to read before getting a dog, but I knew all of this before getting my pup. He was alot of work the first year, and still is, but we have shitty families and stressful work environment, and the pup takes our minds off the crap. We are much happier and laugh alot at his antics, he's a very funny frenchie.

nicole on March 06, 2014:

I have had horrible luck with dogs and it sucks because we are surrounded by dog loving neighbors, family and kids push for a dog and I though I wanted it too so I tried but have no patience....the smells, jumping up,etc...drives me nuts! I will stick with my cat for now....

Renee on January 06, 2014:

I too regret getting a dog. Perhaps it's because I just turned 53 and have raised two kids and two other dogs and I just don't want to deal with the responsibility anymore. My husband makes me feel guilty but I cannot help how I feel about this. I thought I could do it once again but find that after 3 years without a dog I like it that way. I hope I'm not being selfish but honestly most of the heavy lifting acrues to me and I just don't want to do it anymore. The dog was a shelter dog and is really REALLY submissive. Every time I walk by he pees himself and when we walk him he is scared of parked cars, moving cars, noise, movement etc. He's 6 months old and messed up so we will be returning him to the shelter. I'm sorry for that but he is no worse off than if I hadn't seen him. So lesson learned and no more dogs for me.

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on May 21, 2013:


Thanks for writing. Your letter may save another from the experience. So many people are sadly unable to do what you did, take the dog back where it came from. Had you kept the dog, it would have been bad for both you and the dog. Other people who may regard you with disapproval for doing this have a lack of empathy. We have to endure them.

James on May 20, 2013:

I fully agree. My girlfriend and I adopted a dog, and since she lived with her parents, it lived with me in my apartment for a week, and this week was perhaps the worst week of my life. The dog was a terror; it ripped everything it found into shreds, including blinds, furniture, etc. I scared me half to death (being 3/4 of my size), would not follow directions, and took the largest craps of any dog I've ever seen (which had to be picked up). I hated every second of it, and ended up hating the dog.

My family had a dog growing up, but I did not realize the difference between living in a house with a dog and owning a dog until I got one. I ended up taking it back to the shelter a week after adopting it. My girlfriend hated it, and she resented me for a while, and while it is still a sore subject when brought up, I think it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made, rather than trying to live with a dog I hated.

Martha on May 11, 2013:

I am very grateful to all who has the courage to admit that a dog is not even an option. We’ve had two dogs in my house when I was a little girl, but they both had to go when one bit my baby brother. I am proud of the decision my grandparents made showing me that a person inside the family nucleolus is more important than any dog. I am pretty much sure, in the case of my other brother biting the brother who got bitten by our dog that my grandparents would have never given the bitter brother away. I leaned at a very young age that dogs are not (like) children, the same way that they can’t replace a mother’s love, or a wife’s love, and next, and I mean AND… never a friend’s love. In my family story, even the dog that didn’t bit my baby brother had to go. My grandparent’s shared the idea that you never know what brews inside an animal’s head or what behavior they will express to the next circumstance. I am pretty sure that dog lovers unconsciously fear this last …but they prefer to deny it and instead nurture into the faith that they had invested (lots of) money on training, grooming, health and attention to their dogs and that their dogs will compromise for that. The truth is that dogs are domesticated animals and they live an entire life enjoying the comfort that their unconditional pet lovers volunteer… and they might never bite a family member… but the risk is always present like potential hazards not only for bites but also are for pests and diseases and nuisance to others. My boss owned a fearful Doberman and when I told her that her dog frightened me when he looked so furious barking and running around upset her answer was not to worry, that her dog was insured in case he attacks someone. Was she serious thinking that her answer was to give me some relief? Unfortunately, yes. Dog lovers love everything about their dogs. They kiss them when they are wet and they deal with dog’s poop even when they can’t stand to change a baby’s diaper and they even share the food in their plates with their dogs. None of the reasons on this extensive article will make some pet owners wake up to realize they are incapable of owning a pet and that they should never have one because they are not enough human beings and not enough animals either. Dog owners and their dogs exchange favors. While pet lovers live their lifelong believing that their dogs are their best friends and provide all for the ones they own, dogs will do a friend like job to live in the comfort ANY volunteer willing to work for them just in exchange for licks and presence (some say security, but that is way too overrated)... A friend’s presence will always be there no matter what… family will always be there no matter what… a dog will never outlive its owner like to rely on the company of a long life friendship because they can never replace the heart of a human being …even in the case that a human friend dies first and yes, a dog will betray you for another pet’s lover… I believe on my grandparent’s idea that I will never know what brews in the mind of an animal. I will never place my family, or my loved one, or my human friend’s feelings below the unknown real feelings of a dog or any other animal for that matter. Thank you very much for this beautiful and insightful and complete and well written article. Not all will understand it but outstanding human beings… because the animals belong with the animals, and you and I know what brews in the minds of some.

Ooj on November 12, 2012:

Hi. Thank you sharing your experience. I grew up in Asia where there are dogs mostly stay outside guarding the home. So from childhood I have no close experience with dog. I came to USA and I am married with a man who have dog and 2 kids. One way this was my mistake I would say. We have a pug. I agree with you dogs need a lot of attention. We all busy studying and working. There is only few hour to dedicated for dog in our family. The son who responsible let the dog party out he forget sometimes don't let her out she will pee and poop inside home in winter. I stepped recently on her pee x3 times which disappointed me. Besides she shades tons of her, bed smelling mouth and odor when she is not showered. She shades a lot bulk of hair. Her hair everywhere. My husband bought rumba vacuum robot cleaner which do pretty good job. When I clean rumba I see all is full of dog hair. But their not cleaning the rumba.I have to deal with hair that i dont like. My husband saying I am obsessed. I am clean person as most Asian we are pretty live in a clean home and this is the custom I was raised. I feel frustration and difficulty to deal with dog hairs, odor, her foot step I feel annoyed. One thing is I got jealous toward the dog when my husband pat her or put her in his knee. Me and my husband don't have enough time spend with each other and the day we were day off he prefers cattling with his dog usually he don't do ( he do it to irritate or fight against me). He uses a dog a tool fight against me.

I feel like I m not priority for him. His N1 is his dog and kids and I am the last. In my culture no body puts a dog 1st priority before their wive or husband. But Americans may say you have to follow the culture, I understand but who is Americans their are all people from different nationality. We need to respect both cultures. He is putting dog his priority may lead us to divorce. I felt like there was no romance between me and my husband, because always his kid dog involve in all our lives. I am tired off it. I want to free of dog. Just I don't have time for dog even for myself because very busy at studying.

Joe Njenga from Nairobi Kenya on August 12, 2012:

I admire your thoughtfulness as expressed in this article however , most of us live happily with dogs. I appreciate your opinion which is also shared by other people who prefer other kinds of Pets. Thanks

B-Kohn on July 06, 2012:

To each his own. I think the person here is trying to convey what to expect with a dog. If you dont mind dealing with that they go for it but if you are a person that can be bothered by some of these things then these are some things that need to be considered when thinking about getting a dog. Me personally, I'm not a fan of having a dog let alone in the house. For many of the reasons listed here. Like I said before, if you are a dog lover then all the things that are listed wouldnt bother you. But me personally it would thats why I chose not to get one. To each his own!

B-Kohn on July 06, 2012:

To ea

Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 22, 2012:

Going over your reasons, I have to note that all of them are caused by you, not the dog. Dogs are not right for everyone, nor are cats, nor are fish for that matter. I am glad you gave others this alternative view.

Kicker on June 07, 2012:

Ultrasteve, I agreed to letting my partners dogs live with us at my house IF they were well behaved. They are old dogs. One is now, thankfully, dead. (Old age) I was lied to. They were not well behaved. (Protest poos & pees all the time, stealing, not taking notice of voice commands etc, etc.) Not only that my partner is not a 'good' owner (Unsurprisingly I now realise). I am now paying for the food for the last remaining dog & 'looking after it' while he's away working. Retraining a 12 year old dog with issues is not easy, especially for someone who never had dogs & was never interested in them, but people who know comment on how much better the dog is with the limited training I've managed to drum into it. (Yeah, me.) Nor does it help that it screams as if you're killing it when you shout at it for doing something it knows is wrong. (You should see how fast it gets of the sofa if I walk into a room with an 'oh ****!' expression, so it KNOWS.) My partner bleats he can't bare to be rid of it. But HE'S NOT HERE so it can't be that desperate a need can it be?!!! I'm not happy. The dog's not happy. It's not my dog or believe you me it would be long gone. I feel your depression! :-$

And for those people who think a dog can replace a child, it doesn't. Not for one millionth of a second. And for the others who think because I really detest dogs and their inconsiderate owners I have two things for you to ponder. I cringe & apologise to the worms & bugs I hurt when I'm digging etc in the garden so my dislike of dogs does not include the rest of the planets fauna. Secondly, ever thought of the environmental damage your pet does? Nutrification of the soil when you leave your dog mess behind? The extra food tins & plastics going to land fill? The fuel used to make & transport the goods. (Fraid this includes 90% of pets.)

Lastly, Oh & those who leave their dog doo bags in the verge for the poor municipal worker to find with his strimer. THANKS for that, no really. Always enjoy dog poo to the face & clothing. No, hanging it in trees does not make it look like Christmas either.

Sorry gredmondson, ranting now. Please feel free to delete. :-)

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on May 24, 2012:


You are definitely not alone. Have you reread what you wrote? A sentence that sticks out for me is "I have tried living with dogs for her, but I just can't do it."

ultrasteve on May 24, 2012:

T (11 posts up from here) said pretty much all I feel too. I live in the UK, my wife grew up with dogs and it WILL be what destroys our marriage, I'm sure. We've been together for 16 years, and in that time have had all kinds of animals, because she wants them. Cats. fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds and dogs. 4 dogs in fact, and each of them I've had to eventually be the bad guy and rehome it because a) I can't stand it anymore and b) she doesn't look after them. Yet she fails to see this and I don't know what to do about it anymore - we are such different people, and it really feels like it's 'me or a dog' now. I love her, but refuse, for my own sanity and the sake of the dogs wellbeing, to get another one. I wish I could get her to read this blog, but any 'discussion' about dogs ends in an argument. I have tried living with dogs for her, but I just can't do it. Her own daughter doesn't like dogs either, but even that doesn't stop her from getting them. I despair, and am very depressed about the whole situation. Thank you to Greg, and all the other posters that have made me feel slightly better that I'm not alone.

