Should You Treat Your Dog Like a Child?

Should You Treat Your Dog Like a Child?A recent study concluded that the bond between dogs and their owners is similar to a parent and baby. [source: DailyMail]   The headline read “You CAN really love your pet like a child.” My initial thought was that I don’t think a study is needed to prove we love our pets like children.  Most of my readers and any animal lover will tell you that.

But the real issue is SHOULD we love our dogs like children?

There is a difference between caring for our pets with love and treating them like another human. The study stated that dogs have been domesticated for about 15,000 years and indeed dogs do depend on us. It went on to say that the owner assumes the role of the dogs main social partner. Dogs are social creatures and crave companionship. But when a dog depends on it’s human to a point that he cannot be left alone without ransacking the house, there is a problem. So many dogs end up with separation anxiety. The other issue is letting your dog become so human that the dog is running your life and develops discipline problems. Sadly many dogs end up in shelters because of these issues. If you are going to treat your dog like a child, it better be a well behaved child.

People often ask me for advice on dog problems. It is usually about issues just like these, separation anxiety, over protective dogs with aggression, potty training, etc. I ask them about how they train their animals and usually I find out they let them act like naughty children. I live with ten dogs. I love them very much and they do depend on me for love and comfort. But they are not children. I don’t tolerate bad behavior, They have run of the house when I am not here and they are good for other people. It’s great to love your dog like a child but remember no body likes a spoiled kid!

Dogs depend on us for social interaction and love but who wants to be an only child? I tell people if you want your dog to be really happy, get another dog.

AGREE? DISAGREE? Send me your thoughts at and I will discuss in a future post.

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