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Can I learn to love dogs instead of cats?

(65 Posts)
yellowDahlia Tue 13-Feb-18 17:21:06

I think I'm really a cat person at heart, and have grown up with cats although I have always been fond of dogs.

Unfortunately for me DH is NOT a cat person at all and refuses to entertain the idea. And so it looks like if we're ever to have a household pet, I will need to get my head around the dog idea.

I've read enough threads on here to know about the realities of getting any dog, and I'm aware of all the things to consider and prepare for if we finally make the decision to have one. But it helps me to have an idea of how this could work - so are there breeds out there which are sort of like having a cat?? ie small-ish, fairly cuddly, clean, will play but also sleep? Or is it mad to make the comparison?!

Also remind me of the benefits of having a dog in your home? The reason I'd like a household pet - cat or dog - is because I do believe in the health benefits - mental and physical - for us and the DDs and I suppose I'm concerned if we don't do this fairly soon the kids might miss out on the joy of having a pet as they grow up. (They're currently 11 and 7) We have chickens but they're not exactly cuddly and rubbish at chasing a ball...grin

We're a way off doing this btw - but it's been going round and round my head all day and DH is crap at hypothetical planning - so I feel like I need some help from the MN massive!

mimibunz Tue 13-Feb-18 17:24:06

It’s completely unfair for your DH to put his foot down, especially as it would mean a lot to you.

Snowydaysarehere Tue 13-Feb-18 17:25:25

My ddog is quite undecided on her species. At times she is a cat on the back of the sofa!

stayathomegardener Tue 13-Feb-18 17:28:27

Whippets, soft and silky, mine winds round my legs.
Runs and then sleeps for hours, always on a knee preferably with his head resting under my chin. Is also a decent cat size.
His nickname is Cat creature.

Smeaton Tue 13-Feb-18 17:28:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yellowDahlia Tue 13-Feb-18 17:32:05

mimibunz it's the one thing which I would change about him, if I could wave a magic wand. I'm really sad about it. And I'm not even talking about buying a kitten or re-homing a cat permanently - my idea is to volunteer as a foster for Cats protection, so no long-term commitment, no major costs or issues around holidays etc... but he's not having it sad

Snowydays - love it! I gather lurcher/greyhound types are quite cat-like with their sleeping habits but a bit of a no-no with the chickens in the back garden I fear!

Thisseatistaken Tue 13-Feb-18 17:34:15

I’m more of a cat person - but am married to a man that’s allergic to them - and he’s passed that allergy onto two of the children...
So we got a dog, a medium sized cockapoo - less chance of allergies.

It’s been a learning curve, and I would really recommend puppy classes - I’d never had a dog before.

He is part of the family. Needs two walks a day - loves chasing a tennis ball. Bit neurotic - doesn’t like strangers. Good for family walks. I think I wouldn’t be without him - but you do have to be organised for holidays - booking kennels etc. We also have a dog walker so I’m not doing two walks every single day. The children did lose interest fairly quickly - but they will walk him when I ask. It’s also a reason to get them off their devices and outside.

I’m aware this doesn’t sound wholely positive- a dog is more work than a cat. But he has been a good addition to family life, and he does have a personality of his own. They say when you have teenagers, get a dog - so someone is pleased to see you! There’s truth in that.

Thisseatistaken Tue 13-Feb-18 17:35:55

Ours does sleep a lot in evening, and definitely overnight. He’d be chasing any chickens though - that would be a disaster

stayathomegardener Tue 13-Feb-18 17:36:02

Cross post @Snowydaysarehere

yellowDahlia Tue 13-Feb-18 17:38:30

stayathomegardener love his nickname - and your MN nickname! I wish I was a stay at home gardener...

Thisseat good to know your experience of things, a cockapoo is a breed I'd consider as friends of ours got one recently and she's a sweetheart.

tabulahrasa Tue 13-Feb-18 18:08:23

There’s not a huge amount of difference in the amount cats and dogs sleep, the big difference is really in what they do while they’re awake.

Dogs won’t really entertain or entertain themselves like cats do, so yep they’re much more full on in that way, but they still sleep for like 18 or more hours out of 24.

They’ll also come try and join in if you’re doing something rather than sloping off to another part of the house to sleep - but on the plus side, you can train them to do stuff like come when you say their name instead of looking at you like they’ve never heard that sound before and you can strike them when you want to instead of when and where the cat decides you have to, so swings and roundabouts tbh, lol.

So yes they do need much more attention than cats, they are needier, but they’re also more interactive... but adult dogs of pretty much any breed still sleep most of the day.

tabulahrasa Tue 13-Feb-18 18:09:23

Stroke!!! Stroke them... don’t strike them!!!

fivecupsoftea Tue 13-Feb-18 18:46:44

I have a cavapoo (a cross between a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle). Her favorite thing is to snuggle up on the sofa next to me. I think that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is known to be very loving and cuddly.

yellowDahlia Tue 13-Feb-18 19:20:14

Just googled cavapoos - very cute, similar to cockapoo, perhaps a bit smaller?