Mr. Manfred on April 02, 2012:

Hey! I just got myself a golden retriever. He's 12 weeks old. I have a major headache an a severe lack of sleep! Yeah ok this is my 1st day with my puppy, but last night I barely slept! And my head is killing me!

I work at home, I thought having a companion would make my life happier, but for some reason I feel miserable. And I feel super alone, with a puppy that I don't think wants to be with me.

I made this decision on my own, and I think no one supports me or fully trusts that I'll be able to give good care of a dog. Plenty of people chuckled that I made this decision, and I sense many think I'm crazy. My girlfriend supports me on this, but the arrangement is: she'll pet him, I'll clean up the poop. I'm the one who wants the dog, right? So I took the responsibility, but today I was already told by my 5 year old niece (you're the one who wanted this dog, don't complain) and my girlfriend encouraged her to say that. Yesterday I woke at 7:30 am to go check out/buy the dog, I'm not used to driving around the city (I live in a small town), so traffic was stressful, we got the dog, and that same day my mom organized this big stressful party with over 20 family members invited, whom I haven't seen in a lot of time, and I felt very weird trying to take care of the puppy but attending the 'party' at the same time, it was very tiring doing both things, and I was hoping the party to end around 3pm so I wouldn't arrive home too late (it's a 4 hour ride), but it ended at 5pm. We arrived home and I was supper tired, and on top of that I barely slept last night, because the dog wouldn't sleep. And today I felt miserable all day long. My body isn't used to this kind of activity.

The puppy's super sad because he misses his buddies and his dog parents, and I'm the one to blame! I can see the sadness in his eyes. And today he ate way less than he should, and I'm anxious to take him to the vet to know what to do, and I'm hoping my vet knows his business because I wouldn't want to make a wrong decision... my head's killing me right now.

Well, I'm hoping things will change. But I found this article and now my morale is totally wavering. I mean, why did I get a dog? I feel like some sort of fool, my life wasn't that bad before, and now I bought myself a life time of pet care, and there's a lot of training ahead of me before I don't have to clean like 8 poops (thank god it's solid poop) and 15 pee pudles, 7 days a week. All I smell now is puppy smell, and I can't bath him yet because he's too young. I can't take him for a walk so he poops outside so I have to watch him constantly.

Oh boy.... everyone, don't just get a dog. Think about me, I can take care of him. I bet everyone would love this puppy, he's very intelligent and obedient, but he's a puppy, and does puppy things like pooping, peeing, wanders around the house when he's awake, and taking care of him is super stressful. Put a lot of thought before buying a pet. I have to go now, I have to puke.

gemma heath on March 25, 2012:

Hi, I'm from the UK and have just read this entire blog. I'm so glad that I found other people that are in the same boat that we are in. A few days ago we purchased a 1 yr old Springer spaniel who we fell in love with on sight. We had done all our research and were confident that we could cope with the new addition to our family. Later that day we realised we had made an enormous mistake. Like some others we found that the difference between researching then actually living with a dog to be completely different. There was nothing wrong with her, we just totally underestimated the amount of work that goes into caring for a dog. Needless to say we ended up taking the dog back, and whilst we are not proud of ourselves, we have now realised that we are not 'dogowners' though I adore dogs in general. We won't be making the same mistake again, and instead have decided to be volunteer dog.walkers for our local dog shelter

GREdmondson on January 25, 2012:

Regret Daily,

I hope you will find the strength to admit your mistake and find a home for your dog that will provide the dog what it needs.

Regret Daily on January 24, 2012:

A day does not go past when I don't regret getting my dog. I feel compelled to keep her as she had a troubled life before. She is actually really well behaved and never barks But she wants to be inside as much as possible. I have set boundaries for her inside, it's just that I miss my life before she came into it. When I am out, I am always aware that she is back home in the garden missing me, pining for me. I then cannot relax as much as I used to, because I feel I need to factor in getting home to meet her needs. I AM SICK OF THE DAILY BULLSHIT ROUTINE. The feeding, the walks. My family would hate me if I rehomed her. I just want my old life back. HELP!

Dear Gym, you are an idiot. on October 09, 2011:

GYM: how dare you ignorantly guilt people that are legitimately suffering with some arbitrary value our society has chosen to make a big fuss about?

Reading your post, it's clear that YOU don't even really know what your point is supposed to be, other than some vague rambling about how dogs and children are equally burdensome. Let me show you where you're wrong: An animal is something you bring into your home, hoping to bond in order to feel some value in caring for it, whereas a child is your own flesh and blood - the most precious thing in life - and thousands of generations of people have perfected the art of loving and appreciating a child as God's greatest gift.

When you said "the fact of the matter is that all those poor dogs that are put down and living in shelters are a result of all you people that decide AFTER you get a dog that you just can't handle it." did it not occur to you that dogs don't just appear out of thin air to be dropped off at slaughterhouses? More dogs get euthanized because they are feral and found on the streets, and cannot be trained to live as pets, than the small number of responsible people who want to give a dog a chance at a better life by taking it back. Why don't you take a second and think with your brain, and get back to me if you find any statistics that prove otherwise? You won't because a)I'm giving you a verified fact, and b) you're too stupid to find conflicting evidence. "Giving back" a dog accounts for less than 5% of the shelter population.

When you say it's the "OP's fault" that he "doesn't value the lives of these animals", you are showing your shortsightedness. You are part of a culture that rewards animal abusers in this country. I highly doubt you would be wailing about the lives of the cows you know as 'steak', or the millions of reptiles that are killed on sight because they aren't cute or cuddly enough to be saved.

Did you read the post above yours? Someone who has owned a pet for 10 years is dealing with behavioral problems that pose a threat to the life of her children! I'm sorry, but in that situation, I would rather see a dog leave the house or even be euthanized before seeing a child hurt. How many children do you think should die a painful death (ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE TREATED EACH /*DAY*/ FOR DOG BITES IN THE US!!), GYM, before you admit that you are a brainwashed individual that watched too many cartoons when s/he was young and now thinks that because something is cute and furry it should be treated as some sort of quasi-person?

I'm sorry, but I'll stick to facts, research and common knowledge, and realize that some people are dog-people (people that have the capacity to give a dog a fulfilling and happy life), and some people /think/ they are dog people until they are able to admit, accept, and correct their mistake. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting this mistake, and fixing it for THE DOG'S sake. Wanna hear a secret?: The people that work at shelters, devoting their time and energy to helping dogs find the best owners possible, ARE dog-people, and are experts in handling and fixing a situation when a non dog-person realizes their mistake in bringing a dog home.

If someone ends up keeping their dog out of guilt, and then quietly torturing it behind closed doors until it dies, then I hope you're happy, GYM! You got exactly what you wanted! I hope you sleep well tonight GYM knowing that 3,000 animals died this month because they were hated in their homes, and you would rather see a dog beaten than have a chance at a new home!

****Anyone else who is dealing with someone trying to guilt them into keeping a dog that deserves a better life with a better owner, feel free to use my arguments. If you are struggling to make the right decision for yourself, and in the interest of the animal, but someone is trying to badger you into keeping it, you will often find people get very quiet very quickly when faced with cold hard facts.

Please, please, please! As a dog-person, I can tell when a dog has lived with someone who has never harmed it, but didn't ever bond with it. It is incredibly stressful for the dog, and the dog is innocent. It didn't choose to come home with you, and if it HAD the choice, it would choose to live with someone with better circumstances.

Gym on October 07, 2011:

I am genuinely disgusted with the ignorance of this whole topic. With that said let me just say I have absolutely nothing against people who don't like dogs or like owning them.

Now for a cup of reality; the fact of the matter is that all those poor dogs that are put down and living in shelters are a result of all you people that decide AFTER you get a dog that you just can't handle it. It makes me sick to think you all blame dogs for the issues you have had with them; when a 4 year old child pees on the floor constantly is it their fault? No. It is a result of their environment, or a medical condition. Dogs all around the world are bought with no consideration to their quality of like. A dog is not a fish that can live in a bowl all day. How do babies cope when they leave their mom to early? Would they learn proper behavior and socialization? What about kids that don't get consistent potty training? Is it healthy for people to be cooped up in a house all day and let out only for a few minutes at a time?

I agree dogs are A lot of work but they are by no means not worth that work.

As for the OP it is blatantly obvious you weren't taught to teach dogs properly so your expectations of them in your adult life was just silly. It is YOUR fault your dogs had behavioral problems. The fact that you didn't and still don't value the lives of these animals shows your true character.

RoseThorn on October 03, 2011:

I agree with this not everyone is meant to have dogs me included. I found out the hard way.

I have an almost 10yr old dog that I cannot stand. Aside from having dog aggression ( which supposedly for pit bulls is normal or so Im told) she gets out and will chase any dog down and clamp down around their throats. She never draws blood but I know its got to be a matter of time. I hate that. I hate it for the other dog and the other owner. Also ever since we had kids she has been not too nice them. Pooping outside my kids bedroom door to the point she has to be kenneled when we are not home, also she pooped and peed on our bed one time when my husband and myself were giving our two girls a bath. She has also growled at them a few times.

Just as many ppl tell me to get rid of her as tell me I need to get her training and keep her because its wrong to give up on a dog. Well Id love to get rid of her but my only option is putting her to sleep, which I don't think I can do. I also can't afford training classes. We got the dog when we were young and dumb.

Her being a pitt mix puts her at a disadvantage for adoption along with her age (10). I have tried family/friends they want nothing to do with this dog, I don't blame them either. Its a major stressor in our lives. With little money and an old aggressive dog what are we to do. So yes we are those ppl that keep the dog out of guilt and I hate thats the way it is. My husband wont even talk about it with each incident with our dog. Recently she scratched my 1yr olds face over a fight with a stuffed animal. I was literally 5 ft away it happened so quickly. I do not trust this dog in my house. I wish my husband would agree to get rid of her. He tells me you go do it cuz he can't. I know if I say Ok I will he will be upset.

He wants us to let her live her life out with us but if this dog lives to be 13 or 14 I might go nuts with worry she might hurt another dog or worse my kids. I hate this so much. Thanks for your blog. Too bad nothing like this was around when I got this dog at 19yrs old. I was so naïve to think dogs just needed vet care food and walks. There is so much more than that.

uh sigh....

Anti Dog on September 30, 2011:

Yep, I like people, not pets. Dogs are high maintenance. It's annoying. What's the point? I guess it's love. It's not the kind of love that comes from a human though, which when you think of it, should be superior to that of the canine species. They are great for people who have problems with relationships and they are great for people who don't care about having a life or for that matter being a responsible owner. I see so many incompetent dog owners out there, it's appalling. I can think of a million things better to do than pick up feces, spend money on a ton of food, vacuum 24/7, groom. It's like having a farm animal in your house. I guess it's great for people who don't care about having clean house. Nope. I'm all set.

