Not Everyone Should Have a Dog


Isabella Bejarano

Dogs are man’s best friend, or at least, that’s what everyone says. For the most part, that’s true, dogs are loyal, sweet, and always happy to see you when you get home from a long day at work or school. The problem is that when a dog isn’t perfect, “man” often becomes more of an enemy than a “friend”. 

The problem with dogs being peddled as the sweet and easy pet is that dog owners can’t be bothered to research dog behavior, dog boundaries, or how to handle their behavioral issues in general. Everyone should put in research before taking on the responsibility of owning a pet, but especially when it comes to a dog. 

The common attitude towards having a dog is that your dog has to obey you, always want you to pet it, and love you and your family and friends. This is usually not the case. 

Not all dogs are people dogs, some of them are going to have issues regardless of their breeding or home environment. Growing up, I was raised with the mentality that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners and every dog loves people and wants you to pet it. This ideology got myself and several people I know, bitten by otherwise sweet and gentle dogs because we were raised to ignore their behavioral signals of discomfort or anxiety.

When my family adopted a puppy that ended up having anxiety based aggression issues, we had to relearn how we interacted with dogs. The concept of a dog having personal space, anxiety, and needing its owners to respect that was hard for us to learn, but we eventually got the hang of it. 

What I have noticed and found seriously disturbing, is that when I or a family member mentioned the rules we had in place to make our dog feel more comfortable and safe, friends and even strangers would comment that it wasn’t worth the effort. As if putting in the time to give our dog as good a life as we could was over the top because he was “just a dog” and he “should act like a dog”. 

It is harmful to both dogs and owners to allow the idea that dogs can’t have more than the basic needs to be passed down from generation to generation. If an owner can’t be bothered to research dog behavior and how to give a dog a good life, then they shouldn’t have a dog. It will only hurt the dog and the person when things don’t work out.

People who can’t be bothered to understand their pets are irresponsibly putting their dogs, and everyone around them, in danger. If a dog is made to feel unsafe, it will bite, regardless of how they were raised or who it is. It’s a dangerous situation for the person and the dog, who will either be put down or given up.

In order to be a responsible dog owner, we should actually treat them as “man’s best friend” and learn to listen to their needs. Doing basic research on dog behavior and their needs in terms of activity, grooming, and boundaries is necessary in order to fully understand whether or not you are ready to own a dog.