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Silly question, but why did you get a dog?

(24 Posts)
SmileAndNod Tue 30-Jun-15 13:04:57

We've been thinking about it for a while but have had a few negative comments recently which have made me think about exactly why we'd like a dog and if we shouldn't perhaps pursue the idea.

I can't come up with any more reasons than:
Would be nice to add to our family
I'd like the children to grow up with a dog
I miss my dog - we lost him five years ago
For my mental health I think I need a dog - to stroke, to cuddle, take for a walk to get some peace , talk to (without giving an opinion or interrupting), offload to I guess

Not really good enough reasons - are they? Why did you choose a dog?

Costacoffeeplease Tue 30-Jun-15 13:10:17

I've never been without a dog my whole life, so it's always a question of 'when do we get the the next one?'

The most we've had is 4, currently we have 2, both quite young, but I'm sure we'll have another one in the next few years

If you have the time, space, money, energy, why not?

SunflowerSmile Tue 30-Jun-15 13:13:34

I think your reasons are all valid!

I had resigned myself to not having a dog due to DHs allergies. We sadly lost a baby 4 months into a pregnancy. That night DH said we needed a dog. She got us through some dark times and was exactly what we needed. I have never met a cuddlier dog. She has filled my life with joy. (And she loves our DC that came after her -she lies next to them as we tell bed time stories).

jellyandsoup Tue 30-Jun-15 13:23:37

Good question, we are getting a puppy in a few weeks, and your reasons are very similar to mine. I can think of lots of things that would put us off getting one but the good out weighs the bad for us.

Theonewiththreechildren Tue 30-Jun-15 14:07:04

Good question, I also wondered if my reasons were good ones or selfish ones. Basically since having my first son I have suffered with bouts of anxiety/depression/ocd which I am now on medication for. My mum has a dog who I must admit I want keen on when she got her four years ago - due to my ocd/anxiety. BUT she has won me over! Because of that I started thinking that it would be nice to have a dog of my own, plus the fact that going for lovely long walks in the fresh air really helps with my anxiety etc.

Anyway the upshot is, that after persuading my DH and doing a lot of research and reading, we picked up our cocker spaniel pup nearly three weeks ago. She has fitted into the family perfectly and feels like she has always been here grin

MothershipG Tue 30-Jun-15 14:18:33

Because I'd always wanted one and they'd always been a good reason not to have one, so I was 40 and finally in the position to be a suitable owner for a dog.

It turned out that one wasn't enough, so I now have 3, which is. grin

It has been nice to add to the family.
It has been good for the kids.
It has been good for my mental health - I'd been made redundant and was actually quite low so getting out every day and making new friends was great.

I not infrequently see articles about how walking is good for you and frankly there is no way I would be schleping around the park in all weathers if it wasn't for the dogs.

Of course they are a big responsibility but for us the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. You've had a dog before so you'll know if that's true for you and your family. Wouldn't be without mine. (Except the oldest, 9 years old, mad as a box of frogs, schnauzer, she's all yours! wink)

tomatodizzymum Tue 30-Jun-15 14:19:56

I grew up with dogs and so did DH but it took us 15 years before we got a dog of our own. We always thought we'd get one when we started a family, but we moved a lot, work was unpredictable and the children were easier to cart around. We finally became settled, lived rurally, have a lifestyle that there's always someone at home and there was finally nothing stopping us from getting the dog we'd always dreamed of. Luckily the children are still young so they too can experience growing up with a dog.

We got a dog because we wanted a dog, all other factors fell into place too.

IfYouWereARiverIdLearnToFloat Tue 30-Jun-15 14:36:20

I just love the chaos... we have two rescue dogs and there is nothing to compare with the welcome home they give you at the end of the day.

Having a dog forces us out the house in all weathers & watching them always makes me happy. We taught our 7 year old, prev. abused, scared of everything whippet to swim last year (had him for 6 years & he'd only ever dipped a toe in) & it's amazing now to see him dive into the sea after a ball. They are so unreservedly trusting, loving & loyal and they don't ask for much in return. I have two cats as well and they all get along well.

For us it's the best thing we ever did. We're expecting in December & I can't wait to see what they make of bub when he/she arrives.

pigsDOfly Tue 30-Jun-15 15:43:52

Your reason sound good to me.

Up to four years ago I'd never had a dog, never wanted one, but my daughter, who was still living with me at the time, got her dog and I found out what it mean't to have one in the family.

Found out my daughter's dog's mother was about to have her second litter just as I had decided to retire and move to a new town; perfect timing. Was first to chose a puppy from the litter and chose my gorgeous little girl. She was three days old.

I really liked the idea that I would be forced to go out and walk every day regardless of the weather. I love walking but it's just not the same on your own.

I do get really stressed by some things and have had a pretty stressful time on and off over the last four years, but taking her out and watching her joy catching her ball and just doing what dogs do just makes everything feel better.