JOHANNA on September 27, 2011:

We got a puppy after my husband promised to take care of him but that did not happen (except on weekends). For the last few years I've balanced taking care of the dog although I hated it (dog hair, barking, etc...) and working/school. Now with baby taking care of the dog is a nightmare and my husband's schedule has not improved. I would love to give our dog to a neighbor and wish everyday that my husband would take his dog to work with him. Note: We live in the city and I carry our ever-growing toddler on my baby as I walk this dog rain or shine. I love animals but don't want to take care of one again.

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on September 22, 2011:


Thank you for your thoughtful post. I agree with everything you have written. The bottom line is that GOOD people may not enjoy having a dog as a pet. The other thing is that your dogs have a poor life, and truly, getting them was a mistake for your family and for the dogs. I am sure that someone else will read what you wrote and benefit from your experience.

T on September 22, 2011:

I just have to say that reading everyone posts here has really helped me. I don't feel so alone in my "dislike" of owning dogs. My husband and I have been married for 14 years now and owning dogs has really put an unspoken strain on our marriage (one that he is probably totally oblivious to because I just don't care to talk about it with him anymore). My husband grew up around dogs all of his life (his mom is a dog hoarder) and when I stand back and look at his love for the 2 boxers we have I can honestly say that I love him for the fact that he does have unconditional love for them even when they do bad things. I personally cannot find it in me no matter how hard I try to love them. I fake it to appease him and our friends (who also own dogs and love them like they are their children). I don't want them licking me, sniffing my crotch, jumping on me or my guests, knocking things over in the house when wrestling, peeing in my house, eating the other one's poop, licking each others genitals, sniffing the trash can, shedding, eating my plants, digging holes in my back yard, neighbors calling me all hours of the day because one of them has gotten out and the list goes on and on. I am a very social person who loves to cook, entertain and just spend time with family and friends. That has completely stopped because of the dogs and I can honestly say that I believe I am in a deep depression over it. Over the 14 years we have been married I have fought having them and I have finally given up (we have re-homed many dogs prior to the two we have now). My back yard which once had a very inviting above ground pool and lush green tropical plants is now full of dog poo, holes and weeds. My husband doesn't walk them or spend time with them. When they are in the house they get yelled at by him constantly to "get in their bed" because even he after a long day of work doesn't have the patience for them. Me and the kids get tired of the yelling so back out in the yard they go. They spend most of their time outside with no human interaction except to be cooed at by him when being fed each morning. Pretty lousy life for a dog huh? I would rather them go to someone that could give them a better life but I know if I find homes for them behind his back then I will live out the rest of my life married to the man I love feeling like I took the one thing that makes him happy away from him. We have 4 children and he works so very hard. I know that if we ever split it will be because we have two different views on owning dogs and how they should be treated. I used to cry and tell him how much it hurt me that he allowed them to eat my plants and tear up my yard (which I have a true passion for) and now I am at the point where I just ignore it all. I've expressed this to others and I get a lot of people who don't understand how I can make it out to be so bad but I'm glad that there are others out there just like me. I love visiting other peoples dogs, I just don't want to own them myself. Our kids could really care less whether we have them or not because the dogs don't feel like they are part of the family. A clean house that smells nice is very very comforting to me. Call me OCD if you like but the kids shoes and books around the house is not the same as dog hair, dog slobber and urine. Thanks for all the postings. It's helps me realize that not wanting a dog does not make me a bad person. I just don't understand the "need" to have them if you aren't going to take good care of them and pay them some attention. I'm married to one such man and love him dearly. He loves me unconditionally as I do him but I'm not sure how we can both be happy with such different opinions about the dogs.

Carol on September 19, 2011:

My cousin offered to give me a puppy when we went to visit her about 5 months ago. She had 5 that were given to her. She kept 2 and gave 3 away. I told her I did not want one. She was like, ''when you see them, you'll want one.'' Well, she was right. They were absolutely adorable! My daughter and husband fell in love with him so I decided to give it a try. I've only had one dog, but I was 4, so it's been a while. We managed to potty train him, he does not go inside the house AT ALL. He's very friendly and hyper. He's a chihuahua mix. But I don't want him. I've come to that conclusion because I ABSOLUTELY can't stand the shedding. It's everywhere. Plus, it's another added expense, another responsibility.

I have 2 kids, and my oldest is disabled. I work part-time so I am the one who gives him a bath and does everything else. I want to give him away, but my husband and daughter are in love with him. I feel kinda bad for that, but not for the fact that I don't want him. There is nothing wrong with getting a dog and then giving it away. It's like an adoption. A mother is pregnant, but knows she cannot take care of her child for whatever reason. I personally could never do that, but don't condone anyone who does. A dog is a dog, not a human. That's why they are bought and can be returned or given away. If a dog is your most loyal friend, good for you. Doesn't mean one has to be to me.

Mimi on September 13, 2011:

Nozzer, I totally know how u feel. My boyfriend and I recently got a dog. We did research on caring for a dog. I don't feel that it was just a spontaneous decision. Both of us have never had a dog before and it seems that no matter how much u read up on it, its not the same as living the experience. Honestly, the dog is a great dog. After much talk we decided to bring take him back even though a part of us really really did want to keep him. We just realised a little farther up we wouldn't be able to give him the attention and care that we want to give him.

Bethy on September 08, 2011:

Jack has no plans of leaving as yet as he is planning a extension in the back of the house to create his studio.

if i thought that where was a pitfall in my plans i would have though of a back up as i really want dog and put things right. P.s i wont be getting this dog till after the extention as it gives me more time to think and a construction yard is no where for a little puppy to be growing up. i'v thought of everything possible, im such a geek i bought a note pad of all things im going to hae to sacrfise or change to ake this dogs life th best it can be. well i hope i've though of everything.

gredmondson on September 08, 2011:

Another question occurs to me: Does your brother have long term plans to continue to live in your household? If he does, then you may be one of the few people who can provided a dog a great home. If he moved (and young people do that), what is your plan B for taking care of the dog?

Bethy on September 08, 2011:

Yeah he said he'd enjoy talking it on a walk, and i said you do understand that most of the training will fall on you as im at school. and he understands and says he feels he can. he likes dogs, he loves the cat loads so i know he will look after the pup which is the main priority. but thank you for the advice, ifeel i genuinly learnt my lesson when we got rid of the old dog and i would never want to put a dog throught that again hense why i am seeking your advice. you think we should go for it again? x

carolinemoon on September 08, 2011:

Nice one!

gredmondson on September 07, 2011:


Here are the big parts of your message:

1) You have convinced your mother to allow you to have a dog. You had a dog before which she rehomed. You must have grown in ways that have convinced your mother that this time your having a dog is going to be better.

2) Your brother is home during the day. I have a question here. Does he want the responsibility of a dog while you are away at school?

Bethy on September 07, 2011:

Hi im 15 and i have just convinced my mum to have a dog, im so excited about the whole prospect of having a loyal companion waiting for me when i leave school ( my brother has his own buisness and works from home so he's in all day - so don't worry the pup will be cared for 24/7). i have drawed up my timetables and as i already get up at half 6 i have no trouble with waking up. i will have time to walk and play with the pup before i set out for school. i have a cat that i have looked after, litter trained and everything. i really want a dog. however the thing that is holding me back is when i was about 12-13 i had a dog, but just as we had this puppy my mum and dad split up, we moved to a new house and i was struggling with the whole consept of it all and with my mother being extremely house proud y standards with cleaning up after her slipped. mum couldn't cope with the smell and mess. she got rid of my dog by sending it back to the breeders and was eventually rehomed. i was devostated when she went, but releived i realised that i wasn't ready for such a comitment and i crumbled under the pressure. but now i have grown up a lot, i have changed my grades at school working above my expectations (this may not sound like a big deal) but i have had to become reliant on my self getting to and from school. which is 2 buses their and back. i have had to change my lifestyle completley moving far away from my school. and i genuinly beleive i have grown up a lot, before i couldn't look after myself but now im self reliant and have my head screwed on. i really want to try again with a dog, as i genuinlly think im up to it! please help? thank you aswell for everyone opening my eyes to the biggger picture of owning a dog. their thing that slipped my mind like some one said long ago that you remember the good and forge about the baad points! but thank you for making me remember things i struggled with coping with. i hope you understand and reply soon! thanks again :) x

Angi on September 01, 2011:

I had plenty of reasons for not wanting a dog: I have had dogs growing up and they were not well cared for. I tried having puppies as an adult and that was a huge mistake. They are messy, they smell, they are time consuming, etc... HOWEVER, my husband was dead set on having a dog. He was like the little boy in "Where the Red Fern Grows" that sulked about not having a dog until the parents gave in. I gave in and got us a dog, and of course he wanted a BIG dog. It was going surprisingly well, so we actually got another. I am not a dog lover by nature but I am turning into one, maybe a "dog liker." I still don't like other peoples dogs though (because they act like idiots.. much like other peoples kids).

Nozzer on September 01, 2011:

I wish I had read this article sooner. I live alone and have for some time thought about getting a dog, I work just minutes from home and am home at lunch time and thought I could do this. I have had my dog 6 days now and Im just so torn about it all, literally from the first day I think I made a mistake, my dog is 3 1/2 years old and in fairness has not been any trouble, she hasn't put a paw wrong but all of a sudden Im hit with this thought of what have I done. Im a dog lover and an animal lover but Im really concerned I made a massive mistake in getting this dog. I have concerns anyway about the amount of time I will be away from the dog although I think the dog is fine with this anyway, in most ways she is the most perfect dog however I think I have made a mistake. I like my time to be my own and the tie of this dog feels like a lot and I shouldn't have done it, I do have the time to spare with the dog in the evenings and weekends and Im very active but I just feel I shouldn't have done this. I have talkied to people about my concerns but they tell me to give it more time.

However what if I give it more time and still feel like this, am I not making the situation worse buy delaying what is likely to happen and the dog going back anyway to the rescue centre. She is a great dog and will make someone an amazing family pet but despite me thinking this was the right thing to do for some time I feel so far like I have made a massive error and I just don't know what to do.