Interesting to know how much they sleep - I suppose I had assumed dogs were constantly on the go so it's a relief to know they might spend a lot of time having a kip.

Also good points made about the pros and cons of cats v dogs. I don't mind that cats are all about doing things on their own terms! But equally I'd be happy to have a little chum to keep me company at home and adore me unconditionally grin

CMOTDibbler Wed 14-Feb-18 23:22:35

I have lurchers, and free range chickens. The chickens bully the dogs tbh, and many of my foster lurcher pups are chicken friendly too after they are trained- just as you would with any dog

yellowDahlia Thu 15-Feb-18 18:46:22

Good to know CMOT - I do have a soft spot for lurchers.

As much as I am coming round to the idea of a canine companion, I fear it could be a long way off as I'm not sure how a dog would fit around work - I'm PT, Three days a week although my employer's quite flexible about the hours I do.

returning home at lunchtime for a dog is not ideal, although possible. So for my longer working days I'd probably need some kind of doggy day care/Walker...we both have parents living locally but neither are particularly dog-friendly...i think we're going to have to commit to a lot of organisation/extra costs if we ever want to do the dog thing. And yet lots of people do this all the time and make it seem easy - Dog just fits right in! I'm probably overthinking it all - it's my downfall with any new idea! confused

ScreamingValenta Thu 15-Feb-18 18:52:34

I have two cats and a dog, and the dog is much less lively in the house. As long as he gets his outdoor exercise he's content to snore on the sofa most of the time grin. I always get a huge welcome from my dog the minute I come home, which is lovely. The cats will come and say hello in their own sweet time!

bluetongue Fri 16-Feb-18 09:31:11

Would your DH consider a breed of cat with dog like tendencies? Cats can be just as full of personality and affectionate as dogs and are easier and cheaper to care for.

Branleuse Fri 16-Feb-18 09:39:11

why does he get to choose to have a dog and you get to choose to NOT have a cat.
Fuck him

My dp has dogs. I tolerate them but theyre far too needy and in your face. I love my cats.

mimibunz Fri 16-Feb-18 09:47:16

I’m sad you don’t get to have your dream of fostering. I was a foster fail, adopting the first cat I fostered! 😁

yellowDahlia Fri 16-Feb-18 21:15:03

Agh. I'm also sad I don't get my dream of fostering. Cats are just cooler than dogs. They're easy and not (usually) needy, and softer and they purr. His reasons for not wanting a cat are mostly a) they shed hair and b) they'll destroy his precious things. I KNOW. This is illogical.

blue thanks for your suggestion but is there such a thing as a dog-like cat??

I think I must be sub-consciously passing on my pet-neediness to the kids - DD2 has begun asking for an 'indoor pet' in the past couple of days! I'm still not sure this will melt DH's stony heart though...

ShortandAnnoying Fri 16-Feb-18 21:21:09

My mum has a Pomeranian I think it's got some cat like qualities and is very pretty and delicate.

bluetongue Fri 16-Feb-18 21:22:26

OP many of the ‘foreign’ cat breeds such as Burmese are more dog like in their personality but still retain all the lovely cat qualities as well.

I got a dog recently after being a cat owner all my life because I’d always wanted one. I love him and he’s very sweet but if I’m brutally honest it has confirmed the fact that I’m really a cat person and if I could wind the clock back I’d get another cat (or two) instead of a dog.

Gigimoll Fri 16-Feb-18 21:27:20

My dp hates cats. I hate dogs. We used to have a dalmatian that was mad and tried to suffocate me and hurt me by jumping on me as a baby so since then I can't be around them and i really don't want any near me. Unfortunately dp has grown up with a family of dog lovers. Whereas my cat I grew up with was my world.
Honestly, why does his opinion overrule yours? If you're at home more get a cat.
I always think it's not appropriate for a dog if you both work full time and have dcs. You have to keep going back to let the dog out etc and it isn't practical to me really.

yellowDahlia Fri 16-Feb-18 21:31:43

Wow blue, what kind of dog did you get? Can you maybe still have cats as well? I recently helped a local charity by dog-sitting for a couple of days and that's what made me realise for sure I'm more of a cat person. I didn't hate it but it was just not quite what I was hoping for.

However the dog was a lab (not my ideal breed) and there were some restrictions which obviously you wouldn't have with your own pet.. still all the things that were troublesome about this dog would not be a problem with a cat - leaving it alone, the chickens, the poo (I know cats poo but not like a Labrador!!) If we want a dog we will have to wait until we have the time/can really afford it but we could have foster cats NOW!

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