It is incomprehensible for dog lovers, but some people cannot do anything with their lovable four-legged friends. That’s not too bad; after all, tastes differ. Nevertheless, the following sayings don’t have to be because they get on the nerves of every dog owner.
“Dogs are adorable, but they always stink,” and similar comments from people who are not dog lovers regularly push dog owners to the limit of their control. It is undoubtedly not poorly meant when acquaintances say such sayings, but they are unnecessary. If you don’t own a four-legged friend yourself and meet a dog with a master or mistress: refrain from making the following comments.
- “A dog would be way too much trouble for me” and similar sayings
Often behind comments à la “dogs take up so much time, are so expensive, and need so much activity,” there is a particular aversion to the four-legged friends. Of course, dogs are creatures that need to be raised, fed, cared for, entertained, and sometimes taken to the vet, but dog lovers are happy to do so. If you want to take on the responsibility for a pet, you accept the necessary time and don’t shy away from the effort. If you already like dogs but want to do less work for yourself, you can ask for sponsorships at the animal shelter, for example, or find fulfillment by walking the shelter dogs. In addition, no one is forced to get a pet if they find it too tiring.
- “Yuck! Is the dog allowed on the sofa? How unsanitary!”
Some people who don’t have dogs or other pets of their own seem to live in clinically clean homes where even the trash can smells of rose petals. There is no other way of explaining why they are entirely horrified when their four-legged friends spread hair all over the apartment, occasionally walk over the tiles with their muddy paws, or are even allowed to sit on the couch. Often it doesn’t take long and sayings like “Bah! Dogs stink so badly, they shouldn’t be on the sofa!” and for instructions on possible germs that pets can pass on to humans. Dogs are good for your health, keep your favorite person moving, put you in a good mood, and even prevent depression. Dog lovers will heartily forgive you if there is a dog smell in the apartment. And what’s more: without a few animal hairs on your clothes.
- “And what about the kid?”
For some people, the idea that pets and children can grow up together doesn’t seem to fit into their worldview. Why should pregnant dog owners or parents who want to get a dog put up with such questions: “And how do you do with the dog when the child is here?” Dogs and children can indeed have difficulties with each other, but only if both have not been prepared for the encounter. Both children and dogs can be trained to treat each other with respect and great love and affection. They can learn a lot from each other and develop compassion for one another. You can learn more about this topic in our guides “Dogs and children: That’s how everything works” and “Baby is on the way: Prepare the dog for it.”
Also annoying are hobby psychologists who assume that childless dog owners believe their four-legged friends are children. One should not humanize animals too much and be aware that they have certain instincts and needs that differ from humans. Nevertheless, dog lovers love their cold noses and consider them family members. Whether you want to have children or not is a decision that can be completely independent of the desire to have a pet. Both are very personal decisions that do not concern outsiders.
- Dog lovers never want “It’s just an animal!” Listen
Pets are family members, not inanimate objects. It is, therefore, perfectly human and understandable for dog lovers to worry about their darling as soon as it is ill, does not seem to be up to the task, or is even dying. This has nothing to do with humanization but is an honest, heartfelt affection for the furry being. Whether dog, cat, mouse, budgerigar, or goldfish – pets are always something special for their owners. Saying things like “That’s just an animal” when people are worried about their animal companions is disrespectful and mean. Some tutoring in compassion and empathy would be appropriate in this case.
- “Dogs are a bit stupid.”
No, they are not. Strictly speaking, a dog’s intelligence is just as high as that of a three-year-old human child. Dogs will certainly not get a Nobel Prize in physics for this, and they will probably never unlock the secret of the universe. Nevertheless, they are competent and willing to learn, can be educated, and have a lot of fun when their favorite people encourage them intellectually with games and sports and not just keep them physically busy.
- All stupid sayings about the body size of the four-legged friend
“Oops, you have to be careful not to step on it,” “I don’t like kick horns/carpet rats/calf biters,” “Well, for me, real dogs are at least this and that big.” Admittedly, such sayings also come from people who are dog lovers but dislike small dog breeds and have prejudices against Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, or Maltese. However, dog owners are also skeptical about large dog breeds. At the sight of a Great Dane, a St. Bernard, or a Mastiff, they like to call out: “Oops? Is that a dog or a calf/pony/baby elephant?”, “What do you do if it runs away on a walk?” or “Oh! That’s scary!” – Usually, these sayings are meant in jest, but they reveal a particular bias. For owners of small or large dogs, such comments can be very annoying, maybe even hurtful. It’s better to think about it and don’t express your opinion.