Erin on August 22, 2011:

I respect what you have to say here. Many people I know don't understand why on earth would someone want to have a dog so much. Keeping a dog is really troublesome.When I first got my puppy, the initial 6 months were the hardest. It took so much effort to be a consistently good owner. Feeding, cleaning up after him,getting bitten on the hands and feet, veterinary expenses, getting worried over the possibility that he has worms, fleas, ticks,etc. Actually just 3 months after getting the puppy, I considered finding a new home for him. But I think that deep down I must really have a soft spot for dogs, that's why I kept on doing what I had to do despite those evil thoughts lurking at the back of my mind. Then, after six months, the puppy grew into some sort of a friendly pet. He started to want to bond. He behaved when I commanded it. He stopped biting, and also whining which was nice.Now he is one year old, all sweet and very obedient. He has surprisingly grown into such an affectionate dog! So now I understand why there are still people willing to go through all that trouble to keep a dog, but, yeah I surely do agree that not everybody want to do it.

gredmondson on August 19, 2011:

Tara, it takes courage and intelligence to know when you make a mistake, and it often takes even more of those two traits to correct the mistake. You are doing that. Please do not beat yourself up over this. This is a dog, and when you find new owners who know what they are getting into and WANT a dog, everyone, and the dog, will be better off.

I have had both children and dogs, and for me, there is no comparison! (Secretly, I wonder about those people who say, "I love my dog like my own child."). I would encourage you to not let this dog experience deter you from becoming a parent. While I do believe not everyone should reproduce, your feelings about dogs do not warrant being a factor in that decision. I do not care for dogs as pets, and I loved having children.

Tara on August 19, 2011:

My Husband and I decided to get a dog recently. We are both unexperienced large dog owners, however I've always had pets throughout my life...cats, small dogs. So, we decided to get a Great Dane because of their kind temperment and despite the fact they get huge, they don't need a huge amount of exercise. We did lots of research on the breed, I thought I was prepared and ready for dog ownership. The truth is I'm miserable. I completely regret getting the dog. I've made a horrible mistake and feel terrible that I put this perfectly wonderful dog in this situation. I consider myself to be a very responsible person, but this is the most irresponsible thing I've ever done. I've come to the decision that if you work full time, having a pup is just too much. I've become depressed and feel trapped. I don't even want to go home after work, I dread it. I do every thing I can to fulfill the dog's needs, I go home at lunch to let her out, after work there's feeding, playing, walking, training, affection and praise... I'm exhausted and I just hate this lifesyle. I just don't have the passion for it. I'm in my 30's and we were wanting to have kids, but now I'm even second guessing that. This sucks...I've become one of those people in which you say "they shouldn't have got a dog if they're not willing to do the work" I will never get a dog again!! and I'll never again judge someone for choosing to give up on their dog. I give up and I don't care anymore. I will find a proper home for my dog, just because I'm miserable, I won't abandon her to another bad situation

Staci on August 17, 2011:

A dog or puppy is exactly like a child. Many domestic, and farm animals are. They grow up to be exactly as ou raise them. Ever hear "you reap what you sew"?! I'm a 6th generation farmer and an animal lover. If you raise an animal to be kind, loving, and well behaved it will be. You must invest the time, and effort to raise a good pet. As far as them not being born potty trained and well behaved, well neither are children. My child when he was a newborn spit up everywhere, when he had diarrhea it would at time flow right out of his diaper and end up everywhere. Just like puppies, potty messes everywhere. Oh and how puppies chew "everything up", they're teething just like babies! Step up to the plate and buy them puppy teething rings ie: bones, chewy toys, and crunchy treats. If they chew something up you didn't want them to it's your fault or not putting it up out of puppy reach. Sounds just like how we lock cabinet doors, move medicines, and hide any chemicals from our children. You're dog doesn't come when you call it? How many hrs have you spent per day doing obedience exercises with your pet? Not nearly as many as you would invest in you child teaching it to walk, talk, and do it's homework, huh?! I could go on and on how children (and adults) can ruin carpet, flooring, and everything else they get their hands on. All animals are hard work, if you're the least bit lazy, or have ever put important things off because you " don't have enough hours in a day" then you should not own a pet.

Paula on August 15, 2011:

What about kids? people keep talking about dogs, but kids also wreck the house, also catch and transmit desease, cost muuuuuuuch more than a dog, responsibility FOR LIFE (a dog only lasts 10 years max) kids cry all night and day long for years till they grow up... i truly believe that having a dog is much more fullfilment than having an annoyin crying stinky baby... but, that is my own opinion... kids and dogs are not that much differently, except that dogs are much easier to care for and cost much less, and dogs wont ignore you when thy are teenager and be embarassed to be seen with you...

PuppyBlues on August 14, 2011:

Everyone I guess. I do it at night.. My son was doing it while I Was at work.. And now my husband cause our kids go back to school.

gredmondson on August 14, 2011:

Who is taking care of the puppy? Who is taking care of the puppy pads, for example?

PuppyBlues on August 14, 2011:

That is what I was planning to do.. I was going pay for the puppy package at a local vet clinic, that includes a checkup and all of its puppy shots.. We got him a week ago today and it is almost puppy pad trained and crate trained.. I just feel so much anxiety.. Should I see if my anxiety goes away since my husband and kids like him.. He was only not even 7 weeks when we go him.

gredmondson on August 14, 2011:

The sooner you get the puppy to a good home, one that is ready for the responsibility, the better off it will be for everyone, and for the puppy, too. If it would make you feel better, prepay for the shots for the next owner.

PuppyBlues on August 14, 2011:


I am in the same position.. Sort of.. I do not think I have the option of returning the puppy. My husband and kids have been asking for a dog and on a whim I decided to buy one that was offer to me. After the first night I was very traumatized by the puppy.. He cried all night. Having a puppy was not what I imagine.. My sister has dogs and they are well behaved.. My sister said it will take time but I am not sure that I am ready for the responsibility.. I work full time, go to school full time and care for my children.. The puppy gives me unneeded stress. And above that I feel I bought the puppy too young. I feel the least I can do for the next owner is to get the puppy checked out and have its first round of shots.. Any input good or bad will be extremely helpful.

Steph on August 10, 2011:

What do you do if you totally regret getting a puppy and realize you don't want a dog...but your husband and kids want to keep the puppy? But I'm the one that takes care of her the most since I'm a stay at home mom. I'm seriously sick to my stomach about this. My husband said I could try and see if the breeder will take her back but he's going to be upset along with my children, he really doesn't want to. I don't know what to do. I can't eat, I'm emotionaly drained,Ive even lost weight from worrying about this. But I really don't want a dog. Reading about them and doing all the homework before and experience it are two different things!!!

Cherry Blossom on June 09, 2011:

Leaving a dog alone for 8 hours is sheer cruelty. They are pack animals and have a terrible time on their own. Behavioural problems - biting-separation anxiety. If you want a dog, wait till you're retired and can spend all day with poochie. Don't get one 'for the kids'.I was bitten by a poodle type dog last night..came running right out of her house - owner screaming at the dog..which she naturally ignored and on she came..just a scratch but..I had my umbrella and that dog got a good crack in the face. The owner was shocked but not angy at all which was good. If I'd been with a toddler that child could have been badly hurt. People...if you don't have time for a dog..DO NOT GET ONE. There are so many irresponsible dog owners out there it makes me sick. And...the dog is NOT your child. It is a dog. Dog's bite, get sick, run into traffic, shed like mad and then...die after a very short life. Please think very hard before you decide to bring an dog into your home.

Eve on June 04, 2011:

I wish so bad that I had read this ten months ago. After ten months of being an owner of two puppies, I realized what I knew deep down inside. I am not a dog person. I am a clean freak,, a neat freak, I like a peaceful home, and I hate the smell. I have to mop daily, vacuum everyother day, wash them weekly, and it's still not enough. My two sons and my husband don't help pick up poo or clean up after them, so I'm stuck doing it all, and I work two jobs. I wish I had read this before, and realized the reality of the change it would make. I thought since they wanted them so bad. And they are old enough to help that I would be okay, and I thought I would learn to love them. I didn't. And i know it doesn't make me a bad person.

Matt on March 20, 2011:

Dogs are work, there's no question about that. But I believe it's worth it. Dog's offer unconditional love. Words cannot express how positive that can be for a person and/or a family. While I agree not everyone should have a dog, I do believe some people who wrote on this post may have given up too early, or perhaps would have been successful with different methods. I would suggest doing research before AND after you get the dog. Dogs are very trainable, and respond well to repitition. I had a Golden Retriever for 11 years, and just lost him. After a little time, I'll get another one. And yes, I know it will be work, but the rewards are more than worth it. If you want a dog, do some research, have a plan for training it, know ahead of time what you will allow and what you won't. Above all, be consistent. The dog will reward you with love and companionship for years to come.

Matt on March 20, 2011:

Dogs are work, there's no question about that. But I believe it's worth it. Dog's offer unconditional love. Words cannot express how positive that can be for a person and/or a family. While I agree not everyone should have a dog, I do believe some people who wrote on this post may have given up too early, or perhaps would have been successful with different methods. I would suggest doing research before AND after you get the dog. Dogs are very trainable, and respond well to repitition. I had a Golden Retriever for 11 years, and just lost him. After a little time, I'll get another one. And yes, I know it will be work, but the rewards are more than worth it. If you want a dog, do some research, have a plan for training it, know ahead of time what you will allow and what you won't. Above all, be consistent. The dog will reward you with love and companionship for years to come.

Animal saver on February 23, 2011:

Some of the things you said make sense but some stuff wasn't fair because that's not true about all dogs. Some people are really good with dogs so you shouldn't say getting a dog is a bad idea because you think everyone will be a bad owner. I want to get a dog and I know it might be hard and some dogs will bite but if you go to a shelter and pick a dog you will pick one that is nice to you

Gredmondson on February 06, 2011:


You said something so important . . . That you have not bonded with the dog and for you the dog is a big imposition on your life. Please do not think you are a bad person because of this. Wisely, you did not keep the second dog. I guess you have tried walking with the dog with your wife.

I just hope that someone who does not really want a dog, but is still thinking of getting one, will read your post. That way you will have helped someone.

cornered on February 06, 2011:

I got a pup 2 years ago and have since the third week in, regretted doing so. This drew many arguments between my wife and I as I wanted to move the dog on to someone who had the time and inclination to give the dog the life i thought she wanted. So I just lived with the situation and made the best of it. I still dream of being able to leave the front door open, travel at the drop of a hat or have those couple of drinks after work on a Friday without feeling guilty about the pup at home. Don't get me wrong, the dog has a beautiful nature and despite the shedding and barking is a really cool pup I just had no comprehension of the impact owning a dog would have on the architecture of my perfect little life I was trying to build.

