Why do you have a dog?


New Member
People get dogs for all sorts of reasons. These reasons will also influence what sort of training a person will want to do, beyond the basic sit/come/stay. My neighbours, for example, have never taken any formal training classes and seem happy with just having a dog around as a companion. At the dog club there are folks at the other extreme who train diligently for various competitions and enjoy displaying their medals and ribbons. So why do you have a dog?

Jean Cote

Staff member
I voted: “I want a friend and a companion”, because that is the main reason I have my dogs with me today. But I also train them because I care about them and to give them the mental and physical stimulation they require.


Experienced Member
Three things are true on me.
I want a friend, and companion
I want to compete, but that just came, when I started to train her
And she just appeared and adopted me, becouse it was a really sudden decision
But most of it is that I want a good friend. And I think I got it.:dogbiggrin:


Well-Known Member
I can't really vote as I need to choose 2 options & it wont let me :) . My 2 answers are because I want a friend & companion, but also because I want to compete in various dog sports. But unlike the poll says I don't have to win - sure winning is great, but I would much rather that myself & my dogs have a good time doing it & progress in both our relationship & training than simple win.

I have a friend who has to win every time she competes - in fact if her score is less than a certain level she will pull herself & her dog out of the trial because she only wants a certain standard (we're talking 190+ in obedience competitions).

I know there are plenty of people out there who do things like that, but that's not me :msnwink: .


New Member
I voted the "friend and companion"

romping through fields, playing in the park, going hiking or snowshoeing or biking together, going shopping together (sadly limited to pet stores only as other places don't allow dogs), going to dog parks, going to dog-friendly social events like rescue fund raisers or other gatherings for animal-related causes, visiting friends and family together, curling up on the sofa watching TV or reading at the end of a busy and high-energy day....these are the things we got our dog for, and which he is fulfilling 110%!!


New Member
I voted friend and companion. The world works in mysterious ways, and Friday morning, we added our fourth dog to our home! I was taking our Bernese Mountain Dog to the vet for booster and was asked if I'd like another. Max had been surrendered the day before and happened to still be at the vet after his neuter. So, he came home with us! He gets along great with the rest of the crew, and is VERY happy! Yeah! I posted his picture this morning. I'm in Berner heaven!

Crystal Falls, MI


New Member
#1 reason was friend and companion.. I don't think its a coincidence that most people chose that as their main reason =)

I do however want to do the training as well, but thats just mostly because it is a great way to spend time with one another in a sort of teamwork kind of way.


New Member
I think it's also important to narrow it down further. the vast majority of people who get dogs or puppies do it for the same reason we all (so far) have said - to be a friend and companion. Yet so many end up in shelters a few months later. One big reason is because a lot of people don't have a clear understanding of what they mean by "friend and companion" and therefore select the wrong dog to fulfill that role.

"Friendship and companionship" from dogs mean different things to different people, because people are different and consider different things as fun. Some like to be physically active so a low energy dog, or a dog who is physically not suited to a lot of physical activity, is not the right choice even though as a puppy they may look adorable and appealing. these people would actually want a dog who is high energy. On the flip side, high energy dogs also need a lot of training to bring them under control, and many people don't realize that or can't keep up with their dogs, so this leads to a bad situation.

Then there are other people who fancy themselves as "active" or athletic and select high energy dogs. But in reality, these people aren't really as active or athletic as they thought they were. High energy dogs need high energy activity not just on weekends, not just in the summer when the weather is nice, not just when it is convenient for you to go out and exercise, but every day, year round. So again, owners can't keep up with their dogs.

thus I think it's also important to be more specific about defining the role that any future dog that we are considering bringing into our lives, will play. "friendship and companionship" are the most noble purposes that dogs can fulfill, but many people would save themselves a lot of disappointment and frustration if they take it a step further and define more precisely what they want the dog to do. Do they want the dog to sleep most of the time (because the owner works long hours, or is sedentary)? Do they want a dog who wants to "work" a lot? etc. etc. etc.


New Member
Wow, four Berner Sennenhunden (Bernese Mountain dogs)?! I fell in love with them when we were living in Switzerland. Unfortunately, at the time we were in an apartment and they really aren't suited for that.

l_l_a, you are so very right! Many people get enchanted with a puppy or dog and take it home without really thinking things through. Not only does the size and energy level have to match the owner's lifestyle, but there are also other things to consider. It is a commitment for the next 10-15 years and not some toy that can be placed in a closet and forgotten about once the initial excitement has worn off. No matter what the weather, or how you're feeling, the dog has to be excercised daily.

Many people also underestimate the costs involved. They might think that the initial purchase price and a bit more for food and basic vet care will cover it. Actually, if you aren't already set up for a dog, it could easily end up costing you thousands of dollars more. I overheard folks at the dog conference laughing about how they had to buy a larger van when they got their second St. Bernard. Now they've gotten a third St. Bernard puppy and are once again looking for yet a larger transport van! A game my husband and I played was to walk through the parking lot and try to guess what sort of dog a person had just by looking at their car. No clue how correct our guesses were, but we figured that the little two seater was for a chihuaha. :dogtongue2:

Other folks don't realise how expensive it can be to fence in their backyards. Our new house didn't have a proper fence. Having two terriers that love to dig, we had to install a "dig-proof" fence, which meant embedding the fence down into the earth, with a concrete base. 5 guys worked for a week to get it done properly (quite a large yard). Worth every penny for the peace of mind I have now that not only won't my dogs get out, but no other animals will get in. We figured the cost of the fence into our overall house-buying budget, but it could have come as an unpleasant surprise if we hadn't thought things through and planned accordingly.

My main reason for getting a dog was for companionship since my husband is often away on business, and living in a foreign country can make you lonely at times. Dogs don't care what language you speak, so that was another big plus for me. My German still isn't perfect, but dogs don't care about grammar all that much. :doglaugh:


New Member
We got Guus because we wanted a friend. Extra reasons for me were the exercise I get and I moved in with my boy friend but there's not much to do around here. So I got a little bored and I really missed my parents dog. I used to pick him up every weekend but now I live to far away to do that.

I love having a dog. It's fun to teach him stuff and there's always someone happy to see me.


Well-Known Member
Lol, well I clicked something else :p

I already had a dog before I got Charlie, and he provided all of the friendship and companionship I could possibly need... I never would have looked for a second dog except that I wanted to participate in various activities that Max couldn't handle due to fear-aggression of strangers and bad structural faults (even 'preferred' level agility would have hurt him).
So I got Charlie to be my 'everything' dog, though of course he offered lots of companionship/friendship as well. I would have selected the competing option, but my goal was to learn and have fun, so I chose the activity one... which certainly fits what he does, as have not really competed yet, but trained in both sports and work.

Max passed away to cancer before his 6th birthday, at which point Charlie truely became 'everything' to me...


Experienced Member
When I finally do get my dog it will be because I have a strong nurturing instinct and I just need to take care of things - the more I have to take care of the better for me. That's the reason I've taken on the responsibility of Deebo. :doghappy:

sharon jean

New Member
I agree, that is what I felt as I made the choices, I want to compete for fun, for stimulation for my dogs and to keep them in top condition. They are my companions too, house dogs, and we just enjoy one another.