A dog's joy is very infectious and they give so much. When she's running ahead of me through the woods to the park and her little face turns back to make sure I'm still behind her it just makes my day.

AMcoffeeLover Tue 30-Jun-15 17:54:55

Because I couldn't imagine life without them! Always had staffies (well from a teenager). But be careful, they can bring great joy but if it goes wrong it breaks your heart.
A close friend rescued a (6 mo) dog who turned out to not match her well. After 9 months of hell she had to give him back. She took over a year to get over the experience then got a French bulldog pup.
Research breeds/needs and maybe get advice from local vets as well as breeders (the breeder I got my boys from was recommended by my vets).

3dogsandaboy Tue 30-Jun-15 18:00:10

Nothing wrong with your reasons!

Just so long as you choose the right dog to fit your lifestyle.

We have 3, 2 springers and a bully. We got the bully to keep me company when my husband worked away, also as I have physical disabilities we needed a dog that didnt need lots of walking.

10 years on our lifestyle has changed and my husband wanted to get fitter and so ended up with the springers....hes lost 7.5 stone in the 2 years we have owned them!

These are extra reasons on top of your own very valid reasons, think hard and do your research and ypu wont go far wrong!

WeAllHaveWings Tue 30-Jun-15 18:48:03

Our main reason for getting our first family dog 2 years ago was wanting ds(11) to grow up with one as both dh and I did.

As long as any new dog owner goes into it with a commitment to the dogs physical and mental wellbeing the reasons don't really matter.

tabulahrasa Tue 30-Jun-15 18:51:07

I wanted a dog...is that not a good enough reason? Lol

I don't think they're things you have to justify having, are they? Surely wanting one and having the time/means to look after one is fine...

youbethemummylion Tue 30-Jun-15 18:52:27

We got a dog because DH was diagnosed with depression at the same time as we heard of a dog in need or re homing who had the perfect attributes to fit into our family. It all seemed to happen at the right time for us and the dog. Wouldn't be without her now. She is a senior dog so we know the commitment will not be for as long as if we got a puppy. Once she has seen out her old age with us we will probably not have another dog until we retire.

Canyouforgiveher Tue 30-Jun-15 18:55:58

Basically because my daughter made me!

But I grew up with dogs and knew it would be great for the kids. and it has been. Especially in the awkward teen years, it has been a lovely source of affection (both giving and getting) for them. One of my friends commented recently on her dog "he is the only one in the family everyone likes" smile Dh didn't have dogs growing up and is surprised by how lovely it is to have one (and how much he loves other dogs as a result).

I love our dog and he loves me with the kind of devotion no other living creature has for me.

But it really does constrain you. Going on hols/going away/being out of the house too long. I ended up working at home mostly for that reason (I also pay a dogwalker).

I think your reasons sound great. There is a thread on here at the moment from a woman who is finding it very hard to deal with her toddler's lack of physical affection (and I think her own mother was similar). I thought of posting that she should consider a dog - more overt devotion and physical contact than you can use in a lifetime.

SmileAndNod Tue 30-Jun-15 20:54:41

Thank you for your thoughts. Somehow (even though I'm well over 40) I still feel as though I have to justify every decision I make!

We've been thinking about it long and hard. As I said, we lost our dog five years ago at the age of 17. I had him since 8 weeks old, he was mine first and then when DH came along his also (but still my boy!). Dh never had a dog in his family which I find odd. We always had a dog, sometimes more than one, when growing up. A family doesn't feel like a family without one.

Anyway I digress. In those five years since he went we've had two more children, youngest is now 2. I've stopped working and now SAH so although I have the youngest at home I have quite a bit of time and at home all day. I have time for walks and time to spend cuddling teaching the potential dog. We plan to take the dog away on holiday with us, and have some beach friendly dogs that we go to though we realize that there may be other things we want to do - at that point we have asked my DB for help - we feed /take out his dog if he's stuck and he would do the same for us.

And I also have depression and a few other issues. I feel I need a dog to get me out more, kind of the same way that without my children giving me a purpose to get up each day I probably wouldn't be here now.

Want something good with children, playful but also happy to cuddle up, not big but not small, short ish hair, not too jumpy, happy for a couple of walks a day with long walks at the weekend.

I just miss having a waggy tail about the placesmile

kippersmum Wed 01-Jul-15 00:24:34

We got a dog due to my DD1 having Aspergers. She has a natural affinity with animals & I thought learning how to decode what a dog thinks from watching their body language & expressions would help her to learn how to decode humans!

We got a collie, partly because I grew up with a collie / whippet cross & partly because in our isolated rural location you don't get many other dogs smile

Kipper is amazing, so good with both my DDs. Sunday morning we had a half hour drive to a party, DDs (7&8) very excited. He spent the entire journey head between theirs, from the boot, having unicorn spells cast on him. He loved it smile

He also drives me mad, we have builders next door for a week, every time they drop a tile he barks.