During the first months of arguments my wife offered the opportunity to get rid of the dog but I felt the judgement on my character if I accepted the offer would be a dent in our relationship I couldn't fix.

Now here comes the kicker - This past week we got a second pup on trial from a breeder - man I wish I had done this in the first instance as I am organising to take him back with no horrible pressing conscience. My wife is still upset but I think we both see a second dog was swallowing spiders to catch flies.

My wife loves our dog to pieces and has said we will never part with her, the dog is walked 7 days a week and has free reign over a good sized yard and in house area so has a good life but I now find myself staying later at work, driving the long way home or hitting the gym more just to get outta the house and have some dog-free time. I guess we'll find level water eventually. Dog ownership is difficult and there is no real way of explaining the imposition on your life a dog will have - which is I guess why we got a dog having thought we had planned and discussed all the ins and outs of dog ownership. I don't get that same feeling of companionship etc my wife does.If I had the option to release our pup to a great home I was assured would love her and spoil her I would. But I guess this is what they call comprimise. To those who currently own dogs and have the resourses to maintain a great life for your family and the dog I applaud you. And to those thinking of getting a pup - you can do all the research you want but three weeks in is a different story. And if you skipped to this post - go back to the start of this Hub and read every entry twice.

jade on February 01, 2011:

if you trained your dog it would not bark when the doorbell rings or try to run out the door or bite people that stuff is the owners fault for not properly training the dog

gredmondson on January 27, 2011:


Having a dog is not for you. We all make mistakes, and this is not an earth-shattering one. Your responsibility is to rectify the situation. You have given the dog excellent care with medication and potty training. Take the dog back to where you got her, if you can. Explain the situation. No doubt, they have heard it before. And, they will find the dog a suitable home.

It seems so sad to me to see people keep a dog out of guilt -- at great personal sacrifice.

Wanda on January 26, 2011:

I live alone and have been ill for a couple of years. My children are grown and I really thought having a dog would be the right thing to do. I was told it adds years to your life. I went to the animal shelter and adopted a Pomeranian that needed to finish her medication as soon I got her. She bite me each time I had to give her the medication and she was not potty trained when I first got her. I have had to put so much energy and work into her that I am exhausted. I feel so guilty because I made a mistake on buying a dog. I take very good care of her with her grooming of her coat, treats, feeding and the many trips out daily to go to potty. I plan to go back to work and school and I truly do not know how to handle this situation. I feel like a failure because deep down I truly don't think I want the dog. I managed to potty break her with positive reinforcement and I do realize ever who had her may have hit her she is really scared if quick movement.

anonimous on December 06, 2010:

2 weeks ago i got a dog. i am home often while my partner works and it gets a bit lonely and ive always wanted a dog, now i wonder why i wanted a dog so much. It has put a bit of space and stress between us and it poos and pees everywhere. because it is a little dog it goes pee often so i have to let it out all the time but then i have to watch it while its outside being so little and young. I wish i had researched before getting a dog. Its lovely and cute and everyone loves him but hes a lot of work and i feel so guilty rehoming him and i hope noone judges me for my mistake but i guess sometimes you really don't know until you experience something for yourself if something is right for you. Mum warned me before i got him but i didn't want to listen now i have an add for him and hope someone will adopt him hes a lovely chihuahua papillon pomeranian x we also have 2 budgies which i love having and will stick to from now on they are just so much easier than having a dog thank you for having these posts it really has made me feel a lot better about my situation knowing im not alone in the mistake i have made.

Firepaw on November 16, 2010:

Thx people for taking your dogs back and not just keeping them. I knew a lady once who her grandchildren gave her a dog, but she didn't really want one but they were so excited she couldn't make them take it back, so she put it in her extra bathtub and gave it food and water but that was it no walk no playing nothing and the bathtub was filled with dung. It stayed there until someone found out and rescued the poor dog.

However, dogs have changed my life and although I respect your opinions on dogs I myself have other ideas. As far back as I can remember, I have wanted a dog, from the "Mommy! Daddy! Can I have a doggie?" to helping out with extra chores, studying puppies, and writing an essay about the pros and cons of dog ownership (ok mostly the pros, I admit). Tickles, which was a puppy I owned for a brief time, helped me to rid myself from OCD and was the subject of my wistful dreaming for a long time. He changed me.

susan on October 28, 2010:

so its not really about the dog...its about the disrespect your husband showed you. talk to him.

charliebentle on October 07, 2010:

I wish my husband would realise the mistake he made in getting a dog. I resent it, and my husband can not see the damage his thoughtlessness is causing.

He could give the dog to his parents, they are retired...but we have had the dog for two years now and it is now a 'joke'...I am made to feel bad because I am not a dog person. I have to 'suck it up'...if we didn't have children I would give him the "me or the dog" ultimatium. Or maybe I'd just leave.

The catch is - it is a 'good' dog. He is obedient, good with the kids..everyone says he is a great dog, and he is. I can't fault him.

The resent comes from the lack of communication in actually getting the dog, my DH just got it. He knew how I felt. We had discussed it, and agreed that our yard was too small, our child too young and our family not complete. Had he opened a discussion about his deep desire to have a dog and respected my feelings, I might have accepted this, even enjoyed it.

But. I. Resent. It. Everytime I look at the dog it makes me think of the disrespect.

I can't touch the dog without my skin crawling. I hate the poo in the yard that my small children HAVE to share with him. I hate the way this makes me feel.

I probably need therapy, because everyone loves dogs except me.

I resent that too.

Thank you for letting me vent.

jacqui on September 24, 2010:

she has gone and i can not stop crying and it was no lady it was a young 2 something girl who should be in work anyway plus i gave her huge bag of food and tess bits and she never said thank you in my eyes that is not a good person anyway what have i done :-(

gredmondson on September 24, 2010:


Yes, it is best to let Tess go with the lady.

jacqui on September 24, 2010:

hi i have had tess now for 5 weeksshe is a patterdale the most gorgeous affectionate dog evry she is adorable lovely has odd accident but gorgeous companion i also have a 5 year old daughter who the novelty has worn off with her , the dog is 7 months old and i start uni on monday full time (which i know why did you get a dog in the first place , yes i know i have been selfish etc ) but i have found a lady who is coming to get her in about 5 hours the lady doesn't work already has a dog so will be a buddy for tess the husband works they live near lots of countryside so amazing for tess but by god i have been besides myself today fami,y making me feel guilty i want to keep her i love her to bits she is adorable f=real little friend but i will be out all day and then when back no doubt have a battle with m 5 year old to take her out with me :-( really don't know if doing the "right" thing or not ??? i know tess will have agreat life witrh this lady but i will miss her like mad and it makes me sad :-( to let her go what shall i do what is the right thing to do my mum says well i will take tess out during the day but i know novelty wil wear off with my mum as she huffs and puffs now if i ask her so i think letting tess go with the lady is the best or is it :-( xxx

kkr on September 15, 2010:

We got dogs, two labs in 2007. I regret getting them. I should've researched on it because now I feel that my husband dumps them on me when he does stuff for the military. He's looking at going to school for four months next year and I'm worried that he will dump the dogs on me again with a 4 month old baby. I'm expecting a baby any day now. Then he wants to go on another deployment. I've already decided if he's going to dump them on me, I'm getting rid of them. I will go insane if I have to take care of a newborn and 2 big dogs by myself. I've even thought it through. My family lives 5.5 hours drive south of me and how am I suppose to visit them when I have to drop two dogs at the kennel and the baby has to be in the back seat. I do not want the dogs in the back seat with the baby.

My husband will have to figure out what to do with them because he's not dumping them on me again like he did with his last deployment! I will get rid of them!!

R on September 09, 2010:

Thanks for the hub. I'm not in complete agreement with your philosophy of pet-keeping and I am not fond of the term "owner" as it applies to people with pets. However, your article and your other readers' comments helped me accept that getting a dog really might not be the best decision for my husband and me. I'm the one who wants one, but I've left the final decision to him because he'd be the one at home with it most of the time. Seeing how many problems this has caused in other people's relationships has cleared my vision. I won't be putting any more pressure on him, because I know I'd choose him over the dog, and that wouldn't be fair to the dog.

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on August 22, 2010:

Paula, this is a sad story, but one that has been told many times. Before a couple gets a dog, they should make sure that both of them want it.

paula on August 22, 2010:


i have just recently split up with my bfriend ov a year and 3 months because he has a chocolate lab that is 5 years old. he has had it since she was a pup. i can understand that he loves her and has the emotional ties whatever.. but this dog has come between us. he lives with his mother and they both share the responsibility ov this dog. they both work full time and she is left at home 8-9 hours a day on her own, she poo's on the carpet regular, lies all over the furniture and even shares a bed with his mother everynight!! this dog is also overweight. me and my EXboyfriend were great together, everything perfect. loved each other! i have 2 kids and my own home, we'd been getting on that great we talked about him moving in with us ( gets on great with my kids) he told me at the beginning that his mam would prob want the dog to stay there with her as she is on her own and would want the company. it spends more time with her anyway as he has spent a lot ov time at my house. but now things have changed...he wants the dog to come with him and i don't want that! iv'e just decorated my house and spent a lot ov money on carpets throughout. i don't want this dog coming into my home pooing and hairs and smelling my home out. im very house proud and clean. not much can be said ov his mothers home! plus my children are wary around dogs and my youngest son has ezema which can be brought out worse with allergies off a dog. i wanted a compromise ov some sort, so asked him if he would be willing to leave his dog with his mam and come live with us. but no, he said that his mam wasn't happy with that! WHAT! said she complained ov the cost so i suggested him giving his mam money for dog food. but still no, said he didn't want to come backwards and forwards from his mams to take the dog out ( because she won't take it out for walks)this has caused a lot ov distress!! so we have split!! this dog is obviously more important to hi than i am!!

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on August 19, 2010:

The best answer is that you take her back to the shelter as soon as possible to give this dog a chance to be adopted by someone else. The sooner she is adopted by an appropriate person, the better off she will be. Returning her to the shelter as soon as possible will mean that she may be adopted sooner. It is better to have corrected the mistake than to have lived with it, which is this case, would be bad for you and bad for the dog.

D on August 19, 2010:

I wish I saw this sooner. I just adopted a dog (yesterday) and I can already tell that I am not ready to be a dog owner. When I was still living at home, I had poodles, no shedding, very obedient, and 4 adults helping altogether.. Now that I'm on my own with my fiancé, it's a lot different. I am one of those "ignorant" owners who adopted her on a whim and was no where close to being prepared. I didn't do my breed research nor anything else for that matter. Now she's here and as cute as she is, she is very demanding for attention (which I can give). However, I will be returning to work in Sept. teaching full time. I'll be gone from 6:30-4 and my fiancé 7:30-6:30. I don't want to keep her crated for that entire time. My question is, do I keep her for a week, until next Wednesday (letting her enjoy freedom) or do I return her to the shelter where I got her? If I was at a point in my life where I can give her the attention she deserves, I wouldn't be here asking for help... Judge me if you want but I know when I made a mistake...

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on July 11, 2010:

Sam, I think you should write your own hub titled "Why I Love Dogs". You sound like a special person. Your third sentence is powerful and true for many people.

Sam on July 11, 2010:

1. Not all dogs are the same. You just need to find "your breed". Or maybe you aren't a dog person at all. But don't include ALL dogs in the same generalization. Some dogs need very little exercise (like the boston terrier). Some dogs are very healthy (this has a lot to do with the breed of the dog, but also with how the owner takes care of it). All dogs are social, that's true. If you are always out of home and you don't have someone to look after it and play with it while you aren't there, then don't get a dog or it will become a horror for you.

2. You DON'T need to be Cesar Millan to be a good owner. The guy SOLVES problems of (mostly) owners whose dogs are spoiled or who have been irresponsible with their dogs. I'm just a teenager, and I own a mutt (it's a little taller than a lab). My parents and sister don't want to take care of any more pets, but since I take really good care of him, they let me keep him. He's very well-trained, I've been told that by vets, dog trainers, and people on the streets. That's because I take care of him and I trained it since it was a puppy! It's been lots of fun to have him around these last seven years.

3. Come on, having kids is WAY more expensive than owning a dog. Even I know it.

4. Babies and house chores limit you to being home as well. And if you don't have kids or don't want kids, perhaps it could do you some good to own an animal that gives you responsabilities.

You don't always need to take the dog with you on trips. I leave my dog at a friend's house or at my aunt's house when I'm gone for too long. You can also get in some really good trips (like eco-tourism, or going to the beach) even if you have a dog with you.

5. This is very true and very sad. This happens because people aren't prepared to handle a dog (you need dedication and patience, dogs can even bring that out in some people). These people need to be educated, and blogs like yours can really help them.

6. "Who do you know that appears to be an excellent dog owner?" The grandfather of one of my friends. He owns a beautiful female Rottie, she is AMAZING. She is the most incredible dog I've ever known.

"Who do you know who is a good dog owner?" I consider myself a good owner. I play with my dog during weekends for hours, I train him to do fun tricks, I walk him every day at night (VERY seldom do I not walk him. It sounds stupid since I'm a teen and you'd imagine I have parties every weekend and whatnot, but in my country no one goes out in the street at night anymore. I live in a gated community, so I feel safer there. Besides, the...uhh "bad guys" won't go in a gated community and shoot everyone just for the hell of it). The hardest part has been to socialize him, but you can just take him to the park. Many people are there with their dogs, maybe some will even agree with letting the dogs meet each other and play while you supervise them.

7. What doesn't spread diseases nowadays? You're worried about that? The whole planet is freaking DYING and it REEKS of diseases. If you vaccinate your dog, bathe it regularly, and take good care of it, you'll be perfectly fine. I've NEVER had any problems with diseases coming from the dogs I've owned, even when I was a little kid and I played with them.

8. Dogs aren't humans, that's true. They SHOULD NEVER be treated like you treat humans because they are DOGS and they don't think like us. They're ANIMALS. They don't know what is good or bad, it's YOUR duty as an owner to teach the dog.

Dogs are pack animals, it's in their nature to work as a pack. It's in their nature to have a leader, which is supposed to be the OWNER. If you let your dog do everything it wants, then it will think it is the leader of the pack. It's going to become spoiled and that's when you will begin to hate your dog.

9. Some dogs shed very, very, very little (like rotties), others shed A LOT (like the Chow Chow), others shed normally (like the dachsund), and others don't shed at all (like the Xoloitzcuintle, which is cute and awesome despite what most of you think). You need to take care of your dog's fur (or more like hair, if you think Yorkies). If you think it will STINK your home or it will be shedding EVERYWHERE in your house, don't let them live inside. Or let them in just a few hours a day under your supervision. They stink, obviously, just like humans do when we don't take baths for days. What do you do when you stink? You take a bath. But your dog can't do that by itself, you need to bathe it or pay someone to bathe it. They won't stink much if you bathe them regularly. Baths also help fleas stay away from your dog. If it lives outside, then put anti-flea powder after they bath. Dogs will look (and feel) amazing if you take care of them.

10. "The dog's toenails will scratch hard surface floors." Clip them. if they're still to long, don't let the dog get in that room. Simple.

11. You shouldn't need a dog to go out and exercise, but they sure are awesome companions for that. Besides, they give people a responsibility of having to get up from their T.V. show and go take a look at the pretty flowers in the park. Oh, accidents occur all the time. Just be a little careful, that's it. Tripping with dogs? It happens, sure, but people trip all the time. Just be careful, that's it. It's an ACCIDENT. I was actually bitten by a dog when I was little, but I was stupid for putting my hand inside the dog's mouth. And what happened to me? I cried for a while, I got my hand washed and desinfected, and I went out to play with my cousins (it was their dog that bit me. He was really nice, but he bit me because I put my hand inside his mouth while he was yawning). Other people aren't that lucky, but still...I mean, just teach your dog NOT to bite (when it's a puppy it's MUCH better and safer), it's really easy. You can find TONS of information in internet on how to teach puppies not to bite. They won't learn that biting is bad unless you teach them.

You must always be careful around STREET DOGS. If they aren't bothering you, don't go to them and poke them or pull on their tails or something. You don't know where they come from and you don't know if they have any diseases with them. In my country we have tons (and I mean TONS) of street dogs. Most of them are peaceful, but I've seen many of them (especially in ejidos, ranches, and big haciendas) that form packs. Since they aren't afraid of people, they will most likely attack if you bother them. Others are very nice and peaceful, especially the ones that live in parks and places where there are many people.

Automobile accidents? tons and tons. Just don't let your dog out. If it's anxious or if it destroys stuff, it's because you don't give it enough exercise, which make the dog get bored.

FYI, they DO love, you know? They don't stay with you "just because you feed them". They are very loyal if you're a good owner, even if you don't train them or anything. I know that from experience.

Most of the problems you addressed are true for many OWNERS, not dogs. All those problems are because of BAD ownership. Animals are never to blame, they only follow their instincts. It's never been and it will NEVER be the animals' fault. Come on, even 5-year-olds know that.

And so what if not all dogs are pretty? I've seen a share of beautiful humans who are complete asses. My dog is UGLY (reeeaaally), but he's the happiest and most loyal thing in the whole world. That comment of yours sounded very mean, but I understand that you want people to know that dogs won't always be as cute as they were when they were pups. (Especially since people don't look at the pups' parents, which is a BAAAD and common mistake.)

Fawntia Fowler from Portland on July 01, 2010:

Thank you for this Hub. I wasn't thinking about all of the downsides of having a dog before reading it. You've reminded me of all of the problems that my parents had with our dogs growing up. I still think that it's possible to be a good dog owner and provide a dog with a good life, but I do need to think harder about whether I'm able to make that commitment.

gredmondson on June 13, 2010:

Say this: Boyfriend, I have had time to re=think about getting the dog. I know that we both found Fido adorable, and there is part of me that likes dogs. I know you love dogs, but upon further consideration, I definitely do not want a dog. I like our life right now. Fido will be adoped by someone else. I hate telling you this -- especially after agreeing to get a dog, but I know this is really how I feel.

Now, do you have any friends who have a dog? Can he go visit these dogs? Take care of them when the owners go away?

JB on June 13, 2010:

My boyfriend has wanted a dog for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we always had a dog at some point or another. He did not.

That being said, about three years ago, when we bought our house I decided to finally let him get what he wanted. At the time, he was working a week out of town and then a week at home. We decided to get a puppy. That was an awful mistake. I picked up the dog and she was 8 weeks old. After only one day with the dog, I ended up taking her back to the breeders. I could not deal with cleaning up poop, pee, howling and whining all by myself.

Three years later, my boyfriend now works in town. I work 40 hours a week and he works long hours some days. There is a dog at a local shelter that we went and saw and of course, my boyfriend fell in love. I also find him adorable. So, I let my boyfriend put in an application to adopt him.

However, I really do not think I want a dog. I have two cats and I love our life right now. I love not having to worry about coming home and taking the dog out. My dilemma is now, how do I tell him that? Especially after since I told him he could and me also being semi-excited about this dog. This dog will easily be adopted by another family. Even while we were there there were several families looking at him.

Any thoughts on how or what to tell him?

gredmondson on June 07, 2010:


You are absolutely right that I am not the person to have a dog. Fortunately, I KNOW that. Sadly, so many dog owners also should not have dogs.

Noel on June 07, 2010:

Wow you are probably the type of person that should not own a dog growing up with having dog's hit by car's and not taking them to the vets for medical treatment and holding them out in the garage is beyond cruel. And then to not desex your female dog or any dog for that matter is stupid to not have the common sense to know that a living animal deserves the respect and treatment that you would give to any other family member!! Dogs aren't like a sweater you buy at a store and then decide it doesn't "Suit" you and take it back.

Bea on June 06, 2010:

I have a dog I hate it it's my husbands and I'm stuck taking care of it while he works I want nothing to do with it and want to get rid of it help

AnimeDivaDog on May 09, 2010:

Make sure to tell to tell your kids you don't think you're providing enough care for the dog. PLUS-many people think fleas cannnot be treated, but dogs feel horrible by having this and it needs to be prevented by a monthly medicine you put on the back of their necks called Frountline. If your dog does have fleas, see a vet IMMEDIATELY!

AnimeDivaDog on May 09, 2010:

Again, if you really love your dog and you really can't keep her because you don't think you can provide her good enough care, then give her away to someone who has had LOTS of experience with dogs (like me. I have had dogs all my life) and she will have a better home. BUT make sure you tell your kids you are giving away your dog BEFORE the deed is done. Your kids will be MUCH happier and will understand. But if you tell them after you gave the dog away, they will be upset you didn't tell them and will not have said goodbye to the dog and gave her a hug and kiss. If you have doubts, this is coming from a kid herself.