DD1 can tell instantly if Kipper needs something (but is still hopeless with humans), but it has still really helped.

I was struggling with depression, parenting a child on the Autism spectrum is hard, but I didn't want tablets. Walking Kipper twice a day for an hour each time has been a godsend. I cannot stress how much it has helped.

Also I have found other dogwalkers to be very friendly, I have made more friends in the last 18 months walking the dog than I did when my DDs started school. Proper friends of all ages from all walks of life. It is surprising what you can discuss in a Force 8 gale & pouring rain smile

You are an experienced dog owner, you know what is required. It was the positive impact on my mental health that surprised me the most.

Go for it smile

Hoppinggreen Thu 02-Jul-15 10:01:09

Lovely post kipper
We haven't got a dog yet bit will get one early next year - reasons
DD really wants one and is old enough now to take some responsibility for looking after it
Dogs were a very important part of my childhood
We doggy sit and when they go home the house feels empty
Encourage us outdoors more in winter

And finally because several things have aligned and we are finally in a position where we CAN have one

Florin Thu 02-Jul-15 11:29:46

We got our dog because we couldn't have any more children. We were at a low point as our family didn't feel complete. I also grew up with dogs and a sister and I didn't want our son to grow up on his own. We got her when our son just turned 2. She is a working cocker spaniel and I never knew it was possible to love a dog so much. She had completed our family and made us content with what we have. She is a brilliant play mate for our son (we chose the breed to match the personality of our son) and she is inseparable from us. She loves being with us more than anything and as I am a sahm she comes with us nearly always. I think dogs are brilliant for your mental health, when you have a crap day they are the best at listening and giving you hugs and means I never feel alone and she always makes it very clear how much she loves us which is always lovely.

DepthFirstSearch Thu 02-Jul-15 12:53:30

I always wanted one but as a single person household I felt I couldn't. Then I got married, DH was supportive and I could take some time off...I wasn't really prepared for the LOVE that I would give/receive. He has truly changed my life for the better.

StarsInTheNightSky Thu 02-Jul-15 15:45:59

I've always had dogs, our current two are rescues which were due to be pts as five different and well respected behaviorists gave up on them, saying that they were far far too dog and human aggressive and had too many problems. All five recommended pts as they had no experience with dogs of their breed. We had experience of the breed so took them on, they are the most protective devoted, sweetest, loyal teddy bears you could meet, until one of us is threatened. They don't have any behavioural issues other than having typical characteristics for their breed.
I've got cancer, and I'm not well at all at the minute, we live in a country where there are plenty of human and animal predators. A few hours ago our female dog killed a predator which was trying to sneak up on DS and I as we were playing outside, it would have probably killed, or at the very least mauled us, and at the minute my eyesight isn't got enough to use a gun safely. Our dogs mean that I don't have to worry. She killed it within seconds, while our male dog guarded us, she didn't suffer so much as a scratch and then was straight back to playing with us, calm and happy again. We live in a very remote area, so the dogs are mine and DS's constant companions, DH's too when he isn't at work, I couldn't imagine life without them.

5hell Thu 02-Jul-15 15:50:56

We got our 2 labs because MIL passed away and DH wouldn't let them go to a rescue centre or strangers. I'd never had dogs, but i love them dearly and can't imagine life without them now...their adoring happy faces when we come in, laughing out loud as they comically bound though long grass, gormless 'squirrel' faces at the sight of a treat or empty plastic bottle, occasionally snuggling up with them on the setee, seeing amazing sunrises during ridiculously early morning walks... the list goes on!

sure, they cost us a bomb, often cause us to worry, can be inconvenient at times, make a mess etc, but as others have said i'm sure they're great for our health and mental health overall grin

they probably also helped DH realise we could cope with the responsibility children, so now ttc and wondering what DDogs will make of a baby one day!

hope you get to offer a home to a lovely dog or 2 OP smile

Wotsitsareafterme Sat 04-Jul-15 17:23:51

Because I need one for my mental health and we can manage one now.
It was on my list of things I wasn't allowed when I was married along with a caravan. I got that last year. This year we got a puppy. I'm a SW. My job is very emotive but all my carers have dogs and I soak up the pet endorphins even just on brief visits! One of them is so utterly lovely it was either steel her or get one of my own. I had a dog pre dc and miss her very much though she lived a cracking life and died very peacefully.
The op echoes my reasons exactly. I know I'm responsible enough to own a dog and I'm saddled with small children on my own. I can't have an amazing social life so I'm making the best of being at home all the time and having the things I can have within my limits

groovejet Sun 05-Jul-15 08:27:31

For no other reason really than I have always wanted a dog from a young age and we were finally in a position to have the time and money to do so.

It was the best decision for all of us, he makes us so happy and we are far more active now, we go out as a family on adventures we never would have done previously, if I have a bad day being able to take him out makes me feel better about stuff, he is all round fantastic.

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