AnimeDivaDog on May 09, 2010:

By the way, have you watched Marley and Me(based on a true story)? It teaches you to love your dog weather it's untrainable or not.


AnimeDivaDog on May 09, 2010:

I LOVE dogs. I'm young and I pretend my dog,Clover (soft-coated wheaton terrier) is my little girl. She's three now and we're inseperable. What you said is nothing that a cheap dog trainor can't handle. If your dog is pregnant is also not a reason to give her away. I also do not agree with leaving your dog out in the yard. It's either play with him/her or don't get a dog. Before you get a dog, think about how much time you have and weather you are planning to keep him/her in the yard. If you don't have much time(dogs require A lot of play and training time) and/or if you want to keep him/her in the yard, don't get a dog, get a cat that roams around and doesn't require training. But remember the most important rule-

DOGS ARE NOT CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dee dee on May 04, 2010:

thanks for getting back to me, he knows i couldn't upset the kids by doing this, we only had the dog 2wks when he suggested its my problem i deal with it,how could i do that after a 2wks of getting her but now i wish i had,deep down my husband really wants to keep her he thinks he's got the best dog in the street because its a rottweiller and slags of other peoples dogs saying there no real dogs this is a real dog, im scared of the bad name these dogs have and i worry for my kids but again he says its the how there brought up ive got relatives that wont visit are they don't like that type of dog and says am silly for getting one, looks like im gona be stuck with it because its no in my nature to do this to the kids im just so angry with myself and feel my husbands no willing to talk about it anymore, thanks for your advice

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on May 04, 2010:

dee dee,

Your answer is in your text. Your husband says that you can get rid of the dog. Do it. Yes, you will have to do it yourself; no one is going to help you. And, it will be horrible the first day. The kids will not hate you forever. When they say, "Why did you get rid of Fido?" Your answer must be, "She deserved a better home than we were able to provide for her." Try not to blame them with comments like, "You did not pick up her poop," because they will only get defensive. My prediction is that you will be amazed at how quickly the children get over the loss of the dog. The last five lines of your post are just too much to ignore. Learning these kinds of lessons is painful, but self-knowledge is a great thing.

dee dee on May 04, 2010:

my husband said to a day before xmas eve ive found a last minute pressie for the kids, he showed me his computer and on it was rottweiller puppies which i admit looked lovely, i said the kids would love it and was so excited to see there faces, 2 days later we got the dog, the kids faces were a picture, we only had the dog 3days when i realised what have we done this dog is a nightmare,i cant take to it at all, we've had her nearly five months now and ive never been so miserable in my whole life, i have spoken to my husband how i feel and he just keeps saying she'll get better he knows i hate the dog and im really unhappy with her being here and he said if i want to get rid of it ive to do myself he would rather come home from work and she was gone, the kids are crying there eyes out as they want to keep her, i know this will cause problems in our house if i do it on my own i;ll be the big bad mummy that got rid of there dog,how can i do this to this to my boys even tho they never walk her or play with her complain that she jumps on them and bites there feet when you try to walk passed her, she's chewed things, the house smells, its covered in dog, hair my garden is now a toilet and covered in holes she eats her own shit and expects to jump on you and like you she doesn't do anything she,s told and my husband still keeps saying it will get better, he told me the other day he's fed up with me moaning about this darn dog he doesn't wasn't to hear it anymore its getting boring now, im at the end of my tether and i feel like moving out, he's seen me crying over this and just says is it worth getting upset over, i cant stand this animal its my firsy and it will definatley be my last, i cant go on the next 15yrs feeling like this what can i do

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on April 03, 2010:

Atlanta, I ache for your dilemma. You may go back and see how you and your wife made major decisions in the past, and let that be your guide. For example, the general rule that my wife and I had was that it took two yeses to go ahead with a major decision (and having a dog is a major decision). On the other had, we had friends, Don and Mary, who had an entirely different approach. If one of the spouses wanted something, then the role of the other spouse was to support the partner's wishes. This led to a lot of possessions and activities the other did not care for, but it seemed to work for them. You are right in that there is no compromise with this issue.

Atlanta on April 03, 2010:

Thanks for the post. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think that such an issue would ever be such a big deal as I'm closing in on turning 40. My wife is absolutely obsessed with getting another dog. She had a dog (2 actually) when we met and we continued to have them after marriage. I can't tell you how many times having a dog became an inconvenience FOR ME. I want to ensure I qualify that as being how I personally felt, because I'm fully aware that not everybody shares that sentiment - for example my wife.

Well last year we lost the 2nd dog. I'm being fully honest here, it was a bad news/good news situation for me. I truly feel awful that we lost her, but not having to rush home in Atlanta traffic to let the dog out was liberating. I'm really guilty about feeling this way, but I do.

Now my wife is obsessing with getting a new dog. She continually plays the, "Why do you get to decide?" card on me.

I can't tell you how unfair I feel this is to me as we rarely fight over anything and now she is making this dog situation symptomatic of who I am as a person. I'm holding my ground, but patience (her's and mine) are both wearing thin.

Again, I simply cannot believe this is causing us undue stress. Like somebody mentioned in an earlier comment, this is one of those unreconciliable differences - no matter how it plays out, it will be a win/loss scenario.

someone on March 26, 2010:

Not all your info is true, and some people can live with a dog happily. Your posting was a waste of my time.

Lewis on March 14, 2010:

I need help. When my kids were at home we never had a dog. I have 5 kids. Now that they are grown everyone of my kids has a dog. They all want to bring there dogs home with them. I do not want a dog in my house. Period.

They are welcome outside. I live on 50 acres.

But the grown kids insist on allowing the dogs to come in at some point of their visit.

I have gotten to where I dred the kids coming because I am put in a hard place. I have told them how I feel. But they insist on bringing the dogs. I love my kids but I do not love the dogs.

What can I do? I am not willing to live with the dogs in my house. They are welcome outside.

But I would rather the kids not come if I have to have a dog in my house.

fortheanimals on February 19, 2010:

I agree that if this post is helping people who are thinking about having a dog,to realise from it that a dog is not for them, then this is a good post. But to be honest Im not one of those people who would take on an animal and see it as just that, they are a member of the family,be it dog,cat,lizard,bird they will only respect you if you respect them, if you treat them like JUST an animal, then don't expect much else back, life is not perfect and some people have higher tolerance levels than others, I had always wanted a Rottweiler,I had been around many peoples Rotties and found them funny adorable affectionate dogs in my personal experience(I do believe it depends also on your experiences to how you see some animals)well 20 years later after many rottie books,and tons of research I got my rottie, just to let you know(they are NOT a recommended breed for 1st time dog owners!)but I had researched so much I KNEW what I was getting myself into,I was very firm with my puppy,and fair when he behaved,its like you have to be like a switch a firm no when they are bad and a happy sweet good voice when they behave,they ARE in a lot of ways like children,they make mess(although my puppy never chewed,because i taught him it was wrong instantly),they can smell,are noisey,and can also embarrass you!,but you know what life is more fun with drama for me,I cant imagine my life without animals they are MY LIFE to me,I love my boyfriend, and im lucky he likes ALL animals as I do too,well I love them!,they make life more alive,they give more than humans do,they are more understanding,sensitive,they will be there for you when you need a hug,even when they turn into teenagers,now a lot of parents go through there kids not wanting hugs so much and find that hard to cope with, animals even as teenagers will let you hug them!,they never judge you,they love you for who you are if you show them love in return, out of all animals I am especially bonded to lizards to be honest, my leopard geckos are the most amazing comforting animals ive ever had the joy of in my life,I love them so much,I feel loved by them without them expecting me to give them treats for it,I love all animals and have experienced being around many different creatures,i love my dog,and my cat,I also wish to get a bird some day,but I have to admit,when my cat is constantly miaowing at me when he has fresh food in his dish he wont eat(because he thinks ill chuck it and give him something better!) and when the dog stress me by jumping and barking in the garden then trodding mud all over the carpet,well cuddling my lizards relax me, they are clean,quiet a lovely feeling and lick you like a dog would!,i kiss and cuddle my lizards and they kiss me back,I kiss and cuddle all my animals, not constant, but enough for them to know they are loved,we all want to feel loved that includes all your pets!.If you look at clown loach in a tropical fish tank you see that they are very bonded they are always wanting to be close touching and swimming like dancing with each other,its so sweet and for anyone to think they are JUST animals,sadly do not see how emotional and loving all the creatures of the world can be!.

I confess Im not a parent of a human child, and due to the amount of animals who get rehomed when a baby is on the scene that truly saddens me,and puts me off,its always possible to make harmony with animals with children and other animals(under constant supervision!)and with other animals,we had no idea how our cat would feel when we brought a puppy home, but through teaching them they are all loved and what is and is not acceptable behaviour I have no problems with any of my animals round each other.

Dog ownership is like saying you will take on a furry child in your life,you will need to teach them right from wrong,don't ignore bad behaviour or it will escalate!.

Make sure with toliet training you have newspapers placed near the door,and then take the newspapers outside and when the pup needs to go they will go on the newspaper outside,you have to praise them like mad, make sure you give a happy well done voice,and even give a treat to the puppy it did not take me long to train my dog to go outside,i removed the newspaper when i saw him circle outside,and then never used it again and kept praising him,so he knew potty outdoors is good,indoors bad.

He was very mouthy(as they are a mouthy breed)he would not realise how hard he bit,so i had to use positive reinforcement,like giving him a soft toy and saying gentle(I took the toy away if he used too much pressure),and then tried again,then using my fingers and saying gentle eventually that worked!.

Any good behaviour,them trying to be good, you must let them know how pleased you are, but no one is perfect and that includes animals.Dogs are dominant by nature and so I don't believe you should ever let them sleep on the bed,the sofa is ok(as long as they wait for you to say its ok)but never the bed!,the dog must be taught manners just like a child,you would have your child say please may i have, before taking something,well its same with dogs,a Dog brought up with manners is wonderful,and you are also teaching them you are boss,which is important,I taught my dog never to pull on a toy I was going to throw for him,as him just grabbing when he wants, is like a demanding child tugging their parents clothes!,my dog knows not to grab the frisbee and patiently wait for when I want to throw it!,he is has to sit before running for a ball,you don't have to be a drill sargent with them,or a perfectionist, but you must understand giving animals as dominant as dogs boundries is so important to their up bringing,many have complimented on my dog,and wondered how I did it,and shocked a Rottie was my 1st dog,well I have many words important to a dog,patience,firmness,and fairness,dedication,understanding,dicipline(you must let them know who is boss)that also means eating something before they do!,play and fun,affection(only when the dog is calm and relaxed),socialisation,(if your child was trapped in their room all their life,would you expect them to interact well with strangers!,well its the same for a dog!.

Is my dog perfect?NO,one thing I cant get him to do is stop pulling on the lead,however he does not pull and drag you like ive known Labradors to do!.My dog also knows recall so well I know he would never run away from me,he loves playing fetch with a ball and fribee,and also playing with other dogs off leash,he has the freedom to run and play and here's something that might shock you, this is not every day!,this is 2 or 3 times a week,I believe some breeds do not need walked every day,for example you would have to walk a collie every day or another very high energy breed, but in my experience Rotties can be lazy,my dog is in great health but is happy enough to be fussed and loved on the sofa, and then have huge runs every now and then,and play time in the garden,or the find it game(this is great for their brain,you hide little bits of cheese round the garden,then let your dog sniff round for ages trying to find it all!.Im very lucky my dog fits our lifestyle,but we also brought him up to get used to the way we live our lifes,I don't have to get up at 6am to let my dog out, he does not need the toilet normally till about 10-11am,as he goes out to potty last thing at night before bed,which could even mean 12 at night!.

I feel sad so many people here seem to have gave up on their puppies too soon,animals are amazing,and if you learn their body lanauge you already begin to understand their world and how they see you,I do have to be brutally honest some people just are too selfish to have dogs,or impatient,or unwilling to learn enough,well if you know you have this attitude, im sorry but i truly feel you should not have children,if you cant treat a dog the way it deserves,what makes you think you will be better with a child,when they both have such similar needs.

They are not JUST animals,and the more people that realise this,the more you will have the pleasure of a unique special beautiful member of your family,who will always know how to cheer you up when yo

Anonymous on January 28, 2010:

I am with you. We got a dog last year. It was ugly, barked when the door bell rang, ate cat litter, chewed up things, chased cats, and much more. We finally realized that we were not dog people (thank goodness) and we gave her back to her breeders. I still like dogs, but I wouldn't want to own one.

DVS on January 21, 2010:

First off I thank you for making this blog entry. For the past few months I have been wanting to get a dog. Before I made an "impluse decision" I decided to do extensive research before making the purchase. I talked to breeders, voluteered at pounds, did some research over the internet and even joined message boards to get an experienced dog owners opinion. I've come down to the conclusion that a single male like myself that actually works 45++ hours should never get a dog and thank you for confirming it.

- I would have to leave it at home for 8++ hours a day

- It would stink up my house

- most importantly it would cost me way too much money. From dog sitting and dog walking expensese to everyday expenses problably cost me 2 thousand dollars a year. That could go to a vacation for myself.

I love dogs don't get me wrong. I take care of my brothers little mutt whenever he goes on vacation or whatnot and I have a ball with her. That dog was one reason why I wanted one but now I know if I really want a fix to having a dog I'll just swing by my brothers house and take Cookie for a walk knowing its not my problem.

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on January 17, 2010:

It is unfair of your husband to say that the dog is your responsibility to keep. I say that it is your responsibility to find a home for the dog. You are unable to give the dog right now the care a dog deserves. You are in medical school; you clearly do not have the time this dog needs, and from your post, even if you did have time, caring for this dog is not high on your list. This dog is not your child, and do not let anyone suggest to you that if you get rid of your dog, it is a harbinger of abandoning your future child. This may sound crazy, but there are some crazy people out there! K, good luck. And, I do hope that you will keep us updated.

k on January 17, 2010:

I am in such great distress right now. We currently have 2 golden retrievers. The first one was/is so great. He is a very calm, good-natured, and so very low maintenance. For some ridiculous, insane, and completely irresponsible reason, we decided to get another dog. We both clearly wanted a baby, but didn't think we were ready, so we got another dog. Biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. This dog is high maintenance, sheds everywhere, begs for attention all the time and I am really just OVER IT! I'm in medical school and my husband is deployed right now and I'm forced to take care of them all the time. I am at my wits end right now. I've had many discussions with my husband about trying to find a new home for the dog, but he gets so angry every time I even bring it up. He says they are our responsibility and it would be wrong to give them up. After he gets home, we want to start trying to get pregnant. I am just horrified at the thought of taking care of a baby and having a baby in my house that I don't feel is clean enough because of these dogs. It really just grosses me out. I did not grow up with dogs in my home and it just doesn't seem natural to have a dog with babies around. I am so completely overwhelmed and unhappy, I just don't know what to do. Your advice/comments are greatly appreciated.

Kt on January 15, 2010:

I am like those of you who regret recently getting a dog. I really wish I had read this article BEFORE we got him. Then I might have made a more educated and responsible decision. I had a cat and my life was fine, she is my little best friend. But she hates my husband and it made him jealous/upset. We have only been married 6 months. I thought getting a puppy would help everything, but it has made things worse. Now my husband cares for the puppy more than me and I think he would let me move out before he let me get rid of this dog. I deeply regret this decision and am stuck with it. One more thing in my life to regret, so put it on my tab.

NewEnglandGirl on January 02, 2010:

Wow. What a passionate exchange.

I really, really enjoy other people's dogs. Honestly. But I, too, have come to realize (much to my daughter's chagrin) that I don't ever, ever want one. My husband agrees. We once thought we were prevented from having a dog by our demanding travel schedule (our whole family travels together on business at least once a month), but after dogsitting for a rescue service during a two-week stretch at home, we've realized that even if our schedule lightens, we'll never want a dog of our own. When we puppy-sat, we had no kids, yet we were tied down as though we had a baby. Worse, really--a newborn you can bring to restaurants, stores, and other people's homes without huge issues. We decided to wait until we were actually tied down by kids. Now that we're parents, though, we don't have NEARLY the time that paying a dog adequate attention would require.

The biggest reason, though, is that I've really come to resent the way hard-lined pet owners equate pets with people, or even elevate them above people. I understand that pets function sort of like children to some people in that they are dependent creatures whom you love and care for. But they aren't children. They aren't. And to justify the expense they incur by comparing it to the expense incurred by raising a family of humans is a little silly. I'm not saying it might not be worth the money to some people--I'm just saying it's not apples to apples.

Also, the MOMENT I bring a dog into my family, I am going to alienate some of the people around me. People who have pet allergies, people who fear dogs, small children who can't be trusted around pets...and some of these people will be my family, friends, and neighbors. I'm determined not to value my relationship with other humans over my relationship with an animal, no matter how furry and cute.

I have a cat allergy, though I'm also fond of cats. Every time someone I know well gets a cat, I steel myself to see less of them. It's just hard to be in their home. Also, my relationship with one of my best friends has suffered greatly over the last few years because I don't trust one of her dogs (whom she dearly loves) around my kids. I don't feel comfortable bringing them over to her place, so we end up seeing much, much less of each other than we otherwise would. I've drifted from her despite my best efforts, and I have to say I resent her dogs a little as a result.

I didn't really mean to go on at such length...I guess I'm passionate, too! I'm sure there are people in the world who value the love and companionship of a dog enough to put out the necessary funds and alienate the necessary people. I am NOT in that category, and I'm glad to find I'm not the only one.

J Goddard on November 26, 2009:

My partner and I got an 8 week old pup who is now 5 months old. I put a lot of work into house training and training in general. It has been hard work. I have always been at home, but now I need to get out of the house for my own sanity. I now feel that I'm unable to keep up with the amount of work that's necessary to keep a dog. I hate being tied to the house because of the dog. I have discussed with my partner how unhappy this makes me. I want to give the dog up but he loves her and wants her to stay. I love my partner dearly and I'm scared that he will resent me when the dog goes. Think long and hard before getting a dog as it can cause so much tension in a relationship.

david on November 06, 2009:

why on earth did you get a dog if neither of you has time for it? i feel very sorry for the dog. pls find it a good homoe now whilst it still has the chance to learn something for its own benefit.

gredmondson (author) from San Francisco, California on November 05, 2009:

Oh, man, Anon (above), I am so sorry that you have that dog to contend with. Within 18 months, when I was 25 and married, I bought a house, had a baby, got a cat, a dog, and a parakeet. The dog was the mistake, and the cat was a smaller mistake. The baby was wonderful beyond words (he is 37 now, and a wonderful man, and a blessing in my life). It looks like you are stuck with the dog because your wife adores it, but maybe someone else will read what you wrote, and he will be saved the trouble. Your wife will probably resent you and get even if you try to force her to get rid of the dog. Why do you walk it? Play with it? Have to tolerate its howling every night? You work 50+ hours a week, commute 70 miles a day and are a young man. Good Luck, Son. Keep us posted.

anon on November 05, 2009:

This is hard to post because, as someone stated earlier in the postings, not being a dog lover almost or does make you an enigma in today's western society. I'm a newly-wed (celebrating my 1st anniversary in a few weeks) and I wanted to give my wife all that she wants. She asked for a dog and I said no, she then asked for it again, and me feeling the pressure (mostly self-inflicted), I tried to for her sake to be a 'dog-person.' We picked up our 7 weeks old beagle shortly thereafter. The pup was fine at first, but OMG.. i had no idea about the howling, the digging, the stubborness. We've paid $700+ on training classes and though they've worked to a degree, they haven't worked to my liking. I'm 29 years old, not the oldest, but not the youngest either. I'm the youngest manager in my organization's location. Needless to say I feel the pressure everyday and I work 50+ hours a week (home+office.) My wife also works 40 hrs a week, the only difference is she has a 8 mile commute each way compared to my 35 miles each way. Make a long story short(er), i'm tired, i don't feel like walking the dog, i don't feel like playing with the dog, i don't feel like waking up and letting the dog out, or waking up and telling the dog "ENOUGH!" when he's waking me up in the middle of the night. I've lived for many months in regret. My wife ADORES the dog (now 7 mnths) and I... I'm very much less than thrilled. We can't go out without her looking at her watch to make sure we get home in time to let the dog out. To be blunt the dog doesn't fit my lifestyle, or at least the life style i strive for. To make matter worse, we're also talking about having a baby (my initiation) and I just don't want to have my first child while caring for a dog at the same time, especially one that howls EVERY NIGHT! The talk of giving the dog up is causing great, GREAT friction in my house right now and I feel either she's going to be happy or I am, however I don't see much room for compromise if the dog is still her. It's almost making me down-right depressed. I'll let you all know what happens. I really want to find him a good, decent home... just not mine.

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